It's easy to be happy and grateful when things are going YOUR way:
You want more money and you get a promotion.
You want your partner to be more expressive and it happens.
You want all the family to get together for Thanksgiving and they come.
You could keep the list going. . .
But what about those times when things are not going your way? Is is ok to mope, make a tantrum, say hurtful things, or stop talking for a week?
The best thing to do though, is to make a pause, take a couple of deep breaths, and re-focus your attention into bringing to mind the image of something --no matter how small-- for which you can be thankful. Then hold that feeling of thankfulness in your heart for 30 seconds and see what happens.
Gratitude will help you bring things into perspective. It will remind you that the world doesn't revolve solely around you. It will take your thoughts away from your selfishness. It will remind you there is more to life that getting your way. It will bring to mind how much you can appreciate from your relationship, how much your partner does for you and with you.
It's easy to think about gratitude around Thanksgiving. The problem is that a sporadic focus on gratitude is not enough. What you need is to practice gratitude consistently every day. It doesn't require much time. Take just 3 minutes a day --or one minute three times a day-- to make a pause, take a couple of deep breaths, and bring to mind the image of something you can be grateful for. Then hold in your heart that feeling of gratitude for 30 seconds. Better yet if at the end of the day you share with your partner what you are grateful for in your relationship. Repeat this consistently for 45 days straight and you would have developed the practice of gratitude.
If you do, your relationship will become happier and it will be easier to keep your calm when things don't go your way. Try this and let us know what you experience.
If you have difficulty keeping calm, check out my booklet and recordings on “How to Calm Yourself: How to Be the Boss of Your Brain and Emotions”