Why LKM? Science-Based Reasons to Try Loving-Kindness Meditation Today!

This article is from http://www.emmaseppala.com/18-science-based-reasons-try-loving-kindness-meditation-today/   Here are some excerpts:
Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM) has been shown to have many benefits. Here are a few:

  • Increases positive emotions & reduces negative emotions: LKM increases love, joy, contentment, gratitude, hope, and interest, amongst others. This resulted in increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, decreased illness symptoms, etc… which, in turn, predicted increased life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms. (I have been suffering from various illnesses and some depressive symptoms.   ~jsn)
  • Increases vagal tone which increases positive emotions & feelings of social connection as well as being a physiological marker of well-being. (Again, vagal tone is related to gastroparesis.   ~jsn)
  • Decreases migraines: The immediate effects of a brief LKM intervention successfully reduced migraine pain and emotional tension associated with chronic migraines. (Another recent diagnosis, primarily visual but some headaches and nausea as well…   ~jsn)
  • Decreases chronic pain: LKM was associated with greater decreases in pain, anger, and psychological distress than the control group.  (I am having some neuropathic and some arthritic pain for starters…    ~jsn)
  • LKM also benefits your psychophysiology & makes it more resilient (Please see the previous post on resiliency   ~jsn)
  • 10 minutes of LKM has an immediate relaxing effect as evidenced by increased respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). (Basically your ability to enter a relaxing and restorative state in terms of cardiovascular and respiratory measures.)
  • Makes you a more helpful person: LKM appears to enhance positive interpersonal attitudes as well as emotions
  • Increases compassion: A recent review of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) concludes that LKM may be the most effective practice for increasing compassion, including the ever important self compassion.
  • Increases empathy: LKM training increased participants’ empathic responses to the distress of others, but also increased positive affective experiences, even in response to witnessing others in distress.
  • Decreases bias towards others: 6 weeks of LKM training decreased implicit bias against minorities.
  • Increases social connection (Noted in a previous post as important to resiliency   ~jsn)
  • Quells self-criticism: LKM was effective for helping self-critical individuals reduce self-criticism and depressive symptoms, and improving self-compassion and positive emotions. These changes were maintained 3 months post-intervention
  • LKM is effective in both immediate and small doses (i.e. instant gratification) but that it also has long-lasting and enduring effects.

The author created a recording of the loving-kindness meditation they used in their study that you can download here or access on youtube here.

Please share any comments if you give this a try (see the how-to’s in the previous posting, or use the links above). Namaste’


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