Mindfulness is a growing movement that encourages people to take a minute to notice their body and its surroundings. To get a little more information about mindfulness, what it is and isn’t, and how people new to mindfulness can begin practicing awareness, we spoke with Cheryl Jones, one of Aetna’s wellness program strategy leads, who is trained in mindfulness and completed the Teacher Development Intensive in Mindfulness-Based-Stress Reduction (MBSR).
What areas of a relationship can mindfulness improve?
Cheryl Jones: Mindfulness will help you feel more love. Being present for each other will help you feel more deeply connected. Mindfulness will help you be more patient. Mindfulness will enable you to approach your partner with curiosity so that you can continue to get to know him or her.
What areas of a relationship are most strengthened by mindfulness?
CJ: Mindfulness helps you note your feelings so you can communicate them to your partner. It helps you say what you mean. You’ll be able to be present for what your partner is saying without the need to solve his or her problem. You can relax and just listen. Good communication helps enable you to meet each other’s needs and builds trust.
How can partners practice mindfulness together?
CJ: Notice the impact you have on each other. You can start by paying attention to your partner’s facial expressions when you’re saying something. When you’re out to dinner, agree to put your smartphones away. When you’re doing an activity like walking, designate part of the time to be in silence together, simply aware of sights and sounds.
When should the practice of mindfulness be introduced into a relationship?
CJ: Mindfulness is not something you need to introduce. It’s more a way that you are with your partner. It’s about being present for the happy, fun moments so they take priority. And it allows you to respond rather than react in the angry, fearful moments so you cause no harm.
For more information about mindfulness and more tips for practicing mindfulness every day, visit Aetnamindfulness.com.
This content is sponsored by Aetna. It is for general informational purposes only, and is not meant to replace the advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a physician or other health care professional.