Most of us think of meditation as a solitary exercise, a quiet way to create inner calm and awareness. Of course, that is very true. Still, you may not have considered how the same soothing practice could help you foster a nurturing and accepting environment for your relationship as well. Over time, you may even find that meditation aids your relationship in surprising ways, expanding insight and intimacy between you your partner.
So, how does including meditation in your relationship improve the way you and your partner interact? Let’s consider four key areas:
1. Meditation Improves Personal Insight
Every relationship is comprised of two people. The more that each individual knows and understands themselves, the more they will be willing to let their defenses down with their partner. There is less fear of being engulfed in the relationship, being rejected, or being taken advantage of.
Routine meditation gives you a healthy space to check in with yourself and gain internal clarity. Your core beliefs and values are allowed to be noticed but not controlled.
Getting to know yourself at this level of intimacy leads to better self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-compassion. Practicing meditation in your relationship allows you to practice being more authentically you. As you become more secure in yourself, you can interact and set boundaries confidently.
2. Meditation Supports Flexibility Between You and Your Partner
When we feel “stuck” in a relationship, we can often lose the ability to respond to each other well. We may be rigid and inflexible. We forget how to relax, shift gears, or give each other leeway when things get hard.
Negative emotion gets stuck in our bodies and interrupts the flow of positivity and problem-solving energy that we need to work through difficult times.
To expand our abilities to respond to each other in productive ways, we can learn to open ourselves to a variety of unfamiliar responses. Essentially, meditation can slow down automatic reactions and help you recognize them.
When you make a habit of it, meditation can quickly become a means of injecting conscious, healthy response into your daily interactions.
3. Meditation Makes You Better at” Getting” Each Other
Research regarding brain health, strong attachments, and effective communication tout the benefits of meditation.
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of paying attention in the here and now. Exactly where your partner needs you to be when they are sharing with you. Meditation teaches you to be still, listen, tune in. Then you can act with purpose and intention. These skills will make you a dream communicator for the one you love.
4. Meditation Promotes Higher Levels of Compassion and Forgiveness
Relationship partners aren’t perfect. Sometimes we say hurtful things. Sometimes we do things we shouldn’t. Meditation helps sift through our behavior without judgment or shame.
The goal is to observe and perceive with less emotion and more intention. This allows you and your mate to look at tough situations with more clarity. In addition, you are more able to allow a feeling to come and go and focus more on the values that drive your relationship. Your shared humanity becomes the focus and giving each other more grace becomes routine.
Keep in mind that meditation is a practice, not a project. Be gentle with yourselves and each other as you learn to do it well. Remember to focus your attention internally first and allow the peace you feel to radiate out and create deeper connection with your partner and others.
Grace Wood, MA, LPC Intern, works with individuals and couples at the Relationship Counseling Center of Austin. Grace’s focus lies in helping clients better understand themselves and their relationship through mindfulness practices. To gain more clarity, schedule an appointment with Grace by calling (512) 270-4883, ext. 116, or request an appointment online through the RCC Austin Scheduling page. We hope to hear from you soon.