How to Improve Your Relationships in 2017

One of the most important things we can do to add more meaning to our lives in the coming year is to deepen our relationships.

One of the most important things we can do to add more meaning to our lives in the coming year is to deepen our relationships. In fact, this is one of the most common resolutions. But as with all good intentions, the trick to making them stick is to make them actionable. As the Co-founder of Meditation Studio (www.meditationstudioapp.com), I asked some of our top meditation teachers to create a meditation collection devoted to relationships to help get us started.

Before we began, we asked this question to our focus group“what are your greatest obstacles when it comes to relationships?”

Not too surprisingly, the answers we heard were strikingly familiar — and similar.

While we all have our own ways of dealing with these relationship issues, the core challenges are common to just about everyone. Addressing them is how our Meditation Studio Relationship Collection was born. This is one tool that you just may want to have on hand this year.

Here are the Top 7 Obstacles with suggested Meditations…

1) Relationship Obstacle: My partner doesn’t hear (or understand) me.

Hint: Probably the three greatest relationship needs are being seen, being heard, being understood.

Getting these three basic desires met takes empathy (and compassion). Mastering empathy is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy long-term relationship, it’s also a key to simply getting along better in life.

Meditation: “Learning To Empathize” by Lodro Rinzler is nothing short of relationship gold.

2) Relationship Obstacle: Getting impatient and/or angry about issues instead of discussing them (aka being passive aggressive).

Hint: Successful couples often commit to having the tough discussions and start with a focus on a hoped for or positive outcome. Doing this is easier if you can focus on kindness first.

Meditation : Stefanie Goldstein’s meditation, “Kindness Toward Your Partner” is well worth practicing — often!

3) Relationship Obstacle: Both of you think you’re right.

This one is a doozy. People can get very invested in their “rightness,” though we all know that everyone has their own point of view.

Hint: There are some things worth arguing about, but there are times when we need to accept a different point of view and move on.

Meditation: Chrissy Carter’s “Reflecting on Acceptance” will help.

4) Relationship Obstacle: Being critical (or feeling criticized) because someone isn’t meeting your expectations.

Hint: No one is perfect (including us). Learn to patiently accept others for who and where they are and you’ll have happier relationships.

Meditation: Try Cultivating Patience, by Ashley Turner.

5) Relationship Obstacle: Fear of appearing vulnerable. Many of us turn mute when it’s time to express our true feelings. We want to be tough and strong. We’re afraid that if we say what we really feel we’ll look foolish.

Hint: Being vulnerable is about the bravest thing you can do.

Meditation: “Communicating your Truth” by Chrissy Carter will inspire you.

6) Relationship Obstacle: Resist seeing our own faults. Intimate relationships often reveal traits in ourselves that we’d rather not confront.

Hint: We may unconsciously choose relationships that force us to learn what we need to learn. Be open to the lessons that your relationships can teach you about yourself.

Meditation: Explore “Relationship Lessons” by Chrissy Carter.

7) Relationship Obstacle: Waiting until you’re in the “danger zone” to talk about a problem. Many people store up resentments and unexpressed grievances until they’re furious, leaving the other person feeling blindsided and attacked.

Hint: It’s much more effective to talk about problems when you’re not upset.

Meditation: Try Finding Calm in Conflict, by Chrissy Carter.

For these great meditations and more, you can download Meditation Studio in the app store or go to www.meditationstudioapp.com. If you love the Relationship Collection, Try the meditations in the Compassion and Happiness Collections too.

Originally published at medium.com

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