For many, the stress likely comes both from fears about the outcome of the election, and from seeing the daily heated arguments, hostile jokes and memes, and nasty comments in their Facebook newsfeeds.
One possible antidote to all of this tension and anxiety is mindfulness meditation. Stephanie Henslee, a Neurotherapy technician at The Meadows Outpatient Center, has offered up a 15-minute Loving Kindness (a.k.a. lovingkindness) meditation as part of our #MindfulMonday series just in time for Election Day.
Also called a metta, a Loving Kindness meditation asks you to cultivate compassion for yourself and for others by repeating a series of phrases pertaining first to yourself, then someone you love unconditionally, then to someone who you have a little trouble feeling warm and generous towards—like maybe that distant cousin who keeps posting ridiculous arguments about your favorite political candidate on Facebook…
- May I be free from inner and outer harm and danger. May I be safe and protected.
- May I be free of mental suffering or distress.
- May I be happy.
- May I be free of physical pain and suffering.
- May I be healthy and strong.
- May I be able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease.
This practice is echoed in the 12-step approach for people in recovery. Step Four encourages us to wish for good to come to people who have hurt us, find freedom from resentment, and forgiveness for ourselves.
So, if you need a break from the constant news and commentary cycle on election day, cue up Stephanie’s video, and find compassion for yourself and your fellow citizens—no matter how wrong they may be…