How mindfulness can boost happiness in relationships

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What if paying more attention to the present moment could make us happier in our romantic relationships?

A recent study from the Université de Montréal in Canada suggests this might be true.

The study found that couples who practice mindfulness feel less stressed. Lower stress levels, in turn, could lead to a happier, more satisfying romantic relationship.

The lead researcher of the study, Laurence Morin, who is a doctoral student at the university, explained that satisfaction in a relationship is about feeling happy and content with a romantic partner.

This satisfaction often means fewer fights and less likelihood of breaking up.

The Study: Mindfulness and New Parents

The study was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and specifically looked at couples who had just become parents.

This time in a couple’s life is often stressful, which can lower relationship satisfaction.

The researchers gathered information from 78 couples who had just become parents. For 14 days in a row, these couples answered questions on their phones about their stress levels, mindfulness, and relationship satisfaction.

The researchers then took an average of the scores that the couples reported each day.

Morin shared that the study’s results showed a clear link between mindfulness and relationship satisfaction.

The more mindful parents said they were, the less stressed they felt. This lower stress was associated with feeling happier in their relationship.

Mindfulness means paying attention on purpose to what’s happening inside us (like thoughts, feelings, and sensations) and around us (like our environment) without judging it.

Science has shown that being mindful can help people feel better physically and mentally and handle stressful events in life better.

Recommendations: Daily Mindfulness Practice

Given these findings, Morin suggests that new parents and others should practice mindfulness daily. This practice could help people handle stress better and control their emotions more effectively.

Mindfulness can be practiced formally through things like meditation or breathing exercises, or informally by paying close attention to everyday tasks like brushing your teeth or eating.

Morin believes that the benefits of mindfulness extend beyond individuals to couples as well.

She even suggested that mindfulness could be added to prenatal classes to help prepare couples for the changes that come with becoming parents.

The study was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

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