Feeling Grateful: How To Have Happier, Healthier Relationships Practicing Gratitude

Updated April 8, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Being thankful is an easy habit to form, but it presents many powerful benefits for both the mind and body. Not only is it the foundation for a well-lived life, but it also helps us create and maintain strong and close relationships with others. It especially works wonders for those in romantic relationships and is a key ingredient if you want to increase the level of happiness in your partnership.

The benefits of gratitude

Do you need help practicing gratitude in your life?

An ever-growing body of research inextricably links gratitude with an improvement in physical and mental well-being; a study of over 31,000 people across different ages found that gratitude is linked with higher well-being throughout a lifespan. Grateful people also experience higher levels of happiness and positive emotions and a decrease in depression. It strengthens their capacity for compassion and forgiveness, as well as heightens feelings of joy and pleasure.

Physiologically, people who practice gratitude are less susceptible to aches and pains, have lower blood pressure, feel less stressed, enjoy better quality sleep, and possess stronger immune systems.

Moreover, grateful people have higher levels of self-esteem and self-worth. Instead of feeling the need to compare their lives to others and become resentful and bitter, these kinds of people choose to be thankful for what they do have rather than what they don’t. What’s more, they can celebrate the successes and achievements of those around them generously.

However, one of the most significant benefits of gratitude is its power to strengthen and deepen romantic relationships. People who practice gratitude are more satisfied in their relationships and enjoy happy and healthy connections with their partners. One study found that expressing gratitude is like the equivalent of a booster shot in a romantic relationship. Another study revealed that couples who reported feelings of gratitude to one another were more likely to stay together in the future.

It’s clear that having a mindset of gratitude forges more intimate relationships, attracts more positive relationships, and, by implication, creates fewer feelings of loneliness and isolation. When you choose to be grateful, you attract people toward you like moths to a flame. Why is that? When you manage your own emotions and moods, you increase your positive engagements with yourself and the world around you.

Also, when you express their appreciation constantly-no, matter how small the act of service may be-and always try to identify the good in others, people feel good about themselves around you and want to stick around. After all, who doesn’t want to be around someone who is always appreciative of others?

How to practice gratitude to have a happier, healthier relationships

There are many ways to express gratitude to improve your relationship. While these are just some suggestions, the idea is to be expressive and creative in a way that makes your unique partner feel valued and appreciated.

Show your appreciation every day

Being a grateful person means showing a gesture of thanks every time something helpful is done for you, no matter how mundane or menial it may be. Once you stop giving thanks for the daily chores your partner does, like folding laundry, the other person can easily start to feel unnoticed or undervalued. Showing appreciation can be as simple as saying thank you or offering to give them a message. Better yet, get to know each other’s 5 Love Languagesso you can more accurately and effectively show your gratitude and love to each other every day.

Write it down

Take pen to paper and write down all the things you love and respect your partner. It is a surefire way to deepen your intimacy, respect, and connection with each other and remind yourselves of why you fell in love with each other in the first place. Another suggestion is to leave post-it notes on the fridge or in the bathroom before leaving for work with a message to remind your partner of how much you love and appreciate them.

Show random acts of kindness and thoughtfulness

Practicing gratitude doesn’t just mean saying ‘thank you,’ but coming up with creative ways to show your partner that you value them. Pick up their favorite coffee on a whim, take them out on a surprise date, or give them an unexpected gift. You can also offer to cook them their favorite dinner after a stressful day at work. The small things are often the most meaningful and memorable, and they will show your partner just how much you care.

Don’t let the small things slip away unnoticed

If your partner washes the car, takes out the trash, or cooks for you, always express gratitude. Let them know how thoughtful it was, or give them a hug or a kiss. The other person will be more willing to do these things for you if they don’t feel taken for granted. It will also increase your awareness of the positive aspects of your relationship, enhance the moments you spend together, and serve as a good example to look up to if you have kids.

Create rituals of gratitude

Every day, do something which incorporates gratitude in your life. This could be counting your blessings on your commute to work in the morning, taking turns with your partner to tell each other something you appreciate about them, or keeping a gratitude journal. Writing down five things that you’re grateful for every week has been proven to help people progress toward their goals, experience less physical pains, and feel more positively about their lives overall.

Give genuine compliments frequently

If you are thinking something positive about someone, say it. An unverbalized compliment is wasted, but your sincere and kind words may make someone’s day, week, or month. There is no such thing as too much appreciation, and it is far better for someone to be over-complimented than undervalued. Make sure you use your voice to build, encourage, and uplift others frequently, even if it compliments your partner on a good hair day.

Praise people for who they are, as well as what they do

People don’t just want to be thanked for their actions, but the virtues and qualities behind the actions. If your partner helps you watch the kids when they know you have a big project at work, thank them for how thoughtful and considerate they are. Another example would be saying, “Thank you for listening to me about my problem at work. I love how empathetic you are.” Seeing your partner as someone you value not for what they do but who they are will not only make them feel truly special and loved but will evolve your relationship to another level of connection.

Say good things about your partner in public

Little shows how sour a relationship has gotten than when two people in a relationship start bad-mouthing each other. This is not to say that you can’t talk to your friends about your relationship problems and issues, but rather, you praise them publicly whenever there is an opportunity to do so. An example of this would be posting a Facebook status about their successful project or telling your friends the sweet gesture of kindness they did for you recently. It shows your partner that you are proud to be with them and invested in bringing out the best version of them possible.

Always bring back to “we” after a success

When you accomplish something or make a significant achievement, don’t forget to thank your partner. Success is never achieved alone; both people in a relationship should continuously be supporting each other’s goals, dreams, and aspirations, even when it doesn’t seem like much is happening at the outset. 

Accept and love their partner for who they are

Sometimes, we impulsively want to criticize or complain when our partner doesn’t do something ‘right,’ but truly accepting them for who they are meant acknowledging all their frustrating characteristics, habits, and quirks and loving them despite them. It also means letting go of the small things and acknowledging when something is good enough or done with the right intentions. This will take a lot of work and may also mean seeking couple’s therapy, but gratitude is a good place to start; it will help you look at the bigger picture and be thankful for how your partner makes you feel safe, loved, and valued.

Do you need help practicing gratitude in your life?

Takeaway

Gratitude is one of those peculiar values where it doesn’t take much effort to bring about transformative, life-changing benefits. It goes without saying that practicing gratitude won’t make your relationship picture perfect or trouble-free by any means, but it will give you perspective and help you see the goodness and beauty in life and your partner. By taking the time to show your appreciation to your loved one every day and keeping in the forefront of your mind all the blessings in your life, you can lead a fuller and happier life with deep, intimate relationships as the foundation.

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