Being in the Here and Now in Relationships

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, March 27, 2019
By Carolina Pataky, LMFT

The benefits of practicing mindfulness impact every aspect of life including relationships. Relationships come with different levels of stress and anxiety. Practicing mindfulness can actually help whether it be with family, friends, or even just for yourself.

Due to the complexity of relationships, navigating them takes work. This can leave many of us feeling like we do not understand the other person no matter how hard we try. We tend to struggle with this dis-connect at a social collective level.

Part of working on external relationships within mindfulness is becoming more self-aware. When we become more aware of the things we say and do, we learn more compassion, love, and understanding. This also helps us overcome our insecurities to be the best person as possible in our relationships.

One of the many benefits of mindfulness in a relationship is becoming a better listener. In order to fully listen, we must be present to another person, with not just our ears, but also with our eyes and heart. When you listen, you want to see the other person for who they are with an open heart. This allows us to receive them here and now, in that very moment. In fact, the Chinese incorporate the symbol for listening which consists of several components:

Ear = What you use to listen (hear)
Ten and Eye = Be observant as if you had ten eyes (heed)
One = Listen with individual attention (attend to)
Heart = Listen also with your heart (in addition to ear and eye) (hearken)

Many times we speak to be heard or we wait only to respond. Mindfulness will help train the mind to stay in the present so that we can focus on the person communicating with us. While it’s important to be in the here and now, being grateful for where we are in life and what is in front of us, is just as important. Mindfulness can teach us that this extends to our communication abilities with other people as well. When another person feels appreciated, this strengthens trust and the bond between you and another person in the relationship.

Mindfulness is an ancient tool that has become more relevant today. In a world where everything runs at a fast and hectic pace, mindfulness can teach us to stop and be aware of the present. As mindfulness teacher Jack Kornfield said ”The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are moments when we touch one another.” Furthermore, by listening with our ears, eyes and heart receiving the other, we are allowing ourselves to be touched by another soul.

 Mindfulness will help us loosen the perception of ourselves so we can clearly see the unity we have with others. Whether we are with friends, family, lovers, or even professional relationships, we are responsible for our own consciousness. With practice, we can begin building long and lasting relationships.


Do you have a difficult time staying present during the fast and stressful days? If so, what steps can you take to stay present and in the moment?