The Power of Positivity and Appreciation


Are you getting enough touch and hugs? These are important elements in a relationship and sometimes they go missing during cancer treatments. Many partners tell me that they’re afraid of hurting their partner if they’re tender or sore after surgery or during treatment, so they err on the side of not touching. This can become a habit, and the gap of closeness widens and we wonder why we’re feeling distant or separate from our sweetheart. We can rapidly spiral down into negativity.hugs

It takes intention and effort to keep closeness alive, and it requires positivity and appreciation. A friend of mine started a positivity project to shift her thoughts and actions. She had some rubber bracelets made that say, “You are what you think…” She gave me one with the instructions to change it to the other wrist every time I had a negative thought or said something negative. The first few days I was doing so much switching of the bracelet that it seemed there was little time for anything else! Then as I became more aware, I was able to be more spacious and gracious in my thinking. And it has made a big difference in my relationship.

Here are some other ways to be positive with your partner:

  • support your partner’s values, goals and dreams
  • greet his or her good news with interest and delight
  • encourage your partner to pursue their dreams ~ they’ll be fulfilled and you’ll take delight in their happiness
  • words and actions elicit emotions so make them positive
  • a flourishing relationship needs at least 3 times as many positive emotions and messages as negative ones.

Make a daily practice of sharing what you appreciate about your partner with them. Take 5 minutes before dinner or before bed to look into each other’s eyes and share 3 or 4 things you appreciate. When you know that you will do this practice, you begin to look for things to appreciate rather than things to complain or be critical about.

Ask yourself what you can do each day to make your partner’s life better? If you don’t know, ask them. If you do this with love, curiosity and genuinely wanting them to feel loved, they’ll know it and they’ll light up with feeling loved. The simplest acts, like sharing an amusing event, smiling, being playful, sharing a hug, goes a long way to enhance happiness.

Join me Feb. 22-24 in Seattle for the C4YW conference. I’m offering 2 workshops on cancer, intimacy and sexuality. Molly MacDonald and The Pink Fund will also be there. Financial help is available. Check it out:

© 2012 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisors or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advise of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

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