The Buddhist tradition teaches a meditation technique called metta, which is translated as loving-kindness. It's the culmination and end result of the practice of Buddhism, yet it's a simple meditation that brings surprisingly good results right away.
It only takes a few minutes, but it can imbue you with warmth and relaxation and improves the quality of your relationships without making you any less effective. In fact, in relationships that are difficult for you, it will make you more effective.
Here's how to do it:
1. In a quiet place, close your eyes and relax for a moment.
2. Think of anything that gives you a warm, loving feeling. It could be a memory of something someone did for you that touched you, or some story you've read, a scene from a movie, an image of one of your parents or children or siblings, or any thought that generates inside you a friendly feeling.
3. Notice where and what that feeling is. It could be a smiley feeling in your jaw; warmth in your eyes; a relaxed feeling in your abdomen; whatever.
4. Imagine the feeling spreading slowly throughout your body, gradually filling the cells of your body with warm, loving feelings.
5. Slowly open your eyes, and throughout the day, pay attention to that loving-kindness feeling whenever it arises during your day, no matter how slight. You'll notice it talking to someone or shaking hands or thinking about someone. Simply notice the feeling. Pay attention to it and enjoy it.
Love and friendliness are relaxing and enjoyable feelings. It is healthy to feel that way, and the metta meditation brings more of those feelings into your life. It is not only good for you, but any increase in feelings of goodwill, whether in you or in the people you contact, helps make this world a better place.
Read more about Metta Meditation in the book, Lovingkindness Meditation
Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.