Think of mindfulness as “being alive now.” Let’s take a deeper look at what mindfulness looks like and how mindfulness meditation can assist in anxiety relief.
What is Mindfulness
To put it simply, Being mindful means being present. Living in real life with your senses, and not in your thoughts. Sometimes we are physically here but our minds are not. We are trapped in the past or trying to control our future. Constantly preparing for the future. Thinking about the past. Living in the past. Being in a beautiful place but not noticing anything pretty around you because your mind is on an autopilot thinking, planning, solving. Again and again. Not connecting with your partner because you both are on your phones or talking about problems. Or busy with a million other things. Can you relate? I think we all can. This can take away from the beauty of the present and feed into anxiety we are having, regardless if it is about the past or the future.
So how can we feel alive now? Can we slow down and breathe? Notice our breath? Notice our feelings? Notice the person sitting across from us? Smell that flower? Hear that child laugh? Notice how silly your dog/cat can get? Notice the sky changing colors? Taste the food we are eating? Feel that kiss with our senses? Connect with our friends and family? Appreciate the moment we got today? Problems will always be there. Goals will be accomplished and new ones will be created. Life is happening now. We all need that reminder sometimes to breathe. Taste. Smell. Hear. See. Touch. Live. This is how you practice mindfulness. Be aware of yourself at that very moment. Try your best not to think about what you may have forgotten to do or try to plan out your day for tomorrow. This only creates more anxiety that is unnecessary for this otherwise peaceful moment. This is of course easier said than done, but with practice, mindfulness meditation can assist you in living in the present, instead of the past or future.
Mindfulness in Relationships
Mindfulness is not only beneficial to just your personal anxiety, mindfulness can also be incredibly beneficial for dating and relationships as well. Being aware of your daily interactions and what is really important in that present moment can bring more peace and understanding to your relationships. The Gottman Institute says asking yourself these questions in an emotional moment with your partner can help you find clarity in the present moment:
- What emotion do you perceive in your partner right now?
- What did your partner need from you?
- How did you communicate that you acknowledged your partner’s feelings?
- Did your partner react to your acknowledgment of their feelings?
These are just a couple of questions you can ask yourself for better understanding of your partner and yourself in an emotional moment of your relationship.
For Information and Support
Practicing mindfulness can be difficult at first, but as with other things, practice makes perfect. The more you dedicate yourself to mindfulness and the awareness of the present moment, the easier mindfulness meditation will be for you. Whether it be practicing mindfulness during triggers stemming from childhood trauma, dating anxiety, or just general anxiety and worry, mindfulness will keep you focused on the present moment instead of the past or future. Some people need help with this type of nervous system regulation after experiencing years of anxiety, and that is perfectly okay. Asking for help is always a good thing to do. Look for couples therapists or individual therapists in your area who can help you gain the tools you need to teach your brain and body mindfulness meditation.