by Mindy Fox
You can express gratitude in small ways each day of your life. Expressing gratitude is a spiritual practice that serves as an instant remedy for the bad habit of taking your spouse or loved ones for granted.
Showing gratitude can make a relationship of twenty years feel like it started last week. So, try these six simple ways of expressing gratitude to your spouse:
1. Random acts of kindness. Bring his favorite food home on random evenings after work or bring her flowers when you make a grocery run when there is no special occasion. These sorts of gifts cost little money (unless your spouse has very expensive taste in food or flowers), but the splash of sunshine at an unexpected time of year makes it an even more special “thank you” in many ways.
2. Love notes. Leave a little note where you know he/she will see it saying, “Thank you for everything that you do to make our lives better.” This costs even less than flowers and only takes a moment, but the very simple nature of the act makes it all the more meaningful.
3. Questions. Life is so busy, it is important to take time in the evening to ask how your spouse’s day was. This shows that you acknowledge his/her effort to help keep your family and relationship healthy.
4. Thanks and hugs. When your spouse does something like helping the kids do homework after already working a full day, try to make him/her feel appreciated immediately by thanking him/her either verbally or with a hug. Tell him/her that he/she is amazing with the kids.
5. Chores. You can do one of the chores that your spouse always does to show that you notice the job he/she does every day. It will remind him/her that he/she is not slaving away unnoticed by you. Sometimes, doing the same routine chores day in and day out without any recognition can build resentment. Gratitude diffuses resentment before it has a chance to develop.
6. Physical affection. Touch your spouse. You can rub her shoulder or squeeze his arm to show that you are grateful that she’s here with you right now. As relationships lengthen, we sometimes forget to touch each other enough, not sexually, but in a grateful manner that makes them feel you are thankful for their presence in your life.
Try to make a commitment to take one of these actions each day for thirty days. You might notice that your spouse and you are talking more and interacting in a more intimate way. Your life becomes gradually less stressful. Resentments that have built up over time melt like snow on a spring day.
Being grateful, like performing charitable acts, often does more for the person showing gratitude than it does for the receiver. You might find that your step is a little lighter. Gratitude not only diffuses resentment, but it is difficult to be angry with someone who says, “thank you,” and smiles.
If you have trouble remembering to be thankful, make a list of who and what you are grateful for, then look it over each morning to remind you not to take anything or anyone for granted, especially your spouse.
Read this article in Your Tango
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.