Teen Breathe

Loving kindness exercise

Visualisation is a powerful tool for feeling good. This 10-step exercise for giving and receiving loving kindness, is a great way to start the day.
WORDS: Chloe Rhodes

How do you do a loving kindness visualisation?

Follow these 10 steps:

  1. Choose a spot where you’re unlikely to be disturbed and get into a comfortable seated position cross-legged on the floor, kneeling on a cushion or rug, or upright in a chair), and bring your attention to your breath – breathing in for a count of four and out for a count of six.
  2. When you feel ready, close your eyes and picture someone in your life who has shown you love and kindness. It might be a family member, a friend or a mentor – someone who wants the best for you. It doesn’t have to be a person you see often and it could even be a grandparent who’s not here anymore.
  3. Imagine them smiling warmly at you, conveying through their eyes their affection or support. Place your right hand on your heart and your left hand on top of it and feel the sensation of receiving this loving kindness as a warmth in your chest and rest here for a moment, enjoying the comfort of this feeling.
  4. Now notice how the earth beneath you supports your weight and imagine that the planet itself is showing you this same kindly regard and wishing you well.
  5. Place your hands either side of you on the floor or chair. Visualise a soft golden light emanating from the point where your fingertips meet the earth, making your hands glow.
  6. After a few moments, slowly raise your hands and place them back on your heart. Picture the golden light filling your chest, reminding you of how much you’re loved. Rest here again for a moment, soaking up the peace that this feeling brings and allowing it to gradually fill your body and soul.
  7. Now, picture someone you love or care about, a person with whom you’d like to share this same feeling. Maybe it’s a friend who’s been going through a tough patch and could benefit from extra tenderness today or perhaps it’s a family member who seems in need of a bit of a boost.
  8. Cup your hands together and see the golden light pooling in your hands as you stretch them out in front of you and offer it to the person you’re picturing. Imagine them smiling as they receive this gift.
  9. Place your hands back on your heart, where the light is still shining. Rest here for as long as you choose.
  10. When you feel ready, open your eyes and have a stretch. If you like, you could make a note of how you feel in a journal, or just enjoy carrying the warmth of loving kindness with you through the day.

You can read more articles in the latest issue of Teen Breathe magazine.