Meditation (Photo credit: holisticgeek)

Mind Tip To improve your relationships, practice compassion meditation. Focus on wishing others well to help cultivate kindness.

Just as a grudge can eat away at you, compassion can help bring you peace. A compassion-based meditation program, also known as loving-kindness meditation, is a powerful way to get outside of yourself and help you connect with others. Research shows that the practice of wishing others well can boost our ability to read others’ facial expressions. This, in turn, may help us better empathize with others. According to past research, those who are adept at reading others’ emotions tend to have stronger relationships. Compassion meditation can help get us out of our pattern of indifference and see others in a kinder light. Though this practice can benefit all of us, researchers believe that it could be particularly helpful to people who feel lonely or misunderstood — from those who are prone to depression to those who engage in bullying. To practice compassion meditation, think of someone you care about and wish them well. You may want to silently repeat a phrase that directs feelings of love or understanding toward that person, like “May you be happy, peaceful and well.”

Kindness @ Øya 2012
Kindness @ Øya 2012 (Photo credit: aktivioslo)

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