In times of anxiety (or anytime) it can be helpful to focus one's attention on things that are going well. The brain can't do both "anxious" and "joyful" simultaneously, so with a little awareness, you can nudge your thoughts toward the latter.
Loving-kindness is a traditional and very soothing practice. The original name for it -- ‘Metta’ -- is a Pali word for benevolence, friendship, affection, and kindness. It's a smart way to shift gears when you feel stuck.
In Metta meditation you start with yourself, feeling and wishing kind thoughts. When you feel the kind thoughts for yourself, you're in a better place to extend them to others. The next step is doing exactly that. Sit quietly thinking of a person or animal you have good feelings towards, and explicitly wish that they be happy, safe and well. Feel the sensations of wishing this goodness on them. See if you can sense in your body the good feelings.
The whole practice can be as short or long as you like. Adapt it for what you can fit in. When you begin, it might feel a bit unusual, which is normal. It's new. As you get more familiar with the practice you'll find it easier to sit and to extend this goodwill to yourself and to others.
The effects of loving-kindness meditation accumulate the more you do it. Regular practitioners find this style helps with motivation and empathy – two basic positive emotions that create a healthy mind.
If you'd like a guided version of this meditation, there are video meditations you can follow at www.yogaonline.co.nz. Good luck in your practice.
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