Why You Should Consider A Mindful Relationship

In recent years, the practice of mindfulness has taken the health world by storm. Now, several studies have proven that mindfulness can greatly improve the quality of your relationships. But what is mindfulness exactly? How does it benefit your relationships? And how can you practice it? Read on to find out.

Mindfulness is the practice of being present. We often are simply going through the motions in our day-to-day lives. When we’re mindful, we pay attention to the thoughts and feelings we normally ignore. We get more and more in touch with our inner selves, and we do it throughout the day when we’re eating or just walking from place to place. Sure, mindfulness can include a meditation practice, and many experts recommend that it does. But it’s more about bringing the benefits of meditation into the framework of our everyday lives.

Some relationship benefits of mindfulness include the following:

  • You know yourself better: Being mindful involves a lot of self-introspection, you’ll pay attention to your own thoughts and feelings throughout the day. All of that leads to knowing yourself better, which in turn leads to better romantic relationships.
  • You fight less: We create stories about our partners’ behavior. So a fight about dishes can easily devolve into an argument about how you don’t contribute equally to the relationship. When you’re mindful, you focus on the present situation as is. In other words, you recognize the situation as separate from the story you’ve created about your partner; so your fights are less volatile.
  • You understand your partner better: When you’re mindful, you’re much more aware of the present moment. In addition to increasing your awareness of your own needs, this also increases your awareness of your partner’s needs – and how you may or may not be meeting them.
  • You have better sex: Being mindful allows you to connect more deeply with your partner and with your own body, which all leads to better sex.
  • You communicate better: Many of us don’t say exactly what we feel to our partners. Sometimes, this is intentional – we want our partners to guess our true feelings to “prove,” they love us. Other times, we don’t realize that our words and feelings aren’t quite matching up. When we are mindful, we learn to recognize, accept and express our feelings as they are – all of which lead to better communication with our partners.
  • You begin to heal: In a mindful relationship, you accept and express your feelings – even the painful ones. Given the intimate nature of romantic relationships, this might involve exposing your deepest flaws and insecurities to your partner. It’s a scary process. But if you are brave enough to expose these vulnerabilities to your partner, you can embark upon a process of great healing.
  • You have more fun: Luckily, not all feelings are bad! When you’re mindful, you are more present for the good moments and thus reap more happiness and fun from your relationship. Being mindful also reminds you to get out of your everyday routine, so you remember to ask questions like, “How do you feel,” instead of wondering who got the groceries. These questions are key to getting to know your partner better and enjoying the relationship more.

Intrigued? Here are some ways to incorporate mindfulness into your relationship.

  • Follow the 5 Keys: In How to Be An Adult in Relationships, author David Bricho details the 5 keys to mindful loving. Learn what they are (and how to incorporate them into your relationship) here.
  • Cultivate love: Far too many of us expect to be hit with waves of love but don’t spend any time nurturing it. So practice caring touches. Practice being patient. Practice feeling compassion towards your partner and opening your heart and mind to feel as much loving kindness towards them as possible.
  • Be mindful in other ways: When you’re mindful in other parts of your life, that mindfulness will soon spill over into your relationship, too. Whether it’s mindful eating or regular meditation, try these techniques to add a little more calm to your life.
  • Find the right resources: There are tons of mindfulness and relationship experts out there. Tara Brach has a great introductory article about mindful relationships. And if you are intrigued by the concept of mindful sex, check out Jessica Graham’s series.

Mindfulness isn’t a quick fix for a bad relationship. It’s not a magic tool and it’s not an easy one – it takes work, patience and a lot of time. But if you learn how to be mindful and work at it each day, you will see dramatic improvements – both in your relationship and in the rest of your life.

Liked this? Check out How to Be More Compassionate!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: mindfulness via Compfight cc

In recent years, the practice of mindfulness has taken the health world by storm. Now, several studies have proven that mindfulness can greatly improve the quality of your relationships. But what is mindfulness exactly? How does it benefit your relationships? And how can you practice it? Read on to find out.

Mindfulness is the practice of being present. We often are simply going through the motions in our day-to-day lives. When we’re mindful, we pay attention to the thoughts and feelings we normally ignore. We get more and more in touch with our inner selves, and we do it throughout the day when we’re eating or just walking from place to place. Sure, mindfulness can include a meditation practice, and many experts recommend that it does. But it’s more about bringing the benefits of meditation into the framework of our everyday lives.

Some relationship benefits of mindfulness include the following:

  • You know yourself better: Being mindful involves a lot of self-introspection, you’ll pay attention to your own thoughts and feelings throughout the day. All of that leads to knowing yourself better, which in turn leads to better romantic relationships.
  • You fight less: We create stories about our partners’ behavior. So a fight about dishes can easily devolve into an argument about how you don’t contribute equally to the relationship. When you’re mindful, you focus on the present situation as is. In other words, you recognize the situation as separate from the story you’ve created about your partner; so your fights are less volatile.
  • You understand your partner better: When you’re mindful, you’re much more aware of the present moment. In addition to increasing your awareness of your own needs, this also increases your awareness of your partner’s needs – and how you may or may not be meeting them.
  • You have better sex: Being mindful allows you to connect more deeply with your partner and with your own body, which all leads to better sex.
  • You communicate better: Many of us don’t say exactly what we feel to our partners. Sometimes, this is intentional – we want our partners to guess our true feelings to “prove,” they love us. Other times, we don’t realize that our words and feelings aren’t quite matching up. When we are mindful, we learn to recognize, accept and express our feelings as they are – all of which lead to better communication with our partners.
  • You begin to heal: In a mindful relationship, you accept and express your feelings – even the painful ones. Given the intimate nature of romantic relationships, this might involve exposing your deepest flaws and insecurities to your partner. It’s a scary process. But if you are brave enough to expose these vulnerabilities to your partner, you can embark upon a process of great healing.
  • You have more fun: Luckily, not all feelings are bad! When you’re mindful, you are more present for the good moments and thus reap more happiness and fun from your relationship. Being mindful also reminds you to get out of your everyday routine, so you remember to ask questions like, “How do you feel,” instead of wondering who got the groceries. These questions are key to getting to know your partner better and enjoying the relationship more.

Intrigued? Here are some ways to incorporate mindfulness into your relationship.

  • Follow the 5 Keys: In How to Be An Adult in Relationships, author David Bricho details the 5 keys to mindful loving. Learn what they are (and how to incorporate them into your relationship) here.
  • Cultivate love: Far too many of us expect to be hit with waves of love but don’t spend any time nurturing it. So practice caring touches. Practice being patient. Practice feeling compassion towards your partner and opening your heart and mind to feel as much loving kindness towards them as possible.
  • Be mindful in other ways: When you’re mindful in other parts of your life, that mindfulness will soon spill over into your relationship, too. Whether it’s mindful eating or regular meditation, try these techniques to add a little more calm to your life.
  • Find the right resources: There are tons of mindfulness and relationship experts out there. Tara Brach has a great introductory article about mindful relationships. And if you are intrigued by the concept of mindful sex, check out Jessica Graham’s series.

Mindfulness isn’t a quick fix for a bad relationship. It’s not a magic tool and it’s not an easy one – it takes work, patience and a lot of time. But if you learn how to be mindful and work at it each day, you will see dramatic improvements – both in your relationship and in the rest of your life.

Liked this? Check out How to Be More Compassionate!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: mindfulness via Compfight cc

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