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Monday, September 12, 2016

Ten Mindfulness Quotes to Inspire You

Mindfulness is both the practice of meditation and an attitude to living that encompasses:

  • living in the present moment, 
  • being attentive to your own mental and physical states,
  • adopting an attitude of compassion, ‘non-clinging” and acceptance of what is. 

A growing body of research studies show the benefits of mindfulness for health, peace of mind, focus, and managing stress and relationships. Mindfulness is becoming more widely taught and used in business, education, and healthcare. For example, Google has a "mindfulness officer."

The quotes below will help you better understand the attitude of mindfulness so you can begin to practice it in your daily life.

1. Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes. - Thich Nhat Hanh

2. Mindfulness is about the present, but I also think it's about being real. Being awake to everything. Feeling like nothing can hurt you if you can look it straight on. - Krista Tippett

3. Mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that.  - Jon Kabat-Zinn

4. Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t). – James Baraz 

5. Restore your attention or bring it to a new level by dramatically slowing down whatever you're doing. ― Sharon Salzberg

6. You cannot control the results, only your actions.― Allan Lokos

7. We use mindfulness to observe the way we cling to pleasant experiences & push away unpleasant ones. Sharon Salzberg,

8. Mindfulness meditation doesn't change life. Life remains as fragile and unpredictable as ever. Meditation changes the heart's capacity to accept life as it is - Sylvia Boorstein

9. Open the window of your mind. Allow the fresh air, new lights and new truths to enter.  ― Amit Ray

10. Mindfulness requires that we not “over-identify” with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negativity.”  - Brene Brown
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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Science of Relationship Commitment

Whether you are in the honeymoon phase of a new relationship or negotiating a challenging period in a long-term partnership, it's natural to wonder whether your partner is really committed to staying together.  Commitment is an important facet of a relationship because it allows you to share goals and dreams and to feel emotionally safer. It also helps you to stick it out when external stresses impact your relationship and things get rocky.  But what factors determine commitment?  Read below for the science of staying together.

The Investment Model of Commitment

The Investment Model (Kelley & Thibaut, 1978) of relationship commitment proposes that we stay committed to romantic relationships to the extent that

  • they meet and do not frustrate our needs (e.g., for intimacy, fun. security, excitement etc.), 
  • they are more appealing than other potential relationships or ways of spending our time
  • the breakup of the relationship would lead us to lose valuable resources (like time, money, housing, fun activities, or being part of a family or social group). 
Sometimes we stay in relationships that are not so satisfying because we would lose too much by leaving or because we don’t have any better alternatives. Or we leave relatively satisfying relationships because a more attractive (or resource-rich) alternative partner appears.

The Forecast Model of Commitment

A very recent article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Professor Edward Lemay of the University of Maryland suggests an alternative theory, called the forecast model of relationship commitment. 

This model suggests that our expectations of how happy we will be with our partner in the future determine how committed we are to our relationships, over and above the three previously mentioned factors. 

In other words, if we are going through a challenging stage in the relationship  (e.g., having a new baby or a difficult teenager, financial stress, fighting, or one partner needing to work all the time), we are more likely to stay if we think the relationship will improve and bring us happiness in the future. We are more willing to invest effort and make sacrifices if we see the potential for future gain.  But if we think things won’t improve or we don’t see long-term happiness with our partner, we are less likely to invest or to behave in ways that help the relationship. We may think about whether our partner wants the same things in life that we do, what type of parent they would make, whether we would continue to have fun together, and so on. 

The Research

Research studies found strong support for the three factors specified by the investment model and the additional factor of predicted future satisfaction suggested by the forecasting model.  Those who saw a happier future with their partner reported more commitment on a daily basis, and one year later. The studies also showed that when people anticipate more future satisfaction in the relationship, they are less likely to behave destructively.  For example they do less blaming, criticizing, and rejecting. They are also more likely to respond constructively to negative behavior by the partner.  These positive relationship behaviors are likely to enhance the stability of the relationship. The researchers concluded that.

 “People pursue relationships that are expected to bring pleasure and disengage from relationships that are expected to bring pain, and this can be seen in the effects of these expectations for the future on relationship commitment.”  p. 49

So, if you want your relationship to last, try talking to your partner about your dreams and hopes for the future of the relationship and paint a picture of the happy times you see ahead. 


Lemay Jr, E. P. (2016). The Forecast Model of Relationship Commitment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 111(1), 34-52.

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