01 Oct 2 Minutes a Day To A Better Relationship
Want a better relationship? Or just want to make sure you keep a great one great?
Here’s an appreciation exercise for you to share together. All it takes is about 2 minutes a day:
1. Choose a “sender” and a “receiver”
(you will swap, so it doesn’t really matter who goes first).
2. Sender starts by completing the following sentence:
“One thing that I have appreciated about you today is….”
Speak slowly and clearly. You can appreciate something really simple, or something really deep and meaningful. Your partner will be mirroring back what you say, so limit what you say to one or two sentences only.
Quality of connection rather than quantity of information is the goal.
3. Receiver mirrors back, word for word, without interpretation, opinion, or the addition of any new material.
This is not a memory test or a competition. If you get stuck or forget what was said, ask for help. Keep going until the sender can confirm that you have mirrored back accurately.
4. Switch roles, and go through steps 1-3 again.
5. Exchange a smile, nod, hug, kiss, chuckle, or just simply say thanks – then just carry on with your day.
The above 4 steps will take only a couple of minutes. If you would like to expand the exercise by adding an additional sentence, try continuing with this:
“The reason I appreciated this is because…”
Well done! Not so hard is it?
Couples who make appreciation a daily habit find that it feels great when they “share the love”.
They also fortify their relationship by accumulating goodwill – goodwill which helps them when they face the inevitable relationship stresses and challenges ahead.
Practice this 2 minute exercise daily for a week or two… hopefully you’ll both realise that it’s a simple way to connect and that it’s something that you can easily make into an ongoing habit.
Couples who have great relationships know that sharing appreciation regularly is something you just do, whether you feel like doing it or not.
Your relationship needs daily nurturing if it’s going to thrive. Words of appreciation are crucial.
Pamela Pannifex is a psychotherapist, marriage therapist, and naturopath and founder of Sunshine Holistic Counselling on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. For over 20 years she has been helping people create personal wellbeing and relationships that thrive. Contact Pamela here.