Being mindful is more than just a practice. It’s a way of living in the present moment, always giving thought to what you are doing, and how you respond. Living mindfully is at first no easy task, but as you practice it and stick with it, it will become more of a habit. With perseverance, mindfulness will become like second nature to you. Mindfulness is said to be highly beneficial to personal relationships, and I wholeheartedly agree.
Mindfulness cannot magically create a perfect relationship between you and others, but it can enhance the quality of the relationships that you share. By being mindful, your attitude, behavior, and approach to life and others will change. This positive change is something that is respected and appreciated by those close to you. If you want to dig into the ways that mindfulness can add greater value to your personal relationships, read on.
With that in mind, know that when you start practicing mindfulness, you shouldn’t expect an immediate turnaround in your life. Being mindful is highly beneficial, but it also takes time to learn, and often others might not immediately trust the changes in you. With time and perseverance, you can prove just how mindfulness has brought about a positive change in you. In turn, your personal relationships with your partner, parents, children, and friends will improve too.
These are 16 ways mindfulness enhances relationships with partners, parents, kids, and friends. Mindfulness enhances relationships by:
1. Making you more self-aware.
Mindfulness practice is very similar to meditation. It quietens the mind, allowing you to place yourself exactly where you are. While you are relaxed, calm, and focusing on being in the exact moment, you become far more self-aware. Being self-aware allows you to realize the potential impact that your presence and behavior have on others.
2. Teaching you to listen more intently.
Many friendships and relationships fail to flourish because partners, children, or friends feel unheard. In our rushed and stressed lifestyles, it is easy to rush through our obligations to our loved ones, and often this means that we aren’t truly listening when they are talking. By being able to listen intently, you can focus on what the person is telling you and pick up on any underlying meanings or emotions that the individual is trying to convey.
3. Ensuring that you are present and more attentive.
Nothing kills relationships and friendships quicker than the feeling of someone being distant or not quite present. Do you pay attention when people talk to you? Do you respond thoughtfully and appropriately? People take just how present another is, as a sign of how much they care. Through mindfulness practice, you can learn to focus your attention on the here and now, instead of having a million other things running through your mind.
4. Reducing negative emotional reactions.
It’s easy to hear something we don’t like and have an emotional outburst. Mindfulness teaches you to curb the instinct to retaliate and to instead allow yourself to feel your emotions without judgment, give them thought, and then respond instead of reacting. This means that potential emotional arguments and disagreements are dealt with calmly and that outbursts are far less likely to happen.
5. Enabling you to think before you respond.
Much the same as the point above, mindfulness teaches you that there is no urgency in your response. Whether you are being confronted or simply thinking something through – you need to learn to have a sense of calm before you make decisions and dish out responses. Mindfulness will teach you to do that.
6. Putting you in control of your emotions.
Have you ever felt wildly out of control of your emotions? If your partner mentions another unknown woman’s/man’s name, does your heart starts to race, and your mind starts to irrationalize the situation? Does your child disobey you and spark feelings of hurt and anger that you feel you cannot control? Do you sometimes blow situations out of proportion because of your emotional state?
Mindfulness teaches you to allow yourself to feel the emotions without reacting negatively to them. The more you practice the technique, the more natural it will feel to have a calm and unemotional response.
7. Developing and improving empathy skills.
When you start to give more thought to things through the art of mindfulness, you will begin to consider things from a different point of view. This is called empathy. If you continue practicing mindfulness, your empathy skills will increase, and you will be able to relate to and understand people better.
8. Enabling you to remain calm in confrontational situations.
Confrontational situations can get hectic. There can be shouting, slammed doors, emotional outbursts, break downs, and even aggressive physical behavior towards another person. While learning the art of mindfulness, you will learn various breathing techniques that can help you to calm down and respond in a positive way to confrontational situations. Remaining calm, in control, and empathetic in such situations is one of the reasons why so many people seek out mindfulness.
9. Producing endorphins that make you feel happy and relaxed.
Just like doing exercise, enjoying coffee with a friend, or listening to your favorite music produces endorphins; so does meditation and mindfulness practices. Endorphins are responsible for making you feel relaxed and happy. If you are feeling a bit down or negative in your relationship, you can use mindfulness to start to feel better and have a more positive outlook.
10. Ensuring that you say and do things genuinely (no false promises).
In the heat of the moment or when you are on the spot in a relationship/friendship, it is sometimes easier to make a false promise than it is to be upfront and work through the issues at hand. Mindfulness teaches you to confront the situation head-on without making false promises and to consider all possible outcomes. Being genuine in your behavior and attitude is a side effect of mindfulness.
11. Allowing you to observe your own feelings.
By practicing mindfulness, you will learn to acknowledge and give value to your feelings. You will learn to control your reactions to your feelings to avoid negative scenarios.
When you are continually taking the time to look at your feelings and consider them, you get to know precisely how you feel about certain things. This can be truly transformative as most relationships thrive when both partners know what they want and can help each other work towards those things. Reaching this state in a relationship can help to quell fears and insecurities.
12. Enhancing the quality of your interactions.
Some interactions we have as parents, partners, and friends lack quality. Sometimes you find yourself spending time with someone, or even a group of people, and realize that you have derived no value from it.
As partners, parents, and friends, we long to have interactions that dig below the surface. We want relationships that have meaning, and you can only have those types of relationships if you are able to work on a true connection with another person. That means giving the situation/moment you are in with them the true time and attention that it deserves. Mindfulness teaches you to live in and be 100% in the exact moment you are in.
13. Ensuring that you practice self-care.
In order to be of any value to another person or relationship, you have to be of value to yourself. First, you have to love yourself! Mindfulness teaches you to take care of you. It teaches you to put your fears and stresses to rest and to focus on keeping calm, relaxed, and in control. The more you practice mindfulness (which is a form of self-care), the more value you will have in your life and be able to offer to someone else’s life.
14. Enabling you to know what you want.
Knowing what you want takes time and effort. By getting to know yourself better, you can develop a better understanding of who you are, what is important to you, and what you want. Mindfulness teaches you the skills to escape the hustle and bustle of the world, as well as the many thoughts running through your head. Instead, you can focus on what’s important – the current moment.
15. Making your word more reliable to others.
By practicing mindfulness, you will become more reliable to your loved ones. You will be thoughtful about your responses, genuine about your promises, and have a steady, reliable approach that others can come to trust. If you are living a life that’s stressed and ‘up in the air’ half of the time, your relationships will suffer.
16. Creating stability.
Being mindful eliminates potential situations in life where there is awkwardness, nastiness, negativity, and more. When these situations become easier to handle and you feel better about yourself, you become more stable. Stability is something that most people look for in a relationship and friendship. And mindfulness can help you to achieve a greater sense of stability.
Practice Mindfulness for Better Relationships
Mindfulness can add value to all areas of your life. If you want to see your relationships prosper and flourish, dedicate a few minutes of mindfulness practice to your day. The more natural mindfulness becomes to you, the more improvement you should see in your personal interactions with others.