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7 Ways to Cultivate Compassion

Research shows helping others improves overall mental well-being

A woman holding a giant seed while meditating.

— Blend Images/Getty Images

6. Try "loving kindness meditation." This practice from the Buddhist tradition helps to sow the seeds of compassion. Start by sitting quietly, then offer the following phrases to yourself: May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be safe. May I live with ease. Repeat several times, then switch the I to You, and bring others to mind, one at a time. The list may include a mentor or friend who has helped you; a loved one going through hard times; a neighbor or anyone you don't have strong feelings about; a colleague or family member who drives you crazy; and finally, all people and creatures everywhere. This is a profound practice. Just saying the phrases is sufficient — you don't need to stir up emotion to accompany them.

Next: Be a role model for your children and grandchildren. >>

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