This is week 38 of Unlock Your Libido: 52-week Sex Drive Transformation. Read this introductory post to see what it’s all about.
Brigham Young University
University of Kentucky
Florida State University
Oregon Social Learning Center
University of California, Santa Barbera
(Which one of these is not like the others? LOL)
According to the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (August, 2012), researchers from the preceding institutions examined 5 studies. They investigated the outcome of verbally sharing experiences of appreciation and positive affect using journaling (diary entries) of gratefulness against a control group. (See the study here.)
The control group either;
1. journaled about their classroom work and verbally shared this with a partner or
2. journaled about grateful experiences without sharing them verbally.The study group;
1. kept a diary of their grateful experiences and
2. shared the experiences with a partner twice a week.
The participants who journaled about their grateful experiences and shared the experiences verbally had greater positive effect on their attitudes (happiness and life satisfaction increased over a course of 4 weeks).
However, it was in the 5th study where a pivotal element was found. Not only did share their grateful experience with a listener, the listener was ‘active-constructive in response to good news.’ The most positively affected participants had enthusiastic feedback from their listener.
Journaling things we are grateful for has a greater impact than just randomly journaling.
The crux relies upon sharing your grateful experiences with someone who wholeheartedly supports you.
According to M.A. Strahilevitz, Ph.D at Psychology Today, “Research has found that gratitude increases relationship satisfaction and (not surprisingly) intensifies the feeling of being connected (Algoe et al., 2010: Algoe et al. 2012), and that this works for both genders…Even more encouraging, gratitude improves satisfaction for both the recipient of appreciation and the person expressing the appreciation.” Dr. Stahilevitz is speaking of showing appreciation for each other.
However, I think satisfaction can also increase when sharing the experience of gratefulness outside of each other.
I’m going to take a liberty here and make an inference from the findings in regards to marriage.
Marriages will gain greatest satisfaction when both spouses daily share grateful experiences and enthusiastically support one another verbally.
A new daily activity?
Include sharing your ‘gratefuls’ each morning over coffee for a wonderful way to start the day.
Thankfulness shouldn’t stop at Thanksgiving.
Some husbands may need coached in how to enthusiastically support you with words. Words are not the strong suit of some males. Give him example phrases to use in reply to your grateful.
“What a blessing God gave you!”
“Isn’t it great to know that God sees you?”
“Seeing you happy makes me happy.”
Finding joy in life comes in the little things. Your gratefuls don’t have to be huge. Some of my gratefuls in the past week include sunshine on a frigid day and the laughter of children in the school yard.
Libido is an extension of a life lived well. Libido is the culmination of a good relationship with your husband and days filled with more peace than anxiety. A life well lived is not a life that is free of conflict. It is a life full of godly strength from the Holy Spirit. It is full of peace that passes understanding when you face crisis because of the power that lives within you. A life well lived includes a lot of gratitude.
Isn’t Philippians 4:8 just a list of things to be grateful for?
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
Positive Affirmation (verb: hang onto)
I hang onto gratefulness even when life gets tough. I hang onto gratefulness that my husband desires me. I hang onto gratefulness that God’s gift to marriage is sexual intimacy and that I am a sexually charged creature.