28 days of me

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Day 26

Relationships

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
Show today's brain activity
Alpha 75%
Waves which occur when relaxed and calm
Beta 25%
Waves which occur when, for example, actively thinking or problem-solving
Gamma 0%
Waves which occur when involved in higher mental activity and consolidation of information

I’ve done a lot of reading on how meditation can help if you are not doing great – if you are super stressed, suffer from anxiety or depression or facing chronic illness. This of course is truly amazing stuff. However, I am equally as excited about what meditation and mindfulness can do for those of us who are, fairly ‘OK’ and who just want to be better at being ourselves.

And what I am specifically interested in is our relationships. Because at the end of the day, these are what really matter  – our relationships with our partners, family, co-workers, boss, friends and of course also with people in our lives that cause us stress. Our interactions with people are what make up our day – they are quite often responsible for how we feel when we get home from work or get into bed at night.

Andy (Headspace) encourages us to think about our relationships during his guided meditations, and how our conversations and interactions affect the people in our lives. If we are less stressed, and more in the present it will also have a positive effect on the people around us, and that is a great thing.

headspace

I also think he draws our attention to our relationships because this makes it ‘real’. This helps us understand what the few minutes a day sitting in silence actuals means to us and how it can feel once we stand up from the meditation and are back in the real world.

Focusing on my relationships with others in this way helps me to put things in perspective. My mind is so active planning and solving that sometimes there just isn’t space for much else. But when you are alone with your eyes closed, and you take the time to let thoughts and feeling arise about someone you love, it is amazing how things become clearer. Does it actually matter if I don’t put that load of washing on tonight, or if I don’t send that email until the morning? Actually, it doesn’t, but it does matter if I stop and listen to that person and actually hear what they are saying and give them my full attention. I have been trying to do this more over the past couple of weeks and I can’t say for sure if the people in my life can tell any difference but something feels different to me, in a good way. Prioritising the ‘here and now’ when dealing with people in my life (even the ones that cause me stress) feels like a good thing.

There is quite a lot of articles written about how meditation can help with relationships. Here are a couple of them:

Three reasons why mindfulness meditation helps relationships

Headspace for Relationships

Today’s Meditation

Shinzen Young‘s Covering The Whole Sensory Field meditation

Today’s Brainwave Activity

brainwave-meditation

 

Blue = Alpha waves, 75% (Day 1 was 47%) — this is the one I’m trying to increase.
Yellow = Beta waves, 25% (Day 1 was 34%)
Pink = Gamma waves, 0% (Day 1 was 19%)

Image credit: Headspace + Greg Raines