When we integrate mindfulness into our relationships for instance, we create space to be more thoughtful in our interactions with others. Being thoughtful, rather than absent minded, toward our loved ones provides us with an opportunity to enhance and improve upon the relationships we hold near and dear.
Consider how often we neglect our relationships when life becomes hectic or speeds up too quickly. In an effort to keep our head above the water and simply get by, we might give less thought and attention to those we love most. We may take them for granted—an all to familiar feeling and experience of being human.
But, when we learn how to slow down and integrate mindfulness into our lives as a whole, we have the opportunity to look at our relationship under a new lens; a lens with more patience, thoughtfulness and openness.
Consider these three tips to help you bring more mindfulness into your relationships.
1. Identify what you are most grateful for within each of your cherished relationships; then, tell the person what this is.
Sometimes we get so caught up just existing that we forget how to live. Part of truly living is appreciating everything we have. What better place to start than with your closest relationships? Take some time and reflect on what you feel most grateful for in your relationships. It will most likely be different with each person. In one friendship, you might value the laughter and light-hearted nature of the relationship. For a sibling, you may value the deep connection and ability to talk about anything. Maybe your partner keeps you grounded, calm and supported. Think about these things and write them down. When you feel ready, express this gratitude to the people you love.
2. Slow down and truly listen to those you love.
When our minds are racing at lightning speed from one topic to another, it can feel difficult to truly engage and listen to those around us. Even further, we might be so preoccupied waiting for our turn to talk that we neglect the beautiful opportunity to just whole-heartedly listen to someone else. Practice slowing down and listening. Practice engaging in the conversation by asking more questions about the topic your loved one is talking about. Practice silent support. We don’t always need to speak to let people know we are fully listening.
3. Pay attention long enough to recognize when forgiveness is needed.
Our relationships cannot grow if we keep anger and resentment in our hearts. We might not even realize we are harboring this resentment. This is a side effect of living mindlessly. We have thoughts and emotions that we neglect because we are too busy focusing on everything else that we miss opportunities to look within. Today, give thought to anyway you might be harboring resentment toward the people you love. Maybe this is in the form of jealousy, maybe it is a feeling of being offended or maybe you have emotionally pushed someone away without even realizing why or when. The first step is acknowledging it is there. The next step is to find a way to let it go. This can involve talking it out with the person directly, talking it out with someone else to externally process your thoughts, or giving further reflection time to it on your own to really determine if the resentment is necessary.
Attempt to integrate these mindful tips into your day to enhance your most cherished relationships. In time, you might realize that not only do your relationship improve, but your own heart feels more full with love and gratitude.