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6 Habits That Will Strengthen Your Relationship

6 Ways to Improve Your Relationship

In the modern world, busy lifestyles can make it easy to neglect the small gestures that keep a relationship thriving. If you'd like to strengthen your relationship, these six habits can bring you and your partner closer.

  1. Avoid conflict. According to research appearing in the journal, Social Psychological and Personality Science, couples who fight more are less healthy and less happy compared to couples who get along. This may seem obvious; however, the reasons for conflict aren't always so clear. The same study pointed toward a lack of sleep as a major barrier for effective conflict resolution.

  1. Prioritize sleep. Just as sleep influences job performance and overall attitude, it can also determine the health of our relationships. According to study from the University of California, Berkeley, inadequate sleep compromises a couple's ability to manage and avoid conflict . Other studies have shown that couples tend to get along better when they go to bed at the same time. After all, this might be the first time the two of you have had a quiet opportunity to talk. Even if you are a night owl, consider lying alongside your partner every night until he or she falls asleep.

  1. Get plenty of exercise. Studies have linked exercise to a myriad of benefits, including reduced depression and an overall sense of well-being. If you feel better both physically and mentally, you are much more likely to demonstrate patience and understanding when interacting with your partner. You can also reduce your risk of depression and anxiety, which can often fuel relationship difficulties.

  1. Have sex outside the bedroom. Over time, sex can become a little too routine, especially for couples who have been together for years. Many couples experience renewed sexual interest when they alter their surroundings. This might mean booking a hotel room for one night. It could also mean a spontaneous rendezvous in the dining room. Whatever the case, by changing your surroundings, you can promote a greater release of dopamine, which tends to occur in response to novelty.

  1. Make contact. Whether it's hugging or hand holding, nonsexual touching is essential to a healthy relationship. In addition to prompting the release of oxytocin, touching has also been shown to calm anxiety . Other studies have shown that men become less interested in other women when they receive an oxytocin-inducing touch from their partners. Most importantly, nonsexual contact promotes greater trust and connection between couples, which can help to create building blocks for other relationship improvements.

  1. Express gratitude. Studies have shown that gratitude can have positive impact for couples of both those who express it and those who receive it. Research has also demonstrated that couples experience positive feelings toward one another when they express gratitude even in the smallest circumstances. Whether it's a simple thank you, a thoughtful card or a much-needed back rub, try to express gratitude to your partner whenever you can.

All too often, we underestimate the impact of simple gestures, which can bring people closer together. At the same time, many couples face significant issues that require specialized guidance from a trained professional. If you and your partner are struggling with persistent relationship issues, consider visiting a qualified therapist to help you work through your difficulties.

If you'd like to strengthen your relationship, our caring therapists can help. Contact us today!