Have you tried mindfulness?
Modern life can put a lot of strain on relationships. Many people are so busy with work and other commitments that they have little time to nurture their relationships.
And when they do have time, high stress levels can cause conflict and lead to arguments.
So what's the answer? Whilst everyone's situation is unique, one strategy that may help is mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Like most people, you may go about your day on autopilot, not really engaging with the tasks you do. Mindfulness is about doing the opposite. It means acting deliberately and being aware of everything you do.
For example, when you eat you would notice all the flavors and textures, and eat slowly rather than rushing.
Mindfulness has been proven to have many benefits for treating stress and other mental health issues. But how is it relevant to relationships?
1. Increases compassion
By reducing your stress levels, mindfulness can make you less preoccupied with your own problems. This makes it easier to sympathize with other people, including your partner.
You may find yourself behaving with more kindness and understanding towards them.
This will likely lead them to behave with more kindness in return, creating a virtuous cycle. You may find that the two of you do more nice things for each other, and that it makes you increasingly happy to give your partner nice surprises.
2. Reduces conflict
When your partner says or does something that annoys you, it can be tempting to lash out. But by being mindful, you can keep a sense of perspective.
You can recognize when you're overreacting, and choose to stay calm. And you'll be able to keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes, including your partner. This will likely make the relationship more harmonious.
3. Improves communication
People often struggle to communicate their needs to their partners. They may get angry and frustrated when these needs aren't met, without actually telling their partner what the problem is.
Talking about emotions can be uncomfortable, which is why many people avoid it. But mindfulness can make it easier to talk calmly about whatever is bothering you.
And if you stay calm, your partner is likely to do the same. There's a better chance of them listening to your concerns if they don't feel personally attacked.
4. Increases gratitude and appreciation
In a long-term relationship, it's easy to start taking your partner for granted. You may not notice all the nice things your partner does for you, and could stop fully appreciating the time you have together.
With mindfulness, you slow down and appreciate the moment.
This will naturally lead you to become more grateful for what you have in life. And your partner will be much happier if they feel valued and appreciated.
5. Increases overall happiness
Aside from these direct benefits, there are many less obvious ones. Mindfulness helps you to become more satisfied with your life and to feel happier. And this will make you more pleasant to be around and easier to get along with.
You'll probably take things less seriously and laugh more. People will enjoy being around you, and this will naturally improve your relationships.
Mindfulness has so many benefits, and can help you in all areas of life. Practice it and you may find that life becomes more peaceful, joyful and harmonious.
You may even become a source of inspiration for those around you. So why not give it a try?