For today’s Meditation Q&A, Lynne talks about how meditation can help us be more present and less reactive when it comes to interactions with those we care about.
Click below to find out meditation can help you have more harmonious relationships. Enjoy! 🙂
Here’s the transcript from this video:
So the short answer is yes, and in so many ways! Here’s a cute story:
A woman goes with her husband to the doctor, and after his checkup, the doctor says to the wife, “Can we have a word in private, please?” “Sure thing, Doctor, anything for my husband,” she says. So the doctor says to her “Your husband’s suffering from a really rare and severe disorder, and it’s caused by stress. And if you don’t do the following, he’s going to die. Every morning, make him a heart-healthy breakfast. Make sure that you’re pleasant to him, and that he’s in a good mood. For lunch, you should make him a nutritious meal, and for dinner, something especially nice. Don’t make him do any chores because he’s probably had a hard day. And don’t discuss any of your problems with him because it’ll only make his stress worse. Do all of these things, and he should continue to live for a long time, another fifteen to twenty years at least. The wife nods her head understandingly.
On the drive home, the husband says to the wife, “What did the doctor tell you?” And she says, “He said you’re going to die.” So in our relationships, we often react automatically based on our own personal fears and stresses. So if you’ve had a hard day at the office, and maybe you got a last minute assignment called on you by your boss as you were walking out the door, then you hit major traffic on the way home, and then finally you get home to your spouse who’s sitting on the sofa watching TV instead of helping you get dinner organized like they said they would. You know exactly how reactive we can get.
But when we meditate, we actually change the wiring of our brain to be less reactive. The amygdala, which is the ancient part of our brain that’s responsible for our automatic, fear-based responses actually shrinks. And the prefrontal cortex, the part that helps with conscious decision making actually grows. Meditation also helps us get back to feeling centered and calm faster. So why we might still snap at people from time to time, we can become more aware and catch it, and ourselves, and recover more quickly. We can even learn to apologize! Meditation also helps to develop presence. And as anyone who’s ever been ignored or talked to between iPhone keystrokes knows, nothing feels better than having someone’s full and undivided attention. Meditating also makes us more empathetic, so we become more tuned in to how people are feeling behind the words. And finally, meditation helps us to get to know ourselves better. And when we start to understand our own reactive patterns, our tendency to rush to things like blame or anger and resentment lessens. We develop a sense of openness and acceptance that can lead to much more harmonious relationships.