Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? How’s it going with your significant other? We’re in the middle of a series on relationships to get you all fired up for the most romantic day of the year. We started off the series talking about whether you think it is even possible to change. If you’re still with me, then you’re ready for part two.
Don’t just be here. Be here non-judgmentally. Be here with an open mind. Be here and pay attention. All of these statements describe what we call “mindfulness”. Mindfulness can be defined as both an activity and a trait-characteristic, however they go hand-in-hand. The action (being mindful) develops the trait (mindfulness) and the trait is expressed in carrying out the action.
What does this have to do with relationships? Studies show mindfulness has positive implications for relationship health. In fact, the process of paying attention to your mate and your relationship non-judgmentally activates neural processes associated with safety, security, and the expression of happiness. You guessed it, feeling safe, secure, and happy (aka secure attachment) is a predictor of relationship satisfaction.
Not only that, mindfulness has personal benefits as well. Mindfulness helps you to be fully present in your “here and now” experiences, to deal with unpleasant thoughts and feelings in a non-threatening way, to increase self-awareness, to become less distressed by and reactive to unpleasant experiences, to have less emotional volatility, and to develop self-acceptance and compassion.
Mindfulness has been correlated with the ability to empathize as well as other emotion skills, all of which are associated with positive relationship growth and health. Sounds pretty good, right? So how about adding a little mindfulness practice to your daily routine? Start with something small, grow it, and eventually it will become a way of being. Some of you may find that you already have mindfulness as a basic trait.
Take a minute and Google “how to practice mindfulness”. If you find an article that resonates with you, email it to me and tell me why. I’d also love to hear what you’ve already been practicing and how it has affected your personal life and relationships. I’ll post some responses on the blog with links to the how-to’s you find. If you’ve done your homework and you’re ready to go deeper, contact me and we can work on using that mindfulness and secure attachment as a tool in your relationship growth. Do it for yourself. Do it for your relationship.