Are you feeling the winter blues? Is your relationship feeling dull? There is an effective, quick and free way to spice up your life and your relationship:
Daily Gratitude & Appreciation
I know that gratitude has been a bit of an overused word lately, but I assure you it deserves all the buzz that it’s getting.
Many research studies now show that daily gratitude practice improves your self-esteem, satisfaction with life, overall well-being and decreases depressive mood. But that’s not all! A less well-known aspect of gratitude magic is its effect on romantic relationships.
Let’s face it, most of us are really good at noticing when our partner does something unpleasant or annoying. We also don’t have a problem recounting these frustrations to our friends and family or directly to our partner.
- How often do we share the daily little things that go well in our relationship with others?
- How often do we pause to experience the feeling of gratitude for our partner’s simple action of kindness like packing our lunch or giving us a ride to work?
- And how often do we translate that feeling into words?
If you answer to these questions is along the lines of – I don’t remember or not often – it’s time to start doing it!
‘It’s the little things: Everyday gratitude as a booster shot for romantic relationship’ by Algoe, S.A, Gable, S.L. & Maisel, N.C., shows that gratitude in response to acts of kindness predicted an increase in connection and relationship satisfaction the following day. And this effect was seen in both partners, the person who received an act of kindness and the person who extended it.
Research also shows that experience of gratitude also makes us more likely to help our partners, even if it’s an inconvenience to us. In turn, as we help them out, our actions promote a feeling of gratitude in them, which makes them more likely to be open and kind to us. And the cycle keeps on going making gratitude the most ancient social and romantic lubricant.
So next time you want to add more oomph to your relationship? Try flexing your gratitude muscles.
Here are a few tips:
- Pay close attention to the little things your partner does for you.
- Notice, pause, and experience the warm feeling of gratitude.
- Express appreciation to your partner in the moment or later the same or next day.
- You can express it in person, via text or phone. If in person, try making an eye contact and add a physical touch for extra positive relationship effect.
- To enjoy the full benefits, practice it regularly and make it a habit.
With some experimenting, you will find your style and form for regular gratitude expression in your relationship. For example, my partner and I have a bedtime ritual of sharing with each other five things that we are grateful for in our relationship for the day. It is a great way for us to connect and end the day on a positive note.
Say thank you!
Gratitude is an effective and priceless way to bring back the spark in your relationship, so don’t forget to begin saying Thank you today! If you have difficulty getting your regular gratitude habit started or feeling stuck, connect with me for a free consultation at my global, online support service, Expat Therapy with Viktoria.