THOUGHTFULNESS

The truth behind the wisdom

When we think of meditation, we usually associate it with Buddhism – and for good reason, Buddhism is the pioneer and champion of the most widely accepted forms of meditation across the world, despite having a relatively small following philosophically. Whilst the technique has flourished, the Buddhist aims for meditation remain a little less well known – but not at all concealed: If we listen to almost any speech done by HH The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Buddhism, we will hear two words more frequently than perhaps any others – compassion and kindness. Buddhism claims that meditation will help create an individual more capable of these qualities by illuminating truths about themselves through introspection and calm. But you don’t have to take that as a statement of faith; science has busily been confirming the ancient wisdom for decades

Kindness from the inside out

One study [1] involving the effects of kindness-based meditation showed that those who frequently meditated produced beneficial results on the wellbeing of not just themselves but the entire community around them as well. As meditation can lead to an increase in self-knowledge, we can understand more about how we relate to, and impact on, others. By identifying our strengths and weaknesses, eventually, we become more patient, more aware, and more compassionate. Once we become accustomed to treating ourselves with understanding and compassion, our actions and consideration towards others become automatically as thoughtful

Deciding to remain thoughtful

Improving our emotional health, something which many studies have shown meditation as extremely helpful on, is another driving factor towards how thoughtful we are towards others. If we are stressed, anxious, or volatile, we are far less likely to engage in positive pursuits towards ourselves and others because we are doubtful or distracted. Meditations help us neutralise our sometimes turbulent mind by teaching us not to react to every thought, but instead to watch them, and choose which ones to act on.

And here’s for the science, take a look in full: