Gratitude and giving thanks is one of the ways we check in with ourselves when we feel the whole world spinning. It reminds us to slow down, take a pause, and see what is right in front of us. This week is Thanksgiving in America and as the leaves turn and start to fall into winter it feels right to remember to give thanks to the people we love and the beauty around us. Noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything is precious and recognise that we are in control of creating a life that holds meaning.
The world has thrown a lot at us recently. The Pandemic, economic challenges and terrible politics and politicians have left many of us feeling helpless and frightened of the future. There is a sense that we can’t rely on the foundations we once trusted and not knowing what we can depend on eradicates our confidence to trust ourselves as we once did.
This shows itself in our relationships. Recently clients seem tired and have lost the patience to work things through within their relationship and seem to have little energy to even know how. So it’s no wonder that couples find it hard to see the good in one another. Our perspective becomes distorted when we focus on the issue. It doesn’t allow us to see the good in our partner and this is when we believe our relationship no longer feels right. As hard as it feels, this is the time we need to remind ourselves that we need to look beyond the immediate problems and start to re-establish the trust and care we once felt in the relationship.
Gratitude shifts your focus from what our life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, research has shown the surprising improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.
Couples therapy helps to reconnect couples and reframe the narratives that sometimes establishes negative thoughts and belief about our partners and our relationships. When couples are able to discard old patterns of thoughts they are more able to see that their love for their partner hasn’t died, it’s just been buried for a while.
How to Cultivate Gratitude:
Start and end your day with thanks
Express your thankfulness
Remember that gratitude takes practice and takes time
Be thankful for the things you might take for granted
Pause and look around and notice how it feels when you experience gratitude and when you don’t