Meditating And Showing Compassion
A vital feature of the art of meditation is, being compassionate. It isn’t only about being compassionate to others, but it is also about being compassionate to one’s self. According to Dalai Lama, anyone who wants other people to remain happy should practice compassion, and anyone who wants to remain happy should also practice compassion.
While meditating in your upright position with eyes closed and focusing on your breath, you should imagine that one of your loved ones is standing right in front of you and then wish the person light, love and health.
To level up, try doing that with a person you do not like by trying to be empathetic about why those persons behave the way they do or simply appreciating them for the role they have played by helping you develop understanding and patience.
A lot of times, practicing these compassion exercises with yourself might be so difficult and replacing thoughts and confessions about being a failure with confessions acknowledging that you are doing well might not come so easy.
Findings Of Study
Doing the above might not appear so useful at first glance but a recently released study has revealed that it actually works.
The researchers divided about 135 students of the University of Exeter into five groups, and they were given audio recordings that were 11 minutes long. Some got recordings telling them to be more critical about themselves while others got recordings instructing this group of participants to be kinder to themselves.
The researchers proceeded to monitor the heart rates as well as the sweat responses of the participants to the exercises. They were also asked questions relating to how safe, calm and also how connected to other people they felt.
The study’s results indicated that in addition to feeling more connected to other people, the bodily responses of those who fell in the compassion groups showed that they were more relaxed and that was seen in the drop in their heart rate, their sweat response was reduced.
Also, there was an increase in the variability of their heart rate, I.e., Time interval existing between heartbeats and that shows better health. However, the critical group’s participants reacted in a manner showing that they were feeling threatened and distressed.
Compassion And Mental Health
According to the lead of the study, Dr. Anke Karl, previous research showed that there was a relationship between self-compassion and better mental health and better wellbeing.
However, the reason was not known. Karl noted that the study is assisting in the understanding of the mechanism behind how kindness to one’s self when things are not going well would be of benefits in psychological treatments.
Karl further noted that when we switch off the threat response, it automatically increased the immune system. Also, it provides us with the best avenue to heal ourselves. Karl expressed hope that subsequent research would be able to use the method adopted in the study to investigate how that can help those who have mental health issues like recurrent depression.
Effects On Negative Thoughts
It is true that the practice of compassion meditation has a lot of benefits for everybody. However, it even has more life-changing benefits for people who usually nurse negative thoughts because it helps to increase their awareness of their thoughts and also how to control these thoughts.
It is worthy to note that the practice does not mean the negative thoughts wouldn’t come, it only means it would be easier to control yourself whenever the thoughts come because you will understand that they are not facts and are merely thoughts. That would, in turn, help you channel your mind towards a more productive and positive direction.
Over time, meditation has gone ahead to become a very effective tool for those who are troubled sleepers. It helps them to quiet their minds, most especially those who are suffering from anxiety.
A recent study has discovered that just by practicing meditation for only 10 minutes per day can provide one with the same kind of benefits one would get from sleeping for an additional 44 minutes.