At the core of Buddhism is the goal of Enlightenment, or realization of the true nature of the self as connected with the ground state of All That Is. While many may understand this intellectually, living from this space in an integrated way is another matter. However, a commitment to the Buddhist path can help many areas of life to go much more smoothly. Here are five ways practicing basic Buddhist principles can improve your relationships:
1. You Make for a Better Friend and Partner
If you show up in a relationship already committed to being as centered, peaceful and drama-free as possible, you’ll make a much better partner and friend. A Buddhist practice supports you in becoming kinder, more compassionate and less prone to being overtaken by negative thoughts and emotions, and just about everyone wants to be around this kind of person.
2. Less Stress and Mind Chatter
Practices like meditation and mindfulness in Buddhism help us to get in touch with our true nature and less likely to be swept away by the chatter of the mind. Numerous studies have shown that couples who meditate and implement Buddhist principles tend to be more present and less stressed. These qualities immediately make you more skilled at handling the challenges of relationships while also enjoying the benefits more deeply and with more gratitude.
3. You Can Better Address Unhealed Wounds from the Past
If you have unresolved issues from your family of origin, these will most likely be triggered by your romantic partner. When old wounds come up, the Buddhist practice of “being the watcher” of these emotions and patterns can go a long way in getting some perspective on them. Instead of being completely overtaken, “watching” these dynamics from a more centered dimension opens the door to healing and transcending them. You and your partner can act as each others’ “watchers” as well, providing compassionate feedback and deepening your connection.
4. You’ll Handle Conflicts More Resourcefully
The more centered both of you can be, the better you’ll be able to handle day to day conflicts and disagreements that may come up. While it’s “human” to be triggered at times, partners who are cultivating the ability to stay centered amidst turbulent thoughts and emotions will be able to come to an agreement and return to equanimity much easier.
5. Less Ego, More Love
The stubbornness of the ego and wanting to be “right” is one of the biggest obstacles to relationship harmony. Buddhist principles place a focus on transcending the ego’s grip and living from love and compassion as much as possible. If you place a premium on living less from your ego, you already have a greater chance at happy, fulfilling relationships.
Few things can challenge us and push our buttons more than relationships, but they are also a tremendous source of joy and fulfillment in life. A Buddhist practice can help you to make all of your relationships the very best they can be.