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10 Ways To Practice Mindfulness In Romantic Relationships

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Mindfulness is more than yoga classes and meditation sessions. You can practice it anytime, anywhere, including in your relationships. It might even be the secret to having a healthy and thriving romantic relationship. Become more mindful in your love life with these 10 tips and exercises.

Practice solo mindfulness.

Okay, so this is where yoga and meditation might be required after all. To practice mindfulness in your relationship, it first helps to practice it on your own. Doing a relaxing yoga flow, going on a mind-clearing walk, or starting a gratitude journal are all ways to become more mindful by yourself. The key is to disconnect from your thoughts, observing them yet remaining detached. Learning this one mindfulness skill can make a major difference, especially if you struggle with insecurities and anxiety in your relationship.

Pause during arguments.
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Disagreements are a part of every relationship, but how you handle them can make or break your bond with your partner. Before getting swept up in anger and defensiveness, take a timeout. Walk away from the argument until your body’s stress response cools down (it’s best to wait at least an hour), and during that time, go on a walk or listen to some easygoing music. That way, you can create space between yourself and the thoughts swirling around in your head. Return to the conversation only when you’ve had a chance to regulate your emotions and feel ready to talk again.

Hold a weekly meeting.
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Mindfulness doesn’t mean brushing off relationship problems like they’re no big deal. If something matters to you, it matters—period. Have regular “meetings,” intentional and scheduled conversations where you and your partner can discuss issues and concerns. During these talks, remain open to feedback, and be willing to admit any mistakes. This is a chance to become more aware and mindful of areas that need improvement, without letting your relationship slip into autopilot.

Pay attention to your body.
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Often before we even identify which emotions we’re experiencing and why we feel that way, our body has its own physiological response. And this response can provide valuable information, as well as some warning signs. For example, if your partner asks you to do something and you notice a slight tightness in your chest or momentary shortness of breath, your body is signaling that that request is stressful and may not really align with what you’re comfortable with. If you fail to pay attention to these signs, you might say yes, only realizing your resentment once it’s too late.

Put your phone away.
This is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness. The quickest way to escape the present moment is to whip out your phone and start scrolling. While regularly checking your phone may sound harmless, it can be a major source of distraction, halting connection and communication with your partner. When going on dates or spending quality time together, turn your phone off or leave it in another room.

Do a hobby together.
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Many hobbies require mindfulness, from creative pastimes like painting to physical activities like bouldering. Sharing a hobby with your partner puts you both in the present moment, enjoying the sights and sensations together. Plus, doing a hobby together makes for great bonding time, away from stress and distraction.

Become a better listener.
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To be a great communicator, you need to be a great listener first. Truly listening to your partner, without rushing to respond, boosts mindfulness and boosts your relationship. Become a better listener by paraphrasing (repeating, in your own words, what you think the other person said), asking questions, and disconnecting from the judgments or assumptions you have while the other person speaks.

Show appreciation.
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Your partner probably shows their love in a variety of ways, but do you notice? When you become more mindful in relationships, you learn to recognize acts of kindness and express gratitude for them. If you don’t already, try regularly showing your appreciation. Make a note or set a reminder to thank your partner for at least one thing every day, until it becomes more and more natural. If you want to practice mindfulness in your relationship, this is one of the best ways to do so.

Lead with empathy.
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Every time you have a knee-jerk response to defend yourself and find fault in others, you’re not being mindful. Instead, you’re reacting out of fear, likely rooted in an experience from your past. To return to the present moment again, imagine what the other person is feeling from their perspective. What do they really need? What are they afraid of? If you were in their position, how would you want to be treated? While it’s important to honor your own feelings, don’t forget to be empathetic towards your partner too.

Make time for nothing.
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One of the simplest, and simultaneously hardest, ways to practice mindfulness in relationships is to make time for absolutely nothing. You might be used to packing your schedule with work, social events, parties, and exercise classes, but scheduling time for nothing is just as essential. Make regular time for your partner, but refrain from deciding how to fill up that time until it happens. Just being in the moment together beats a fancy dinner date almost every time.

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Is A 50/50 Relationship Even Possible? Probably Not — Here’s Why

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This is the question that we all secretly wonder about when we’re in relationships. Where does the power dynamic come in and who is in charge? Well, this is largely determined by who is presumed to have control, which in turn, is determined by who has the least to lose. By these calculations, the person who is least invested has all the power. This means that it puts a greater awareness on wondering who loves the other most. By this questionable logic, some people think that it’s a weakness to love the other person more. It’s not, but it raises the question of whether 50/50 relationships are possible or even desirable.

No emotion is permanent.

Our feelings are not something that we can measure objectively or with numbers. All we can really do is compare them in retrospect, or record them in our teenage diaries to read back in horror when we move out. This means that it’s impossible to have a perfectly 50/50 relationship. That doesn’t mean that no relationship is equal. We all have different roles and functions in the relationship. That’s why we pursue partners who can support us. We should spend less time trying to calculate, analyze, and compare our love for each other, and just accept that it’s wonderful to have so much love to start with.

Each person is different.
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Not only is each emotion different, but so is each person. And we’re all complex beings with different needs and responsibilities and stresses at work. It means that the way we feel about other people is constantly changing – and so it should. It would be strange if it didn’t, because love is meant to be flexible and responsive. They aren’t things that we can win or lose, but just be open and vulnerable with our feelings. Let go of that need to control. You will find you care much less about the details.

Context is key.
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Not only are we all different and not only do we live complex lives, but so does everyone else. Heck, every five minutes I change my mind, forget what I had for lunch, or pick a fight with my sister that I don’t mean. You see what I mean. We’re fickle, us humans. All this to say, we can’t be so hard on ourselves. On top of that, we need to listen to what our heart is telling us so that we can learn more about what we need going forward.

Different love languages balance out affection.
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The beauty of different levels of attraction means that you feel great when you feel great. You only know that because you experience lows sometimes. It’s a fact of life that everyone goes through. It means you can cherish the moments when you feel really strong love, and you can value those special memories. Also, if your love language is physical affection while someone else’s is words of affirmation, you get to learn more ways of loving people. Different standards of what it means to love someone – not better or worse – just different.

Love comes in waves.
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I’ve touched on how the details of everyday life can change how much love you have for other people, but also there are broader patterns. Love is not absolute and we cannot take it for granted. What would be the point if we did?

Equal partners can’t be calculated.
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We can’t judge ourselves by nonexistent metrics and feel good. That’s not healthy. What does it say about us if we feel impressed for loving someone else less?

We are allowed to get annoyed.
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Here’s another fact, not all relationships are 50/50 because the math doesn’t mean that we have to be perfectly 100% in love all the time. We can take breaks, have pauses, or take a minute to ourselves. That’s natural and normal. Just because you’re in love, doesn’t mean you have to give yourself over to someone else entirely. You are allowed to remain yours, too. Remember that. You’re allowed to feel frustration or annoyance if your partner annoys you. It’s okay – you’d be miserable if you had to be happy all the time. People need to deserve our love, we don’t owe them anything.

Things change.
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We all grow, even in a relationship – we should be individuals. Have our own identity. We don’t even need to grow in the same proportion, or at the same rate as one another. Real love is freedom, not a calculation.

You are doing so much better than you think you are. Stop wondering what other people are thinking about you and your relationship. Just make sure you’re comfortable first.

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10 Scientific Benefits Of Cuddling You May Not Have Known About

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Yeah, sex is cool, but have you ever just cuddled? Whether it’s your boyfriend, a casual date, or the family dog, cuddling might just be the perfect way to unwind, get cozy, and boost your wellbeing. Here are some of the top benefits of cuddling backed by science.

Cuddling relieves stress.

This is at the top of the list when it comes to the benefits of cuddling. Having trouble sleeping? Feeling extra stressed? Just need to chill? Cuddling might be the answer! Cuddling someone else releases oxytocin, a hormone that can calm your mind and relax your body. If you’ve ever felt safe and comforted after a good cuddle session, that’s why. Oxytocin is even available as a prescription designed to help people struggling with anxiety and depression. But if you want to skip the pharmacy, cuddle someone you love instead.

It improves your sex life.
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Cuddling and sex do not have to go together, but they definitely can sometimes. And if you’re looking to ignite a spark in the bedroom or want to improve physical intimacy with your partner, cuddling is a great way to start. Skip the lazy couch potato cuddle, and try cuddling face-to-face or even cuddling without any clothes on. If sexy time wasn’t in the schedule, it probably will be now.

Cuddling can lower blood pressure.
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If you want to protect your heart (and not just from players), try cuddling. It can improve heart health, starting with lowering your blood pressure: studies show a link between the oxytocin released from hugging and lower blood pressure. And that’s important, since high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. Hugging and cuddling can also slow heart rate, proving its relaxing benefits to the body.

It could help with relationship anxiety.
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This is one of the biggest benefits of cuddling. As a rule of thumb, serious relationship issues require more than cuddling to fix them. But if you struggle with trust issues, an anxious attachment, or other relationship worries, even in an otherwise healthy relationship, cuddling could help ease your jitters and get you feeling closer to your partner. If you’ve found that cuddling comforts your uneasiness, be sure to ask your partner to do it more often. Even a long hug when you greet each other or some good ol’ spooning in bed might be enough to soften your anxiety and improve your relationship.

It may ease pain.
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Can you cuddle cramps away? Maybe! Researchers have found that the oxytocin released from cuddling can relieve pain, decrease sensitivity, and block pain receptors in the body. And while it might not be enough to cure your pain for good, it’s scientifically proven to make mild-to-moderate pain less severe. Next time you have a headache or stub your toe, use it as an excuse to initiate a cuddle session.

Hugging and cuddling can stop relationship fights.
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Oxytocin is often nicknamed “the love hormone” because it increases the bond and connection between people. It brings people closer, not only physically, but emotionally too. So if you keep snapping at your partner for silly reasons, cuddling more often could be the key to preventing unnecessary fights before they even start. It’s an easy way to build a healthy relationship, without needing to exchange a single word.

It can boost immunity and prevent illness.
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Thanks again to oxytocin, cuddling can support your immune system and keep you from getting sick. This time, it’s because oxytocin helps to increase levels of serotonin in the body, which is known to enhance immunity. Serotonin also lowers inflammation in the body, keeping you healthy and making it easier to get back on your feet even if you do get sick.

Cuddling could improve digestion.
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Serotonin released during cuddling helps aid proper digestion and tells your brain when you’re full. And not having enough of it could cause issues in the digestive system, leading to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. Even if you don’t necessarily want to think about your intestines while cuddling, just know that you’re helping your digestive tract when you do.

You can cuddle almost anyone (who consents, of course).
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You don’t need to be in a relationship to feel the comfort of cuddling. You can cuddle after a hookup, chill on the sofa with your BFF, or even give a family member a big bear hug. Even though cuddling is intimate, it’s much more accessible than other forms of physical intimacy like kissing or sex. As long as you feel comfortable and the other person is cool with it, you can cuddle with pretty much anyone.

It’s great for babies too.
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If you love a good cuddle, you’ve probably been like that literally since birth. Babies get a major boost from skin-to-skin contact with their parents and other caregivers. However, these cuddling benefits extend to all ages. Just like with adults, cuddling helps bond babies to their family, calms their breathing, and helps promote healthy development both inside and out. Tap into your inner toddler and go cuddle someone you love ASAP.

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Why Do I Need Constant Reassurance In My Relationship? What’s Really Going On

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While it’s good to receive validation and reassurance in life and love, there comes a point where you need to trust your instincts and your partner and stop needing them to affirm who you are. When you can’t seem to move past this, it becomes a problem. This can arise for a number of reasons, but remember that it’s never too late to reflect on your behaviors. If you find yourself wondering, Why do I need constant reassurance in my relationship? we have some answers for you.

You were insecure as a teenager.

I mean this is something of a self-explanatory statement, I know. You’d be hard-pressed to find a teenager in the world that wasn’t insecure about something. However, there’s something funny about the teenage mind that convinces us that we must be the most disgusting, strange thing ever to have existed. It’s obviously not true, but nothing makes you feel like the cruel exception to life’s glory like being a sweaty, spotty 15-year-old. Not that I speak from experience, of course. Either way, it instills in us the sense that we’re always behind everyone else or fighting against the curve. It makes us feel like we need to play catch up. This is why you will always find young 200-somethings rushing in and out of relationships because once we do get into a relationship, we find it hard to be alone after and don’t give ourselves time to work on ourselves in between. It’s natural and nearly universal, however. It’s worth considering adapting your behavior.

You don’t feel like you have value.
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 This is where the insecurity from the teenage years takes root. We all act differently when we feel like we are worthless. It drives us to do things that we would never expect. You come to expect that validation to come from other people and that’s not healthy. Your partner will be wonderful, but they should never be the sole person responsible for your happiness. It’s too much pressure, and receiving constant reassurance won’t help alleviate it.

You thought you’d never have a partner.
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You begin to doubt why your partner is with you in some cases of extreme insecurity, leading you to need constant reassurance. This is upsetting on both parts, though, because although you are unhappy, you’re also implicitly doubting your partner. It isn’t right to tell your partner how they feel. It does them a disservice, and yet, nothing they say will make you feel better.

You hold on too tight.
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Space is always a godsend in the case of relationships, but if you’re hanging too tight, it will make for a very claustrophobic relationship. This is particularly true if your partner needs this space. You need to give people a minute to themselves so that they can check in with themselves and friends. Otherwise, you will drive them to panic and emotional exhaustion.

You’re scared of distance.
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As is the case with space, you need to learn to love distance in a relationship. As working adults, you’ll never be spending every hour together anyway. You need to fit each other into your routine. It’s an expression of love when you find time, rather than just an inevitability. You can be refreshed this way.

You stop communicating your vulnerability.
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Over time, you will grow to repeat yourself and repeat yourself. Unless your partner is an absolute paragon of patience, this will begin to seed resentment. Everyone wants to support each other, but if there’s no sign of growth or progress, that’s difficult to stomach.

There’s a lack of trust.
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This is one of the biggest reasons you need constant reassurance. You’re showing your partner that you don’t trust them. You’re asking them for validation, but are you really listening to them? If you were, you’d believe them. You must learn to relax with your partner and trust them. Otherwise, you’ll find it difficult to unwind and relax in your own space.

Scared that things are going too well.
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Even if you aren’t in as extreme a situation as some of these examples, you might still feel like running when things get too good. That’s a natural instinct.

In conclusion, if you see yourself in some of these examples just be kind to yourself and think some things through. You’re not alone, so always reach out to someone you trust.

The best dating/relationships advice on the web – Sponsored If you’re reading this, check out Relationship Hero, a site where highly trained relationship coaches get you, get your situation, and help you accomplish what you want. They help you through complicated and difficult love situations like deciphering mixed signals, getting over a breakup, or anything else you’re worried about. You immediately connect with an awesome coach on text or over the phone in minutes. Just click here…

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