Self-criticism is increasing day by day globally which results in overthinking, perfectionism, and low self-esteem. When the same tendency of self-criticism is seen in a workplace setting, it can result in low productivity and low motivation. On a personal level, an individual can suffer from mental and physical health issues. For example, depression, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), and trouble with feelings of insignificance (worthlessness).
What is Compassion Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation for compassion means that a person meditates to increase their compassion levels. It is a kind of meditation that encourages self-compassion which is then directed towards others. Commonly, a person is advised to practice affirmations that replace self-criticism with care, and social avoidance with stronger bonding. The meditation practice also motivates the user to observe their thoughts and feelings without criticism. The duration of the meditation exercise can range from 10 minutes per day to 20 minutes per day. A pivotal point to keep in mind is that compassion-oriented meditation should be practiced consistently or else it won’t benefit the user fully.
According to the review article published in Science Direct, compassion meditation (CM) was found to be associated with increasing positive feelings and decreasing negative emotions in respondents. CM was also found to reduce stress and boost empathy. Furthermore, CM along with Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) proved to be effective strategies for improving mental health issues e.g. depression. Hence, mindfulness meditation for compassion has great potential for building compassion.
Enhancing compassion also requires one to work on their emotions. Courses offered by the platform of Noblero can aid in achieving this aim. For example, “Take Control of Your Emotions”
What is the Importance of Mindfulness Meditation For Compassion?
All the human beings living on Earth are like one big family i.e. we are all connected in many ways. There remains no option but to treat each other with feelings of love and compassion. An interesting point here is that the positive feelings have a rippling effect. In other words, positive emotions are contagious. Accordingly, one can see the importance of cultivating compassion through mindfulness meditation.
Benefits of Compassion-Oriented Meditation
There are several advantages of mindfulness meditation with compassion, for instance:
- Improvement in the mood: It is clear that when individuals train themselves to focus on positive feelings, they will experience an uplifting mood. It also means that they will be able to notice the positivity beyond meditating. Additionally, the ability to improve one’s mood points toward emotional regulation. It is an excellent skill to have nowadays because of its benefits in the workplace and personal relationships.
- Enhancement in altruism: Altruism is a virtue in different cultures. It means to help others through self-sacrifice. When an individual works on building and enhancing their positivity, they naturally feel the motivation to share it with others. So, they try to help others by guiding them, or by providing a compassionate listening ear. Other benefits of altruism include a reduction in social isolation, and enhancing capacity to look at the bigger picture. Finally, it helps in increasing feelings of happiness.
- Reduction in unpleasant feelings: After gathering self-confidence by working on oneself and helping others, it becomes easier to tackle the unpleasant emotions within. These unpleasant feelings include internal fears and anger that can hold someone back from moving forward. People are not able to work on their personal development fully. Consequently, mindfulness meditation with compassion helps in reducing negative emotions.
- Combating procrastination: Experts say that unpleasant emotions lurk behind procrastination. It can portray serious consequences for any individual such as poor self-esteem, lack of achievement, and frequently missed opportunities. With compassion meditation, one feels empowered to tackle negative emotions. This is why individuals can minimize the habit of procrastination.
Practice Staying In The Present Moment
Just like any other meditation practice, one is advised to stay in the current moment with an emphasis on compassion. Compassionate feelings should be directed towards oneself first. For example, the user can use say any phrase out loud or inward “I am capable of handling the life challenges. I like myself”. The individual can repeat the phrase as much as they want with variations. The self-critical aspect of any human being will try its best to counter it. However, you should just observe those harsh feelings and thoughts, and not allow them to distract you from the meditation.
Exercise Deep Breathing
This is one of the most important steps of mindfulness meditation with compassion. It can multiply the benefits of the practice. Anyone practicing it can connect their breathing routine with compassion. It means compassion in (while breathing in) and criticism out (while breathing out). It has an extremely calming influence on the mind.
5 Simple Steps to Practice the Mindfulness
With everything in place, all that is left is a regular practice. Even with a busy schedule, one can find 10 minutes in a day to stabilize themselves. The affirmations can change depending on the receiver.
- Start by getting into a comfortable position. The user can sit on a chair or on the floor. If sitting is not suitable for someone, they can lie down as well. Now, one should take a few warm-up breaths.
- One can either close their eyes completely or keep them slightly open and begin focusing on themselves. Now, one should say compassionate affirmations to oneself. The purpose is to enhance self-compassion first and then direct it to others.
- Now, one should imagine a loved one or say their name out loud. Here, the aim is to feel their presence and express kind and loving words to them.
- After doing it for a minute, the user should move on to a complicated (difficult) person in their life. For the meditation to work effectively, the individual should convey kind and loving words to the person. Over time, the user will be able to grow emotionally and it will become easier to express compassion to difficult individuals.
According to Dalai Lama, generosity is the best external communication of an attitude of compassion and love. Mindfulness meditation can help in cultivating that as well. Moreover, one of the most effective ways to nurture the mindset is through compassion meditation. Numerous advantages of meditation include mood enhancement, generosity, and relationship growth. Different courses offered by Noblero can greatly help in building compassion for others and oneself.
Read More: How to Be Mindful of Your Emotions