“Misery loves company and our company loves misery.”
– I.M. Kidding, NOT founder
“Hatred cannot coexist with loving-kindness, and dissipates if supplanted with thoughts based on loving-kindness.”
– The Dhammapada
In a recent issue of the Journal of Positive Psychology researchers Michael Cohn and Barbara Fredrickson were able to demonstrate the sustainability of positive experiences with subjects who had engaged in loving kindness meditation (LKM). This is the first time researchers from the field of positive psychology have demonstrated that an intervention designed to enhance subjects’ well-being produced sustainable results. Prior to this the positivity of any specific intervention was notable, but its enduring effects were unknown. The researchers were able to show that subjects who used a LKM were able to have more positive experiences (PEs) and that these experiences were sustained for an extended period of time.
In this particular study the effects were measured more than a year after the original introduction of the practice of a LKM. Loving-kindness is the first of a series of meditations that produce four qualities of love: Friendliness, Compassion, Appreciative Joy and Equanimity. The practice begins by developing a loving acceptance of whom you are, and can be thought of as a form of self-therapy.
In other words, this proves that if you engage in the practices of positive psychology, in this case Loving Kindness Meditation, you are not only likely to feel better initially, you likely will continue to have significant positive value in your life.
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