9 Things Yogis Can Do to Prepare for a Good Night's Sleep

9 Things Yogis Can Do to Prepare for a Good Night's Sleep

Making sleep a priority is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. By making sure you get enough good quality sleep every night, you not only set yourself up for a great next day, but a long and healthy life too.

Whether you’re an aspiring yogi, a beginner yogi, an intermediate yogi, or even an advanced yogi, you can take advantage of the following tips to improve your sleep naturally.


1. Refrain from Stimulating Devices and Activities

The earlier in the evening that you can turn off the TV, put your smartphone away, stop working, or finish any vigorous exercise, the better! Plan to do this an hour before turning in at the very least.


2. Snack on Sleep-Friendly Foods

If you’re hungry before bed, light snack can actually help you sleep better. Go for complex carbohydrates combined with lean protein that ideally contains the amino acids tryptophan (such as chicken/turkey breast, tuna, cheese, nuts, seeds, and beans). Tryptophan is known to boost serotonin levels, which helps promote sleep.


3. Darken Your Environment

You don’t have to sit around in a pitch dark room, but less light will certainly help your body adjust and get the signal to prepare for sleep. Instead of simply dimming the lights, try lighting some candles for enhanced relaxation.


4. Listen to Soothing Music or Sounds

Classical, ambient, and smooth jazz are perfect music genres for winding down. Alternatively, you could try listening to some sound effects like ocean waves, rain, thunderstorms, birds, or frogs to help you get in touch with nature.


5. Mindfully Prep for the Night and Next Day

Without any stimulating devices or activities to indulge in before bed, you can take the extra time you have to carry out your evening routine and plan for tomorrow. Take a relaxing bath, moisturize your entire body, brush your teeth extra well, pick out what you want to wear, make your lunch, and do whatever else you need to do while practicing mindfulness.


6. Do a Bit of Journaling

The evening is the perfect time to do a bit of a mind dump through writing. Grab your journal and and a pen to write what simply comes to mind. You may wish to reflect on your day, write about how you feel, or plan for what you want to do tomorrow.


7. Lower the Thermostat (Or Crack a Window)

Cooler body temperatures help promote sleep, so set your thermostat to adjust the temperature to somewhere between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the hours you plan to sleep. During slightly warmer weather in the spring, summer, and autumn months, you can even leave the window open.


8. Settle Your Mind With Aromatherapy

Essential oils have natural healing properties that can relax the mind and help you prepare for sleep. Whether you choose to gently inhale the aromas or put a few drops on your pillow is completely up to you. Here are seven essential oils known to have calm and soothing effect on the mind.


9. Get in Touch With Your Breath and Body

Last but not least, don’t forget about the practice of yoga itself to help you sleep. Poses like legs up the wall, supine spinal twist, reclining goddess pose, child’s pose, and happy baby are just a few to consider trying—many of which you can do directly in bed. If meditation is a better alternative for you in the evening hours, try these three deep breathing techniques to calm your mind and body in preparation for sleep.

5 Energizing Yoga Tips to Uplift Your Mind and Revitalize Your Body

5 Energizing Yoga Tips to Uplift Your Mind and Revitalize Your Body

With the days getting shorter and the weather becoming colder as the Winter Solstice slowly creeps up, it can feel like more of a challenge to take on the day’s tasks. Fatigue and sluggishness are common to experience this time of year—even among some of the most seasoned yogis.

Luckily, you can use your practice to boost your energy and feel refreshed. Look toward the following techniques to help bust you bust through your energetic rut and take on the day with eagerness and purpose!


Start Your Practice With Breath of Fire Pranayama

The way you breathe can certainly help calm and relax you, but it can also energize you—depending on how you do it.

Breath of Fire or Kapalabhati is a breathing technique that is particularly helpful during the colder seasons to help rejuvenate the respiratory system. It involves breathing rhythmically with short and fast exhales with passive exhales, which engages the core and increases the heart rate.

To see exactly how it’s done, follow this video tutorial from Yoga With Adriene.


Practice Your Sun Salutations

Comprised of 12 poses, sun salutation or Surya Namaskar involves moving the body in sync with the breath. It revitalizes all parts of the body and encourages the solar plexus to expand—the source of all our emotions.

While traditionally performed at sunrise on an empty stomach, sun salutations can be performed anytime of day. A faster paced sun salutation practice can have an intense cardio effect as it quickly builds heat, improves blood circulation, and strengthen the heart.


Take a Vinyasa

A vinyasa is typically known these days for connecting one pose to the next, helping yogis transition by using their breath and movement. Most yogis recognize it as flowing through plank, Chaturanga, upward facing dog or cobra and then downward facing dog.

The benefit of taking a flow between poses is that it gives you a little extra blood-pumping challenge and and breath work. You can take a flow during practically any transition, although it’s probably best known these days for being an integral part of Surya Namaskar A and B.


Practice Your Favorite Inversion

Needing an energy boost makes a good excuse for you to practice your headstand, forearm stand, or handstand. Getting upside down will stimulate the nervous system and make you feel more alert as blood flow increases to the brain.

Make sure you practice these inversions safely—taking care to always put proper alignment first and using a wall if necessary. Not ready for any of these inversions? No problem! Downward dog or dolphin pose can have the same effects.


Practice Your Favorite Backbend

Backbends open the heart, which can be pretty energizing and invigorating on their own. They can boost your mood, help relieve any bottled up stress, and wake your whole body and mind up.

Bow pose is great because it supercharges the effects of easier backbends like cobra or upward facing dog. Of course, if you really want to go all out on your backbend, you could do wheel pose (near the later part of your practice after you’ve fully warmed yourself up). If wheel pose is a serious challenge, start or stick with bridge pose if you’re working your way up to it!

Image (edited) via ExtensivelyReviewed on Flickr

7 Essential Yoga Items to Bring to Every Class

Ready to head off to a yoga class? Before you do, make sure you’re prepared with all the right gear.

While virtually all professional studios provide students with necessary equipment like blocks, bolsters, and straps, there are always a few extra items you can bring yourself to make your yoga experience a lot more comfortable and enjoyable.

Here are seven recommendations.


1. Your yoga mat.

If you’re just getting started and don't have a mat of your own yet, you can count on your studio to have several that you can borrow. The main benefit of bringing along your own is that you know that you and only you have spent time practicing on it—meaning that you also have control over its cleanliness. No matter how clean or unclean your own mat may be, at least you know the germs on it came from you!


2. A yoga towel.

Studios typically provide clean hand towels to their students to use during class, but these days, you can get super absorbent, no slip yoga towels that are compact and can be easily stored in your yoga mat. These yoga-specific towels are great to lay out flat on the surface of your mat during Bikram yoga to help catch sweat and prevent any slippage.


3. A water bottle.

Be prepared to work during your first yoga class! Taking a sip of water between sequences can help keep you going while preventing dehydration. You’ll want to bring a reusable bottle with no finicky cap or top so you can easily pick it up instantly and drink from it.


4. A headband and extra hair tie.

In yoga, expect to find yourself upside down, turned sideways, lying down, and everything in between. If you have long hair, it can definitely get in the way and become a distraction as you move through each pose, so bringing along any extra hair accessories—a headband, hair ties, and even bobby pins—can save you from the frustration of always having to move your hair out of your face.


5. Natural hand sanitizer or wipes.

A lot of other sweaty people are touching those yoga blocks, that studio floor, and the doorknob to get into the yoga room. After class, it’s probably necessary to wash your hands to avoid spreading germs, and having a travel-sized bottle of sanitizer or antibacterial wipes to use can be super handy. You can even give your feet a quick rub or wipe if you walked barefoot across the studio floor.


6. A healthy, energizing snack.

Whether you’re rushing to class after work or running off to meet up with friends after your class is done, having a quick snack to munch on pre- or post-yoga can be a real lifesaver. When there’s no time to fuel up beforehand or replenish your energy afterward, brining a healthy energy bar, a banana, a handful of almonds, or another favourite snack can go a long way.


7. A small wallet or purse.

Last but not least, it’s worth having a smaller storage solution for all your extra items rather than lugging your big purse around and having to store it outside the yoga room, in a locker, or out in the open on the coat rack. If you're a Yogi Surprise member of our Lifestyle Box, you'll be receiving a card holder wallet from Batik Boutique in our November box—perfect for keeping your driver’s license, studio membership card, debit/credit card, cash, and keys all in one place. Best of all, it's small enough to easily fit in your yoga mat bag too!

Image (edited) via Robyn Vines Smith

7 Simple Ways to Spread Kindness Wherever You Go

7 Simple Ways to Spread Kindness Wherever You Go

Being kind to our friends, relatives, romantic partners, children, pets, coworkers, and other people we genuinely like is easy. But being kind to complete strangers, or worse—people who are unkind to us—is much, much harder.

It takes a higher level of awareness to actively choose to spread kindness everywhere you go, in some of the most mundane and even unpleasant situations. With practice, however, it gets easier—and you’ll reap the benefits too.

Here are just seven super small and simple ways to be kinder around others, no matter where you are.


1. Smile more.

Smiling and frowning are both contagious, so which one would you rather spread? We tend to avoid eye contact and acknowledgment of other people we don’t know when we’re out and about, so why not challenge yourself to break that habit? A friendly smile isn’t creepy or uncomfortable when it’s done from the kindness of your own heart, with no expectation of anything in return.


2. Give someone a genuine compliment.

Most people spend the majority of their time living in their own little worlds, failing to notice and acknowledge what they like about other people. Whether you admire the bank teller’s hair color or love the way your partner gives you the best bear hugs, telling them about it can impact them more positively than you might realize.


3. Say “thank you,” and mean it.

We’ve all been conditioned to say thank you when we’re on the receiving end of kindness and generosity, but rarely do we ever say it with so much enthusiasm that it really conveys the genuine extent of our gratitude. Next time you have the opportunity to say thank you, don’t be so robotic about it. Instead, say it like you mean it. (Making eye contact and smiling is an added bonus!)


4. Be present when interacting with others.

Your full, undivided attention is the greatest gift you can give to anyone. So make sure you put down your phone, shut off the TV, detach from those thoughts about tomorrow’s schedule, stop thinking so much about your self-image, and give people what they deserve when speaking with you—your presence.


5. Ask questions.

In Dale Carnegie’s famous self-help book, How to Win Friends & Influence People, one of the best pieces of advice he gives is to always ask other people questions. Turning your focus away from yourself and toward others is one of the easiest ways to get people to like you. When you show that you're genuinely interested in others, they’ll most likely be flattered.


6. Set your judgments aside.

We all judge—there’s no sense in denying it. The important thing is to recognize automatic judgments and question them before they cause us to react impulsively. If you can open your mind to the personal struggles that other people may be going through that you may have never experienced yourself, you’ll be far more likely to act compassionately toward them.


7. Make small sacrifices to help someone out.

If you’d rather show kindness through action than through words, you can do so with small amounts of time and effort. Here are a few examples:

  • Buying or making a small gift for a loved one
  • Offering to do chores or tasks that usually aren’t your responsibility
  • Paying for a stranger’s coffee who’s standing in line behind you
  • Holding the door open for a stranger
  • Letting the person standing behind you in the checkout line at the grocery store ahead of you if they have fewer items
  • Giving up your seat for somebody else on a crowded public transit route


Pick one act of kindness from the list above and challenge yourself to accomplish it every day for the next seven days. You might be surprised how good it will make you feel, and how much kindness it will attract back to you!

8 Simple and Practical Ways to Enhance Your Meditation Space

8 Simple and Practical Ways to Enhance Your Meditation Space

You can certainly mediate almost anywhere that’s relatively quiet and free from distraction, but making a welcoming space for meditation can help you relax more easily whenever you sit down for your practice.

Here are a few good tips for creating a meditation space that soothes your mind and gets you in touch with your true self.


1. Pick a space that makes you feel calm.

Most people don’t have an entire room to dedicate to meditation, which is why it’s fine to pick any space in your bedroom, living room, guest room or other room that is easy to relax in. During the warmer seasons, you could even take your meditation outdoors to your backyard or patio.


2. Consider the sound you want to tune into while meditating.

Quiet spaces are best for meditation, but if you like a little background noise, you could choose a space near a window if you like listening to the traffic in the distance, in front of an analog clock if you prefer the ticking noise of the second hand, or somewhere near a sound system so you can put some ambient music on low volume.


3. Remove clutter.

Physical clutter will make it more difficult to detach from thoughts, so make sure to consider finding a new home for anything that doesn’t serve your meditation practice. Since your meditation spaces might also double as a regular living space, however, you can certainly get away with leaving a few items—as long as they don’t distract you or trigger negative thoughts and feelings.


4. Make sure you have something comfortable to sit on.

Some people like to meditate on their couches or in their lounge chairs while others like to meditate on their beds or on the floor. Pick a seat you know you’ll be comfortable sitting on, taking into consideration your poster, the softness/hardness of your seat, and whether you want to have your legs straight out in front of you or bent.


5. Bring a few elements of nature into your space.

Nature will help ground you as you prepare to sit down to meditate, so decorating your space with natural items can enhance this effect. You could try adding a houseplant, a piece of driftwood, a few stones, some seashells or even some artwork of a natural landscape.


6. Use a blanket, throw, quilt, or scarf to help keep yourself warm.

Resting in one spot without moving, slowing the breath, and calming the mind can have a cooling effect on body temperature, which is why it can be worthwhile to keep something around to cover up with before you start. Yogi Surprise members of our Lifestyle Box will receive a gorgeous drape scarf from Rising Tide this November to help stay warm during meditation.


7. Add a little aromatherapy.

Certain essential oils can be used to calm the mind, improve focus, and boost concentration—making them perfect for meditation. Consider investing in a simple essential oil diffuser or creating an aromatic lotion by combining your favorites with some carrier oil (like coconut oil). Among the best to use for meditation include lavender, sandalwood, frankincense, bergamot, cedarwood, and rose.


8. Put a mantra somewhere to remind you of what you want to concentrate on.

This one allows you to get as crafty as you’d like—perhaps painting a one-word mantra like “love” or “gratitude” and framing it or carving it into a patch of bark you found on the ground outside. Or you could simply write it out on a plain piece of paper and keep it in your space just like that to keep it super simple.

5 Ayurvedic Skin-Balancing Tips for the Cold and Dry Autumn Weather

5 Ayurvedic Skin-Balancing Tips for the Cold and Dry Autumn Weather

A healthy skin care regimen that changes with the seasons will offset seasonal imbalances caused by exposure to the elements. Ayurveda tells us that the vata dosha—characterized by air and space—dominates during the autumn season, which explains why so many people experience dull, dry, itchy, and even irritated skin.

Lucky for you, there’s no need to adopt some intricate skin care regimen that takes too much time and money to put into place. In fact, a little more awareness and a few simple strategies are all that you need to bring balance back to your skin.

Here are five things to focus on this autumn and winter to help you combat the skin-drying effects of vata.


1. Drink Plenty of Warm Fluids

It’s important to know that healthy skin starts from the inside. Staying hydrated will not only help your mind and entire body—but your skin, too.

Drink beverages that are warm (like herbal teas) and avoid anything refrigerated or ice-cold, which has a tendency to aggravate vata. If you’re going to drink a glass of water, make it no colder than room temperature.

And don’t forget, hydrating foods count too! Think hearty soups, stews, chillies, slow cooker meals and other dishes that contain lots of veggies, broth, sauce, and overall nutrient-dense moisture.


2. Favor Healthy Fats in Your Diet

Now is the time to embrace foods naturally high in healthy fats in your diet and all your autumn cooking. Just like good hydration, healthy fats work from inside out, helping to keep your skin moisturized, healthy, and glowing.

Aim to eat more foods like oily fish (such as wild salmon), nuts and seeds, avocados, and ghee. And make sure to cook regularly with healthy oils like olive oil, sesame oil, or coconut oil.


3. Massage Yourself With Sesame Oil

Ayurveda recommends starting your day off with a full-body massage using organic sesame oil to help bring warmth to the body while improving circulation. This will help improve your skin’s soft and moisturization levels while keeping your body feeling warm all day.

Sesame oil has powerful antioxidant properties that can penetrate the layers of the skin fast and enter the bloodstream. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as an added bonus to help protect your skin from the harsh elements during the colder seasons.


4. Shower After Your Massage

You may be tempted to massage yourself with sesame oil after showering or bathing, but Ayurveda advises us all to do so beforehand. The steam will help to preserve moisture throughout the deeper layers your skin.

Rub your hands in a slow, circular motion starting from the bottom of your feet moving upwards. Let it soak into your skin for about 15 minutes before stepping into the shower or bath and avoid scrubbing the skin too vigorously (or at all) so as to allow a thin coating of oil to remain on your skin throughout the day.


5. Keep a Nourishing Oil-Based Lotion on Hand

Whether you need to stand outside in the wind to wait for public transit or need to keep up a morning running routine, the harsh elements can still take its toll even when you’re trying to do everything right with your skin care regimen. And that’s exactly why it can be so helpful to regularly use some good-quality lotion throughout the day on those areas that need a little extra attention (like your hands, forearms, elbows, legs, knees, and feet.)

Go for a lotion made with natural ingredients and a nourishing oil base like avocado, jojoba, sesame, olive, almond, or coconut. Shea butter (organic and unrefined) is also a good choice for its naturally soothing and moisturizing properties.

10 Things All Yogis Can Be Grateful For to Continually Inspire Their Practice

10 Things All Yogis Can Be Grateful For to Continually Inspire Their Practice

When was the last time you felt truly grateful for your yoga practice?

Yogis are often encouraged by their teachers to practice gratitude while focusing on other areas of their lives (health, family, career, etc.) but one thing that’s easy to overlook is to be grateful for the practice of yoga itself.

Take a few moments to read over the following list of things all aspiring, beginner, intermediate, and advanced yogis can be grateful for and think about how they apply to your own practice.


1. The ability to move.

It’s easy to take your body for granted when you live entirely in your mind, but yoga helps put you deeply in touch with the mechanics of your body as well as all the sensations that you may not be aware of. Be grateful for the ability to feel everything you feel as you flex, balance, twist, bend, and contract your muscles in your practice.


2. A different experience every time you step onto your mat.

No two yoga sessions are ever the same, even if you perform the exact same set of pose sequences. Every session gives you the opportunity to learn something new about yourself.


3. Time to simply be with yourself.

The time you spend on your mat is your “me time.” You can forget about everything you did already and everything you still have to do after you’re done so that you can focus on yourself as you are in the moment.


4. The lessons that come with the challenges.

Whether you struggle to convince yourself to get to class after a long day at work or have been trying and trying to master a particular pose, each challenge is unique in your own journey. It always has something to teach you. Keep going, and be grateful for the opportunity to learn from it.


5. Progress in personal growth.

Through regular practice, you embark on a journey of growth. Not only will you get physically stronger, but also mentally and emotionally stronger as you surrender to the meditative effect of yoga on the mind.


6. Connection to all living things around you.

When yogis say, “Namaste,” what they’re really saying is, “I bow down to the divine spirit within you that connects the both of us as one.” Through your yoga practice, your awareness of the true nature of every living thing will become more clear.


7. A naturally effective way to eliminate stress.

There is perhaps no better way to let go than by practicing yoga. Whether it’s physical tension, mental turbulence, or emotional turmoil, stepping on your mat is an effective and healthy way to bring your entire body, mind, and spirit back to a balanced state.


8. Grounding in reality.

Speaking of the need to reestablish balance, be sure to appreciate the fact that yoga can help you accomplish this by allowing you to detach from the thoughts flowing through your mind and and start living in the world again as it is. Just because you’re thinking or feeling a certain way does not necessarily mean it’s absolutely true.


9. Great self-control.

Yoga enhances self-awareness, which is necessary for exercising good self-control. Be thankful that you have your practice to help you break bad habits and behaviors.


10. A way of life.

Finally, all yogis can be grateful for the fact that yoga is far more than just physical exercise or a mental stress reliever. It truly is a lifestyle. From the way that you treat others to the way you respond to unexpected events, your yoga journey helps you every step of the way, and that is something to be seriously grateful for.

Win an 8 Day, 7 Night Soundscape Yoga & Sound-Healing Retreat in Panama

Known for its famous canal that connects the Atlantic and Pacific, Panama is a tropical rainforest and beach oasis that attracts all sorts of travelers and yogis from across the globe. The country has the largest rainforest in the Western Hemisphere behind the Amazon Rainforest and is home to some of the most exotic and diverse wildlife and plant species in the world.

This November, one of our lovely Yogi Surprise members will win a spot at this incredible 8 day, 7 night Panama Soundscape Yoga & Sound-Healing Retreat led by Yogi Surprise ambassador Cassandra Justine. With a focus on healing through the senses, you’ll walk away feeling refreshed and transformed in ways you never imagined.



During this retreat, you’ll tap into the power of nature to explore the five koshas—layers of being that all humans have—through sound and meditation. By doing this work, you’ll come closer to discovering your true, divine nature beneath all those layers.

This retreat will take place at Eco Venao, located on the South Pacific Coast of Panama. You’ll get to stay in one of the lodge’s luxurious guest houses (La Casa Espave, La Casona, or La Casita)—all with air conditioning and breathtaking views from their terraces. There are also pools all around the beach, bars and entertainment (including live music), plus yoga props available during yoga sessions.



Eco Venao features a gorgeous yoga deck called La Salsa right on the beach with a 180-degree view of the ocean and surrounding rainforest. Its palm roof, high ceilings, and tweak floors make it an ideal space for everything from yoga and meditation, to sound-healing and dancing.



The following amenities are included in this retreat:

  • Room & board accommodation
  • Three daily meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner from locally sourced foods (GMO-free and vegetarian)
  • Half-day island tour with opportunities for snorkelling, swimming, and seeing whales or turtles (includes road transportation, boat ride, lunch, drinks, umbrellas)
  • 20-minute waterfall hike on property
  • Shuttle transportation to and from the airport

Airfare is not included. Surf lessons and horseback riding are also available for additional charges.



This Panama Soundscape Yoga & Sound-Healing Retreat is scheduled to take place this upcoming February 3rd to 10th, 2018. If you’d like to bring a friend or partner along, you can specify whether you’d like to have a private room or a shared bed.

Don’t miss out on this unique experience in one of the most beautifully exotic places on Earth. Click the link below to find out how you can enter for your chance to win.


Win This Retreat >



November is a time to be deeply grateful. Mother Nature’s descent into hibernation marks the end of another annual cycle, anticipation of the holiday season begins to build among everyone around us, and the impending end of the calendar year begs us to start reflecting on what we experienced.

It’s one thing to simply know that you should be practicing gratitude for the sake of your own well-being, but it’s quite another thing actively be doing it and experiencing its benefits as a direct result. In today’s busy, modern world, it can be difficult for even the most dedicated yogis to regularly make time for a conscious gratitude practice.

Once you start becoming truly aware of the benefits on a deeper level, however, practicing gratitude will feel like much more of a natural habit. If you could use some motivation to start carving out a few minutes every morning or night for a gratitude practice, the following benefits (proven by psychology research) might be just what you need to begin taking it more seriously.


Gratitude Is Linked to Better Physical Health

It’s easy to assume that gratitude occurs entirely on a mental and emotional level, and although it certainly starts there, the reality is that the effects extend to the physical level as well. In a study on almost 1,000 Swiss adults ranging in age from teenagers to people in their 80s, researchers found that gratitude helped improve psychological health, which in turn improved physical health. This is because psychologically healthy people were found to engage in healthier habits and activities.


Gratitude Leads to Greater Life Satisfaction

It shouldn’t come as a shock that people who tend to be more materialistic are more likely to be depressed and unsatisfied in their lives. In a psychology study on materialists, researchers found that despite materialists’ tendency to achieve more material goals, they are less satisfied than those who practice gratitude. The researchers suspect that decreased satisfaction from achieving material goals without gratitude has a lot to do with how we adapt to what we achieve or possess—driving us to constantly want more in order to feel happier.


Gratitude Helps You Feel Better About Yourself

Low self-esteem can affect every area of your life, but practicing gratitude is one way to help boost your self-esteem without seemingly phoney affirmations or overly exaggerated positive self-talk. A sports study found that when athletes focused on gratitude, their self-esteem improved. With improved self-esteem comes decreased comparison against others and increased confidence in one’s ability to perform well.


Gratitude Can Help Improve Your Sleep

If you’re ever feeling restless at night due to anxious, uncontrollable thoughts, you may want to consider writing in a gratitude journal before bed. One particular study found that students who spent just 15 minutes journaling about what they were grateful for experienced improvements in sleep quality and length. A gratitude journal can essentially act as a tool to help offset worry and calm the mind for a good night’s rest.


Gratitude Can Help Strengthen Relationships

No relationship is perfect, but focusing on the good in the other person and being grateful for who they are/what you have together can pave the way toward increased relationship openness and problem solving. A study found that expressing gratitude toward one’s partner helped enhance positive perception of them, leading to improved comfort in communicating relationship concerns. In other words, when times get tough, gratitude can help the both of you get through it.