meditation and connection



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CONNECTING IS THE HEALTHIEST, most meaningful thing you can do. The most important thing you need to learn to really connect is good listening. The most effective thing you can do to improve your listening is meditate.

When you feel calmer and more content, it is easier to let down your defenses. You're less likely to feel critical or disapproving. You feel more affectionate and loving. It's easier to feel empathy. It's easier to be open.

It is easier to listen well when you feel relaxed. The more agitated you feel, the more difficult it is to listen.

In these and other ways, meditation can help make close relationships easier to create and more enjoyable.

Think of this as kind of a sliding scale with feeling upset on one end, and feeling relaxed and at ease at the other. When you are on the upset end of the scale, you retract into yourself and your position, ready to defend yourself or attack others. You isolate yourself. And the more upset you get, the more isolated and divisive you get. Meditation sends you to the opposite end of that scale.

Research shows meditation increases your empathy for others. That means meditation makes it easier for you to know what another is feeling, and to accept it rather than wanting it to change. That's really important in a relationship. It makes things better. It helps you be friends. It makes conflicts easier to resolve. It makes you happier.

So here's a little bit surprising way to improve your relationships: Meditate. It is surprising because it is a solitary pursuit, but it has a lasting effect on your relationships. You don't just calm down while you're meditating, the calm lasts, and the lower level of stress hormones continue after the meditation is over.

This calmness improves your closeness with others, and that can have a reinforcing effect because when you feel closer to others, it makes you feel calmer and more relaxed. So meditation can create a positive spiral with your relaxation causing improved relations and improved relations causing more relaxation. All of this is good for your health.

learn more about connecting to people

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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