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The Power of Gratitude

Communication · 2 min read

Have you ever noticed the more you focus on negative things, the more negative things you see? It starts small. You ask your partner to take out the bin before they leave for work and then you go to the kitchen and see it sitting there, mocking you, still full of rubbish. The negative goggles come on. You start dwelling on other things that annoy you about your partner. There was that fight you had last week that still doesn’t feel resolved. Why are they like that anyway?

Our thoughts can spiral in one of two directions: positively or negatively. Gratitude has the power to help us put on a completely different set of goggles and spin things in an upward direction. It has the power to diffuse our anger, change our mood and help us move toward our partners. Things are never all bad or all good. Practicing gratitude does not mean pretending your partner didn’t hurt you or let you down, but it can inspire you to move toward each other and see one another in a more balanced light. Gratitude for things that are going well in our relationships and things we love about our partners can alter the tone of a conversation completely. Knowing we are valued and appreciated creates a safe space to let down our defenses and receive feedback for how we can love each other better and resolve conflict. 

Here are some exercises to practice gratitude, alone and together:


  1. Keep a daily gratitude journal: Take 5 minutes and write down a few things you are grateful for each day. Be specific!

  2. The What-Went-Well exercise: Sit down or take a walk with your partner at the end of the week and each share a couple things you thought went well in your relationship that week. 

  3. The Gratitude Letter: Write (or dictate into your phone) a letter sharing all the things you appreciate about your partner. If things have been tense lately, reflect on the traits that first attracted you to him/​her.


Gratitude is a curative and preventative medicine. It can be used to stop and reverse a negative spiral, or start a positive spiral from scratch. If you think of something thoughtful your partner did weeks ago, it’s not too late to share your appreciation. Remember, there is no expiration date on an I’m sorry” or a thank you”. 

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We all fall into certain communication habits, for the good and not so good, especially with our partner! Toucan Together helps you discover deeper ways of communicating and find positive approaches for resolving arguments, grow intimacy, trust and more. Get started by taking the​‘Pulse’ of your relationship with our short research-based quiz and see the health of your relationship across seven key indicators. GET STARTED NOW | LOG IN

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