As we move into the season of “giving thanks” you might wish to set the intention of a gratitude practice for a few weeks. There are many ways to practice gratitude.

In a recent couples therapy session, I asked each person to tell the other, one thing that they felt grateful for. As the couple had been constantly arguing, it took them a few minutes to shift their thinking and their feeling to what they were grateful for.

Simple as it sounds, the softening that occurred between them was very obvious. I pointed this out and from there we had an insightful discussion about how different it felt to connect with each other from the place of gratitude. They each noted how infrequently they thought about, much less, acted on, the expression of gratitude.

I asked them to commit to at least one expression of gratitude towards each other every day for two weeks. I will add that I took this assignment for myself also. I committed to telling at least one person who is important in my life, every day, what I was grateful for as it related to them!

You will not be surprised that the feedback that the couple gave me was very positive. They both reported that the reminder this exercise brought to them was the very the shift that they needed. The reminder to them was that they really love each other and they ARE grateful to have a life together. Solving problems from a place of appreciation for other, is much more productive!

I might add that my own experience was heartening. Every time I have set this as a goal for myself, I come away appreciating the value of this very simple practice. The genuine expression of gratitude leads us to the direct experience of being more connected to life. Our hearts are softened and we feel more engaged with ourselves and others. Consider a gratitude practice in this season of thanksgiving!