Gratitude makes you happier, healthier, and more popular

What does it mean to “give thanks?”

Well, it depends. It depends on who, where, when, and how.

If you were around in October 1621 at the Plimouth Plantation, you might have been part of the “First Thanksgiving”. Here, the Native Americans and Pilgrims came together to celebrate the first harvest in the New World.

The settlers had struggled the previous winter due to a lack of supplies and food. Many had starved or became ill and died as a result. Yet, a number survived. Massasoit, leader of the Wampanoag tribe, had given the colonists food to get through their first winter.

After the snow thawed, the Pilgrims gradually learned to live off the land. Squanto, from the Patuxet tribe, taught them how to grow corn and catch eel. After this successful harvest, they threw a three-day feast that included waterfowl, turkey, venison, corn, and various shellfish.

Although such festivities were held intermittently in the years since, Thanksgiving finally became a federal holiday in 1863, thanks to Abraham Lincoln. Since then, Thanksgiving has been celebrated in the U.S. on the fourth Thursday of every November.

Fast Forward to Gratitude Today

While roast turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce are staples for the Thanksgiving holiday today, how often do we really practice gratitude?

We complain about this and that. We get agitated when deciding what to wear if we’re not served right away at a restaurant, and after a store doesn’t stock our favorite brand of coffee. But is it a surprise, given we live in an age of abundance?

When it comes to our everyday needs and wants, we have variety right at our fingertips. We can have any type of food delivered right to our doorstep. Our phones ping notifications on today’s trending news. And if you’re looking for entertainment, just open up your internet browser. While these are all good things, we easily take what we have for granted.

People’s acts of kindness often go unrecognized. In many cases, the recipient fails to say a simple “thanks” or give any acknowledgment. In an everyday quest to get things done, people are consumed by their own lives and forget to take the time to thank others.

It seems as if the original intent behind that first Thanksgiving feast has been lost with time.

The Benefits of Gratitude

Both giving and receiving thanks are important. But in order to understand why we need to see the benefits.

There are three main benefits to being thankful:

1. Strengthening social relationships

Gratitude can help us befriend others, improve existing relationships, make amends, and recognize others’ good deeds. In romantic relationships, practicing gratitude for the little things can make all the difference. In one study, expressing gratitude towards the partner improved the relationship quality for both people.

Letting someone know that you’re grateful for the person’s actions, or simply for being in your life, can improve your relationship. It doesn’t matter whether the person is a stranger, friend, parent, relative, or whoever. Thanking others breeds positive feelings all around.

2. Improving our personal sense of well-being

In a study, one group of participants wrote about the things they were grateful for, a second group reflected on the daily things that irritated them, and a third group wrote about their week with neither a positive nor negative slant. 10 weeks later, the grateful group was more optimistic and happier about their lives, while the group that focused on negativity was more likely to visit the doctor.

Giving thanks is not only rewarding intrinsically, but it also helps us feel better about what we have. We’re more joyful overall. Even if you’re having a bad day or things don’t go the way you want, there are definitely some things that you have to be grateful for.

3. Maintaining good health

According to one study, gratitude is linked to the quality of your sleep. People who reflected on the positive things that happened in their day had a better night’s sleep than those who with a negative outlook.

The quality of your sleep is directly related to how you feel during the day and your overall health. Those who were less grateful were more stressed, anxious, and depressed. The opposite was true for those who were more grateful.

To sum it up, here’s a quote from the Wall Street Journal article “Thank You. No, Thank You” on how gratitude affects our lives:

“Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections, and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics.”

How to Practice Gratitude

Now that we’ve seen all the benefits of gratitude, we need to incorporate more of it into our lives Practicing gratitude can easily be done using these three ways:

1. Keep a gratitude journal

Jot down a few things you’re thankful for. Place a notebook on your bedside table so that it’s convenient. The best time of the day to write in your journal is right before sleeping. That way, you can reflect on everything that’s happened during the day and you get a happier night’s rest.

To start and end your day on a good note, try The Five Minute Journal.

Remember to be specific. Instead of writing that you’re “thankful for your friend”, think of a specific example, such as “my friend shared her own experiences with work conflict, which helped me navigate a similar situation.” Thinking of particular instances forces you to think hard about the good things that have happened.

2. When in doubt, say “thanks”

We often forget to thank people for the little things, such as lending a pen. Sometimes, we even forget to say “thanks” for the bigger things, such as gifts or loans. If you’re not sure what to say, a simple word of thanks does wonders in making the other person feel valued.

If you met someone interesting at a networking event or completed an academic course, reach out and send an email to the person to thank them for what they taught you. Opening up the lines of communication can lead to opportunities down the road.

3. Use positive phrases

When you’re faced with a dilemma, switch out those negative phrases for positive ones. For instance, I had a power outage that lasted for days. While it was definitely inconvenient, at least I had a chance to interact with people, free of electronics, and catch up on good old-fashioned books.

Whether something is a problem or an opportunity depends on how you look at it. And the way you look at things changes your mindset, attitude, and actions.

A Simple Act of “Thanks” Can Blossom into Something More

The Pilgrims held a feast to celebrate the promise of a bright future. They made it through a difficult winter and recognized how much they had to be thankful for. They saw a place where they and their descendants could thrive.

It’s interesting how such a simple, seemingly insignificant event would go on to become an important annual tradition. If only the Pilgrims who celebrated in those early days recognized the weight of their actions then.

Who knows what significant events can unfold from the small actions you perform today?

10 Big Problems in a Relationship and How to Fix it

10 Big Problems in a Relationship and How to Fix it

By: Mihran “Mino”

Relationships can be perfect. But that doesn’t mean it won’t have its problems. Find out the big problems in a relationship and learn how to fix it.

Relationships are one of the first things that all of us take for granted.We don’t want to take it for granted.

But yet, we forget how much something really matters to us when we don’t stand to lose it.

And it usually takes losing something to realize its importance and value.

Wondering what the big problems in a relationship are, and what you can do to overcome it?

Problems in a relationship

Depending on the kind of relationship you share with your partner, the problems in a relationship too could be just as unique.

But almost always, all problems in a relationship find their place in ten big areas.

At some point or the other, these problems have a way of creeping into your romance.

Keep an eye on these issues, and understand how to overcome it, and you’ll see how easy it can be to eliminate all the frustrations you experience in a relationship.

 

 

10 big problems that need your attention

Remember this, you can’t stop problems from cropping up in a relationship no matter how perfect the relationship is. What you can do instead, is eliminate the frustration as soon as you notice them.

#1 Lack of communication. At the start of the relationship, conversations are exciting and fun. Both of you spend a lot of time getting to know each other. But as time goes by, lovers forget to ask the same questions again.

We’re all changing all the time, in our preferences and the way we look at life. Don’t assume you know everything about each other or your romance will start to stagnate, or one of you will start to confide in some other person who seems more understanding.

#2 Trust. Do you really trust your partner? There are two kinds of trust in a relationship. Firstly, do you trust your partner enough to feel comfortable with them going out for dinner with someone else? If you don’t, perhaps, you’re insecure or your relationship is still too fragile.

And secondly, do you trust your partner’s decisions? Do you think your partner is capable of making important decisions for the both of you? If you can’t trust your partner with life altering decisions, it’s obvious that you don’t respect your partner or their opinions. And that’s never a good sign in a long term relationship.

#3 Jealousy and insecurity. Insecure couples are forever locked in a cycle of jealously and anger. When you feel jealous about the attention your lover’s getting or their recent promotion, you’re not helping them become a better individual. It’s like a parent who’s angry with their child because the child is having “too much fun”.

You need to learn to have faith in each other and in the relationship. Instead of letting negativity build inside the relationship, learn to enjoy each other’s successes. After all, your partner is your better half, and any accomplishments of theirs are your accomplishments too, isn’t it?

#4 Incompatibility in love. Love at first sight and infatuation can last several months. And it does a good job of masking any differences in a relationship. As perfect as two people may be, sometimes, they may just not be perfect for each other.

If you find yourself dating someone with whom you have nothing in common, you need to decide on the next step. Try to find common interests that both of you like, or walk your own paths instead of living in frustrations.

#5 Loss of sex drive. This isn’t rocket science. Over time, both of you are bound to lose the sexual urge of the first few months or years of a relationship. While both of you may have a hard time keeping your hands off each other to begin with, now sex may start to feel like a chore.

This is a very common problem in relationships, and yet, it’s one of the easy ones to solve. Always look for new ways to recreate the sexual high of the first few times, and before you know it, both of you may go at it all over again like frisky bunnies.

#6 Ka ching! Anyone in a relationship for long enough will know just how important money or the lack of it really is. If your friends earn a lot more than you or your partner, it’ll end up frustrating both of you. And on the other hand, if both of you earn a lot more than your friends, there’ll be a lot of love and happiness in your lives.

It’s a stupid fact of life. But our own happiness is extremely dependent on the way others perceive us. If you’re having difficulties in your relationship because of money, perhaps it’s time to change your friends and see the difference.

#7 Change in priorities. You may be in a relationship, but that doesn’t change who you are. And that’s where the problem starts. As individuals, we evolve and change all the time. You’re not the person you were last year, and you won’t be the person you are now next year.

And just like you, your partner too is changing constantly. And every now and then, you and your partner may experience changes that will pull both of you apart from each other. And soon enough, both of you may have nothing in common. Spend enough time with each other and try to evolve together in a similar direction. Talk about your beliefs and your interests with each other and it’ll help both of you grow together along the same path.

#8 Time. Do both of you have enough time to spend with each other? These days, time is a luxury that most lovers can’t afford. When you start spending too much time away from each other, it’s only a matter of time before one of you starts asking the big question, “Do I need my partner in my life anymore?”

Don’t drift away so far that both of you don’t need to be with each other anymore. Find ways to indulge in exciting hobbies or spend evenings going out on little coffee or ice cream dates. They make for great conversations and it’ll bring both of you closer too.

#9 Space and individual growth. Now this is contradictory to the earlier problem in relationships. But it’s still something to watch out for. Too much of a good thing can turn out to be bad too. When you’re in a relationship, spending time with each other is very important. But at the same time, spending time away from each other is crucial too.

By spending too much time together, you’d subconsciously feel isolated from the rest of the world. And when that happens, you’d crave for any attention from other interesting people just to feel better about yourself and your ability to communicate. And you know what could happen when that happens, right?

#10 Are you still in love? This is the biggest problem in a relationship, and one that’s hardest to overcome. Falling in love is easy. Staying in love isn’t. Love is a delicate balance between dependency and passion. How much do you need your partner? How much do you love and want your partner?

 When the sexual excitement and the enthusiasm fade away, what do you have to hold both of you together? A relationship should never be based on sex alone. It needs compatibility and understanding, and it definitely needs dependability. Staying in love forever is not easy, but with a little effort, it can give meaning to your life.
Problems in a relationship can come and go. But if you ever come face to face with these 10 big problems in romance, don’t overlook it. It could cost you the relationship itself.

IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO

IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO LYRICS

 

it takes two to tango

you tell me that he really hurt you
hurt you, oh, so bad
you wonder how he could desert you
god, he made you mad
were you nothing but a victim
did you never have a choice
it takes two to tango
didn’t you wear familiar clothes
the ones you wear so well
didn’t you blush just like a rose
on your way to hell
were you nothing but a victim
did you never have a choice
it takes two to tango
were you nothing but a victim
did you never have a choice
it takes two to tango
weren’t you once head over heels
weren’t you, oh, so sure
if she’s to blame for how you feel
who will be the cure
were you nothing but a victim
did you never have a choice
oh, it takes two to tango
hey, now, even if your arm was twisted
what happened to your voice
oh, it takes two to tango

44 Questions To Ask Yourself in a New Relationship

By Mihran Kalaydjian, CHA
44 Questions To Ask Yourself in a New Relationship

Have you been dating a guy you really like for the past few months? Are you thinking you want to be in a long-term relationship with him? If so, you may be wondering when to have “the talk” with him. Instead of rushing to do so, first determine your reasons for actually wanting to be in a committed relationship.

Reasons based on any variation of, “I’m tired of being single. I’m sick of dating. I’m getting older so I’d better get married soon. What if I don’t find someone better?” mean he’s not the one you really want. If you’re in this situation, he just happens to be the guy in front of you — not necessarily the best guy for you. Wanting to be in a relationship for the wrong reasons guarantees a short-term relationship or a future of unhappiness. Let him go so that he can find a woman who is truly excited to be with him… and so you can find a man who’s perfect for you.

If he’s the one you really want, your reasons will include things like “I really like him as a person. I like who I am when I’m around him and when we’re apart. I smile just thinking of him. I love being with him.” If this describes you, your relationship has the potential for a long-term commitment.

But how do you know what’s important to consider in making such an important decision? The following relationship questions will confirm whether or not you’re both compatible for the long run.

44 Relationship Questions To Ask Yourself In A New Relationship
Check in with your inner monologue and answer these relationship questions after you have gotten to know him well enough to get a good sense of who he is. If you don’t know him very well, don’t answer these questions until you learn more about him (and don’t make a decision about whether he’s the guy for you before then, either!).

About Me
Do I like how he treats me?
Am I a priority in his life?
Does he respect me?
Do I feel safe around him?
Does he accept me for who I am?
Am I being my authentic self around him?
Can I express myself freely when difficult situations come up?
Do I feel secure when we’re together and when we’re not together?
Does he inspire me to be the best version of myself?
Is he encouraging and supportive of what I want in life?
Is he genuinely happy for me when good things happen to me?
Can I live with his quirky behaviors and traits?
Do I like him the way he is if he never changes?
Am I having fun with him?
Do I like who I am when I’m with and without him?
Do I feel uplifted when we’re together?
Do I feel free to pursue my passions, have alone time, and spend time with friends and family?
Do my family and friends like him?
Do I like his family and friends?
Can I see us growing old together?

Now, you’ll need to answer some questions about him. (After all, he is the variable factor in this equation)!

About him
Does he treat his family well?
Does he treat others well?
Is he patient with me?
Does he bring out the best in me?
Can he live with my quirky behaviors and traits?
Does he have any red flags?
Is he a true friend?
Is he open to trying new things and adventures?
Is he open to my perspectives?
Has he introduced me to his family and friends?
Does he include me in all aspects of his life?
Does he add joy to my life?
Do his behaviors and actions match his words?
Does he have integrity (i.e. trustworthy, does what he says and says what he does, etc.)?
Is he ready to settle down with one woman?
Is he looking for a long-term commitment?

About us
Do we have similar goals in life?
Do we share similar morals and values?
Do we have similar financial styles?
Do we communicate openly and respectfully?
Do we truly enjoy each other’s company?
Do we add to each other’s lives in a positive way?
Does our connection grow stronger each time we see each other?
Are we looking for the same type of relationship?

What Your Answers Reveal And What To Do
If you’ve answered “yes” to all of these questions, your man is a keeper. You’re definitely on track to a long-term, committed relationship. Continue being the woman he is falling for, accept your differences, embrace his quirks, and live your own life by doing things you love. If you want to have “the talk”, simply share how you would like to see your relationship progress (without being demanding and without an ultimatum) and let him share his thoughts.

If you’ve answered “no” to some of these questions, don’t panic. Some of your “no” answers aren’t necessarily an indication that you’re not on track to a great long-term relationship. They may indicate some inner work needing to be done if you don’t want to keep repeating the same relationship patterns. For instance, if you’ve always had a hard time communicating openly in your relationships, this is a pattern you’ll want to reverse. Having a healthy relationship means expressing yourself freely in all situations, especially difficult ones. If “no” is your answer to “Can I express myself freely when difficult situations come up?”, this is an opportunity to improve your communication skills.

If your answers are a mix of “yes” and “no”, review your “no” answers and determine which ones are deal breakers and which ones you can live with. For instance, if you want a long-term commitment, and he isn’t looking to settle down with one woman, this is definitely a deal breaker. Instead of wasting precious years by staying around and hoping he’ll change his mind, leave and make yourself available for a guy who wants a long-term commitment with you. As hard as it may be to leave a guy you really like, it’s in your best interest — you won’t waste valuable time in a dead-end relationship or he may realize you are “the one” and come back for you.

The Bottom Line

If you’re in a new relationship with a guy you really like, let these questions be part of your decision-making process to determine if he is worthy of being in monogamous, long-term commitment with you. What other relationship questions do you think a woman should ask to see if she’s on the right track for a long-term commitment?