Mindfulness is a form of meditation wherein you pay attention to present-moment experiences with a non-judgemental and open stance.
Besides the belief that mindfulness can help reduce personal suffering and distress, there is a growing notion that it can be extremely powerful in the creation of love, empathy, and enhanced relationships with others.
Here, we focus, in particular, on the potential role of mindfulness and couple meditation exercises in love relationships, which for many individuals is a central (if not key) relationship in life.
In recent years, numerous authors have theorised about the probable benefits of couple meditation exercises and mindfulness meditation in romantic relationships, and there appears to be a consensus that mindfulness can help in promoting relationship satisfaction as well as longevity. Moreover, an increasing number of studies suggest that mindfulness is associated positively with overall satisfaction in relationships.
Let’s see what specific processes that are associated with mindfulness result in specific love relationship processes that may eventually affect relationship satisfaction as well as stability. Here’s a look into how couple healing meditation can help your relationship.
An In-depth Look at Mindfulness Meditation
Two components of mindfulness are usually distinguished: (1) focussed attention to present-moment experiences (thoughts, emotions, bodily states) and (2) dealing with these experiences with a non-judging, open, and accepting attitude, regardless of the valence of the experience.
A mindful state is a sharp contrast to a mindless state of being lost in your thoughts, not being consciously aware of your current experiences, and acting in a mode of “automatic pilot.”
Mindful attention to present experiences could help in facilitating self-regulation partly due to the sharpening of the ability to successfully monitor goal conflict. For instance, mindful attention to present experiences includes an increase in awareness of current feelings and motives that may cause obstruction to a specific long-term goal.
Mindfulness is not an invented or novel manner of thinking or conscious awareness that can only be taught through training or the practice of meditation. Mindfulness is an inherent human capacity, and each of us is mindful to one degree or another, moment by moment.
There are four basic processes that are associated with mindfulness, which could be especially relevant when it comes to understanding the association between mindfulness and the functioning of relationships:
(1) Awareness and Monitoring of Automatic or Implicit Responses
By paying non-evaluative attention to inner experiences, mindfulness helps in promoting access to processes that could have remained implicit or at least beyond conscious awareness. The is one of the best benefits of couple healing meditation.
(2) Emotion Regulation
There is growing evidence that suggests that mindfulness is related to more effective regulation of emotions and less emotional reactivity. Most notably, mindful attention to emotions that are being experienced significantly differs from other emotion-regulation strategies, such as reappraisal or suspension of the situation that is causing distress.
(3) Executive control
Executive control comprises a set of related cognitive functions (such as updating, inhibition, and task-switching), which allows individuals to successfully inhibit automatic as well as impulsive responses, and, instead, respond in a way that is consistent with a specific goal.
(4) Self—other Connectedness
Lastly, mindfulness has been successfully associated with self—other connectedness or an increase in feelings of closeness with others. This is yet another wholesome benefit of couple healing meditation.
How Couple Meditation Exercises Affects Relationship-Specific Responses
At a basic level, there are sufficient reasons to indicate that each of the aforementioned four processes that are related to mindfulness may help in explaining the possible link between mindfulness and love relationship functioning. Moreover, successful emotion regulation and a high level of executive control are known to be vital when it comes to promoting romantic relationship satisfaction as well as stability. Lastly, self—other connectedness is directly related to a wide range of factors that help in fostering relationship functioning and stability.
Mindfulness plays a significant role in affecting (1) pro-relationship motivation as well as behaviour, (2) coping with distress, and (3) relationship cognition (which are thoughts and beliefs of the partner, the precise relationship, and about romantic relationships, in general).
At this stage, it is crucial to note that the model lays emphasis that examining the implications of mindfulness on romantic relationships eventually requires taking a dyadic perspective. It means that partners in a love relationship are interdependent, which means that the responses of one partner affect the outcomes of the other partner and vice versa.
Mindfulness and Pro-relationship Motivation and Behaviour
Love is not all that you need. Ultimately, how partners respond to each other and behave towards one another define a well-functioning and stable love relationship. Specifically, the diagnosis of a relationship that is well-functioning is how partners respond when self-interested impulses may not be successfully compatible with the interest of the partner or the relationship.
On a Final Note
While there is a considerable empirical basis for the general belief that mindfulness meditation and/or couple meditation exercises may positively impact a love relationship’s functioning and stability, it is quite clear that more research is required before robust conclusions can be eventually made regarding mindfulness’ potential relationship benefits. So, if you think the spark in your relationship is dying, try couple healing meditation.
This article is reviewed by Suchitra Marwah