7 Ways To Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Relationship
By Space Coast Daily // April 15, 2021
Mindfulness is the act of being intentionally present and aware in the moment. When we practice mindfulness, it can help us make better decisions, promote self-care, and improve how we interact with the world around us.
It should come as no surprise that mindfulness can also impact our relationships.
Here are some ways mindfulness impacts our interactions and how we can use it to improve our relationships.
Identify and Remove Triggers
As you navigate your relationship, you’ll experience situations that influence your emotions. Negative situations, like a bad fight or a betrayal, can resonate for years and come up again and again.
The core element of mindfulness is learning to let go of the past and be present in the moment. You can incorporate this practice into your relationship by working to identify and remove triggers.
Take some time to outline the memory or event that causes you pain. Then, identify what triggers bring those feelings to the present. This exercise may be something you and your partner need to work through together.
Once you identify the trigger, put a plan in place to remove it from your life. For example, if your relationship becomes toxic while under the influence, consider attending couples rehab for counseling and support. If you identify that a person has a toxic impact on your life, talk about your boundaries and how you can lessen their influence.
It’s worth noting that you won’t always be able to remove triggers. However, if you can identify them, you can put a plan in place to navigate past them in a healthy, mindful way.
Practice Stress Management
Stress can be a silent killer for a relationship. Fortunately, mindfulness is a powerful stress management tool.
Incorporating mindfulness for stress relief can help you slow down and process what you feel so that you don’t project it onto your partner. Set aside time each day to close your eyes and take a mindful moment. You can accomplish this with intentional breathing and meditation or activities such as listening to music, walking meditation, or journaling.
Take a Breath Before Responding
Practicing mindfulness can help diffuse arguments before they start. If your partner says something that upsets you, take a breath before responding. This micro moment allows you to catch your breath and consider your response before reacting.
Learn To Identify and Label Emotions
Learning to identify and label your emotions is a common practice in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which uses elements of mindfulness to help overcome challenges. This practice also improves your emotional intelligence and will help you navigate your relationship in a healthy and productive way.
When you feel a powerful emotion, take a moment to think about what you’re feeling. Give it a name. For example, when you take a breath before responding, think, “I am experiencing a feeling of frustration.” This practice helps you separate yourself from your emotions and understand what’s happening inside before you engage with the other person.
Speak Your Truth
Being mindful and controlling your emotions when navigating your relationship should not be confused with bottling up your feelings. Rather, it’s about knowing your truth so that you can speak it constructively.
Consider the example where your partner says something frustrating. You identify your frustration and practice mindfulness so that you don’t lash out in anger. Doing so allows you to respond to what they said, then calmly say, “I feel really frustrated when you say X.”
Practice Active Listening
There are three sides to communication: speaking, listening, and understanding. Practice mindfulness by considering what your partner is saying and what they mean. Work to help identify and label their emotions, understand their truth, and realize how you’re contributing to their experience.
Learning to acknowledge an experience and let go of your preconceived notions through mindfulness practice is an impactful way to improve your active listening skills.
Practice Daily Gratitude
Finally, take a mindful moment every day to identify something about your partner that makes you grateful. Once you identify what you are grateful for, share it with them to strengthen your bond.
These simple mindfulness practices will help enhance your relationship and improve your communication.