Using the Body’s Wisdom as a Signpost to Healthy Relationships

Written by Alexa Frey

Mindfulness means living in our body. Noticing the footprint our experiences leave on us.

Some of us were repeatedly hurt by our primary caregivers or other important people in our lives. Repeatedly. Throughout childhood or adolescence.

People hurt us and we got used to that pain. Somehow pain became part of our lives.

Now, as grown ups, we might find ourselves meeting people who hurt us. We might have a partner that doesn’t give us what we need. Maybe he or she is even causing us emotional pain on a regular basis. Or we find ourselves working in a job that stresses us out, day by day.

If we were exposed to repeated pain in our childhoods and couldn’t escape, we are now more likely to stay stuck in and stay in such unhealthy situations or relationships. We’re trying to manage, tell ourselves it’s not as bad. We’re enduring. We’re trapped.

How can we use mindfulness to free ourselves from our past conditioning that creates unhealthy patterns in the present? How can we develop happier relationships with our friends, colleagues or partners?

It’s simple. By dropping into and checking in with our bodies.

 

How does this over-chatty and nervous friend make me feel we meet in this loud bar?

Does my chest tense up, or does my heart rate increase?

Does my body become restless?

How does my body feel at work?

Am I feeling claustrophobic?

Stressed out?

Tense?

How does my partner or family member make me feel every time we meet?

A bit anxious that I am not good enough?

Restless or bored?

 

As we start to frequently check in with the feelings and sensations in our bodies, in certain situations and with certain people, we will become more aware, which situations and people nourish us, and which deplete us.

The next step is to take care of ourselves. Which means, taking the necessary life changes to expose ourselves less to situations and people that leave a negative footprint on our body, and increase the ones, that make us more happy and healthy.

So, mindfulness is about using our bodies wisdom. We don’t always have to analyse every situation or person. How about we just simply start with asking ourselves: How does this right now, make me feel, in my body?

That’s it.

For those that would like to integrate mindfulness practice into their interactions with others, explore the Interpersonal Mindfulness Course. 

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