Gratitude by definition is thankfulness or being thankful. I can honestly say there isn’t a day that goes by where I do not express gratitude for something: my health, my senses, my breath, my career, my dogs, my family- the list is virtually endless.
I can say however, that there are times where I’m truly thankful and grateful yet I don’t actually feel the emotion of thankfulness as deeply as others. Try to recall the feeling stirred inside you when you were a child and your mother made you say “thank you” to someone when they gave you a compliment, or when you received a really nice gift.
Thinking back on those feelings, those different experiences yielded two distinct emotions even though they both included the phrase “thank you.” Even now, I recognize a difference when I’m expressing gratitude in a way that seems rote and routine or in a way that seems pure and genuine.
Which one is probably yielding the results I desire? You guessed it!–The pure and genuine expression of gratitude.
I call this ideal expression of this attractive emotion “appreciation.” When you appreciate something, there’s value immediately attached to it.
You would feel a void of some sort if it was missing and recognized in that moment. You possibly feel like you owe it to a person who helped you in hard times, your deep, heart-felt appreciation for all they did for you. That’s your unaltered gift to them in return for their graciousness.
I know at times, when I simply say “thank you,” I almost feel like I’m taking something away from the person or entity I’m thanking. For them to give me something, I have to be on the receiving end, but it doesn’t always feel like genuine gratitude.
On the other hand, when I express appreciation using the words “thank you,” then I feel like I’m not only receiving their gift, but I’m also giving something back to them in return.
Here’s a classic example of the difference I recognize between gratitude and appreciation: My significant other compliments me on my dress. I simply say “thank you” feeling grateful he gave me a compliment but not really giving him any credit for actually giving it to me. I just take the compliment and run with it feeling pretty good he said it.
Here’s a twist on the same example: My significant other compliments me on my dress. I say “thank you” and let him know I really appreciated him saying those words. I follow it up with this instead: “That really means a lot to me.” “You brightened my day. Thank you so much. I love you.”
Feeling the emotion of appreciation beyond gratitude allowed me to have a deeper connection with the sweetness of the moment and tap into other emotions such as happiness and love.
Expressing gratitude is very powerful because it sends signals out to the Universe, which connect you with other things to be grateful for.
As you express more gratitude, more will be delivered to you. Understand that the intensity of this expression is what’s going to have the most profound impact.
Consider how you ultimately and want to feel the next time you utter those words: “thank you.” Add some power to the punch by making sure you add a whopping dose of appreciation in there as well.
Discovered your purpose yet? If not, pick up your copy of this step-by-step guide to help you do just that. It’s simple, easy to follow and helps you quickly find the answer to that burning question, “How do I find my purpose.” Click on the image to the left to grab your copy.