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  • Dr. Teresa Edwards, LMFT

Connecting With a Daily Dose of Thankfulness

As the leaves change and the air crisps with the arrival of autumn, there's a unique opportunity to embrace the warmth that thankfulness brings into our lives. Welcome to a season of connection, where the falling leaves and cooler temperatures inspire us to reflect on the goodness in life and bask in the glow of thankfulness.


It's good to be reminded to be thankful.

For most of us, it's easy to focus on what's not going right or what we don't like. We pay attention to what we want to change about our life, our house, ourselves, our spouse, and our children. But, in relationships, warmth, affection, and closeness don't flourish when we focus on what we dislike or desire to change.


Thankfulness in relationships

One of the great existential thinkers, Soren Kierkegaard, said that our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts. He was right. This principle is true for our relationships also.


Our feelings about our spouse and family members are the result of our frequent thoughts about them. So, if our predominant thoughts focus on our anger over a recent argument, our frustration over housework, or our irritation over an annoying habit, what are the results of those thoughts? Are they leading us to a more fulfilling, connected relationship?

Cultivate Thankfulness


Taking time to reflect on what you're thankful for can bring about a positive shift in mindset and emotions. And, by acknowledging and expressing gratitude for the positive aspects of our relationships, we nurture a sense of appreciation and connection. So how do we change our thought patterns and develop an atmosphere of thankfulness and appreciation toward those around us? Here’s a simple exercise that can help you reach that goal.


Make it a daily practice to reflect on the qualities you love, admire, and cherish about your spouse, children, or other family members. But don't stop there. Take the extra step to share your thoughts with that person. For example, you may say, "I really appreciated how (caring, dedicated, dependable, stable, calm, etc.) you were when..." Embracing this practice will develop your ability to seek out the positive qualities in others. What's more, it will create a habit of expressing those positive thoughts to the people you love.


As we intentionally infuse our interactions with thankfulness, we cultivate an environment where love, warmth, and joy thrive. It is in these small yet profound moments of thankfulness that we find the strength to weather storms and the warmth to celebrate triumphs. So, let gratitude be the compass guiding your journey, steering you towards a deeper and more meaningful connection each day.

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