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11 Benefits Of Metta Meditation (Loving-Kindness Meditation) And How To Do It

Metta meditation, also known as loving-kindness meditation, is a popular self-care technique originated by Buddha. It helps boost the well-being of a person, reduce stress and practise positivity.

The term 'metta' belongs to Pali language, a language closely related to Old Indo-Aryan Vedic and Sanskrit dialects. It means the benevolence, goodwill and development of unconditional love for all beings.

Metta meditation is done mainly to cultivate love and kindness towards every being, be it family, friends, animals, neighbours or yourself. This mediation is also about learning forgiveness, managing social anxiety, reducing negative emotions and spreading kindness in the world. Take a look at a few amazing health benefits of metta meditation (loving-kindness meditation) and also learn how to do it.


1. Helps you sleep well

Sleep disturbances are a public health concern most prevalent in adults and older people. A study shows that engaging in mindfulness exercises such as loving-kindness meditation at least for 10 to 30 minutes helps reduce sleep problems and stress, thus providing better sleep to a person. [1]


2. Promotes physical health

Metta meditation is a type of mindfulness-meditation technique that shows a positive effect on our physical health. It helps connect our mind and body, which in turn impact our health and diseases.

A study shows that loving-kindness meditation reduces heart-related diseases, reverses molecular reactions that lead to chronic stress, improves mitochondrial metabolism and risks of other diseases, thus promoting good physical health. [2]


3. Relaxes muscles

A study relates loving-kindness meditation with progressive muscle relaxation. It says that when a person does this mediation, all negative emotions, repetitive thoughts and stress are reduced or becomes nil. With no negative thoughts, their muscles relax and cognitive flexibility is improved.


4. Helps in reducing migraine pains

A study shows that 20 minutes of guided loving-kindness meditation helps in reducing around 43 per cent of emotional tension and 33 per cent of attenuating pain. Frequent migraine pain is related to emotional tensions, anxiety, irritation and worry. Metta meditation counteracts these emotions and helps reduce migraine pains. [3]


5. Manages anger problems

A study shows that loving-kindness meditation has a potential strategy to deal with many psychological issues, including anger problems. Metta meditation provides a person with the art of empathy, patience, forgiveness and tolerance. Developing these emotions make a person respond well towards anger and control it. [4]


6. Helps combat stress and depression

Metta meditation is a mindfulness exercise or practice that focuses to provide mental health support. It helps reduce depressive relapse, stress and other mental illnesses. Metta meditation has therapeutic elements that help a person develop positive thoughts, practise gratitude and love. These actions help combat stress, anxiety and depression. [5]


7. Improves relationships and social connections

Loving-kindness meditation helps build interpersonal relationships, develop positive emotions and understand the feelings of others. This improves relationships and social connections and even help develop a positive aspect towards strangers. Daily practising metta meditation helps reshape an individual's life and traits for good relationships in life. [6]


8. Helps with PTSD or other traumas

A study carried out on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) individuals show that performing 12-weeks of the metta meditation helps in bringing positive emotions, kindness and compassion towards oneself and others which helps reduce PTSD symptoms, depression and other traumas. [7]


9. Helps develop compassion

Metta meditation brings a deep spiritual transformation. Compassion means to understand the concern and pain of others and show them your true care in their ups and downs.

Metta meditation helps develop deep and genuine sympathy, generosity and qualities of right speech and actions. These techniques help ease the sufferings of others and provide them wisdom by leading them to a path of greater awareness.


10. Helps with longevity

A large number of studies talks about the positive impact of metta mediation on brain ageing. Longer life expectancy has progressively decreased in humans due to multiple diseases, including age-related disorders.

Metta meditation helps maintain proper functioning of brain tissues and reduces the risk of age-related diseases such as dementia. It also helps preserve cognitive and emotional functions that help a person live a longer and healthier life. [8]


11. Reduces inflammation

The positivity that cultivates through metta meditation helps to reduce inflammation and other physical pain. Metta meditation not only provides mental satisfaction but is also effective in improving the immune system. It helps reduce inflammatory symptoms by increasing pro-inflammatory cytokines in the blood which helps combat inflammatory response and reduce them. [9]


How To Do:

  • Sit comfortably in a quiet place and close your eyes.
  • Take a slow and deep breath and focus on your breathing. It should feel that you are breathing in the feeling of kindness and love and breathing out all stress and tensions.
  • Silently repeat a few positive phrases such as "May I be healthy", "May I be happy, or "May I give appreciation today". You can create your own messages.
  • Accept the positive feeling that comes your way by reciting these phrases. Even if you get distracted for a while, continue saying the phrases and bring back positive feelings in your mind.
  • Next, think about someone who is close to you and again repeat the phrases. Feel the love and gratitude and stay with that feeling for a while.
  • Then start thinking about other people in your life such as your friends, colleagues and neighbours and repeat phrases until you feel compassion and connection towards them. Don't forget to include your enemies to bring a feeling of forgiveness and inner peace.
  • Open your eyes and feel the positive emotions that have flooded your mind. Revisit these feeling throughout the day which you have experienced and spread kindness.
  • To Conclude:

    Metta mediation connects the mind and the body and shifts your mind to the positivity of the world. Before starting loving-kindness meditation, remember that you need to be patient and avoid judging yourself. In the beginning, you may not get the expected results but will experience soon if you practise it daily.

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