How to Practice Gratitude: 3 Ways to Elevate the Relationships That Matter to You the Most

I thought it would be fitting to focus on family relationships and gratitude since we are at the beginning of the holiday season.

This is the time of year we get together with our family. The kids are coming home from college, out of state family members are visiting or someone will be bringing home their significant other to meet the family. There’s good food, laughing, reminiscing, football watching and time together is enjoyed. Generally you’re suppose of be in a feel good mood and thankful for the wonderful relationships you have.

But I also know, not everyone looks forward to this time of year; especially if important relationships are not in a good place. If you are not getting along with a parent, sibling, aunt etc… The  holiday season is probably causing more anxiety than excitement and thinking of how grateful you are for getting together with your family is the last thing on your mind. If you can relate, I want to give you some insight on how you can shift your focus to a space of gratitude and reduce the worry.

I’m a true believer in the understanding that you can’t change what you can’t control. In this case, you can’t control people; therefore you can’t change them into the person you want them to be; so you can get along. With that said, the focus is entirely on you. You have to change your perspective and how you react to the person you’re relating to.

disclaimer: When you make this shift, it doesn’t necessarily means that your relationship will magically change for the better or you shouldn’t do anything to improve the situation. Expressing gratitude does open up the space for you to have a more positive outlook on your relationship experience and it can improve your mental & emotional wellness.

Get on the path of Gratitude:

You have to remove the mental or emotional blocks that’s preventing you from having gratitude for relationships even if they are not in a good place.

Before you head out for the holidays;  the first thing you need to

do is:

  1. release your expectations of how you “think” the relationship should play out. There is so much resistance that happens when the expectations of how you predict someone shout act, meets up with how the person actually behaves. It makes it hard to accept what is.

How to shift your expectations: Write down how you “think” this person should behave and compare it to whom they really are. Are your expectations impractical? You are setting yourself up when you continue to hold someone accountable to be someone they are not capable of being at the moment, therefore change your expectations.

  1. Meet people where they are: I tune in to Iyanla Vanzant quite a bit and she always reminds us to remember “people do what they do based upon who they are and the information they have at the time; it’s not personal;” It’s a hard pill to swallow but once you take it in, you can slowly detached from over-thinking “why me”
  2. Look for the Lessons: When relationships are not where you want them to be, look at it from another perspective; there  are valuable lessons to be learned.  When you learn the lesson(s) your relationship can rise above the space it’s in currently for the better. The thing with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after you needed them. The good thing is once you realize the lessons, you will learn a lot about yourself and life.  You will gain a great sense of clarity on how you prefer to experience relationships that are positive and healthy, because you aware of what doesn’t feel good in relationships that are emotionally draining.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”  — Marilyn Monroe

If you can’t figure out a lesson right away, shift to this mindset. Maybe, you have outgrown the way you usually relate to each other and whatever is going on is forcing you to expand your relationship with yourself or the other person to a different level. It could be creating an opportunity for you to be a better communicator, be patient, learn about your strengths, weaknesses or likes and dislikes.

Whatever it is, you will evolve into a wiser person because of these lessons learned and that is definitely something to be thankful for. People who tend to be more mindful of what they can be grateful for tend to boost their overall well-being and have a better outlook on life.

I encourage you to set your intentions on having a better experience with those wearisome relationships by keeping 3 things in mind.

  1. Create realistic expectations
  2. know they are doing the best that they can &
  3. There are valuable lessons to be learned

Before I sign-off, here’s a short gratitude meditation video with Deepak Chopra as he guides you to be mindful of all you have to be grateful for. http://youtu.be/TIXIwdhOmSM

Monique is the founder of Simply Bliss, a personal development company for women, with a focus on relationship clarity. Sessions are offered on-line & in-person for women who want to release unhealthy relationships, heal from broken ones and learn to love again. Get immediate access to a free relationship impact worksheet. Sign-up here:.http://bit.ly/relationshipclaritycoachingsignup

Learn more about Monique’s work at: http://www.radicalselfie.com/reclaim/

Connected with Monique on: instagram.com/simplyblissliving

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