Relationship Insights With Mindfulness – By Reshma
Relationship Insights – By Reshma
Just because we practice mindfulness does not mean that the environment will better itself. Of course not. Our partners will still argue with us, our kids will still throw tantrums, we will still get stuck in traffic.
Nope. Nothing really changes outside, BUT everything changes on the inside.
Our response to the outside changes. The way we choose to respond to stressors changes. We choose to respond to them more skilfully.
So what kind of amazing insights does mindfulness bring?
1. We understand that we are not our thoughts:
Couple conflict is inevitable. But during high stress situations with our partner it is quite possible to get lost in a spiral of negative thoughts such as “I’m not good enough”,”I shouldn’t have gotten into this relationship…”
The thing is such a thought process is not really a great way to start the day.
Technically speaking mindfulness teaches us that our thoughts are just thoughts. They are only our perceptions of the world. It tells us to not get caught up in those thoughts and to recognise that we are only thinking that we are not good enough or that we shouldn’t have gotten into the relationship. It doesn’t mean that we are actually not good enough.
When we begin to think this way we begin to feel free in the mind.
2. Small things are no big deal.
I am sure many of us spend a large part of our day with our partners caught up in routine reactions. When our spouse throws a fit, our heart starts pounding and we become anxious and get into reactive mode.
Now if we look at the larger picture, a fit thrown by our partner is actually a small thing. In fact we waste a lot of time and good energy reacting to such tiny things though in that moment it may seem huge.
Mindfulness helps gain perspective in the time it takes to breathe in and out. It tells us, ”look this argument will end”, and we realise that our loved one is in an emotional state of mind. We become aware of triggers that push our buttons and then begin to pause and respond to them rather than react. Our nervous system becomes more regulated and we stop sweating the small stuff. Simple as that.
3. We start paying attention to things that matter.
When we start paying attention we start seeing beautiful things, which we have never seen before. We see growth, transformation and change that we have never saw before.
4. We become more accepting.
We all spend a good part of our day battling the present moment. Our thoughts are filled with ‘how we like this, how we want more of this’, ‘how we want that to go away’, ‘how we don’t like it’. We constantly keep judging the present moment. As a result we miss experiencing it whole heatedly.
So mindfulness helps us to accept whatever is present. It is not giving up/giving in with a sigh, but recognising that this is what it is like now. Then we can choose how to work on it. If it is not something we can change, then we can ease into it gently.
5. We become more compassionate.
The more we become aware of our thoughts we start becoming more attuned to the joy and pain of others. We become aware of our partner’s suffering. Their pains. Their difficulties. We act to ease their burdens not because we have to do it, or we have been told to do it , but because we are deeply aware of their pain just like ours. As a result we start engaging compassionately in our relationship.
Mindfulness helps looking at our relationship in a different way. It doesn’t eliminate the stressors that come with the relationship. It merely helps us to perceive and respond to the issues in our partnership which will definitely make our life more fun and joyful than it otherwise might be.
By Reshma Raju
Certified Women’s Health Coach (USA)
Do you need relationship advice? Ask your questions & Reshma will get back!