In This Chapter
This chapter is about being kinder to yourself in a mindful way. When anxious, you're more likely to think negatively and berate yourself — for example, for not being perfect (despite the fact that no one is!).
The practices I describe – such as the loving-kindness meditations that are proved to reduce anxiety – can help you counteract this tendency, and lead to higher levels of well-being. And don't worry that this self-compassion is going to turn you into an egotistical monster because I also describe the importance of directing compassion to other people as well.
Loving-kindness is basically the idea of evoking love toward every human being on the planet, including yourself.
The practice of loving-kindness helps generate a sense of friendliness toward yourself and others.
Generally, you achieve this sense of friendliness through practising loving-kindness meditations, which traditionally can be up to 45 minutes long. But in this section, I offer you a range of loving-kindness practices, directed to yourself and others, that vary in time. This flexibility makes practising loving-kindness much easier in today's busy world.
You may not realise that you're irrationally hard on yourself on a day-to-day ...