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Focus on the positive instead of the negative

10-19-07 Dr. LaurBerman studio......Rich Hein/Sun-Times

10-19-07 Dr. Laura Berman in studio......Rich Hein/Sun-Times

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Updated: December 29, 2013 7:12AM

Are you grateful for your partner?

The principles of Thanksgiving (gratitude, an appreciative spirit and generosity) can be life-changing when applied to your own relationships, particularly with that of your significant other.

Gratitude is one of the singular most important components of a happy relationship. In fact, research has found that couples who practice gratitude have a higher relationship satisfaction as well as improved conflict resolution. Additionally, another study found that people who write down the things they are grateful for are more likely to be optimistic, satisfied and even healthier, as they tend to exercise more often and require fewer visits to the doctor. Apparently, gratefulness can go a long way when it comes to your emotional and physical health.

Bring some gratitude back into your relationship this Thanksgiving. Give your partner three appreciations a day, every day. For example, “I appreciate the way you read to the kids before bed. You are such a good dad,” or, “I appreciate the way you rake the lawn on the weekends. You are so dedicated and hard-working.”

Not only will your partner be blown away by the positive energy, but you will find yourself feeling happier as well. Gratitude can help to improve mood and lessen depression, because instead of focusing on all the things you don’t like about your life and your partner, you will be daily searching for new things to love and appreciate. Soon you will find yourself applying the principles of gratitude to all areas of your life, and reaping the benefits of an open, generous spirit.

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