This technique is based on the Buddhist Loving Kindness meditation.
Though there are variations of the Loving Kindness practice, all of them begin with expressing loving kindness for one’s self first.
Beginning with yourself is not being selfish. It’s practical in the same way that putting your airplane oxygen mask on first before you help anyone else is practical.
In the full Loving Kindness meditation, once you have filled yourself with feelings of compassion and goodwill you then extend those feelings first to loved ones, then to friends, and then to those people for whom you have neutral feelings.
The final three sections of the full Loving Kindness practice include people who irritate you, the combined group of you, your loved ones, friends, neutrals and irritating people, and lastly all beings throughout time and space.
As you can imagine, the full practice can take a long time to complete.
This shortened version is a quick, effective way to realign with your center and feel better about yourself. It’s also good at reducing stress and calming anxiety. I’ve also found it to be a wonderful antidote for a noise inner critic.
If at first you find it difficult to be loving and compassionate towards yourself, don’t beat yourself up about it.
Instead begin by expressing kindness to someone or something you love such as a pet. Then take that feeling and transfer it to yourself.
Remember to practice it often during the day.
The above wording of the mantra is part of the practice I learned from Tara Brach in her book Radical Acceptance. Feel free to use your own words.
What’s important is the feeling of loving kindness that you create for yourself.
The Loving Kindness practice kindness can be done anywhere at any time including at night should anxiety disrupt your sleep.
Feel the Loving Kindness is the second of three foundation techniques as explained in How to Get Rid of Anxiety and Panic Attacks Naturally
You may also like the Quick & Easy Meditation practices. Check them out by clicking here.