Mindfulness has been found to have many benefits on individuals as well as on our interpersonal relationships with others. First, mindfulness is a type of mediation “where one has a heightened awareness of the present moment”1 and “acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations”2 without judgement. Being mindful of our feelings, thoughts, and actions can help us be more intentional and conscious. Mindfulness has great benefits for ourselves and our relationships.
Many studies have previously found that mindfulness has strong benefits on individual wellbeing, but more studies are finding the impact of mindfulness on our interpersonal relationships. Mindfulness has a specifically positive impact on intimate and romantic relationships. One study on romantic relationship satisfaction found that “higher levels of mindfulness are associated with higher levels of relationship satisfaction”1. This may be because “mindfulness meditation may improve the way the brain automatically processes and organizes relationship-relevant cognition and behavior… promot[ing] structural and functional changes in neural circuits that mediate attention, regulate physiology and emotion, and enhance or inhibit the capacity for empathy”4. Another reason why mindfulness improves romantic relationships may be because mindfulness “facilitate[s] healthy relationships, including enhanced emotion regulation, increased acceptance, and greater capacity to engage in self-change to enhance the relationship”5. Mindfulness can help us be intentional in how we interact with our romantic partners and be more aware and accepting.
Lastly, mindfulness has also been found to benefit other relationships as well. One study found that participants who were given mindfulness training “experienced significantly less emotional exhaustion and more job satisfaction than participants in the control group”6. Mindfulness-based therapy has also been found to improve family and child functioning7. These findings suggest that mindfulness can have a noticeable and lasting effect on our relationships and it is well worth our time to learn how to be mindful and implement it into our daily life.