Love, Self

6 Ways To Practice Gratitude In Your Relationship (For Next-Level Love)

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How Using Gratitude Can Create the Love Life You Crave

Interested in getting the happy, healthy relationship of your dreams or spicing up the one you already have? Give thanks not only to your partner but everyone who crosses your path.

Now, I'm not talking about running up to strangers and thanking them for no reason, but you should praise those who deserve it. Sound strange? That's OK — read on and find out how life-changing it is to use gratitude.

First, let's look at just some facts from Forbes:

  • "Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences."
  • "Gratitude improves psychological health. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression."
  • "Gratitude improves self-esteem. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs – which is a major factor in reduced self-esteem- grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments."

It also can boost your relationship in wonderful and meaningful ways.

Are you ready to know how? Of course, you are so let's get to it.

1. Catch them doing something right.

We hear this term used a lot with parenting. Why not use it with all your loved ones? Let's say your partner does something out of the norm, like carry the laundry, wash your car, or pick up a morning drink for you.

Make a bigger deal about it. Let them know how sweet it was and add a little kiss on top. Your partner loves it and will actually do more of it if they feel that true appreciation.

2. Appreciate the everyday mundane things happening to you.

Do you have the attitude of expectation? "I deserve this and my partner should do this for me."

That is a mistake, my friends! Human beings want to know they matter, even when they're doing the most humdrum tasks.

Think about what they do for you on a constant basis and take notice. Maybe your partner cleans up the kitchen after dinner each night or takes the trash out every week — yuck — aren't you glad you don’t have to do it?

Be extra thankful; give them a hug or even better, a tap on the butt for their continuous effort. They will enjoy the extra attention, whether they show it or not.

3. Do small things for your beloved.

It only takes a minute to do something special. Help your lover out. Pick up a sock or run an errand to make their lives easier. This is especially great to do when you are out and about anyway.

You could even purchase a mini gift that you know they will love. I picked up a package of Reese's Cups one day and you'd think I gave my man a million bucks.

RELATED: 5 Things People Simply Don’t Do In A Healthy Relationship

4. Be grateful to your ex.

I'm not kidding here. I know it's hard, if not nearly impossible especially if that person seemed cruel and unusual. However, didn't it help you learn valuable lessons about who you are and what you want in a partner? Perhaps you even viewed yourself in a new way knowing that you are too special not to have the person of your dreams.

Thank them in your journal or any gratitude exercise you do. You must release this person and let the anger go so Mr. or Ms. Right can actually show up.

Forgiving them doesn't mean they can just come back into your life. It means you're letting go and moving forward without holding on to regret or angst. You can't take that garbage into a potentially great union.

5. Create a couples or individual journal.

Journaling has multiple life benefits. The Huffington Post says: "It raises your IQ, helps you achieve your goals and helps release worry and build self-confidence."

Perhaps one of its greatest uses is mindfulness: "It’s the buzz word for good reason. There’s a strong connection between happiness and mindfulness. Journaling brings you into that state of mindfulness; past frustrations and future anxieties lose their edge in the present moment. It calls a wandering mind to attention, from passivity to actively engaging with your thoughts."

Take pen to paper and write down the good you see in each other each day. Read it to the other person and watch your love life soar. If you're single, write about the good things you did today. It will build your self-esteem and you need that to allow a great person into your life.

6. Create a bedtime gratitude exercise. 

Take a few minutes before bedtime and do some deep breathing exercises to relax. Hold hands and remind each other how much you appreciate each other in the good and challenging times. You decide how you want to make it special for both of you.

Not only is it a phenomenal bonding experience, but it sends you off to a night of pleasant and sweet dreams.

You can also do this exercise alone. Just take the emphasis from them to you.

It really isn't that tough to be grateful. It's just about being conscious and putting it in the forefront of your mind. No matter where you are on the scale of appreciation, you can always bump it up a notch. It's going to be magical when you watch your love life change and grow for the better right in front of your eyes.

All it took was a little tweak in your thoughts to the happier, more thankful side of life.

RELATED: What A Healthy Relationship Needs If You Want It To Last

Lori Peters is a writer, speaker, and radio show host on happiness in relationships. Check out her website and make sure to sign up for her Happiness Quick reads.

This article was originally published at Happiness Hangout. Reprinted with permission from the author.