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How to Live in the Present in a Relationship

by Karen Kleinschmidt

Being in the present moment in a relationship involves coming out of your own thoughts when communicating with others. Rather than simply waiting for the other person to stop talking so you can respond, you actively listen and think about what you are going to say. Being present allows you to calm yourself and connect in a deeper manner than you may done previously, according to Dr. Corey Allan, licensed marriage and family therapist and editor of the website Simple Marriage. Living in the present moment enables you to reach out to others in a positive manner rather than simply to calm your own insecurities, fears or anxieties.

Focus on You

Being present in a relationship, whether with your spouse, friend or co-worker, involves changing your way of communicating, thinking and feeling. Take note of how often your mind wanders when you are engaged in a conversation. Keep a journal if it helps you to take notice of specific patterns. Become aware of how you feel when talking to someone. Ask yourself if you are anxious or impatient, or if you want to divulge your opinion before your companion finishes speaking.

Avoid Multitasking

Many people do more than one thing at a time in an effort to keep up with their busy schedules and maintain connections. This often backfires because it prevents you from fully connecting to the person you are speaking with or the activity you are engaging in. For example, if you are playing at the park with your child while checking websites on your phone or texting your friends, you are not completely present in that precious moment. Dr. Allan recommends one activity at a time; disconnecting when you are done and connecting to the next activity will promote living in the present moment.

Breathe

Being present in a relationship is easier when things are going well than when you feel angry or irritated with someone you love. Staying present in your relationship increases self-control, decreases aggression and helps you regulate your behavior in a positive manner, according to the article "The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment," published by "Psychology Today." The next time you feel the urge to respond in a less than appropriate manner, focus on your breathing until you feel centered in the present moment. This technique is available whenever you need it and can keep you from saying or doing something you will regret later. When you are calm and if you desire to, proceed with the conversation.

Benefits

Practicing mindfulness -- nonjudgmental acceptance of the present moment -- can improve your mental and physical health, according to HelpGuide.org. Benefits include an increased ability to deal with negativity and obstacles when they come up along with less stress over what might happen in the future or what has occurred in the past. This frees up positive energy, which may lead to deeper connections in your relationships. Being present in your relationships can help you accept your thoughts and feelings, as well as those of others, with less desire to avoid or judge them, says HelpGuide.org.

About the Author

Karen Kleinschmidt has been writing since 2007. Her short stories and articles have appeared in "Grandma's Choice," "Treasure Box" and "Simple Joy." She has worked with children with ADHD, sensory issues and behavioral problems, as well as adults with chronic mental illness. Kleinschmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Montclair State University.

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