Why men should meditate to make their relationships last
That's right – men should meditate to make their relationships last. In my 20 years of experience as a behavioral expert, the No. 1 reason I see relationships falling apart is because men just don't know how to talk to women.
News flash, ladies: You've been right this entire time. That doesn't mean we don't want to talk to women, but sometimes we just don't know how to calm our brains enough to handle the task of having a good conversation. There are many skills involved in sitting down, opening up to someone, listening and building on what is said. Basically, men – and I'm sure there are a few women who have this problem as well – are more likely to keep their head in the ground when it comes to communication.
It's an age-old question that plagues our society, but that doesn't mean we can't find a way to fix this problem. In my research, I've seen the use of meditation alleviate this ostrich mentality and bring rewards not only to the man but also to the couple. Through the use of meditation, men can start to connect with their partners to form long-lasting relationships.
Here are three ways self reflection helps men build relationships that last:
1. If you meditate, you'll break down your genetic code. Say what? That's right, it's not your fault that you get that weird feeling inside like you want to run for the border every time she says, "Honey, we need to talk." You can't help it. As a man, it's part of your genetic code. Men are built to want action, to want to move, to be mobile. In our hunter/gather prehistoric history, men had to hunt and compete for limited resources in order to survive. Meanwhile, women tended the campfires, raised the children and talked amongst each other. While this was a long time ago, we still have the same genes, which can cause problems in our present environment by weakening relationships.
It's just not in our nature to slow down and talk. But that doesn't mean you don't want to hear what your partner has to say; you just need to retrain your brain to be willing to accept it. Meditation allows the mind to get to a quieter place where you don't think about the work week you had or why you keep missing your workout or how you don't have enough time to do what you want to do. Meditation helps rid your mind of the anxieties of daily life, and in the process, you break down your genetic code by not following in your caveman footsteps. You'll be more present in the moment, and your relationship will reap the benefits.
2. If you meditate, you'll evolve. Look at it this way: You always wanted to be faster, smarter and better at life, right? As a man, this competitive nature is ingrained in who you are. And while it might not seem intuitive that mediation can make you all those things, it can. The more you meditate and make a habit of it, the more you'll evolve. You can improve your ability to solve problems, resolve conflicts and generate ideas. This can help you at work and at home. With repetitive meditation and focus on other things – besides how much money you're making, whether your boss gave you the accolades you needed today and if you're better at basketball than your neighbor – your brain will physically change its elasticity. Meditation is a natural act based upon the fact that we can only think of one thing at a time, which blocks the random thoughts in our head that lead to anxiety and worry. Meditating is a simple act that can be done sitting, walking or in virtually any situation where you have the ability to focus on a single point such as a word or a breath. It has been well demonstrated that man's peak achievements, whether it be in sports, business or ideas, are when they are meditating – or mindful – in a conscious state. That means, you're opening up new parts of yourself that don't have to be concerned with the caveman competition that's keeping you from taking your relationships to the next level.
3. If you meditate, you'll probably have more sex. OK, so maybe that was a jump in logic, but not entirely. Being more present with your partner after clearing your mind through meditation will lead to more rewards of intimacy. It'll also help you sleep better, be more relaxed and boost productivity. You may even lose weight or become more conscious of your health and how you spend your off time. All of these conscious efforts to improve yourself will ultimately make you more confident and attractive. You'll be more emotionally in tune with yourself and your partner, and from that you'll grow closer and enjoy each other's company. There is a silver lining to all this self help hubbub. We're genetically designed to be close to another. The proof of that is the release of the feel-good hormone oxytocin. But it's up to you to clear your mind, and focus on being present and communicating with your partner. If you're naturally more open to what your partner has to say, you'll reap the benefits of your mindfulness.
James D. Baird has a PhD in natural health and is the author of "Behavioral Genes – Why We Do What We Do and How to Change," as well as five other books.
More from U.S. News:
7 signs you should stop exercising immediately
Zika Virus: Sexual transmission and protection 101
Think you're sensitive to gluten? Think again