May is National Meditation Month. There are many different types of meditation, including the loving kindness meditation.
Much like saying prayers or sharing blessings, the loving kindness meditation sends positive thoughts and intentions to others. Studies have shown this practice can increase positive emotions, decrease negative emotions, and reduce depression and symptoms of PTSD in Veterans.
There are many versions of loving kindness meditation, which is also known as “metta meditation.” The basic format is that people offer themselves, their loved ones, and the world a series of positive thoughts and intentions.
Check out this 22-minute version of the loving kindness meditation from Dr. David Kearney from VA Puget Sound:
The loving kindness meditation can help people build compassion. When people have compassion for someone, they experience his or her suffering.Compassion also means wanting to help ease suffering. Extending compassion to one’s self and others can improve a person’s health and well-being.
For more information on compassion and scripted loving kindness meditation click on the following link:
Family, friends and co-workers play a very important role in people’s health and well-being. Feeling listened to and connected with loved ones in an important part of relationships. Having close, loving, and supportive relationships can improve a person’s health and well-being. Explore how these relationships can help improve your health and well-being by clicking on this link:
Andrea Young is a Field Implementation Team Consultant with the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation