Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks — it's literally in the name of the holiday! Most people will celebrate on the day by gathering with family and sharing a meal (aka dodging pointed questions from family members about your life choices), but there are other many ways you can celebrate Thanksgiving. If you're in a relationship, you might be really thankful for your partner, so this year, why don't you practice gratitude with your boyfriend or girlfriend on Thanksgiving?
Gratitude is an attitude, and practicing gratitude can be a conscious choice to voice what it is specifically you are grateful for. Of course you appreciate and love your partner, and they probably know that, but consider taking a more intentional and thoughtful approach to communicating your feelings to them.
Ora Nadrich, a thought coach and mindfulness meditation teacher, believes that practicing gratitude can be a wonderful way to improve your relationship. She says, "Practicing gratitude is helpful in a relationship because it keeps you in appreciation of one another, and not likely to fall into the trap of taking each other for granted, which is common after time in a relationship. It also maintains respect and mutual admiration, which is important to keep fresh and constant."
Even if you're new to the gratitude game, Nadrich offers some easy ways you and your loved one can put a little gratitude on the menu this Thanksgiving.
Even if you don't know how to meditate or are intimidated by the concept, try to think of meditation as a really calm, focused period of time. Nadrich suggests two different forms of mediation that you and your partner can do together. "You can do a 'gratitude meditation' together, which can begin with saying either silently or out loud, 'I am grateful for you'."
If that isn't really your jam, this next style might be for you. Nadrich says, "You can do 'soul gazing' or also called 'eye gazing.' This is sitting across from your partner, and looking into each other’s eyes without speaking. It’s a deep, intimate form of eye contact, and can make you feel closer, appreciative, and more grateful of one another."
A great way to show your partner you're grateful for them is to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. Nadrich believes that turning your kind words into actions is a powerful way to show your partner that you mean what you say. She says, "If your partner is cooking for Thanksgiving, ask them if they need your help, and even if they say they don’t, figure out a way you know you can help take the load off of them."
If you and your partner are gratitude newbies, you might be a bit hesitant to launch into a gratitude practice, but even saying "I love you" to your boo is an act of gratitude! While things like giving your partner a massage, running an errand for them, or simply telling them you love how funny they are might seem like relationship no-brainers, consciously communicating your gratitude can really help a relationship.
Nadrich says, "Practicing gratitude is helpful in a relationship because it keeps you in appreciation of one another, and not likely to fall into the trap of taking each other for granted, which is common after time in a relationship. It also maintains respect and mutual admiration, which is important to keep fresh and constant." So consider taking these steps with your partner this Thanksgiving, and they just might help keep your relationship at least as fresh as your yummy Thanksgiving dinner leftovers.