The 3 Tricks That Improve Intimacy In Your Closest Relationships, According To New Brain Research

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Mindfulness Exercises For The Brain Lead To More Intimacy In Relationships

You have more control than you realize.

NeuroLoveology, I have decided, is a blending of neuroscience and love which offers practical applications related to our brain functioning in ways that heighten intimacy between partners.

After all, love should be a priority in our lives.

Even though we all have so many daily distractions that often prevent us from connecting, we must find ways to get our minds and bodies ready, willing and able to both give and receive love.

One study showed that, on average, people can only hold a thought for about 10 seconds before flitting off to something else.

Trey Hedden and John Gabrieli, two neuroscientists from MIT, studied what happens in the brain when people get distracted by their internal thoughts, and they found that such lapses in attention impair overall brain performance (and I’m sure that would include sexual performance, as well).

But... there is a way we can reshape our brains!

According to Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, whenever we connect with another person face-to-face, voice-to-voice or skin-to-skin our social brains interlock.

And a study by research psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Schwarz showed that changing the way you pay attention can change the circuitry of the brain enough for the shift to show up on a brain scan, and not just after a few months, but even within a few weeks!

Paying greater attention changes the brain, it seems, because in order to do so you must sharpen your power in relation to focus.

The concept explaining how and why cells that fire together wire together is called neuroplasticity.

In his bestselling book, The Brain That Changes Itself, author Professor Norman Dodge wrote that learning a new language, for example, is relatively easy; it's just that you have to stop paying attention to your current language in order to create the new circuits. That’s why moving to France is the fastest way of learning to speak French — your attention is forced to go there and stay there all day long.

Here are 3 techniques developed from this research that facilitate positive changes in our brains in ways that can improve our intimate relationships.

1. Create a safe non-judgmental environment.

Not only should you be sure not to punish your partner for sharing their thoughts, but additionally, come up with ways to "reward" their brain for improving communication through avenues such as praise, compliments, expressions of appreciation, recognition of their efforts, increased romance and more (or more passionate) sex.

RELATED: 101 Smart Ways To Improve Your Relationship Right This SECOND

2. Focus your attention with the specific intention of creating new connections.

An effective way to focus attention is to simply ask your partner the right question, i.e., to give them a gap to close. The brain is quite happy closing any gaps as long as it doesn’t take too much effort.

Ask questions like these, which can help couples arrive at their own insights together:

  • “What is one thing that I have done that has satisfied you in the past?”
  • “How would you like me to express my love to you?”
  • “What would it take for us to have more intimacy?”

Alternatively, you can set goals by focusing on the positive emotions you want to feel once you have created such connections, such as feeling loved, appreciated, validated, cherished, admired and desired.

RELATED: The 5 Stages Of Intimacy (And Why You Need To Know Where YOU Are)

3. Keep any new brain circuits alive by coming back to pay attention over and over again.

Real change requires repetition. Even though attention changes the brain, the brain pays attention to a lot of things.

When you make a promise to another person that you will do something, that task comes into your mind more often. When you write it down, you pay more attention to it than if you've only spoken about it casually.

David Rock, who wrote Your Brain At Work, has a great metaphor for making changes to your brain. He suggests you think of the brain as a garden where it’s sunny all the time and rains naturally once in a while.

If you want to grow some nice tomatoes, you must first plant seeds, which need careful daily watering. Once the plants are a bit hardy, you need to water them regularly in order to keep them growing. How often is the right amount? Well, if you only water once a year, it will probably wash everything away. Once a quarter won’t do much. Once a month will help... maybe. Once a week does make a difference to some plants, but watering twice a week seems to make a sustainable and noticeable difference. It seems the best technique for growing plants is to water them each day.

I propose that creating healthy new circuits in the brain is not dissimilar to growing a healthy, thriving garden.

You need to pay regular attention to your plants — and to your relationships — if you want them to thrive.

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This article was originally published at Sexpert.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.