There are plenty of articles and scientific research on the general benefits of meditation.
Meditation is good for you because it can –
- Reduce stress.
- Control anxiety
- Promote emotional health
- Enhance self-awareness
- Lengthen the attention span
- And it can also widen the gap between stimulus and response
But what does this mean?
Widening the gap between stimulus and response means that the reaction from someone who meditates regularly to any outside situation is less likely triggered by the limbic-brain response of fight or flight. The practices involved in meditations can promote a deeper analysis of a situation, a calmer response and a more thoughtful reaction.
How does this all now help you in your relationship?
Meditation is a very personal thing. You can meditate together in a group or with your partner. No matter how you practice meditation though, in essence, you are training your own brain. Meditation is for yourself. Meditation is for your personal growth, and in my view, everything you do for your personal growth is going to help your relationship to grow.
Everything in nature wants to grow or expand. Every tree, every weed and every animal feels the natural inclination to grow. And the same is true for us human beings. We want to grow, we want to expand, and we want to reach new heights.
What I observe with a lot of couples is that there is a phase in the relationship, typically after living together or being married for some time, when they stop looking after their own personal growth. They think that with their life-partner they now reached a plateau from where they don’t need to move forward anymore.
Let me tell you, this is a very dangerous thought. The moment your relationship gets into a daily or weekly routine, you have set yourself off on the path to boredom and unemotional cohabitation.
To avoid this you need to look after yourself. You need to put on your own mask first.
The moment you start meditating you are doing something for yourself. You are expanding your mind and you are reducing your stress levels. You are better equipped to handle any challenge thrown at you from your boss, your colleagues, your clients, your children, and from your partner.
Meditation helps you to apply the filter of Love and Understanding to anything your partner does or says. Meditation gives you the calm mind to put yourself in the shoes of others before you react to their words or deeds. Meditation lets you rest within yourself whilst the world around you might get into chaos.
Meditation does not mean you are passively accepting everything others do to you. It does not mean that you are giving in to any argument or challenge. You will not become weak through meditation – on the contrary, you will become much, much stronger in your mind.
Where and how do you start?
I hear all the time – “My day is full to the brim already; I just don’t have time to sit still for ten or twenty minutes…”. And truthfully, I have said the same thing too. In the beginning I couldn’t even concentrate for a minute, let alone ten minutes or more. I was struggling big time.
But then I forced myself to sit for ten minutes every day using a free app called “Calm” and it changed my mind – quite literally. (And there are many more apps out there you can chose from)
Now I do this (nearly) every day. For ten minutes, I focus on my breath and try to calm my mind. Each day, I find my mind wanders off to far places, some are in the past, some are in the future and some are in the land of fantasy. And then I realise that my mind was somewhere else and not focusing on my breath anymore. So, I pull my mind back and focus again on breathing.
Is it easy? No
Do I succeed every day? No
Do I struggle? Yes
Does it help? Yes, big time.
You will find that after five days of meditating for ten minutes, you look a life from a different perspective. You might find yourself recognising more beauty in the small things. You could be less agitated if something does not work out the way you’ve planned it, you might even have the clarity of mind to realise you are enjoying life more.
All of this helps you to grow as a person and that helps your relationship to grow and strengthen.
I am more than happy to discuss this with you in more depth. All you need to do is send me a quick response to this newsletter and we take it from there.