Mindfulness is the practice of living in and being fully attentive to what is happening in the present moment. It can improve relationships because it helps an individual stay focused on the person or people they are with.
We live in a society that is full of distractions that intrude into our personal spaces. The buzz of a cellphone, the temptation to check our emails, our texts, or the latest news headlines can divert us from our immediate surroundings.
Relationships, however, are nurtured and thrive through undivided attention. People like to feel they come first with us, not that they are being squeezed in between everything else we have to do.
Mindfulness practices help us reconnect with our bodies. For example, breathing is an important mindfulness practice that can help us reduce our heart rate and lower our stress. This, in turn, helps us to take control of our emotions. When we are calmer, we have the ability to be more present and attentive to others in positive ways.
According to some studies, mindfulness has a positive influence on the insula, the empathetic area of our brains. This can open us to be more understanding of the people in our lives, accepting what they are going through from their own perspectives. As people like to be seen and understood rather than fixed and controlled, increased empathy can improve our relationships with others.