Friday, February 2, 2018
META-ANALYSIS SHOWS ASSOCIATION BETWEEN MINDFULNESS AND RELATIONSHIP SATISFACTION
The great American comedian and writer Groucho Marx, pictured, could be serious at times. In his 1959 autobiography Groucho and Me the thrice-married star had this to say about what he referred to as ‘true love’:
I believe … that real love only appears when the early fires of passion have cooled off and the embers just lie there smoldering. This is true love. This relationship has only a bowing acquaintance with sex. Its component parts are patience, forgiveness, mutual understanding and a high tolerance for each other’s faults.
A meta-analysis published in the February 2016 issue of the Journal of Human Sciences and Extension provides empirical evidence that the current literature on mindfulness and relationship satisfaction indicates that more mindful individuals have more satisfying, connected relationships.
The meta-analysis looked at the results of 12 studies, including two mindfulness intervention studies. Overall, mindfulness was shown to enhance relationship connectedness and satisfaction. The authors stated (at pp 96-97):
… [M]indful practices are typically taught as an individual practice. There are, however, mindful practices that have an explicit focus on others, such as loving kindness meditations or aikido communication practices, which focus on caring for others. In addition, mindfulness practice is about noticing many dimensions of the self, including feelings and thoughts related to relationships and interactions.
The results of this meta-analysis further validate the recent efforts to include mindfulness training in relationship education. The authors of the meta-analysis state that future basic and applied research to inform enhanced models of best practices for community education focused on promoting relational health is encouraged.
Study: McGill J, Adler-Baeder F, and Rodriguez P. ‘Mindfully in Love: A Meta-Analysis of the Association Between Mindfulness and Relationship Satisfaction.’ Journal of Human Sciences and Extension. 2016;4(1):89-101. ISSN: 2325-5226 (Print).
Acknowledgment. Groucho and Me, by Groucho Marx. Originally published: New York: Bernard Geis Associates, 1959. Copyright © 1959 by Groucho Marx. Copyright renewed © 1987 in the name of Arthur Marx as son. All rights reserved.