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Individual and Couples Counselling in Calgary

  • Writer's pictureRovena Magidin


picture of a dandelion and a word Gratitude

Gratitude practice is probably one of the simplest and most effective practices you can do that will have an impact on your life, well-being, AND, your relationship.

It’s so easy to focus on the negatives (in fact, our survival brain is wired to look for danger; we might not even notice how much attention we pay to negative thoughts and the impact it has on our physical and mental well-being)

Think of it this way. If someone gave you a compliment about something, and, on the same day you were also criticized about something, which event would you be thinking the most about?

Compliments we usually dismiss immediately. Someone compliments your wardrobe and we say things like “oh, this old thing?” Someone compliments an act of kindness and we say “It was nothing.” Why do we do this?

However, if someone criticizes you, you would probably think about it hundreds of times throughout the day.

So we need to rewire and train our brain to look for the positives.

Luckily we can do this by practicing Gratitude, but like every other skill it takes time and practice.

In practicing gratitude, we notice something that’s good and then we take a moment to genuinely appreciate it.

This practice works much much better if we take each thought of gratitude and actually feel it, not just think about it.

Ways to practice gratitude:

  • First when you wake up, think about 3 things you are grateful for

  • Before you fall asleep, think about 3 things that happened that day that you are grateful for

  • Once a day think about a person (or a pet) in your life you are grateful for - and either tell them, text them, or simply think “thank you”


Take on a Gratitude and Appreciation Challenge.

Tell or text or, in any other creative way express to your partner every single day something you love, like or appreciate about them. For a month! Every single day. Big or small.

Sometimes the tiniest thing makes the biggest impact.

For example -

“You know when you call me babycakes, it’s so silly, and it’s cute, and it just melts my heart. Every single time”.

"When you come and hug me out of the blue and tell me how much you appreciate how hard I work for our family, it makes me feel proud!"

Some people may say “oh but my partner knows I appreciate them””.

Do they? Do they really? Are you sure?

I can safely say that most people are chronically under-appreciated. We take so much for granted. And even if they know, tell them again. We all like hearing words of appreciation.

Try it for a month. See what happens.

Studies have shown that a practice of gratitude is linked to greater happiness, less stress, improved health and stronger relationships. Can’t argue with science, can we?

It also feels good! There’s nothing to lose.

In Couples Counselling, if we don't focus on what's good, what's working well, what's beautiful and precious and what we are grateful for, it's very easy to get stuck in the world of problems, resentment and defensiveness. That's why we start every session talking about what works and sharing appreciation - for your partner, for your relationship and for yourself! You are trying very hard - and it needs to be seen, appreciated and celebrated.


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