Gratitude is a vital part of the manifestation process using the law of attraction techniques. We often use substitute words like appreciation, thankfulness, and recognition. Do all of them mean the same? If not, how different are they?
Understanding the concept of it is important for a successful manifestation. When you confuse the feeling with other similar ones, you are putting the entire program at the risk of failure. Gratitude and appreciation – are they the two sides of the same coin? What is gratefulness definition? Let us find out the meaning of these terms from an authoritative source.
The dictionary defines gratitude as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Appreciation is “recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.”
Thankfulness means “conscious of benefit received, expressive of thanks, well pleased .”
Recognition is defined as “appreciation or acclaim for an achievement, service, or ability.”
Are they interchangeable?
Analyzing these definitions, we can see that the meanings overlap at some points. We understand from the meanings that one feeling leads to the other, starting with the emotion of thankfulness. That is, thankfulness leads to gratitude, feeling grateful results in appreciation and recognition arises from appreciation.
However, in a broader sense, they are interchangeable as they are very close in their meanings with only subtle differences between them. But if you want to be more precise, you need to use the right word as the occasion demands.
Gratitude vs Appreciation
Gratitude is described as the feeling of thankfulness for something or someone. Appreciation is recognizing the good qualities of someone or something.
While gratitude is a feeling, appreciation is an action based on that feeling. When we dig deeper, we get a better understanding of the difference between them. We can have a feeling of gratitude without acting on that feeling and showing appreciation.
Gratitude turns to appreciation when we live in the moment; being more present and more thoughtfully aware. When we actively contemplate the reasons for our impression about someone or something, we begin to bring forth feelings of appreciation. It is possible to show gratefulness without being appreciative.
An example may be more helpful in understanding the difference between gratitude and appreciation. You may be feeling grateful for the roof above your head. When you go further with this feeling and appreciate its comfort, convenience, beauty, and utility, you are moving beyond the feeling of thankfulness and recognizing the value, appreciative of your home.
Another definition of appreciation is “recognition of the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of people and things.” When we really appreciate it, we realize how something or someone can make us feel; happier, brighter, more loved and inspired.
For more on this topic, download our worksheet of gratefulness journal prompts.
Define grateful. Taken from the dictionary, the grateful definition is “the feeling of thankfulness”. Does this mean that there is no difference between the two? Does it imply that gratefulness and thankfulness are one and the same?
The dictionary gives the thankfulness meaning as
“Acknowledgment of having received something good from another” or as “conscious of benefits received”.
In simple words, you can express gratitude in many ways; by volunteering in your community, donating money or clothes. buying a needy person a meal or helping strangers without expecting anything in return. You can adopt it as a way of life.
On the other hand, the only way you can express thankfulness is by saying ‘thank you’. Not that saying ‘thank you’ is in any way inferior to the expressions of gratitude. Thankfulness is surely a good act. But unfortunately, it is easy to cultivate the habit of saying ‘thank you’ without actually feeling it. It can become an automatic response.
Being thankful is great, but gratefulness is better. The secret to a fulfilling and inspiring life is to live with gratefulness. It helps you lead a life with the ability to appreciate how privileged and blessed you are. It makes you kind and respectful to people and things around you.
Importance of practicing gratefulness
Want to have a happy and blessed life? Practice gratefulness.
Gratefulness is all about aligning your thoughts towards looking at the positive side of everything; instead of pondering over their negative aspects. The most incredible thing about gratefulness is that it is not time-consuming or expensive. But the benefits it offers are enormous.
Gratefulness makes us happier, healthier and kinder. It helps us become less self-centered, less envious, more relaxed, more optimistic with increased self-esteem. Gratefulness makes us more pleasing, more trusting, more sociable, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make more friends and improve our existing relationships. Gratefulness has a direct significant impact on our physical and mental health.
Does it come easy?
Nothing good in life comes easy. Or to put it in another perspective, nothing worth having comes easy in life. However, as the saying goes, ” No pain, no gain”.
With the benefits stacking up as high as Mount Everest, you may be tempted to take a quick decision to practice gratefulness. Unfortunately, you have an uphill task in hand to overcome your well-entrenched behavior patterns, such as selfishness.
When things are going great, we tend to take credit, but when it takes a bad turn, we place the blame on anyone but ourselves. That is our selfishness at work. To practice gratefulness, you need to keep selfishness at bay. We have to learn how to give credit to others for our success while taking the blame for the failure of others.
It sure doesn’t come easy. But when the benefits far outweigh the inconveniences, it would be worth your while to start cultivating gratefulness as a way of life.