“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” — Fred Rogers
Relationships are undoubtedly some of our best teachers when it comes to growth. Unfortunately, when we experience chronic stress, our minds and bodies can become out of balance, making it more difficult to give our closest relationships (both personal and business) the things they need to thrive.
Stress, anxiety and depression can distort our perspectives, decrease our levels of patience, and make open communication more difficult. At its worst, stress can leave somebody more prone to attack, defend or withdraw from others, putting an unfortunate strain on their relationships with loved ones and colleagues alike.
With so much going on in our lives and with the many different pressures we face day-by-day, ‘mindfulness’ is a useful tool to aid relationships when we are experiencing periods of increased stress. It’s also a great way to navigate through some of our more challenging relationships. Mindfulness is designed to help gain perspective and clarity, enhance our ability to cope, explore our own personal ‘triggers’ and blockages by empowering us to move away from a reactional state, into a more focused, conscious and alert state.
‘Instantaneous Relationships’ is the practice of understanding that the mind carries with it all of our old stories and experiences that can have a negative effect on our present-day relationships. Through mindful awareness and techniques, you can practice the art of wiping the slate clean and dealing with situations as they arise at that moment, rather than unloading old (and perhaps unhelpful!) thought-patterns, which can hamper the process of positive and effective communication.
The practice of mindfulness is often a gentle reminder to listen with an open mind, ask questions that help you to truly understand another persons’ point of view and begin to engage with people (even those you may dread an encounter with!) in a more meaningful and alive way. Side-effects of this approach are typically an increased sense of calm, peace and joy as you get to understand people and empathise more deeply with those around you.