Healthy, loving relationships are a cornerstone for happiness and peace. When we lack positive connections with others, it is difficult to feel completely fulfilled and whole. While problems and issues in relationships might seem common, they absolutely don't have to be. From family and friends, to co-workers and colleagues; all of our relationships can be positive and harmonious if you practice mindfulness.
Too often, we expect that stress and strife will be part of our relationships at some point. We live in a reactionary state, waiting for an issue to arise and then responding when feeling highly emotional. While wanting to be prepared for problems is seemingly responsible, it can attract unnecessary negativity. What we expect is what we create, especially our in relationships.
Mindfulness helps us to be positively proactive and effective. We can learn to be prepared, without necessarily giving voice to our worries and fears, and without letting long-standing detrimental beliefs run the show. In relationships, this takes practice (it can actually be part of a spiritual practice). Creating harmonious relationships is truly more about creating a mindset for it (being mindful), then about reacting to situations that may deter from it. It all starts and comes from within.
Having a practice to consciously create harmony in our relationships is a great way to focus positive energy around our connections to others, as well as solidifying our mindset for harmony and balance. The following five steps are centered around this mindful purpose. They are a spiritual and common sense path to help us create the most basic of human needs; loving relationships.
Here are 5 ways mindfulness can improve relationships:
1. Self-care is a top priority
If you ignore your self-care on any level, expect to see it mirrored in your relationships. When you neglect your own needs, others will neglect you in some manner. This is because the message and energy you send out into the universe is that you aren't worthy; caring for ourselves is a direct reflection of self-worth.
We cannot be in our best state of well-being and high vibrating energy if we are not taking excellent care of ourselves. Eating healthy, physical, activity, resting, sleeping, relaxation, creative outlets, doing what brings us joy and spending time with those who make us happy are just a few ways to love ourselves. When we do not give ourselves the time or permission to do what we love, we are neglecting our own needs. When we do not eat the healthiest foods, we are neglecting health and well-being. When we continuously push ourselves to do more and rest less, we are neglecting our mind, body and spirit. This all culminates into lowering our vibration, which in turn will attract other low vibrating energy into our lives.
In relationships, this low vibrating energy can show up in many forms. Anger, stress, problems with communication, intimacy issues, and just plain not getting along. Not to mention, with low vibrating energy comes emotional chaos and cloudy thinking; making our perspective less then positive. Self-care is vital to positivity in all areas of our lives and it is absolutely necessary for harmonious relationships both personally and professionally.
2. Set Intentions (set goals)
If you want to manifest something you desire, you have to ask for it. Healthy and happy relationships are no different. Having a clear vision of what you truly desire is crucial.
Too often, we simply make general statements about our relationships in terms of what we want; "I just want love" or "I just want kind people in my life" are not really statements that paint a clear picture. Don't be afraid to get more specific about your needs and ask spirit to help connect you with people who meet them.
Use a vision board to represent the characteristics and kinds of people that you want to surround yourself with on a regular basis. Pictures and words that help you visualize the kind of life you truly want are powerful tools that connect and align you with the energy of what you desire, while helping you remain focused on it. Use Pinterest so you can add to and view the vision of your relationships on a daily basis; fill that board with quotes, words, pictures and images that represent what you want to create.
3. Communicate your feelings, needs and boundaries
When you create a clear vision of the kinds of relationships you desire, you must live in accordance with it and use it to guide you in setting healthy boundaries. Loving, honest communication is the best way to maintain health boundaries and your vision board is the standard for what you will allow into your life.
For example, If you want reciprocity, a balance with giving and receiving, then you must avoid doing everything for everyone and ask others for help when you need it. If your actions do not align with your intentions, you send mixed messages to the universe and create chaotic energy; attracting negativity into your life.
Boundaries can range from developing new habits, like asking for help, and communicating your feelings to distancing yourself from toxic situations. Use your visions board as your guide and remember, what you continually allow is what you continually attract. The choice is completely yours; you control the relationships you have in your life.
4. Follow your Instincts and Intuition
If it doesn't feel right for you, then it isn't right for you; even if you cannot explain why. Our intuition doesn't lie, because energy doesn't lie. Our gut feelings about people are based on energy and it's time to trust them completely.
Most of us can name a time when we knew someone wasn't good for us to let into our lives, but we ignored our instincts and were later hurt by this person in some way. So why do we we ignore our intuitive feelings? Guilt is a primary reason. We feel guilty because we cannot explain these feelings, which makes us think we might be judgmental or unkind.
It is not unkind to trust yourself. It is not unkind to act in accordance with what you know is right for you. It is, however, unkind to make a person believe you want them in your life; when actually you are uncertain. That is called inauthenticity; it's dishonesty. Choose to follow your intuition and lead an honest, authentic life. Only participate in relationships you truly want and trust yourself know which ones they are. Authentic relationships are harmonious because they don't continually cause stress from living a lie.
5. Know When To Let Go
When a relationship causes you continual pain, stress or unhappiness; it's a sign that something has to change. In relationships, making a personal change to your behavior, or your dynamic in the relationship, can help to create positivity; but sometimes that is not enough. In the case of toxic relationships; you have to learn to let go.
The degree of letting go will vary depending on circumstances. It can mean anything from spending less time with someone to walking away completely. You have to determine what works best for you and honor what your intuition is telling you.
Sometimes, just changing your role and not continuing the same patterns is enough; it's a way of accepting the other person while respecting your own needs. In this case, put aside past expectations and be realistic about what kind of relationship is truly possible given what you have been shown time and time again. The important thing is to be very honest with yourself about what you can tolerate and live in accordance with that (use your vision board as a guide). It means you have to let go of what you may have wanted for the relationship, and be realistic about what you can actually have and, most importantly, if you truly want to remain in the relationship.
We often remain in toxic relationships out of fear or obligation. We convince ourselves it's unkind to walk away or spend less time with someone, so we are dishonest about our true feelings and continue as if nothing is wrong. It's far more loving to be honest and honor our feelings, especially when we have tried to create harmony, and to learn to let go of a relationship that is t working. When we do this, we make room in our lives for positive new relationships and we live much more authentically; benefitting everyone in our lives.