by Janie and Luis Santiago
Science has proven that gratitude is one of the easiest ways to increase overall happiness, yet most of us take the simple act of gratitude for granted. Positive psychology research also shows a correlation between gratitude and strong relationships. One of the studies proved that couples who show appreciation for one another on a regular basis are more strongly connected. The study found that individuals who take time to express gratitude for their partner, not only feel more positive toward the other person, but they also feel more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.
Over time it is common for couples to let gratitude fall to the wayside. If you criticize one another more often than you show appreciation, it creates cracks in your relationship. Even showing gratitude for the little things can go a long way. I can find reasons every day to thank my husband, Luis. Even though he’s taken the trash out a million times I still thank him for doing it. That’s because couples should get in the habit of showing appreciation daily. It helps to build a stronger bond and can reignite passion.
You can test out the theory for yourself by taking the 14 DAY GRATITUDE CHALLENGE. Commit to these two exercises for the next 14 days and watch the magic of gratitude unfold in your life.
1. Morning Gratitude
Before you start the hustle and bustle of the day, tell your partner what you are personally grateful for. The longer the list the better, but even one thing will have a positive impact on your day. And give thanks to your partner. This can be anything, even something from the past that you never expressed gratitude for. The goal is to wake up and start your day off on a positive note. There are no rules or restrictions to this. The more free you are to express thanks the better.
2. Evening Gratitude
Before going to bed, reflect on your day and think of any moments that you were grateful for. Think of your own personal experiences and then any that involved your partner. Don’t forget to be grateful for the little things.
3. Creative Ways to Express Gratitude
Some like to use gratitude boards. Others use gratitude jars. You can also record your gratitude notes and send daily audio files to each other, or simply share them face to face. Regardless of how you do it, it’s great to journal and save your gratitude list. It helps to read them when you are having a bad day or when you are at odds with each other.
This challenge may be difficult at first, especially if you and your partner are on the rocks, but try it anyway. It could help turn things around. Ladies, your man might be reluctant, but encourage them to give it a try. If they choose not to join you in the challenge, don’t get upset. Instead, lead by example and do it anyway. Chances are he will eventually come around.