Welcome back Strivers. I know it has been awhile since my last post. I have been developing a lot of new an innovative things due to an exciting 12-week entrepreneur class I attended called the Community Business Academy given by an organization called Rising Tide Capital. I also happen to work there, but it’s a totally different thing when you focus on your own business. So in the year 2013, expect some exciting changes in relation to this blog.
One of things I was working is an empowerment call for couples that happens once a month, called ILOVESTRONG. The topic for the month of December was giving the gift of gratitude.
What is gratitude? – It’s the quality of being thankful;readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Having gratitude means respecting its value and treasuring how unique and beautiful or indispensable it is.
Here are five reasons why you should give the gift of Gratitude this holiday season!
- Provides incentive by reciprocation. According to Amie Gordon, a psychologist from U.C. Berkeley, couples who had ongoing reciprocal appreciation were less likely to break up in the next nine months and even reported being more committed at the end of that time. The researchers concluded that a nourishing cycle of encouragement and appreciation provides extra incentive to maintain our relationships. In other words, when we appreciate our partners, we develop trust and respect. When we feel appreciated, we feel needed and encouraged.
- Deepens your communication skills. In the second Gordon’s study, researchers observed how couples of all ages—from 18 to 60—communicated appreciation. The team noticed that “highly appreciative” pairs tended to use body language and response skills to show that they valued their spouses. When their partner spoke, appreciative spouses leaned in, made eye contact, and responded thoughtfully to what they were saying. They made it clear that they were listening to and digesting what their spouse said, thereby showing that they valued their spouse’s opinion. Appreciative couples also used touch and physical encouragement such as handholding or an encouraging pat on the leg.
- It show’s your partner that he/she matters. Whether they know it or not, your partner likely notices what things give you joy. If they do little things for you on a daily basis and you stop paying attention, and acknowledging the action, they’re likely to stop doing them for you. This might not be a conscious decision they make, but if they’re doing something solely to please you and it doesn’t seem to be working, why should they continue?
- The gift of gratitude can lead to a greater level of marriage intimacy. If you have read my Intimacy Series, you know I feel it’s very important foundational piece to a strong marriage. Gratitude can enhance your intimacy with your spouse if you need to have a conversation with them about something you’re unhappy about, starting by telling them all the things you appreciate is likely going to get you much further than beginning by telling them the things you want to see changed. It’s simply common sense that if someone feels nothing they ever do is good enough, they won’t be doing much for long.
- Gratitude can jumpstart your marriage. The key to sparking healthy relationships with gratitude is to take the initiative: “Instead of just waiting for the other person to make you feel good, you can jumpstart that cycle and take it into your own hands by focusing on what’s good in your relationship,” says Dr. Gordon.
Don’t wait for the other person. Jumpstart your marriage and remove the Scrooge!
What simple things can you do today to show gratitude toward your spouse?
Happy Holidays everyone!
Gratitude is a skill that you cultivate—nurture it in yourself, and soon your will see positivity radiate back at you.