Evidence That It Works
Studies indicate that people who practice loving-kindness for just a few weeks can experience an increase in self-compassion and positive emotions, and relief from depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
In addition, this particular mindfulness practice is one of the most effective ways for increasing empathy and compassion for others. In fact, one study’s findings suggest that it may even play a role in decreasing bias towards stigmatized groups.
Why Does It Matter?
Unlike other mindfulness practices that focus more on developing the self (e.g., increasing awareness and releasing tension), this practice is also deeply relational, so it can help you to develop more positive relationships with your students and colleagues, potentially leading to a more positive school climate.
When you practice loving-kindness, you learn to extend love and care to yourself first—and then to others. Ultimately, you may reap the benefits of greater self-awareness and self-compassion, but you may also feel more energy to meet students and colleagues where they are—and to extend care to them with a more open heart.