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Could Your Relationship Benefit from a Mindfulness Practice?

January 21, 2014

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Living a mindful life and making time for meditation is one of the healthiest decisions that you can make for yourself. If you decide to live more mindfully, you are consciously letting go of negative thoughts and emotions that are holding you back. You are choosing to live in the moment and appreciate everything that is happening now instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. There’s no denying that living a mindful life is great for personal well-being—but it may come as a surprise that it can also help strengthen your relationship.

One of the biggest benefits of living a more mindful life is stress reduction. Of course, living mindfully doesn’t necessarily mean that stressors are eliminated from your life: you’ll still have kids to pick up from soccer practice, countless emails to answer, and yet another dinner to make. However, living more mindfully and incorporating a meditation practice into your daily routine can change the way that you react to stress. These practices help you cultivate a sense of calm regardless of the circumstance, so you are more likely to have a levelheaded and positive reaction to an overwhelming schedule.

Your levelheaded approach to life will also directly affect the way that you handle your relationship. Everyday stressors naturally bring out the fight or flight mentality. For example, let’s say you asked your partner to stop at the store on their way home from work to pick up something for dinner, but they forgot. You may be inclined to get upset and pick a fight when they walk in the door empty handed, or to pull away from him or her. Instead of giving in to fight or flight, you can tap into your mindfulness practice by stepping away from the situation and looking at the bigger picture.  This will help you better articulate just what it is that is bothering you, and identify what you need to feel better.

People who live a more mindful life also develop a strong sense of compassion for themselves. If you are constantly regretting things that have happened in your past, or wringing your hands about what’s coming up in the future, your body remains in a state of catastrophe. With so much stress and anxiety inside you, there is just no room in your heart for love and acceptance of both yourself and your partner.

When you practice mindfulness, you are able to stop beating yourself up over the past and stressing out about the future, and instead look at yourself in a more compassionate light. This compassion carries over to your relationship as well. Couples who both practice mindfulness in their own lives are able to be more respectful of each other and are likely to have a strong, healthy relationship.  And even if your partner isn’t ready to start a mindfulness practice, the benefits of your own will touch you both and could strengthen your relationship immensely!

Do you have a mindfulness practice? How has it helped improve your relationship?