In this article, I’m going to teach you how to practice unconditional love and how to incorporate unconditional love into your everyday life.
- Surprisingly Simple, Unbelievably Powerful
- Learn How to Practice Unconditional Love – Baby Steps
- What Does Unconditional Love Feel Like?
- How to Feel Unconditional Love
- Building the Unconditional Love Skill
- Strengthening the Skill
- Incorporating Unconditional Love into Everyday Life
- Things to Bear in Mind When Learning How to Practice Unconditional Love
- Hey – Thanks for Reading
Surprisingly Simple, Unbelievably Powerful
Unconditional Love is surprisingly easy to learn, but incorporating it into your everyday life as a natural, instinctive part of your being takes a little more time to master.
But don’t worry, the steps are easy and each single step you take towards a “happier you” is worth every ounce of effort.
Unconditional Love is a state of being where you replace judgment and comparison of your environment and circumstances with one single default response. Love.
Instead of letting your mind get wrapped up in the drama, telling you that something is bad, how it should be different, how it shouldn’t have happened to you, how someone is doing something wrong, instead you are overriding that response and telling your mind that everything is perfect. Everything is love. That way your mind simply doesn’t have to waste any time or energy complaining about things or worrying about things, because you told it already how you’re going to respond.
And the health benefits are tremendous when you bathe your body in healthy hormones that create an environment where your body can heal and thrive.
Learn How to Practice Unconditional Love – Baby Steps
The skill of unconditional love is quite easy to learn. But like all new skills, you need to take baby steps and learn what unconditional love feels like, how to turn it on and off at will, and then how to take it out into the world and apply it to everything. Including the bad stuff and the things you would normally try to avoid.
What Does Unconditional Love Feel Like?
So first of all, what does unconditional love feel like? Unless we define it, how do we know when we’re experiencing it.
The good news is that you have probably already experienced it at some point in your life and we can recreate the feeling easily with a simple experiment.
Our minds are powerful tools for visualizing imaginary scenarios. It’s part of our problem solving ability, and we’re going to use it to our advantage.
When we close our eyes and visualize something, our bodies also respond to what you’re imagining. So if you imagine eating a lemon, your mouth will start watering. You have to really visualize it thoroughly though, as though you’re actually doing it.
Similarly, if you close your eyes and picture yourself going around a really tight bend on a roller coaster, your body will slightly tense up the muscles on one side of your body to counteract the effect.
If you picture something that makes you angry, you will experience small amounts of adrenaline being released. And if you imagine something warm and loving, you will experience small amounts of healthy hormones being released.
So that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
How to Feel Unconditional Love
You should read this section first to understand the process before doing the experiment.
So now you understand that your thoughts have the power to control your body chemistry, we’re going to use that to feel unconditional love. It may be small at first, but overtime, this feeling will build to an unbelievable joy.
Find a quiet space, preferably away from other people or other distractions. It doesn’t have to be completely quiet, but the more distractions you can eliminate, the better.
Sit in this quiet space for a few moments with your eyes closed and just relax. Breathe slowly and relax your muscles as much as you can. Just do this for a few moments to calm your body so that you can notice the effects of the experiment a little easier.
Now, when you’re ready, picture something in your mind that you love unconditionally. It can be a person or a place, something that just makes you happy. Picturing a giggling baby laughing hysterically is priceless. Your mind simply can’t judge the pure innocence of a baby giggling at a dog wagging its tail.
Whatever vision you come up with, visualize it in as much detail as you can and hold that image in your mind.
Now, turn your awareness inwards and feel what’s going on in your body. Somewhere in your chest should be a gentle feeling of warmth and tingliness. It’s almost like warm honey radiating outwards. Just focus on that sensation and see if you can make it grow and expand.
Congratulations, you just witnessed your body releasing wonderful healthy hormones throughout your body. These act as a signal to your body that you feel safe and that it can go about its business of healing and repairing.
Now, I don’t advise doing this often, but at this point, it’s good to imagine a scenario that is the opposite of unconditional love. Something that makes you angry. Maybe you got cut off on the highway earlier in the day. Maybe somebody said something mean to you or criticized your work. Maybe picture someone in your life that you really don’t like, or a politician perhaps 🙂
Now as you’re visualizing this scenario, again, go inward and feel what’s going on in your body. If you’re calm and relaxed, you should notice an almost painful sensation in your stomach and feel your muscles tensing up. This is your body preparing to defend itself in a fight or flight response. It’s releasing chemicals designed to keep you safe from an imminent threat. But these chemicals are quite harmful to your body. They suspend a lot of the processes that allow your body to heal and grow. They speed up your heart rate and change your blood sugar so your brain can react quickly with heightened senses.
Reacting in this way when you’re confronted by a bear in the woods makes complete sense, but reacting like this when you see your boss coming towards you or when you have a presentation to give, makes no sense whatsoever.
It should be quite clear from this experiment that your thoughts control how your body responds, and YOU can control your thoughts. But just to emphasize that, one thing I’d like you to do is flip flop between your happy scenario and your angry scenario. Do each for 30 seconds or so, but all the while, keeping an eye on the feelings in your body.
One feels warm and soothing, like being wrapped in a warm blanket while drinking hot chocolate, while the other feels painful, sharp and jagged. And when you realize that your thoughts control these reactions in your body, the choice should become quite obvious that you should choose the warm honey experience over the shards of glass any day of the week.
Building the Unconditional Love Skill
So now that we’ve figured out what unconditional love feels like and how to control it, we’re now going to develop the skill just like a soccer player would build soccer skills. Not by going out and playing a soccer match, but by kicking the ball repeatedly in a controlled environment.
Let’s go back to your quiet room. A living room is perfect for this. Sit with your eyes closed and imagine your scenario of unconditional love. Get that warm fuzzy feeling going again.
As soon as you get the feeling, open your eyes and look around the room. Each thing that your eye settles on, try to feel unconditional love towards it. If the feeling starts to fade, close your eyes again and go back to your happy scenario.
Just keep doing this until you can look around your entire living room and keep the feeling going for an extended period. You can even try doing this while you’re walking from room to room. My advice is to move slowly and just try to maintain the feeling. Basically, fall in love with everything you see.
Strengthening the Skill
It’s easy to feel love towards things in your home. You have lots of control of what’s in there and a lot of the objects do hold a loving connection anyway. But if you want to get really good at practicing unconditional love, you should also seek out things you wouldn’t normally like.
The easiest way to do this is to go for a walk around your neighborhood. You will notice your mind criticizing things such as your neighbors lawn, the state of their cars, how badly they parked, how the paint is peeling, a piece of trash in the road. There are lots of things that your mind will identify as bad. Your job now, is to notice your mind doing that and switch to your new found unconditional love response.
Look at a piece of trash and feel unconditional love. Look at your neighbors brand new car and instead of feeling jealous or feeling bad about your own car, feel unconditional love. It’s definitely harder than doing it in your living room, but one thing you’ll become aware of is that as soon as you start feeling unconditional love towards it, your mind goes silent. How can it complain or criticize when you just told it you want to feel love?
It should also start to become clear to you that it’s your mind that makes you unhappy. Constantly comparing what it sees to what you have, or judging someone else based on a set of standards you abide by, or fearing being judged and defending your own standards.
All those conversations are completely unnecessary and yet they cause your body to react in a negative way. As soon as you adopt unconditional love, you’ll realize that those conversations do absolutely nothing to change your external world or your circumstances, but what they do is cause a slow release of harmful hormones that do your body harm in the long term.
Incorporating Unconditional Love into Everyday Life
OK, so that’s pretty good so far. With a little bit of practice each day, hopefully you can start to maneuver your way around your neighborhood feeling unconditional love towards everything. It’s still a somewhat controlled environment though because you’re taking your time and deliberately trying to practice. But how do we start to incorporate unconditional love into our everyday life?
If you’ve been practicing properly, in a controlled environment, you have basically grabbed your mind by the reigns and taken control. However, when you’re out in society, especially dealing with people, your mind is now on edge, looking for trouble, anticipating what the other person will do, what’s about to happen, is this dangerous, what is that person thinking about me, are they judging my clothes, what characteristic about them could I criticize to feel superior and in control?
Your mind is on high alert and will jump in at every opportunity with a comment. It reacts to the world around you quickly. This makes it difficult to keep your cool and remain in control.
So, the best way to start to incorporate your new skill is to pre-plan your reaction. If you always get upset while driving. Pre-visualize yourself getting cut up on the highway and responding with unconditional love.
If you always seem to get upset by a certain coworker, pre-visualize yourself interacting with that person while experiencing unconditional love.
If you get anxious about something, such as making a phone call that you know is going to be uncomfortable, your mind is basically pre-visualizing a negative outcome to something you have to do. Take control and do your own pre-visualization doing the same thing but with unconditional love.
If there’s part of your job you really don’t enjoy doing, just take a breath before you start and pre-visualize away all the grumpiness. Then when you’re doing the task, try to keep the unconditional love flowing. You may find that your experience changes quite dramatically. You’ll find joy where once there was boredom, frustration or resentment.
It’s all about taking control. Rather than letting your mind dictate how it reacts to the world, you are telling your mind how you want it to react to the world.
The more you do this, the more natural it becomes. And trust me, there is nothing more invigorating than encountering a situation that would have previously upset you, only to find you are naturally feeling unconditional love towards it and have a completely silent mind.
When that happens, you know you’re well on your way.
Things to Bear in Mind When Learning How to Practice Unconditional Love
It’s important to be gentle with yourself when you’re learning the technique. You will forget often, but don’t get wrapped up in a story about how bad you are, or how it’s not working. That’s your mind taking control again. When you forget, simply notice and fall in love with the fact that your forgot to practice unconditional love.
The hardest part to overcome is dealing with your nearest and dearest loved ones. The ones we should be feeling unconditional love towards. We have spent so much time with them that we have developed and reinforced our default behaviors with them. So, often we will criticize or get upset with them faster than we would a complete stranger.
“How many times have I told you that? What’s wrong with you? Don’t do it like that, do it like this.” We say these things all the time, and with family, they fly out of our mouths so quickly and effortlessly. It’s hard to overcome that. But again, it’s worth the effort. Just do some intensive pre-visualizing and eventually you’ll get there.
When you practice unconditional love, you are not simply replacing a negative story in your head with a positive one. That’s your mind still in control. What you are trying to do is to stop the stories completely and replace them with a sensation that travels through your entire body.
You are not openly going about the world telling everyone that you love them. You are simply feeling love internally. Only you will know it. You can be quite selfish with it if you want to be 🙂
But trust me, even though you’re not outwardly gushing love, people will notice a change in you and your behavior and you’ll find it has a wonderful calming effect on the people you encounter. So by changing yourself, you do inadvertently change the world around you.
Good luck my friends. The work is hard, but the work is worth it. You’re worth it.
Be Love. Be Happy!!!
~The Gregarious Hermit
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Hey – Thanks for Reading
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