Relationships can be difficult to maintain at times. Being close to someone means opening yourself up emotionally, and that can leave feeling considerably vulnerable at times. Like how a pendulum swings back and forth, there will be good times and bad times in every relationship (hopefully, more of the former). When conflict rears its ugly head, that’s when the strength of your relationship is put to the test. Using the lessons learned through meditation might just help you to smooth out whatever’s set you and your partner on edge, while assisting in self-improvement at the same time.
1. Meditation increases mindfulness
Meditation helps to clear the mind and allow one to think more deeply. It brings calm and relaxation, and allows you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Is the fight an isolated incident or a symptom of a bigger issue? Adopting a wider perspective when it comes to addressing confrontation increases the likelihood of reaching a long-lasting resolution as opposed to just slapping a band-aid over the problem. Being mindful of your thoughts and emotions is the first step towards communicating them to your partner, so the ability to be introspective is as much of a benefit to yourself as it is to your significant other.
2. Meditation helps you to listen more clearly
Many people may be adept at hearing what their partners have to say, but how many are actually LISTENING to what is being said? Cues such as tone, context and body language play a huge part in defining the actual content of a message. Not being able to listen or understand where your partner is coming from can come as a detriment to the relationship, as this is how miscommunication typically occurs. Learning to be able to listen to what your own body has to say will allow you to better interpret that of others. Being open-minded and receptive to suggestion also denotes emotional maturity, which is ideal for a healthy relationship.
3. Meditation may reduce your urge to react
Many conflicts become exacerbated when parties resort to “shooting from the hip”. This knee-jerk reaction in the face of strong emotions or distressing situations is hard-wired into our bodies as part of our fight-or-flight response. Meditation’s focus on achieving a deep-seated sense of calmness can be channelled towards suppressing such breakouts. Often, reacting in trying times can worsen a relationship to the point where it simply becomes unsalvageable. Not all relationships do work out in real life, but it’s important that they end for the right reasons. Axing out a big portion of your life in the heat of the moment is almost sure to lead to regret, and burnt bridges can rarely be rebuilt. Meditation can also increase your levels of empathy and keep you calm so that you can sit down with your partner and sort out your issues in an adult manner.
Perhaps meditation doesn’t readily come to mind when relationships are involved, due to its immediate association with the self. What we tend to forget is how we interact with others is often a reflection and an extension of how we treat ourselves. By bridging the experiences between meditation and personal relationships, one can find their way towards realising a happier life and relationship with their partners.