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If you need help letting go of self-rejection and shaming thoughts or feelings, consider trying The Loving-kindness Meditation.
This technique has been used for about 2,600 years which suggests it must be effective. It was also the subject of a research study that indicates the meditation promotes a sense of well-being.
Traditionally, the loving-kindness meditation is done while seated and involves silently repeating four short positive phrases in rhythm with the breath. The four phrases are:
In 2008, researchers at The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill were curious about the loving-kindness meditation’s effectiveness for relieving depression. Of 139 study participants, half of them were randomly chosen to practice the meditation. The remaining participants did not meditate.
Participants who engaged in the meditation, over time, reported experiencing more positive emotions, and an increase in sense of purpose, social connection, and mindfulness (present moment awareness). These factors were shown to correlate with a reduction of depressive symptoms and a greater experience of overall happiness.
It may take a few practices to become comfortable with this meditation; just do the best you can each time.
As you become comfortable doing the meditation feel free to alter the phrases, or substitute positive phrases of your own.
Source: Emmons, Henry, M.D. The Chemistry of Joy Workbook, New Harbinger Publications, 2012.
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