Gratitude is an important daily practice for your own self-care and for your relationship! There are a million things for you to be upset about in your life. And, it is easy to focus on those things! When you put your focus on the negatives, it is natural for your life to fall along the same negative path. Also, the opposite is true. Be grateful for the positives; then your life and your relationship will follow a positive path. This time of year is a healthy reminder to make sure you practice being thankful. Read on to find out how gratitude can positively change your life and your relationship. As a bonus, learn new ways to practice gratitude regularly!
Gratitude In Your Life
When you begin to practice gratitude, you feel fulfilled in your life. You remember the positive things about your work, home, health, and all the facets that make your life what it is. Ultimately, you become happier and more satisfied with your circumstances. As a result, you receive numerous other personal benefits such as: increased psychological/physical health, better sleep, and higher self esteem. From reaping these benefits, you begin a trajectory towards positively impact others (such as your spouse).
Gratitude In Your Relationship
Developing this fulfillment works from the inside out (internal gratitude translates to positive behavior). As a result, you will be able to be the light in your significant other’s life. Gratitude allows you to see the positive in your partner and recognize it outwardly. Practice gratitude by expressing appreciation for them. Notice their positive traits and tell them what you appreciate about those traits. Be grateful for who they are as a person and how they support you. Finally, just be grateful to have them in your life. We all feel lonely at times. Recognizing that they are simply present for you is plenty to be thankful for on it’s own. Because of this practice of gratitude, you will feel grateful to be in a relationship with them and your partner will feel loved and appreciated.
Relationship Gratitude Exercises
Gratitude Journal: If you enjoy writing, give this exercise a try. Use a journal to write about things that you appreciate. Be conscious of the things you enjoy about your life and your relationship; write them down and revisit them at a later time to be reminded of everything you are thankful for.
ABC Exercise: If you enjoy a challenge, this exercise is right for you. List out all of the letters, A through Z, and write down something you are grateful for that starts with those letters. For example: Affectionate wife; Board game nights; Communicating openly; and so on.
3 Things Daily: If you are just getting started, and having difficulty finding things to be grateful for, noticing 3 things daily is a great beginner practice. You do not have to write them or keep track of them, but be conscious of at least 3 things you notice that you are grateful for throughout the day.
About The Author
Chris Cummins is a couples counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He focuses on working with with couples in high conflict and couples who are experiencing substance abuse. Living in Colorado, Chris enjoys hiking traveling and anything else outdoors.