How the habit of meditation leads to healthier relationships

Sep 25, 2018

It doesn’t take the research to point out the difficulties in establishing successful relationships. Look around at the many careers that thrive based on the revenues earned from failing ones. There are multifactorial reasons for these failed relationships, each having its unique catalyst.  

So, what does it take to make a failing relationship work? 

For years, scientists have worked to figure this out, and although there are no absolute answers, they have found trends that do work if you become mindful of them. Research has attributed successful relationships to establishing habits and being aware. Lally article in the European Journal of Social Psychology found forming habits to be as short as 18 days and as long as 254. This is, of course, dependent on the behavior you are seeking to change. They also defined a habit as actions triggered automatically in response to contextual cues associated with performance. So, forming a habit could take time, but being actively mindful takes performance, a process that is chronic (long) versus acute (short).

Here is the positive news, as a meditative interventionist, I have seen mindful meditation work in diverse settings with individuals and groups. If you have identified the relationship limiting behavior and want to take action, you have made steps toward your desired change. 

Good therapy speaks to mindfulness as a popular new intervention that it is becoming widely accepted as a method of addressing symptoms in mental health and emotional concerns. Of course, there are no guarantees that any intervention will improve a relationship but opening yourself up through meditation will help you better understand what relationships are right for you or you right for them. 

Here are three things you can do to improve relationships starting with the mindful practice of meditation.

1. Decide to make a daily 10-minute meditative practice goal for yourself.

2. Learn to start your day versus letting your day start you.

3. Seek advice from a coach or therapist you trust and make it a habit.

 ~Dr. E