12 Tips to Have Mindfulness in Relationships
Lately, I’ve been seeing the word ‘mindfulness’ thrown around a lot on social media. Whether it’s on Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram, many social media influencers and mental health advocates have been sharing tips and information on the importance of mindfulness and how we can all practice mindfulness and grounding techniques in our everyday lives, especially when it comes to mindfulness in relationships. However, there are so many categories this could apply to more than just mindfulness in romantic relationships. Below, we’ll discuss mindfulness in relationships in many different aspects, such as mindfulness with yourself/your body, your mind, work, friends, family, romantic partners, and more.
- Mindfulness is the meditative practice of focusing on your awareness in the present moment.
- Establish a healthy routine and habit together such as meditation.
- Remember to check in on yourself. Mindfulness with yourself is just as important as mindfulness in any other relationship.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the meditative practice of focusing on your awareness in the present moment. Meditative mindfulness often involves using and accepting your feelings, body sensations, and thoughts to fully immerse yourself in the present. According to the American Psychology Association, mindfulness-based therapies have been proven to boost memory, reduce stress, improve emotion regulation, enhance self-awareness, and even decrease emotional reactivity (1).
How Can We Practice Mindfulness?
As we all know, relationships are not the easiest thing to navigate in the world. Even simple disagreements can lead to larger conflicts, stress, unhappiness, or even strained relationships. The main reason we have difficulties with relationships is that many of us can't see beyond our own wants and needs, and this is where the importance of mindfulness comes into play.
Healthy relationships not only require effort to work on the relationship together, but it also requires individuals to work on themselves to learn how to be more understanding and compassionate by overcoming fears or insecurities. To avoid these conflicts with family, friends, and romantic partners, here are 12 helpful tips to start practicing mindfulness in relationships.
Tips for Practicing Mindfulness in Relationships
1. Practice Meditation Together
What are the most common ingredients in a loving and relationship? Trust, communication, loyalty, and now mindfulness! No, but seriously – a lot of long-lasting couples out there have pointed to consistent mindfulness and meditation in relationships as a key to their longevity, stating that it has unlocked a new level of connection for them (1). The more you understand yourself and your own emotions, the better you will be able to understand your partner. This can help you effectively navigate through relationship obstacles by tackling them as one, set a healthy habit and routine, and provide great clarity.
2. Practice Deep Listening
Have you ever sat in front of your family member, partner, or friend and just listened? When we’re having conversations, a lot of us can fall into the habit of listening to respond instead of just listening. Instead of listening and thinking how you plan to respond, practice deep listening with your partner and give them your full attention if they want to rant, tell a story, or just talk about their day. When our loved ones know we’re listening to them, it shows them that they are valued, appreciated, and respected, which is very healing in a relationship.
3. Practice Mindful Speech
This tip can be summed up with one phrase: “Think before you speak”. It can happen often in relationships where we say something we don’t mean, somebody misunderstands what we say, or we just say the first thing on our mind without stopping to think about how they will be interpreted. To practice this method, pause and choose your words carefully before speaking. Plus, this step can improve your relationship with yourself and your body, as it’s a reminder to only say loving and kind things about yourself like you would to your loved ones.
4. Check in With Yourself
One of the best ways that we can show someone we love them is by checking in on them. Ask them how they’re doing, what were their achievements this week, and even what may be bothering them if they want to talk it out. Like deep listening, checking in with people shows them they are respected and valued. So, why not check in on yourself to make sure you’re showing self-love and self-care? Besides meditation, there are plenty of ways to check in on your well-being, such as writing in a journal daily or weekly. Try writing out positive affirmations, your goals, and what you’re grateful for.
5. Use Your Time and Attention Wisely
No one should have to put effort into something negative that they do not have the energy and time to deal with. This is why it’s so important to spend your time with the right people and to evaluate what serves you and doesn’t serve you in life. Your work, friends, and family should be your system of support and encouragement to reach your goals.
You also should not make yourself available 24/7. Time with yourself is just as valuable as the time you give to others, and no one should expect your attention whenever they want it.
6. Ask for Feedback
One of the best relationship tips is to listen to your partner. And, sometimes, you need to listen to the things that aren’t always the easiest to hear in order to develop your character (2). For example, one of the best parenting tips I’ve heard is for parents to go to their children at the end of the day and ask, “What could I have done better today?” This is a great way to check in with your loved ones to show them that you’re aware of their feelings and how you can affect them. It helps show you what you can improve on while minimizing conflict and getting everything out on the table so there are not any negative, repressed emotions on either side.
7. Become In-Tune With Your Emotions
While it’s important to check in with yourself, it’s also important to make sure you give yourself space to feel your emotions in their entirety. Repressed emotion can lead to added stress – so if you need to let out a good cry, do it! There’s nothing wrong with experiencing strong emotions, in fact, facing your emotions is an amazing way to increase mindfulness in relationships by showing you how to embrace others’ emotions instead of invalidating them or just shutting them down.
8. Daily Expressions of Gratitude
A great way to show your friend, family member or partner that you love and respect them is by reminding them of it daily. Being mindful to share your thoughts of appreciation with your partner and acts of service, such as doing a household chore, writing them a thoughtful note in the morning, or preparing a lovely meal for them will go a long way!
9. Set Intentions for Your Day
To beat low productivity on a day when you’re not feeling like yourself, try setting intentions and goals for the day. You don’t need to do much, but even setting an intention such as, “Today I will shower and go to the grocery store” is a good step in the right direction.
10. Practice Mindful Eating
Listening to your body and eating when you’re hungry is a foolproof way to get in touch with yourself through your stomach. Often, I can get into the bad habit of eating when I’m bored, so mindful eating has helped me make healthier choices and taught me how to listen to my body.
11. Observe Your Surroundings
Like Ferris Bueller famously said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” The next time you’re in nature or just in your car driving down the street, take notice of the things around you: the traffic, the people walking by, the flowers, the trees, the birds, the wind in your face, the sun shining on your skin, and more. Getting in tune with our senses is the best way to stay mindful.
12. Be Kind to Yourself
If practicing mindfulness in relationships is new for you – don’t be too hard on yourself. I know when I first started meditation, I would get angry at myself whenever my mind would wander off. In reality, this is completely normal! All you have to do is refocus and gently bring your attention back into the present moment instead of dwelling on the past or distant future. If you make mistakes or forget to write in your journal for a week, don’t question your progress and keep pushing.
Written by Selena Ponton