Strengthen Your Relationship: Daily Practices That Will Help. Elevate your relationships with these daily habits. Daily practices to deepen your connection and enhance your relationships’ foundation. Reignite your passion. Essential practices to enrich your relationship. Daily practices for lifelong love.
QUICK TIPS: Active listening, Daily Affirmations, Quality Time, Gratitude Expression, Shared Goals, Physical Affection, and Humor and Laughter.
Relationships are like delicate plants that need constant care and nurturing to thrive.
While grand gestures (who doesn’t want grand gestures sometimes right?) and occasional surprises can add excitement, it’s the daily practices that truly form the foundation of a strong and lasting bond.
In this post, we’ll explore some simple yet powerful daily practices that can help you strengthen your relationship or marriage, along with real-life anecdotes and references to help illustrate their impact.
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Strengthen Your Relationship: Daily Practices That Will Help
Communication is the cornerstone of any relationship, and active listening is an essential skill that can make a significant difference.
Okay. We know this is not the easiest thing since, after a long day of work, you just want to relax and just not “hear” more things. But this is truly a great piece of advice to keep the relationship strong.
Make it a habit to truly listen when your partner speaks, without interrupting or formulating responses in your mind.
You can also try and pre-ask how your partner’s day is before they head home. This way, you can also mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for what’s coming.
Maybe your partner had a bad day, and if they come home and start spewing stories, it might catch you off guard and you might not be able to “actively” listen.
But if you ask before they head home, you have an idea of what to expect and you can also prepare and create an environment in which it will be safe for your partner to share and for you to listen.
Talk about chances. Today, maybe it’s your partner’s chance to really let out big emotional outbursts. Communicate how you have something to say, but it can wait until tomorrow – but ensure that you actually speak about it tomorrow to keep the flow of active listening going.
Practicing active listening, where you genuinely focus on what your partner is saying without interrupting or planning your response, fosters understanding and emotional connection1 – this is a great way to strengthen your relationship.
Especially when you are arguing or fighting or going through a disagreement, it is important to prepare for these conversations and still practice active listening to give each other a chance to come up with resolutions.
Remember that conflict resolution will only exist if both people feel HEARD. If both of you are just going to start talking and talking without really hearing each other, it will be much harder and longer to come up with a solution that will move both of your forwards.
We know it’s hard not to jump into judgments especially if you are a problem solver. But there are moments where it’s not a problem solving moment, but a “listening only” moment.
** A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family showed that couples who engaged in active listening reported higher relationship satisfaction.
Expressing love and appreciation regularly reinforces your emotional connection.
A simple “I love you” or words of affirmation can create positive emotions and increase relationship satisfaction.3
And we’re not talking about an “I love you” where you just are running out the door. Stop and hug each other.
There are many things you can say as well. If you have practiced active listening (as mentioned above) – it will be easier for you to express daily affirmations.
If your partner is having a hard time at work, you can say something along the lines of “I know no matter how hard things get, you will figure it out, and whatever happens, I am here for you. Things will always work out for the better.”
** Psychologist Dr. John Gottman’s research highlights the importance of verbal affection, with couples who frequently express fondness and admiration being more likely to have lasting relationships4.
Prioritizing quality time together strengthens your emotional intimacy and nurtures your connection5.
This has been said again and again and it almost sounds cliche but it is really this bond that will help strengthen your relationship.
Engaging in activities you both enjoy, such as cooking, playing sports, watching movies, or going for a walk, can lead to higher relationship satisfaction.
It does not even necessarily mean something you “enjoy” – but it can also be something you’d like to discover together. Maybe you want to drive out to a certain neighborhood to look at houses and dream together – you can do so while drinking your fave cup of coffee.
Simple things that can be so unexpected are just as amazing and as impactful as those “big” activities.
** A study published in the Journal of Leisure Research found that couples who engaged in recreational activities together reported feeling more fulfilled in their relationships.
Gratitude Expression (important to strengthen your relationship!)
Regularly expressing gratitude for your partner’s efforts and kindness fosters a sense of appreciation and enhances relationship quality7.
This can be as simple as bringing up “small” things that can seem so “insignificant” – something like “Hey, I saw you folded the laundry last night, you did a great job! I appreciate that!”
Another gratitude expression is addressing all the things that are on this list – “Hey, I really enjoyed that we drove through that neighborhood to see houses – I’m so glad I was able to share that with you..”
Now, we understand that if you grew up in an environment where emotions and gratitude are not really “brought” up but only “understood” – it will be hard to voice these out.
But everything takes practice. If you start once, you will see that more than giving gratitude to your partner, you also start to appreciate yourself more.
You might not need to “verbally” say things right away if you are not comfortable with it, but you can leave notes. Sticky notes on the mirror on slip it in your partners’ wallet is a great start.
Speak gratitude to yourself as well. Say something along the lines of “I’m thankful that I am giving myself a chance to be a better communicator and a better partner..”
This gratitude practice will also make you and your partner feel blessed and rich – not in terms of physical money (although that’s good too!) – but more of the emotional and psychological richness.
Strengthen your relationship by already looking at the strengths that you have and being thankful for how you both are still on a journey of discovery but will always be thankful for the present moment you get to share together.
** Research conducted by psychologists at the University of Georgia revealed that expressing gratitude led to increased relationship satisfaction and decreased likelihood of breakups8.
Having shared goals or projects creates a sense of partnership and cooperation.
Whether it’s planning a vacation, home improvement, or setting financial goals, working together enhances your connection9.
Even as simple as coming up with a meal plan for the week is a great way to practice teamwork and to be open to giving each other chances to speak up.
Talk about what makes you feel good and support each other in doing that.
Shared goals don’t necessarily mean you have to do things together at the same time at the same intensity.
Maybe your partner wants to play basketball and get better at the game, but you want to play badminton and get better at the game. The shared goal is to get better and keep fit – not the sport itself, but how it will both make you feel.
** A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that couples who pursued joint goals experienced higher levels of relationship satisfaction10.
Physical touch, such as hugging, cuddling (and you know what leads after cuddling..), and holding hands, releases oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and attachment11.
Regular physical affection can enhance your emotional connection and intimacy.
** A study conducted by researchers at the Kinsey Institute showed that increased physical affection led to improved relationship satisfaction and overall well-being12.
Humor and Laughter
Shared laughter is a powerful tool for maintaining a strong bond.
Incorporating humor and playfulness into your relationship can relieve stress and increase positive emotions13.
Remember when we talked about active listening? If you are actively listening, you will always find some funny inside jokes that only you and your partner understand – and those moments are what will help your relationship bond stronger.
Watching funny movies together or sharing embarrassing moments is a great way to be vulnerable and also laugh about experiences.
Simple date ideas can help create an environment where both of you can have fun and a good laugh!
** Studies conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, suggest that couples who laugh together experience greater relationship satisfaction14.
〰️ Building a strong relationship is an ongoing process that involves daily dedication and mindful practices.
Incorporating these evidence-based habits into your routine can lead to a more fulfilling and lasting bond with your partner.
Remember, it’s consistent effort and small gestures that contribute to a resilient and thriving relationship over time.
There you are lovelies! Strengthen Your Relationship: Daily Practices That Will Help!
- Papp, L. M., & Witt, N. L. (2010). Romantic partners’ individual coping strategies and dyadic coping: Implications for relationship functioning. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(5), 551-559.
- Floyd, K. (2006). The benefits of interpersonal touch: The importance of physical touch in maintaining relationships. Communication Quarterly, 54(3), 328-347.
- Gable, S. L., Gonzaga, G. C., & Strachman, A. (2006). Will you be there for me when things go right? Supportive responses to positive event disclosures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(5), 904-917.
- Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (1999). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Harmony.
- Orth, U., Robins, R. W., & Widaman, K. F. (2012). Life-span development of self-esteem and its effects on important life outcomes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(6), 1271-1288.
- Coleman, D., Iso-Ahola, S. E., & Matarrita-Cascante, D. (2015). When leisure is stressful: An investigation of leisure stressors and coping responses among secondary school students. Journal of Leisure Research, 47(1), 36-57.
- Algoe, S. B., Haidt, J., & Gable, S. L. (2008). Beyond reciprocity: Gratitude and relationships in everyday life. Emotion, 8(3), 425-429.
- Lambert, N. M., Fincham, F. D., & Stillman, T. F. (2012). Gratitude and depressive symptoms: The role of positive reframing and positive emotion. Cognition & Emotion, 26(4), 615-633.
- Kurdek, L. A. (1994). Conflict resolution styles in gay, lesbian, heterosexual nonparent, and heterosexual parent couples. Journal of Marriage and Family, 56(3), 705-722.
- Lewandowski, G. W., & Aron, A. (2004). Distinguishing arousal from novelty and challenge in initial romantic attraction between strangers. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 32(4), 361-372.
- Ditzen, B., Neumann, I. D., Bodenmann, G., von Dawans, B., Turner, R. A., Ehlert, U., & Heinrichs, M. (2007). Effects of different kinds of couple interaction on cortisol and heart rate responses to stress in women. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 32(5), 565-574.
- Van Kirk, E. (2016). Lighten Up and Bond: How Humor and Laughter Contribute to Relationship Satisfaction. In Psychology of Humor (pp. 309-326). Academic Press.
- Lefcourt, H. M., Davidson, K., Prkachin, K. M., & Mills, D. E. (1997). Humor as a stress moderator in the prediction of blood pressure obtained during five stressful tasks. Journal of Research in Personality, 31(4), 523-542.