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Benefits of Loving Kindness Meditation

Learn The Benefits of Loving Kindness Meditation

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Updated October 26, 2012

Benefits of Loving Kindness Meditation

Loving Kindness Meditation has many benefits.

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Loving Kindness Meditation

There are many different types of meditation techniques, which can be categorized by researchers into two different groups—concentrative and non-concentrative—but of all the styles of meditation, the Loving Kindness Meditation is one of the most practiced and enjoyed, and for good reason.

About the Loving Kindness Meditation

Rooted in Buddhism, but now widely practiced among various religious paths and throughout the world, the Loving Kindness Meditation (also called Compassion Meditation) was developed to foster self-acceptance, forgiveness and compassion. It can be practiced with the self as a focal point (we learn to increase feelings of self-acceptance and self-love this way, reinforcing more positive styles of thought), or friends and family can be the subjects. Many people then expand the circle of Loving Kindness Meditation to include feelings of loving kindness toward strangers and all humanity. Loving Kindness Meditation can also be used as a tool to foster forgiveness toward self and others.

Research on Loving Kindness Meditation

Like several other forms of meditation, there has been some research conducted on Loving Kindness Meditation, and the results have been positive. Among other things, Loving Kindness Meditation has been shown to:
  • Reduce anxiety

  • Reduce negative affect or mood

  • Reduce physical and emotional pain

  • Reduce anger

  • Reduce psychological stress

  • Increase feelings of hope

  • Increase positive social emotions toward new people as well as loved ones

  • Produce more positive, and more lasting, positive emotions

Learn to Practice Loving Kindness Meditation

Loving Kindness Meditation is a very simple and enjoyable form of meditation—it can be practiced daily and without much training, with results you can really feel. Don’t be surprised if those around you feel a difference as well! Here’s more on how to practice loving kindness meditation.

Sources:

Carson JW, Keefe FJ, Lynch TR, Carson KM, Goli V, Fras AM, Thorp SR. Duke University Medical Center, USA. Loving-kindness meditation for chronic low back pain: results from a pilot trial. Journal of Holistic Nursing, October 2005.
Fredrickson BL, Cohn MA, Coffey KA, Pek J, Finkel SM. Open hearts build lives: positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, November 2008.
Hutcherson CA, Seppala EM, Gross JJ. Loving-kindness meditation increases social connectedness. Emotion, October 2008.
Pace TW, Negi LT, Sivilli TI, Issa MJ, Cole SP, Adame DD, Raison CL. Innate immune, neuroendocrine and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress do not predict subsequent compassion meditation practice time. Psychoneuroendocrinology. Februar 2010.
Sears S, Kraus S. I think therefore I om: cognitive distortions and coping style as mediators for the effects of mindfulness meditation on anxiety, positive and negative affect, and hope. Journal of Clinical Psychology, June 2009.

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