Relationship mindfulness, have you heard of this term before? In one of my previous blogs, I talked about the importance of communication skills and how it impacts your relationships with the people around you, both personally and professionally. Taking that discussion a step ahead, today we’re going to talk about the significance of being mindful in your relationships.
Relationship mindfulness is a concept that brings mindfulness into your bond with your partner. Whether you want to enhance your relationship with trust and loyalty or you want to cultivate a deeper sense of intimacy, practicing relationship mindfulness can help you with all of it.
If you or your partner struggle with managing your emotions and communicating effectively with each other during challenging moments, then this is the concept that can help you heal your broken bonds.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment with kindness and openness. When you apply this to your relationships, it helps you to understand your emotions better, cultivate compassion for yourself and your partner, and improve your communication skills as a couple.
In this blog, I’ll share the importance and benefits of relationship mindfulness and how can you cultivate it in your romantic relationship.
Relationship Mindfulness: 5 Ways for You to Become More Mindful in Love
Relationship mindfulness is not a new concept. It didn’t spark from the ground on a random day and became something so important to practice in your personal relationships. It has been there as long as humans, their emotions, and their relationships have arrived.
It is the practice of being mindful in your relationships that create successful relationships. Some people thrive in building real and healthy relationships because they practice relationship mindfulness even when they might not be aware of the concept “educationally”. They give more importance to their present life instead of holding grudges and letting their past hold them back or allowing their future to control them.
But a more important question is how successful couples do that. Why do some people live together “forever” and some choose to walk away as soon as there is a slight inconvenience?
I am saying that there are people who give up on relationships without even trying to save and work for them.
Let’s understand why this happens.
What is Stopping You from Being Mindful in Your Relationship?
Relationship mindfulness is not something you’re born with. Just like any other skill, it is what you develop with time.
But most people fail to practice mindfulness in their relationships because they lack understanding and concern for the other person’s feelings. They are so consumed by their own thoughts and perspectives that there is no space for others’ opinions.
The second reason why people lack being mindful in relationships is their ego. Sometimes people are too egoistic to control the situation and their partner.
This ego is driven by your fears and desires, it comes across when you become too defensive or arrogant even at the slightest matters. Because you are not mindful as a partner, you like to save yourself by playing the victim.
All this contributes to your negative self-talk which ultimately makes you even less mindful about your relationship with your partner.
Lastly, it may happen due to “partner imperfection”. A study published in 2018 showed the role of a partner’s acceptance and how relationship mindfulness is important the same.
While 90% of the people in healthy relationships agreed that they see their partners as these perfect individuals, there was still one aspect of them that they would want to change. Because it triggered negative emotions like irritation or anger in them, it lead them to lack mindfulness altogether.
Thus, you must give up your unhealthy ego, keep your partner’s imperfections aside (since you’re not perfect yourself either), and step into your calmer and composed side that will help you to cultivate habits to practice relationship mindfulness successfully.
How Can I be Mindful in Love? 5 Habits to Promote Relationship Mindfulness
Now that you have understood the key reasons that keep you away from relationship mindfulness, let’s look at some practical ways in which you can consciously cultivate mindful habits in your relationship.
1. Be a Mindful Listener
The simplest and most important aspect of mindfulness is to be present in the moment, to be attentive. As a mindful listener, you should try to create a safe space for your partner to express their feelings without any fear of judgment. You must make them feel supported to open up to you without any hesitation.
Here are 5 ways in which you can practice relationship mindfulness with your listening skills:
- Keep distractions like phones away
- Make eye contact with your partner
- Focus on what they’re saying and listen to understand
- Don’t be in a hurry to respond and end the conversation
- Reflect on what you’ve heard to ensure you understand their feelings
- Be more empathetic and make them feel heard even if you don’t agree with them
2. Don’t Suppress Your Emotions
It is human nature to suppress or altogether avoid your difficult emotions. Whenever your feelings may try to control you, the instinct is to let them be and not discuss or talk about them with your partner.
I do this too and my first thought is, “I’m probably overthinking, maybe I should just let it go.” And whenever I do that, the same topic comes up later in heated arguments with my partner. Because deep down it has been bothering me for the longest time.
This is why if you wish to be more mindful in love, you should turn to your emotions and feelings with curiosity and compassion and discuss them with your partner instead of avoiding them.
Here are 4 steps for you to turn toward your emotions to become mindful as a partner:
- Acknowledge and name the emotion you’re feeling
- Observe the physical sensations associated with the emotion
- Practice self-compassion and kindness towards yourself
- Reflect on what triggered the emotion and consider how you can respond in a constructive way
- Take the conversation with your partner to resolve it and not fight it
3. Express Gratitude as a Partner
While practicing gratitude is a crucial aspect of being mindful in your everyday life, its importance amplifies as a partner. Being grateful for a loving and caring partner, not only makes you feel more loved towards your partner, but it also helps you to cultivate a deeper sense of connection and appreciation for your person.
Here are 3 simple ways in which I practice gratitude to be more mindful as a partner and you can do it too:
- Every once in a while, take some time to reflect on what you appreciate about your partner and your relationship, and think about the things that you feel blessed for. For example: I feel blessed that my partner is extremely supportive of my goals and dreams in life, he is the pillar of my strength.
- Shower your partner with compliments that express your love and admiration towards them. This doesn’t always have to be anything extravagant, a heartfelt note or a simple text message goes a long way when it comes to being vocal about your feelings.
- Keep a gratitude journal where you write down things you’re grateful for in your relationship. If you are not into physical journals, you can also maintain digital journals. Since I have been with my partner for 9.5 years now, I have kept all memories secured in a digital folder and I often go back to appreciate how far we have come.
4. Take Mindful Breaks
Whenever you feel overwhelmed or stressed with your partner, instead of bursting out on them, take a break. This is what both of us consciously practice in our relationship.
In times of heated discussions or arguments, we choose to distance ourselves from each other and take out time until we’ve calmed down so that we can approach the situation to solve it and not entangle it further.
When you do this, it helps you to regulate your emotions and come back to the present moment with a clearer perspective. Because in the end it’s not you and your partner against each other, it’s both of you against the problem.
Hence, it is important to practice relationship mindfulness by taking breaks and distancing yourself from each other whenever needed. Here are 3 ways to do that:
- Take a few deep breaths and focus on your breathing pattern
- Go for a walk outside and observe your surroundings
- Practice a mindfulness meditation or visualization exercise
5. Become more Self Compassionate
Self compassion is an intricate part of mindfulness. Because as much as you love your partner, it is important that you love yourself equally because you cannot pour from an empty vessel. When you feel whole as a person, only then you can make your partner feel the same about themselves. It also helps you to become more patient and kind with yourself and your partner.
Now that you’re aware of the habits you need to practice to become more mindful in your relationships, let’s dive deeper to understand the benefits of these practices.
4 Benefits of Relationship Mindfulness
Here are 4 benefits you enjoy when you adapt to the mindset of relationship mindfulness as a couple:
1. You regulate your emotions better
Practicing relationships mindfulness helps you to regulate your emotions better by increasing your awareness of them.
When you’re mindful, you can observe your feelings without becoming overwhelmed by them. This will help you to respond to your emotions more constructively, instead of reacting impulsively or defensively.
2. You become better at communication
Mindfulness makes your communication skills more effective because they make you better listeners and more compassionate communicators.
By approaching conversations with openness and curiosity, you open a safe and supportive environment for your partner to express themselves.
3. Increased Gratitude and Appreciation
When you take time to appreciate your partner for all the efforts they make towards you, when you notice the positive aspects of your relationship, you begin to thrive as a couple.
Practicing gratitude makes you cultivate a deeper sense of connection and intimacy which brings you closer to your partner both emotionally and physically. And, if you are in a long distance relationship, it can help you to foster a strong bond despite each other’s physical absence.
4. Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Becoming more mindful reduces your stress and anxiety. This impacts your relationship positively because it helps you handle situations in a calm and composed manner instead of rushing to conclusions without thinking sensibly.
Less stress clears your mind to think critically and analyze the situation before you react to it absurdly. With your partner, as you practice mindfulness, you become more present and engage better with them. This helps you to become better at managing conflicts and difficult emotions with each other. Practicing gratitude is an important part of mindfulness, and it can be especially beneficial in our relationships.
Relationship mindfulness is a powerful tool to improve the dynamics of your romantic relationship.
I was not aware of the term “relationship mindfulness” until I decided to write something around “the right mindset for a successful relationship”.
It was my research that led me to this term and I finally wrote a blog on this topic.
I hope you all learned something new with one, just as I did while writing it.
And I also hope that you’ll start practicing mindfulness in your relationships and work towards making it a success both for you and your partner.
I’ll see you soon with a new topic.
Stay well and keep loving your person.