3 Important Daily Practices for Improving Relationships Through Kindness and Mindfulness
The trend of being mindful of our surroundings, friends, and even co-workers has been gaining steam around the globe. But just what is mindfulness? And why do we really need this in our already full lives?
Mindfulness is the theory that when we present non-judgmental awareness of a situation, we create a more centered life for ourselves – and our circle of friends. By now, we know how to be mindful of our own lives – by showing appreciation for the things we have, and by meditating on changes we want to make.
But, above the benefits mindfulness has for our lives, it is also a way to open our compassion for others – by not only listening but hearing, and then by taking action. Here are three ways we can improve our friendships by being not only kind to but mindful of our friends.
1. Practice deep listening.
We’ve all done let our personal stresses or worries drown out our friends when they are talking. Even when we are trying to listen, we may not hear what is truly bothering another person. Deep listening is a way to tuning in to what a friend is saying without allowing our minds to drift. The first step is to look into the eyes of the person speaking, and from there focusing on what they are saying rather than letting our minds drift. This shows not only compassion but respect for our friends.
2. Practice mindful writing.
One of the hardest things to do in creating a more mindful outlook is to overcome our attitudes about certain people or situations. No one likes to spend most of a paycheck on rent or to skip girls night because of a work event. When we are mindful, though, we aren’t depending on buying a great pair of boots or a night out with the girls to make us feel worthy. Spend fifteen minutes every morning or evening writing positive affirmations – little moments throughout the day that made you feel good or things in your life for which you are grateful. The process of writing these things down imprints these positive thoughts and moments in our brain map; it makes us feel better, an that makes it easier to be more mindful of others.
3. Practice mindful speaking.
The right path for us, whether in dealing with an obnoxious co-worker or a naughty ex, may not be the right path for our friends. Before offering a quick ‘just tell them off’ fix, think about what the right next move is for your friend who may stress out at the thought of confrontation.
Being mindful of the people in our lives can bring our personal mindfulness to a whole new level. Don’t be afraid to give it a try.