How Can Mindfulness Help Improve
By Karla Davisio
The concept of mindfulness has become a hot topic in light of the fast-paced nature of today’s society. Mindfulness teaches and encourages people to slow down, live in the here and now and literally stop and smell the roses. And while being mindful has numerous benefits for your health and happiness, it can also help you build a stronger relationship with your partner. There are steps you can take right now to be more mindful and have peace of mind in your relationship.
What Is Mindfulness, Anyway?
The term “mindfulness” seems to be popping up everywhere, so it’s important to understand what it actually means. Simply put, it’s defined as the state of being conscious and aware of the present moment. Mindfulness involves accepting whatever the current moment is in terms of your thoughts and emotions, as well as what your entire body is experiencing.
Typically, when it comes to your busy daily life, you have countless things on your mind and are not paying attention to what you’re directly experiencing, feeling, seeing, tasting or smelling in the present moment. What are you going to wear to your friend’s wedding? How are you going to finish your project for work? Do you have time to pick up your shirt from the dry cleaners? Where did you put your keys again?
As your mind wanders, you’re distracted by the many different thoughts that drift in and out of your head. That’s where mindfulness comes in—you can help calm your racing mind and learn how to bring yourself back to the present moment.
How Can You Practice Mindfulness?
If you want to give mindfulness a try, a common exercise involves the act of eating a single grape.
In this example, you’re asked to take one grape and experience it for the first time. What does it look like? And smell like? What does it feel like in your hand? Or as you press it against your lips? What temperature is the grape? What sensations are you experiencing when you’re chewing? What does it feel like as you’re swallowing?
This simple exercise demonstrates the way in which mindfulness helps calm a wandering mind by teaching you to experience and appreciate the here and now. It’s not just sour grapes.
How Can Mindfulness Benefit Your Relationship?
It may not seem obvious, but being mindful can do wonders when it comes to making your relationship stronger, happier and healthier.
You Can Truly Appreciate Your Time as a Couple
Being mindful enables you to be grateful for each moment that you and your partner have together. With digital devices and the pressures and stresses of your life constantly distracting you, it’s easy to miss what’s actually occurring around you. But mindfulness helps you put an end to those ongoing interruptions and enables you to share experiences with your partner as though it’s the first time—because actually, it is. After all, each moment in the present is new and fresh, and when you’re completely in tune and connected with the here and now, you can experience every second with your partner as though it’s the very first one.
You Can Connect on a Deeper Level
Being mindful also enables you to show your partner more of your authentic self. When you’re completely present for your partner and are able to give him or her your full and undivided attention, your true self can shine through more than ever. No more half-answers to conversations that you were halfway listening to. By fully tuning in to what your partner is expressing, you can be more in tune as a couple.
You Can Lessen Relationship Anxiety
Being mindful can also help you reduce any stress that you’re feeling in your relationship. Instead of worrying about what’s to come, where you’re heading or the types of issues that may arise in the future, you can concentrate on and accept “what is” instead of stressing about “what might be.” By learning to turn off the anxieties that are constantly running through your head, you can start to fully appreciate what you and your partner have together at this very moment.
You Can Better Understand Emotions
Practicing mindfulness can also teach you how to have more empathy when it comes to your partner, your relationship and yourself. The very act of being mindful makes you more in touch with and aware of your own emotions, and because of this, you’ll have an even greater understanding of the feelings and emotions that your partner is experiencing as well. Mindfulness can help you develop more compassion, insights and empathy that will benefit you, your partner and your relationship as a whole.