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What Is Mindful Relationships?

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As a society, we tend to seek help only when we are in distress or crisis, in relationships we need to focus on how we can prevent these issues from arising. We often do this because it is much easier for us to be reactive during a conflict than to take preventive actions. For example, in the TV show Grey’s Anatomy, Cristina and Burke would often get into conflicts due to the constant clash of their competitive personalities. The constant distress and conflict ultimately resulted in Burke leaving Cristina at the altar. However, their relationship had many positive elements and could have continued if they had taken appropriate measures to prevent and manage conflict. Successful relationships require both partners to be able to engage in actions…show more content…
Mindfulness, as defined by the article, is “an individual practice, where one has a heightened awareness of the present moment” (McGill et al., 2016). Mindfulness is typically brought on by using meditative techniques by being aware of breath, practicing yoga, and engaging in focused activities such as mindful eating and walking. The most well-known mindfulness training program is the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program developed by John Kabat-Zinn in 1979 (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). MBSR improve the ability to act skilfully (as opposed to reactively) in stressful situations through the development of understanding thoughts and feelings in the present moment (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). Although mindfulness is practiced by an individual it has relational components; it encourages connections, unity, and closeness with a partner (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). Research has shown that mindfulness can actually have positive influences on social connection, perspective taking, social skills, and prevents negative reactions during a conflict (McGill et al., 2016). The Positive outcomes of mindfulness on physical and mental health can act as a moderator of stress during a relational conflict (Grossman, Nieman, Schmidt, & Walach, 2004). Overall, the research shows that there is a significant…show more content…
Two of the most common dyadic mindfulness practices are loving-kindness meditation and aikido communication. Loving-kindness meditation focuses on generating feelings of compassion, empathy, and gentleness towards others while maintaining calmness and mental stability (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). One example of practicing loving-kindness meditation involves repeating the following phrase in one’s mind: “May all beings in the air, on land, and in the water be safe, happy, healthy, and free from suffering” (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). Aikido communication is another form of relationship mindfulness practice. Aikido communication involves partners letting go of natural habitual reaction reactions to conflict and uniting with their partner’s mind (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). An individual can unite with their partner’s mind by listening, working together, and coming up with a mutual compromise. Aikido communication primarily addresses healthy ways of overcoming conflict. In addition to dyadic mindful practices, each individual should also engage in individual mindful practices such as meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises. These individual practices can improve physical and mental health, which will aid in addressing