Let’s talk about mindfulness. Some couples may hear the term “mindfulness” and think of it as complicated or impossible to practice regularly. The fact of the matter is, at its core, mindfulness is just about paying attention to what’s going on around you. Webster’s Dictionary describes mindfulness as, “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.”

So, how can marriage counseling help you and your partner to be more mindful of each other? Here are eight easy tips you can use for practicing mindfulness every day, at home, and throughout your relationships.

⦁ Pay close attention to how your mind and body feel as soon as you wake up in the morning.

Are you tired? Did your spouse wake you up or was it your alarm clock? Instead of immediately jumping out of bed, take a moment to stretch, think, and set good intentions for the day ahead.

⦁ Practice mindful eating.

When you are eating think about the smell, the taste, and the texture of your food. Make a conscious effort to slow down and savor it. Not only can this help you be more aware of what foods you are eating, but it is also an easy way to remind you to check in with your mind and your partner.

⦁ Take time to connect with your spouse.

In marriage counseling, we strongly encourage our couples to set aside time throughout each day to connect and practice mindful listening. Think about what your spouse is saying and resist expressing any judgment or opinion. Sometimes it’s more important just to listen.

⦁ Acknowledge all your emotions, even the most challenging ones.

Whether you are anxious, depressed, excited, or scared, turn towards that emotion, do not run from it. Look to your spouse for comfort and focus on the present, rather than difficult moments.

⦁ Explore mindful gratitude.

When was the last time you thanked your other half? Have you ever written down how much you love and appreciate them? Try this at home. Couples counseling experts say this daily practice helps to increase connection and satisfaction in your relationships.

⦁ Practice breathing and meditation.

Finding ways to relax your mind and your body are known to relieve stress and your reactions to difficult situations; this typically plays out well for married couples.

⦁ Choose an object or an action that can help you shift into mindful mode.

If you and your spouse are struggling to communicate, try to zero in on your conscious behavioral and emotional awareness with a helpful cue. Ex: A coffee break, a stress ball, or a walk around the park.

⦁ Allow your thoughts to wander without criticism or judgment.

Your mind is a playground. So, play! And acknowledge the thoughts you have along the way.

Practicing mindfulness every day can directly affect the health and happiness of your relationships. So, pay close attention to what’s going on around you, find new routines, and make a conscious effort to monitor your behavior. No matter how you choose to practice being mindful, your marriage is sure to benefit. Contact us for more tips on mindfulness!