We are approaching the end of yet another year, and the years seem to just keep flying by. If we aren’t careful life can slip by without fully enjoying the people and things we love most. Being mindful, or maintaining an awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surroundings, can help us to be more mentally, emotionally and physically present, and more fully enjoy those things, and people, that matter most to us. Consider these seven tips to increasing mindfulness in your relationship with your significant other in the new year.
1. Practice personal mindfulness
Practicing personal mindfulness can help to create a stronger relationship with your significant other. Quieting the excess chatter in your mind will help to steady your emotions and lower your physical and mental stress levels, potentially making you less reactive to your partner’s actions or words. It can also help you to focus on the small, everyday moments with your loved one, such as being fully present when you hug or kiss them.
2. Prioritize time with your spouse
In order for us to connect and be mindful of our partner, we need to have time together. Make your spouse a priority and give them your undivided attention, even if it is for ten minutes every day to check in with them about their day. No TV. No phones. No books. Just each other.
3. Continually learn about each other
Take time to ask open-ended questions so you can know about what is really going on in their world. The more mindful you are of each other’s hopes, dreams and challenges the more of support you can be to each other.
4. Show affection
Let your partner know that you are mindful of them through showing your love daily through affection. Hold hands, give a lingering full-body hug, or five-second kiss.
5. Play together
Have fun together and try new things. Show that you are mindful of your partner by trying things that he/she enjoys doing.
6. Express appreciation and compliments
Show your partner that you are aware of them by sharing genuine compliments and words of appreciation daily.
Show your partner that you are mindful of them by helping to ease their load through small acts of service. Even little things like getting up with the kids, making dinner, or doing a chore you normally don’t do can make a huge difference.
Research provided by Naomi Brower
Doherty, W. J. (2013). Take back your marriage. New York: NY: The Guildford Press:
Gottman, J. M. & Silver, N. (2007). The seven principles for making marriage work. London, England: Orion Books, Ltd.
Parker, T. (2016, August 24). How to mindfully meditate in marriage. [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.gottman.com/blog/mindfully-meditate-marriage/