Lovingkindness as a Buddhist concept (metta in Pali, maitri in Sanskrit) is not an act of doing something nice: it is a state of being focused on compassion toward self and others that is cultivated and maintained by practice (often meditation) and is thought to be essential to freeing ourselves from suffering. It is the antidote to selfishness, anger, and fear. Lovingkindness is also a term used in Judaism (chesed) to refer to kindness between people, devotion toward God, and the love or mercy of God toward humanity.
Most of us have heard that meditation is a good practice to start, with many different benefits to both physical and mental health. Nowadays, there are so many different kinds of meditation out there that it can seem overwhelming to consider which one to choose.
It's true, as they say, that we can only love others when we first love ourselves—and we can only experience real joy when we stop running from pain. The key to understanding these truisms is simple but not easy: We must learn to open ourselves up to life in all its manifestations.