Can Mindful Meditation Give Your Love Life a Boost?
Valentine’s Day has come and gone. How was yours this year? Did you spend it with the one you love? If so, was your time with this person lovely or did it leave you realizing there is something lacking in the relationship? Though I’ve never claimed to be a relationship expert, I do know a thing or two about the amazing benefits of being mindful and I can tell you this: mindful meditation can give your love life a major boost!
Less Stress Equals Happier and More Connected Couples
I’ve known the power of mindfulness for over twenty years, but what gets me so excited is that science is now really studying the effects mindful meditation can have on our bodies and our lives. For instance, a study conducted in 2004 by the University of North Carolina revealed that mindfulness has a positive impact on our interpersonal relationships. The study illustrated that couples who practiced mindfulness had greater levels of happiness in their relationship. This makes sense because meditation relieves stress and increases our ability to cope with “ugly” life situations.
A Better Relationship with Ourselves Leads to Better Relationships with Others
Mindfulness is a tool we can all use to get in touch with ourselves. We can know with greater certainty what we are feeling and experiencing in every moment. The more we know about what we want, need and feel, the better able we are to communicate our feelings to others and in a calm and nonthreatening way.
Think of the following scenario: You and your partner agreed to use a certain credit card for emergencies only and you found out your better half used it to buy the family plane tickets to visit your mother-in-law (talk about stress!). Now the balance on your card is causing the higher interest rate to really kick you where it hurts. Normally your “discussion” with your partner about money would be ridiculously heated and you both would be yelling at each other within five minutes.
But, since you have been practicing mindful meditation, you are able, in that moment, to simply be aware of your feelings and emotions without reacting to them. Since you are able to keep it together emotionally, you won’t set your partner off. Now imagine if BOTH of you were practicing mindfulness how able you would be to have necessary discussions about uncomfortable and frustrating topics. You could actually… communicate instead of argue. That’s a happier relationship, no?
But Can Mindfulness Improve Your Sex Life?
Yes, mindfulness also helps you in the bedroom! The truth about sex is, it’s even better when you are fully present in the moment. So many couples try and reignite the flame by getting intimate in a different location or by using marital aids, but what will really reignite the passion is if both people actually show up, mind, body and spirit, for lovemaking.
And here’s a bit more science to back up what I’m saying: mindfulness actually has an effect on the composition of your brain. There is an underappreciated part of the brain called the anterior insula and you could say it’s like the “information superhighway” that connects your brain to your lower, limbic region.
Imaging has shown that when a brain is “in action” AKA when we are being mindful – the insula performs better, meaning, the insula is better able to help your body experience all of those wonderful physical sensations. If you thought sex felt good now, you have no idea! Special note to my female readers: a study at Dartmouth University found a direct correlation between an active insula and the quality of orgasms in women.
I guess I should have shared all of this with you before Valentine’s Day. Sorry. And, you’re welcome!
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