Saturday, June 17, 2023

Do you know what gratitude FEELS like? — Dr. Jenn’s Den

Do you know what it *feels* like to experience gratitude?

I mean really feel it in your body? Are you familiar with the sensations of warmth in your chest, an expansive feeling, and how it can bring a sense of openness and lightness?

If you have a minute right now, take a few deep belly breaths, close your eyes, and think of someone or something that you’re particularly proud of right now, someone you admire, a situation that brought you joy recently, or a happening you really appreciate. It can be helpful to put a hand on your chest to focus on that area and enhance a warm feeling.

Did you feel a sense of warmth or openness?

Cultivating gratitude is connected to a host of positive mental and physical benefits, as research has shown. This is especially relevant to my work as a relationship and intimacy expert, where gratitude is linked to stronger, happier, and more connected relationships.

To be blunt, I am not suggesting that you ignore ongoing unmet needs or “put icing on a shit cupcake.” However, intentionally cultivating appreciation for your partner’s strengths, nurturing, hard work, and the ways that they’ve made your life better can make it easier to address uncomfortable conflicts.

You can start right now by thinking of one thing you’re grateful for about your partner and texting them about it. Tell them WHY you appreciate that thing – the real impact of expressing gratitude is in the juicy details of what it MEANS to you. And if you feel weird sending a text like this out of the blue, just blame it on me and say you read a post that inspired you. 😉

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, Sociologist, Relationship & Communication Coach, & Intimacy Speaker

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