Mindfulness is a way of living in the present moment, accepting it without any judgment. It is an attitude that allows you to be more self-aware, compassionate, and open. Being mindful means deliberately redirecting your attention and thoughts away from judgmental thoughts to positive ones and focusing on the present.
This practice doesn’t just focus on your personal wellness but allows you to strengthen your relationships as well. Research has found a strong link between higher levels of mindfulness and satisfying relationships.
Here are five mindfulness tips that can help improve your relationships:
1. Mindful Breathing
Deep breathing is one of the most effective ways to lower stress and calms your head. It is normal for couples to have disagreements, arguments and conflicts. But, these fights can result in hostility and resentment over time.
Practicing mindful breathing can help you to let go of resentment and clear your head, eventually allowing you to look at the bigger picture. Moreover, it can prevent you from saying anything hurtful to your partner that you will regret later.
Whenever you feel annoyed or angry, stop before you express it. Inhale deeply through your nose for five seconds, and then release your breath slowly through your mouth. Do this two to three times or even more. You will feel yourself relaxing, and your reaction will be completely different.
2. Walking Mindfully
Mindful walking is a mindfulness activity that you can easily fit into your daily routine. Instead of getting lost in your train of thoughts, pay attention to the way your body moves and how the ground feels against your feet. It is a great way of calming your mind.
The trick is simple – focus your attention on a single sensation at a time. For instance, the wind touching your face while you walk. If it doesn’t work, start counting your steps, one to five, and then start over. The aim is to prevent your mind from drifting towards negative thoughts. Try to maintain a slow pace to slow down the racing thoughts in your mind.
Try practicing mindful walking together after work or early in the morning.
3. Listening Attentively
A major problem in any relationship is that most people listen only to respond, not to understand. It leads to many misunderstandings, judgments, and bitterness. We focus more on what we want to say, because – let’s be real – no one likes awkward silences. As a result, we are so focused on thinking ahead that we miss what the other person is trying to tell us.
Mindful listening is about actually hearing what your partner is saying, accepting it without judgment, and then responding accordingly. Often, there is not even a need to respond because, at times, people just want to feel heard. Simply being there for them is enough, and letting them know that you are there for them.
When you are having a conversation with your partner and they know you are paying attention and are trying to understand whatever they are saying, instead of you being distracted or responding for the sake of it, it can help in forming a deeper connection.
4. Mindful Speaking
How many times have you experienced conflicts merely due to a misunderstanding? Your partner misunderstood what you said or misinterpreted a joke, which ultimately led to a quarrel. As mentioned above, we are so keen to respond that we often say things without thinking them through. You may assume that your partner might understand what you meant, but that is not the case every time.
While it is not possible to control the way others interpret your words, you can still reduce the chances of a misunderstanding with mindful speaking. Resist the urge to say whatever comes to your mind. Instead, think about what you are about to say, choose the right words, and opt for a calm tone.
5. Eating Mindfully
Lastly, have mindful meals together with your partner. Many people tend to eat fast or on the go to save time. Many studies have shown the benefits of eating slowly in comparison to eating fast. Sharing a mindful meal with your partner will allow you to slow down and appreciate both your company and food.
Begin the meal by offering gratitude and then observe the food, the way it is presented. Start eating and appreciate each bite. You can either opt for silent mindful eating or try mindful listening and speaking to share your days’ events.
Forming and maintaining a good relationship requires effort and patience. Following these mindful practices will greatly help in enhancing your relationship and appreciating one another. If you and your partner are struggling, consider wellness counseling to talk things through and rebuild a strong relationship. An expert can help you in determining the right mindfulness practices and ways to implement them effectively in your relationship. Mindfulness can help you in cultivating more harmony and peace in any relationship and lead to a more fulfilling life.