Anxiety creates insularity. A shutting down of the ability to fully consider others, or to have empathy or compassion for others, as it is all you can do to stop yourself from drowning in the emotion of your inner world.
The cloud of worry, fears and vicious cycle of churning thoughts limits the sufferer’s ability to see beyond themselves.
When you can’t see past the overwhelming nature of anxiety it is impossible to see others, to see the beauty that surrounds you because the dark cloud of anxiety and its regular companion depression blocks the view.
Meditation and relaxation techniques are invaluable ways to quell the spinning mind, bringing a stillness to the frantic pace of anxiety. Yet in some ways I have found that meditation keeps me separated, almost a way to remain disconnected, even though in a more peaceful way.
What I have found to be effective in creating a real shift in my insular mindset that takes hold in moments of anxiety is Metta Bhavana – the cultivation of loving kindness .
In its simplest form this involves spending time in meditation focusing on feeling of compassion and loving kindness first for self,
and then increasingly expanding the loving kindness to a wider circle.
Like with all meditation techniques there are many variances of practice. For me this is the process that I follow and have been experiencing a significant shift in the sense of peace following my morning meditations. And even more importantly I am finding a subtle yet noticeable shift in how I respond to challenges that eventuate throughout the day. Metta helps me not only be compassionate to myself by helps me break the insularity of focus caused by anxiety and therefore breaks its wicked spell on me.
Metta can be the sole focus of your meditation practice or it can be added on to your regular mindfulness meditation.
- Focus on bringing metta to yourself by repeating the following while feeling compassion and love for yourself just as you are.
May I be happy
May I be peaceful
May I be free
- Focus on bringing metta to those that you love. You may be specific in naming people or more generally encompassing all those who are close to you.
May my friends be happy
May my friends be peaceful
May my friends be free
- Focus on bringing metta to those that annoy you or you have a dislike for. Again you can be specific or more general in your focus. In this moment allow true compassion radiate out to these people.
May my enemies be happy
May my enemies by peaceful
May my enemies be free
- Bring loving kindness to all sentient beings
May all beings be happy
May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be free.
There is not right or wrong in the phraseology, choose terms of love and compassion that resonate with you.
Kim Adams helps people build courageous self leadership so they can create their life on their terms. Kim blends her background in performance psychology with mind-body-spirit philosophies, intuition and a wicked sense of humor to inspire you to be Happy Healthy and Groovy.
If you would like to have Kim present her signature presentation MindGrooves: Building New Pathways to Success at your organisation contact Kim at email@example.com
Or escape to a tropical paradise and Find Your Groove in Koh Samui, Thailand. www.HappyHealthyGroovy.com.au/kohsamui2016/