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Straight up, no cap, Gratitude is a super power! Praise kinksters know what I mean (and you’re doing so good today!) Every style of therapy (aka modality) I’ve studied or come across always talk about gratitude. Nearly every guru, coach, therapist, and award winner won’t shut up about it. “What is it, what does it do for us ,and how do I get more of it!?” are questions I’m going to pretend you’re asking to move this along.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is a characteristic that transcends cultures and centuries and is transcendent. Alan Watts said, “The meaning of happiness consists in three elements — freedom, gratitude, and a sense of wonder.” If you’re on FetLife you’re some kind of wondrous, I’ll leave your freedom between you and your dom(s). Watts often spoke about the concept of the “interdependent self,” emphasizing that we are not isolated entities but deeply connected to everything around us. In this interconnected web of existence, every moment becomes a gift. Gratitude, for Watts, was the profound realization and appreciation of this interconnectedness.

Positive Psychology: Gratitude as a Path to Well-being

Positive Psychology, spearheaded by figures like Martin Seligman, focuses on strengths, virtues, and factors that contribute to a fulfilling life. Gratitude, within this framework, is not just an emotion but a deliberate practice linked to increased well-being and life satisfaction.

Research in positive psychology underscores the transformative power of gratitude. Regularly expressing gratitude, whether through journaling, verbal affirmations, or acts of kindness, has been associated with numerous benefits such as: enhanced positive emotions, reduced feelings of depression, improved sleep, and stronger interpersonal relationships.

Gratitude as a Pillar of Connection

Dr. John Gottman, renowned for his work on marital stability and relationship analysis, recognizes gratitude as a fundamental aspect of thriving relationships. In the context of relationships, Gottman views gratitude as more than just saying “thank you.” It’s about recognizing and valuing your partner’s contributions, both big and small, to the relationship.

According to Gottman he used to build grudges like carpenters build bird houses, measuring and connecting pieces to live and shit in. He later learned cultivating a culture of appreciation and gratitude is pivotal for relationship satisfaction. Partners who regularly express gratitude towards each other are more likely to navigate challenges effectively, build trust, and foster deeper emotional connections.

Gratitude as a Universal Connector

All this converges on a central theme: the transformative power of gratitude in fostering connection, well-being, and a deeper understanding of life. Gratitude emerges as a universal connector. It reminds us to cherish the present moment, value our relationships, and embrace life’s intricacies with an open heart.

In essence, as we weave these perspectives together, gratitude emerges not merely as an emotion but as a profound philosophy and practice that enriches our lives in multifaceted ways.

A small offering