Loving kindness therapy makes you happy

If you want to boost your mood, walk around offering kindness > Well, at least that is what psychology researchers recommend*. They say that such kindness therapy reduces anxiety, plus increases happiness and feelings of social connection.

It’s a simple strategy that doesn’t take a lot of time. You can easily incorporate it into your daily activities,” explains the study author.

To establish this recommendation he invited college students to walk around a building for 12 minutes practicing one of three strategies. They were asked to considered the outward appearance of those they encountered.

The 12 minute mood booster 

It was found that those who practiced loving-kindness or wished others well, felt happier, more connected, caring and empathetic. They also ended up less anxious.

In comparison, students who compared themselves to others felt less empathetic, caring and connected than those who extended well wishes to others. Previous studies have shown downward social comparison has a buffering effect when we are feeling bad about ourselves.

The team also reported that social media is like a playground for comparisons. “We often feel envy, jealousy, anger or disappointment in response to what we see on social media,” added the researcher. “Those emotions disrupt our sense of well-being.”

These so called ‘findings’ may be true, but they are nothing new. They just validate so many religious (‘ Do unto others as you would yourself’) and psychology based therapies. These include making random acts of kindness, massaging your karma, loving kindness meditation LKM and the power of altruism.

We don’t need US researchers to tell the world that lovingkindness and praising others is good for the soul. All we need is the courage to be altruistic.

Footnote > * This comparative study was carried out at the Iowa State University.

3 thoughts on “Loving kindness therapy makes you happy

  1. The most common Buddhist meditation practice is known as mindfulness meditation. It pre-dates this ‘research’ by centuries! For me loving kindness meditation is an elixir for my heart. It is a medicine for my soul. It softens my heart so that I am not scared to reveal myself to others in the warmth of friendliness and even love.

  2. Karma Jane (Clapham) says:

    Most people find it hard to be kind to themselves. This is thanks to decades of conditioning, which has made them their own harshest critics. It need not be that way. You can transform yourself. It is an old saying but it still applies …. ‘this is the first day of the rest of your life’ … so do something positive – love filled – with it.

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