Meditation is a trend that has recently blown up in pop culture. It seems to be offered as a helping hand for a plethora of mental health problems and is often brought up as a way to achieve greater mental stability and well-being. While meditation is normally about promoting your own health, compassion meditation focuses on fostering wellness in yourself by also encouraging the wellness of others. Compassion meditation is a great way to offer thoughts of love and care to not only yourself, but those around you, as well.
Oftentimes, compassion meditations will begin by promoting self-love and self-forgiveness. You cannot offer others the same level of care if you, yourself, are not in a place where you feel loved. Focusing on receiving love from others and also being able to give that love to yourself is a huge part of meditation and mental well-being. In order to get to a better place of self-care, practice saying lines like “I am worthy of love” and “I accept myself exactly as I am.” Doing this makes it easier for you to accept the help of others when you are in need and also puts you in a less judgmental headspace where you can accept others as they are, as well.
Check out this example of a self-love meditation by Positive Magazine Meditation:
or this one by Adidas Women:
A lot of compassion meditations focus on the idea of lovingkindness, which is an idea of tenderness and care towards others. Thoughts of lovingkindness often include things like “may you be safe,” “may you feel joy” and “may you be healthy.” You begin by directing these thoughts towards your “inner circle,” or the people that you care about and like. Then, you gradually move from the inner circle to “neutral” people, whom you usually don’t know, or if you do know them, you aren’t particularly attached to them. Lastly, you open up to all people, including those that you don’t like. By doing this, you help to become a more at peace, loving person.
Check out this example of a lovingkindness meditation from WiseMindBody:
or this one from Stop, Breathe & Think:
By practicing compassion, you actually make yourself feel better. People feel more joy after extending love and help to others than when they receive a gift themselves. Even babies have positive feelings after they help someone. Training yourself to experience more compassion from day to day allows you to have more fulfilling relationships and to help others with their suffering, as well.
Check out the Headspace app’s website for more information on compassion meditation.