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Compassion Meditation, a Perfect Life Hack for Long-Lasting Happiness

Compassion Meditation, a Perfect Life Hack for Long-Lasting Happiness

Compassion meditation has lately garnered lots of attention for its positive effects on the body and mind. This contemplative practice aims to strengthen feelings of compassion and empathy towards different people, including family, friends and also people you dislike, thereby helping you attain happiness.

( Also read: 5 Steps to Rebound from a Professional or a Personal Failure )

It involves silently repeating compassionate phrases or visualising things that help you move your feeling from dislike to caring, compassion and understanding of someone else.

Three steps involved in compassion meditation are:

1. Self compassion
Sit on the floor and take a deep breath. Relax your mind. Think of somebody you love, somebody with whom you feel thorough happiness. Image this person and when you feel the love, say, "May I be happy, safe and peaceful."

2. Compassion for the people you love
Think of people you love and those who care for you. Then slowly repeat the compassion towards them. Say, "May you be fine. May you be safe, peaceful and healthy."

3. Compassion for everyone
Continuing the meditation, now bring in the third circle of people. Your colleagues, neighbours, classmates and finally people you dislike or people you have difficulty with. Repeat the same for them, "May you be happy, well, safe, peaceful."

As you make this a habit, you will start feeling more compassionate towards yourself and others . You then should include this to your day to day activities. For instance, repeat the phrases of compassion and kindness when you are driving, travelling or making a presentation. "When you have no grudges against anyone, you will surely feel the happiness from within. It is not only a feel-good practice, it leads to improved mood, less anger, reduced stress and decreased mind wandering," according to a recent research.

This meditation is backed by various studies. According to one such study, "Positive emotions such as loving-kindness and compassion can be learned in the same way as playing a musical instrument or being proficient in a sport. The scans revealed that brain circuits used to detect emotions and feelings were dramatically changed in subjects who had extensive experience practicing compassion meditation.
"Individuals — from children who may engage in bullying to people prone to recurring depression — and society in general could benefit from such meditative practices," concluded study director Richard Davidson, an expert in the effects of meditation.

(Image Credit: Thinkstock)

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