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12 Powerful Habits of Happy Relationships

12 Powerful Habits of Happy Relationships

Habits can have a powerful impact in your relationship. The definition of a habit is: “a consistent and regular pattern of behavior”. You can either create positive habits or negative habits, and once you start practicing them, they will eventually become an act that is unconscious. When it comes to having a happy relationship, there are certain habits that can have a powerful and positive impact. It’s important for you to be conciseness when creating routines, especially for your relationship. You will need to make an effort every single day to practice them so they become second nature to you. It takes about 21 days to establish a habit, whether it’s positive or negative. In this article, I will share with you 12 powerful habits of happy relationships. These habits have helped both in my marriage, and for the couples that I have worked with. Implement each of these habits in your relationship and start reconnecting with your partner!

1. Always show respect to your partner

Showing respect to your partner is a habit that is worth creating, as it’s a necessary ingredient for creating a happy, healthy and long lasting connection. When you express respect towards your partner, you are expressing your love, acceptance, and warmth. When you express disrespect, you are expressing that you don’t accept your partner. Respecting your partner is all about valuing them for who they are, including differences. You may have a different outlook on life but this does not mean that you should disrespect your partner and put them down.

When you experience disagreements, make sure that you respect your partner’s differences. This does not allow you to disrespect your partner out in public or in front of friends and family. Always show respect especially when you have a disagreement. There will be times where you don’t agree on an issue and it will be how you handle this issue as a team that will make all the difference in the world.

2. Go walking with your partner

This is a habit that my husband and I have created where we have noticed a deeper connection in our relationship. If you love nature and spending quality of time with your partner, make it a habit to go walking—either in the mornings before you start your day, or in the evenings. John and I walk in the evenings and Sunday mornings.  It is a mental decision that we make every day to go walking together. This promotes conversation, quality time, and exposure to fresh air. Once you establish this habit, your body will actually want to go walking. I’ve experienced this with John: Since we’ve made it a habit of walking in the evenings and Sunday mornings, my body craves to spend that quality of time. Walking with your partner also promotes good exercise, and can be as simple as walking up down your block and back. Decide with your partner how long and how often you would like to walk; the key factor is being on the same page and making sure that you make the mental decision to establish this habit together.

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3. Turn off the television in the evenings and be with your partner

How can you possibly connect with your partner when the television is always on? There is no connection building when the both of you are constantly staring at the television screen in the evenings. Make the mental decision to turn off the TV in the evenings, and spend quality time together. Occasionally, you can snuggle and watch a movie, but avoid watching television most evenings. Take time to ask your partner about their day and how they’re doing. This habit creates connection and love. Snuggle up on the couch and talk with your partner; talk about each other and what the two of you can do to develop your relationship. There will always be something to talk about, whether it’s planning for the next vacation or your next date night. Focus on developing your relationship, and talk about issues that need to be addressed.

4. Bring your partner coffee in the morning

This simple gesture means a lot to my husband. He enjoys drinking coffee, and bringing it to him in the morning expresses love and affection. If your partner likes to drink coffee in the morning, create this habit and express love through this act of service. When I bring John a cup of coffee, it shows that I care, and that this is one way I can love him. Wake up a few minutes earlier so that you and your partner can spend some quality time together before going to work. This is a simple yet powerful habit of happy relationships.

5. Express positive attributes about your partner to others

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    The habit of expressing positive attributes about your partner will help deepen the connection in your relationship. On the contrary, expressing negative attributes about your partner will only build a tall wall between the two of you. Do you know a couple that always argues in public and expresses negative traits about each other to friends? This is a bad habit that eventually destroys a relationship. This negative pattern of behavior creates mistrust, disconnection and lack of respect. Make a habit of expressing positive attributes to others. This positive pattern of behavior creates admiration, fondness and love.

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    6. Reconnect throughout the day

    We have such busy schedules that connecting with your partner throughout the day can be last priority, but if you want to have a happy, long-lasting relationship, reconnecting with your partner throughout the day is crucial. It can be as simple as sending a loving text during your lunch break or giving your partner a call on the way home. This habit is meant to keep the connection and focus with your partner. Even if you have a hectic schedule, you can still make the time to spend a text message or give your partner a phone call. Be creative. Think of ways that you can do to reconnect with your partner throughout the day.

    7. Speak your partner’s love language every single day

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      Gary Chapman wrote a great book on the5 love languages in which couples can express and experience their language of love and affection. When looking at these 5 love languages, take time to find out how you feel most loved and how your partner feels most love. Imagine you have a love tank inside of you. Every time your partner talks your love language, your love tank is being filled. Every time your partner doesn’t express your love language, your love tank runs low. When it comes to powerful habits of happy relationships, creating the habit of talking your partner’s love language on a daily basis establishes love, affection and warmth in your relationship.

      8. Cooking and cleaning

      It’s always much more fun when you cook with your partner. I know that I enjoy cooking a lot more when John helps out. The habit of cooking together creates intimacy, connection and love; making and eating food becomes an intimate act when you are with your partner. I express my love through cooking and eating with my husband (with the television off), which builds a deeper connection between us. This is a perfect opportunity to spend quality time together.

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      If you or your partner prefers doing the cooking, make it a habit that the other person cleans. A habit that John and I do is that whenever I cook, he cleans up afterwards, and vice-versa. When John cleans up after I cook, it shows appreciation for my cooking and that he values me. It’s important that you always appreciate and value your partner, even if it’s as simple as cleaning the dishes. It’s nice to to know that John appreciates the love that I put in my cooking and wanting to do the dishes is a sign of love affection.

      9. Express appreciation to your partner every day

      Appreciate your partner! It’s as simple as that. However you want to express appreciation in your relationship, do it. Do it every single day. When it comes to powerful habits of happy relationships, it’s about expressing your appreciation to your partner. This can be leaving a love note before going to work or bringing home flowers at the end of the love. This goes back to speaking your partner’s love language. Find out your partner’s love language and express your appreciation for your partner through their love language. If your partner feels move loved by quality of time, make sure that when you get home from work, “Turn off” and focus your attention on your partner. Sit on the couch and just be with your partner. Whichever love language that your partner speaks, make sure that you speak the same language. Make it a habit of showing appreciation to your partner every single day.

      10. Work together as a team towards goals (short & long term)

      A happy relationship focuses on short and long term goals. These goals are both for each individual and also as a couple. Unhappy couples have nothing to look forward to in life. They just waste their time on superficial nonsense and trying to live up to society’s standard of happiness. Focus within your relationship on creating, establishing and accomplishing goals. Happy couples have goals that are both small and big. Follow this goal setting template and start nurturing the connection with your partner.

      11. Spend quality of  time in the morning to reflect and be with partner before starting the day

      It’s easy to get into a training routine in which you wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, fall asleep and start all over again the next day. This routine definitely starts draining your relationship and the connection that you have with your partner. We have such busy schedules that it’s even more important to take time in the mornings and reflect with your partner. Focus on what brought you two together and appreciate that. It’s easy to allow stress, frustration and distractions to get in the way of having a happy relationship, but when you take the time in the mornings to love and appreciate your partner, you are establishing a habit that is filled with warmth, affection and care.

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      12. Snuggle in the mornings and evenings

      Take the time to snuggle before starting your day and before going to bed. This can be as simple as holding each other in bed for a few minutes before starting the day. Did you know that physical touch releases a hormone called Oxytocin? The more you experience physical touch with your partner, your oxytocin level increases. After a long day of work, take time before going to bed and cuddle!

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        Tiffany Mason

        Tiffany is a life coach empowering women to unleash their feminine essence & design a meaningful life & marriage.

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        Last Updated on January 15, 2021

        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

        The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

        Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

        Posture

        First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

        • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
        • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
        • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
        • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

        All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

        Facial Expressions

        Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

        • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
        • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
        • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

        If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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        1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

        A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

        The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

        This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

        2. Relax Your Face

        New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

        The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

        To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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        3. Improve Your Eye Contact

        Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

        The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

        To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

        3. Smile More

        There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

        Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

        4. Hand Gestures

        Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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        It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

        5. Enhance Your Handshake

        In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

        “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

        It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

        6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

        As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

        Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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        Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

        Final Takeaways

        Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

        If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

        More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

        Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

        Reference

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