January can be a tough month on relationships – the festivities are over, the credit card bills are in and many of us start to re-evaluate our lives and make lists of the things we’d like to change.
You also can’t turn on the TV or open a magazine without being bombarded with adverts and programmes about self-improvement, encouraging you to revamp everything from your wardrobe to your career.
But in all the ‘new year, new you’ frenzy it can be easy to forget to think about all the things we already have in our lives that are positive and make us happy.
In the same way if we always look at the problems in our relationships, we can miss the small yet most amazing things about our partners, family and friends. We often take for granted the things that are good and that work and forget to take the time and space to really appreciate what they mean to us.
Focus on the good stuff:
A great way to refocus on the good things in your life is to try writing a gratitude list. This is a common mindfulness technique but I’ve given it my own Relate-twist by suggesting you focus on the people in your life and the things they do or say that make your life a little brighter.
Start your ‘relationships gratitude list’ with “I’m grateful for”…. and let your thoughts roll. There are no rules about what you can or can’t include but you might find it helpful to think about each person in turn and note down anything that comes to mind.
Feeling appreciative is good for your relationships:
The wonderful thing about gratitude lists is that it’s scientifically proven that feeling grateful makes you feel good. It’s what we call a virtuous circle. The more good you focus on, the more good you bring into your life, the more good you bring into your life the better you feel, the better you feel, the more good you bring into your life, a lovely circle of goodness.
If you want, you can share your list with the people you’ve written about or think of ways to thank them. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture – a little note or a big hug can speak volumes.
Saying thank you to the people in your life strengthens your relationship with them. The same is true of couple relationships, where feeling appreciative of each other increases relationship satisfaction and levels of commitment.
That’s a big result for two little words and worth remembering next time someone you love does something nice for you.
How we can help:
If you feel unable, at the moment, to feel this way about your relationships then call to make an appointment on 03007729681, or go to our website for further information: