Attitude of gratitude
Each time I hear someone talk about gratitude, and working on being more grateful, I pay attention. You could say I have an attitude of gratitude. That’s because I believe gratitude is not fully understood. Especially when your aim is to be mindful about the good things in your life.
Now my understanding about gratitude is different than most people. So let me explain my stance.
It’s not that gratitude is wrong. It’s not. But I believe there’s something better.
Top of the list
When you look at a list of emotions from the most negative to the most positive, gratitude does not top of the list.
The one that does top the list of positive emotion and expression is appreciation.
Now why is this important? It has to do with the meaning of the word. Both gratitude and appreciation are about your connection to the world around you.
Gratitude has an energetic relationship to something that we want to avoid or a specific situation you resolved. When people express gratitude the underlying meaning is that they have overcome some problem or someone has helped you. An example is “I’m grateful that I have electricity in my home when so many are now without power.”
A subtle difference exists
Now let’s agree that it’s all semantics, expressing gratitude or appreciation. But if the underlying meaning is related to something negative, then that will impact the message. That’s why my attitude of gratitude is different than most people’s.
How is appreciation different from gratitude? Well, when people express appreciation it’s not usually connected to something unwanted in their life. You’re capable of feeling gratitude without appreciation. You can express gratitude for food on your plate, but not fully appreciate the flavor of the food. Appreciation is pure expression about something positive.
Often appreciation occurs in the present moment. Think about seeing something beautiful. You took a moment to soak in the wonder of beauty and magnificence of the moment. This sparked appreciation for a specific experience.
William James, well-known psychologist and philosopher, said, “The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.”
Gratitude may not top the list. But if you’ve been spending time in the neighborhood of anger, frustration and despair, then gratitude is a very good place to be.
Here are five ways to gain awareness and appreciation in your day to day living.
- 100 blessings. Find 100 things to be appreciative of each and every day. Your list can include the mundane to the exquisite. Searching for appreciation throughout the day will shift your attention from negative to positive.
- Journal. Write the moments of appreciation you experienced throughout the day.
- Social media. Choose to influence the people around you by your posts and blogs.
- Expression. Start to notice what other people are doing well. Then acknowledge their effort. Consider qualities, behaviors or contributions. Each day tell someone you know that you appreciate them. All you need to say is “I appreciate you.”
- Slow down. Instead of quickly rushing through your day, slow things down. Enjoy a specific moment of your day. Linger a little longer than usual to soak in the experience.
Uplevel your awareness
It’s my way of giving back by offering a new spin on the meaning. I want the very best for you. If you’ve been expressing lots of gratitude, that’s great. Now choose to uplevel your vibration by focusing on appreciation. Appreciation will boost your spirit, passion and purpose. Experience the difference.
Go ahead and share something you appreciate. I’d like to hear what’s going well for you.