4 Lovingkindness Meditations

It’s not always easy to be kind to others, much less ourselves. Or perhaps even more-so to ourselves. Lovingkindness meditation (also known as “metta”) helps us cultivate compassion, as well as self-compassion. It turns out when you do that latter, it helps with the former.

Here are four from teachers I love and respect.

  • Tamara Levitt – 10 minutes: I love Tamara Levitt (I subscribe to the Calm app primarily for her content), so here’s one by her to start.
  • Jack Kornfield – 12 minutes: The man, the myth, the legend. If you haven’t meditated with Kornfield, now is the time.
  • Thich Nat Hahn Foundation – 14 minutes: This is actually shorter than 14 minutes, because there’s some explaination in there, too.
  • Jon Kabat-Zinn – 47 minutes: This is a bit long for beginners so maybe wait a while if you are new to lovingkindness meditations or meditation in general, but it’s Kabat-Zinn has a great voice and, honestly, I could listen to him all day! There’s a great article around this one, so read and learn or simply scroll down for the audio.

These might be challenging at first. Even if you don’t feel like loving yourself, do it anyhow. Even it you feel cheesy or inauthentic saying or directing the words to yourself, do it anyhow. Feeling it will come over time. You got this. 

One-Minute Meditation

Try this meditation when you are busy, on the go or need a quick emergency breathing session. Even one minute of deep breathing can change the course of your day.

Try this meditation when you are busy, on the go or need a quick emergency breathing session. Even one minute of deep breathing can change the course of your day.

Meditation is particularly helpful during a booze break, because it can help curb cravings due to the positive impact on areas of the brain that regulate self-control.

Don’t worry if your mind wanders — that’s perfectly normal. In fact it’s physically impossible to “empty” your mind. Rather, when you notice a thought, simply acknowledge it and then refocus on the breath.

I hope you enjoy this brief meditation.

Drink Fit Club

by Melanie Warner Spencer

One-Minute Meditation

Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Alcohol Free Toolbox

Willpower is a finite resource. When we lean on it repeatedly while breaking habits that no longer serve us and forming new ones, willpower eventually wears out and we cave in. Instead, make it easy on yourself by finding the right tools and planning ahead .

  • Keep healthy snacks and meals at the ready and eat throughout the day to help regulate blood sugar. This helps with moods and cravings.
  • Stay hydrated! This one is more important and helpful than we often realize.
  • Find replacement drinks with flavors similar to your favorite alcoholic beverages. For example, club soda with bitters for lovers of an Aperol spritz, try some of the good alcohol free beers and zero proof spirits on the market now (if it isn’t a trigger for you), teas, flavored bubbly water and ingredients for yummy mocktails kept at arms length can give us what we want at a moment’s notice.
  • Journal about your thoughts, feelings, triggers and witching hours to get your thoughts out of your head and better tune into patterns.
  • Alternate activities like a walk, hot bath or meditation, listening, to a podcast, calling a friend, doing yoga, cooking or baking can all distract you just long enough for a craving or a bad mood (which often helps create the craving) to pass. Create a list of comforting activities and things you’ve been wanting to try and pick something off of the list. Knitting? Hiking? Painting? Gardening? Give it a whirl!
  • Take a nap. Yep, sometimes we just need rest or to hit the reset button. Naps can accomplish both.

Tune into your body and emotions. Treat yourself with the same care and compassion you would treat a friend and fulfill those basic needs like rest, hydration, eating, sunshine, fresh air and fun.

Willpower will only get you so far, but if you have the right tools for the right job, you can cut down on the time and effort being expended on forming new habits. Be kind to yourself.