As we approach 2018, it can feel as though we are better connected and yet more emotionally distant from the people in our lives. We have swapped spending quality time with each other for an occasional message or poke on social media. Our lives seem busier than ever, so it’s important that we make time for the people we love, to nurture a rich relationship. What many people don’t realise is the lasting impact that a regular meditation practice can have on our relationships with one another.
Be it our friendships, romantic relationships, workplace relationships or communication within the family, a regular practice of mindfulness meditation can help improve our relationships in a loving, healthy and positive way.
1. More Empathy
“Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.” Mohsin Hamid
Meditation gives us the space to understand our own thought patterns and triggers, which helps us understand and recognise them in others: this gives us the gift of empathy. Having more empathy means we can understand what a person is feeling at a particular time and understand their actions or choices better. It also helps us to communicate our thoughts and ideas in a way that others will grasp and gives us a deeper understanding of others when they are communicating with us.
2. Responding not Reacting
We have all lost our temper at one time or another; and how many times have we regretted our reaction afterwards? Wishing we had more information at the time or wishing we were in a better mood? By regularly practising meditation, we are more likely to be able to give a considered response to a person or a question opposed to an impulsive reaction. This means we respond to others with thought and consideration and it provides us with a buffer that can prevent unnecessary conflict or aggression.
3. More Compassion
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.“ Dalai Lama
We can always do with more compassion in our lives. By meditating on compassion and good will, we cultivate feelings of acceptance and self-love, which ultimately makes it easier to the same feelings towards others. Studies that have found that people who practice compassion-based meditation are more altruistic, and that by regularly practising meditation people are able to teach the mind to move from observing suffering to taking action without being negatively affected by another’s pain.
UPDATE! If you are interested in meditation matters do check out our latest can you meditate lying down article