Meditation is often conceptualized as a solitary practice, used ritually for stress management and mindful living. While it certainly can be those things, it doesn’t have to stop there. Let’s spice things up a bit and get your partner involved! Intentional meditation with a partner can help to expand feelings of gratitude, promote relationship satisfaction, and cultivate deeper physical and emotional intimacy. Adopting this simple practice of stillness and reflection helps to slow down the monotony of life and its challenges, create intentional self-awareness, all the while simultaneously bringing you closer to your partner. Here’s how:
Co-regulate: Co-regulation is the meditative art of synching up your breathing, gaze, and heartbeat with that of your partner. Find a comfy place to lie down or sit with your partner. Lock your eyes together and make eye contact. It may feel awkward at first, but that’s okay! Embrace it. After you pay attention to your own breathing for a minute or so, see if you can hear or sense your partner’s breath next to yours. Attempt to synchronize your breathing with your partner’s and maintain a slow steady rhythm together. Practice this for 3-10 minutes. This is a natural way to help self-soothe, minimize stress, and calm down the central nervous system. Our partners often serve as a “safe space”. Therefore, our bodies will naturally slow down and relax as a response to being proximal and close.
Set an Intention: Going into a meditation practice with a goal or intention can help to create a specific focus during the time you and your partner have together. Maybe your intention is to connect deeper emotionally or to have better physical intimacy this week! Perhaps, it is to reflect and share moments of gratitude. Maybe you would like to focus on being more aware of your partner’s emotions to feel more attuned to them. Communicate to your special someone on what you are hoping to get out of your meditation practice. When both people have a similar agenda, it can create a powerful energy! This is especially important after a tense argument. You can set an intention to “reset” and repair after a period of disconnection or misunderstanding.
Debrief afterwards: The moments following a good meditation together can be an excellent opportunity for communication and connection as well. Sometimes when we allow our minds to be still, certain thoughts and emotions float to the surface. Some of these things that come up may be thoughts/emotions that we have neglected to address ourselves. Conversely, there may be things that have been running on repeat in our minds for some time. Spend a few moments discussing with your partner some of the things that came up during meditation and are currently in your heart. This is where you can take your intention and turn it into action! Now is your time to brainstorm ways you can help bring some of those original goals into fruition and optimize the health and vitality of your relationship. Consciousness breeds communication, and communication breeds connection and compromise.
Meditation has the power to deepen your connection and strengthen your interactions by intentionally carving out time to sync together spiritually and emotionally. Take advantage of these moments of silence and stillness that can nurture your relationship both with yourself and with your partner.