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An Exercise in Thanksgiving

An Exercise in Thanksgiving


Gratitude is a super character strength associated with having a life worth living, building other character strengths, and the best predictor of well being – it’s also fundamental to lasting relationships. 




  • For one week, try to be aware of any tendency to criticize, to see what is missing, to focus on what is lacking and commenting on it. Instead, focus on what is right. Notice what you do and what you contribute. Search for things to praise. Begin with simple things such as praising the world; appreciating your own breathing, the sunrise, the beauty of a rainstorm, the wonder in a child’s eyes. Then utter some silent words of thanksgiving (to no one in particular) for these small wonders in your day. This will begin to change your focus on the negative.


  • As a  couple, give at least one genuine, heartfelt praise to your partner each day for an entire week. Notice the effects of this exercise on your partner and yourself. If you’re able, extend the exercise one more day. Then add another day. 


    • Then, extend the exercise to others (e.g., their children, fur babies). When you meet someone new, notice if you are urged to look for what is special about this person, urged to appreciate their qualities. Remember, that this all has to be genuine and heartfelt, not phony. Notice these positive qualities and enjoy them. Try to tell people what you notice and genuinely appreciate about them. Find one thing for each person and to ignore the shortcomings.
    • Don’t forget to use this on yourself also. Remind yourself that you are wonderful also. Point out your wins for the day, no matter how small they may be. “I got out of bed and showered!” is sometimes really hard when we are struggling with mental health concerns and deserves to be celebrated. 


Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments on this article? Wondering how to this can be applied, modified, or adapted to your polyamorous, swinging, kink/ BDSM, or otherwise interesting relationship? Feel free to reach out to us here.