The importance of gratitude is well supported by research. We know that people who practice gratitude are more likely to have live longer, happier lives. And, now, researchers have found an important link between gratitude and relationship anxiety.
Researchers asked couples to rate their anxiety about their relationship: How connected they felt to their spouse, how certain they felt of their relationship lasting, how safe they felt being open and vulnerable with their partner.
They then asked couples to rate how often their partner expressed gratitude to them and thanked them for their efforts around the house and in their daily lives.
Over time, researchers found that relationship anxiety decreased when gratitude increased.
In other words, they noticed a demonstrable difference in how connected and secure people felt in their relationship based on how often a partner was being shown gratitude and expressions of thanks. If a person regularly received gratitude from their partner, their relationship anxiety decreased and they felt more securely attached when compared to couples in which gratitude was less frequently expressed.
Couples who want to increase the amount of gratitude in their relationship should consider keeping a “Gratitude Journal” exclusively for their marriage.
Gratitude journals are popular right now, but I think it’s really wise for couples to have a joint relationship journal where they can write down all the little things their partner does to make them smile. Not only does this offer couples a tangible way to sit down and flip through their gratitude journal whenever they need a little love boost, but the act of simply writing down your partner’s positive behavior will help you to notice it more and pay more attention to the good things your partner does rather than the things that get on your nerves.
The very act of noticing and recording your partner’s good deeds may actually make these deeds more prevalent in your mind, ensuring that you pay attention to the good things rather than everything you think you may be missing from your spouse.
When life is speeding by, it can be hard to appreciate (or even remember) the little things. This is especially true in a long-term marriage. That’s why a gratitude journal can be a good way to help ‘reset’ your thinking and get you into a more positive frame of mind.