Expressing Gratitude + Giving Thanks

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. — William Arthur Ward

Gratitude is a hot topic these days because it’s a vital part of the human experience. Expressing gratitude is important because it offers something that we might otherwise lack: perspective. It’s part of the human condition that one small negative occurrence has the power to negate several positive experiences or happenings. Unfortunately, we’re more heavily impacted by the bad than we are the good. Regularly expressing gratitude can help you gain back that perspective and allow you see the blessings and abundance that exist under your own nose.

In my own life, I express gratitude daily in my journal. I list three things each day, but I do it in an interesting way. I list something that I’m grateful for along with something that I’m thankful for, and finally, I share something that I appreciate. Sure, the words basically mean the same thing, but forcing myself to think in these three terms helps keep things interesting and jogs the idea center in my brain. Lately, when I’m doing the appreciation part, I’ve been using “I appreciate the little things in life like…” This way I’m keeping my perspective on the small things that happen among the larger things I typically express gratitude and thanks for.

Taking this a step further would be to express thanks, gratitude, or appreciation to another person. This is a great way to bond with someone. For some, this requires getting out of your comfort zone, but expressing gratitude serves both people. I know of very few (if any) who don’t appreciate being told they’ve made a difference. You just might make someone’s day or give them the very piece of encouragement they needed by expressing gratitude. Basically, it’s the “pay it forward” concept: someone does something that improves your life so you let them know that, thus improving their day overall. Works pretty well!

This Thanksgiving season, be sure to express gratitude to those who’ve made a difference in your life. Then keep the practice going. See if you can list three things each day that make you grateful, that you appreciate, or that you’re just plain thankful for. I’ve found the practice to be quite useful in offering perspective and strengthening connections with important people in my life. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this week. I hope you have a happy and prosperous Thanksgiving! Remember to spend time with people you love and spend as much time outdoors enjoying nature as the weather allows. Cheers!