“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
William Arthur Ward
Something often missing with couples who are experiencing difficulties is gratitude. It’s easy to take for granted all the little things our partners do for us every day and focus on the things they do wrong, the dishes in the sink, the unmended cupboard door .. but what if we take a moment to think about all the things they are doing right?
Since 2000 scientists have been finding that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:
Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure
More joy, optimism, and happiness
Feeling less lonely and isolated
Gratitude has two key components: firstly it reminds us that there are gifts and benefits we’re consistently receiving from our partner and those around us.
Robert Emmons, perhaps the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, writes “I see it as a relationship-strengthening emotion, because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people.”
The second part of practising gratitude is to express it, to acknowledge the other people who give us so many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives each day.
November is Gratitude Month, and I will be marking each day of this month by keeping a gratitude journal, noting down something different each day and meditating on it.
To start your gratitude practise, take just a few minutes each day to think of at least one thing you’re grateful to your partner for .. take note, some days this will be easier than others! ;-D
Once you’ve got this down find creative ways to let your partner know how much you appreciate what they do .. a hug and a thank you, or a note left in their lunch box to find at work?
This can also be a good exercise when you’re frustrated with your spouse and about to explode! Take some time out to remember what they do for you, and when you’re ready to face them start off by reminding them how much they do, before letting them know that broken cupboard door is driving you crazy!
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I love to hear what you think about the topics raised in my blog, and how you apply these in your life. Do leave Comments below or get in touch using my Contact details.