April 30, 2023 3 min read
Letting go of negative thoughts is one of the most difficult challenges that many of us face in life.
Anxiety, worry, and self-doubt can be all too common and overwhelm us before we know it.
In moments of distress and emotional turbulence, turning to practices such as Loving-Kindness meditation can provide a space for emotional breakthroughs and lasting inner peace.
This type of meditation is rooted in Buddhist teachings and focuses on fostering an attitude of unconditional love and acceptance towards ourselves and those around us.
It is also known as ‘Metta’ meditation, which derives from the Pali, an ancient language from India, where it means ‘loving-kindness.’
Loving-Kindness meditation helps to cultivate positive mental habits and reduce the stranglehold of our negative thought patterns. It is said to bring clarity and a feeling of inner peace even in moments of distress and suffering. It can give us the sense of security and love needed to be ok with the here and now and let go of difficult thoughts.
Loving-Kindness meditation is based on four simple steps.
The first and most important step is self-care. Start by sitting in a comfortable and relaxed position, either on a chair or on the floor, and beginning with a few moments of breath awareness. Spend a few moments praying to yourself and expressing loving-kindness and compassion.
The second step is to direct this loving-kindness and compassion towards yourself. Repeat to yourself words of kindness, love and acceptance such as: “May I be happy, may I be safe, may I be healthy and may I accept myself as I am”.
The third step is to extend this same love, acceptance and understanding towards others. Connect with the wish that they too, be happy, safe and live with a feeling of love inside themselves.
The fourth step is to expand this circle of loving-kindness and understanding outwards – as far as you can think of and/or feel: family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and then up to the planet. Extend these same feelings of unconditional kindness and love to all.
Loving-Kindness meditation has numerous benefits and is known to reduce stress, increase feelings of happiness and well-being, and help us get in touch with our most loving, compassionate selves.
It is also a great practice for those times when we experience more challenging thoughts and feelings, allowing us to create a healing space to let go of anything that isn’t serving us.
When we are able to practice metta meditation on a consistent basis, our minds will open up and become more spacious, allowing us to see that our problems don’t really have to define us and that we can find a way to accept and embrace them.
Part of Our Everyday Consistent practice of metta meditation is the best way to let go of negative thoughts. Making time to practice on a daily basis is the best way to foster and maintain an atmosphere of unconditional love and acceptance.
Start small and gradually increase the amount of time you spend meditating.
Even if it is just for a few minutes each day, try to make it a part of your daily routine and observe how much better you soon start to feel. Most importantly, be patient and be kind to yourself.
Remember that everyone struggles with this process and it takes time to cultivate the changes we want to see. Learning to accept ourselves with love and understanding is key to letting go of negative thoughts.
Loving-Kindness meditation is a beautiful practice that can bring about lasting inner peace. In moments of distress, try to view your experience with love and understanding and see it through the lens of sustainability to create an energetic cycle of love and acceptance over time.