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Describing Gratitude

November 7th, 2023 by Janet Chen

The Verywell Mind article by Kendra Cherry (2021), “What Is Gratitude?”, describes gratitude as feelings involving thankfulness and appreciation.  It says that when you experience gratitude, you are appreciative of someone or something and respond to them with generosity, warmth, and kindness.

Types of Gratitude

The article indicates that there are different types of gratitude.

  1.  General disposition – some people are naturally more appreciative and prone to feel grateful.  They experience gratitude more frequently than others. 
  2. Mood – people have periods where they feel more grateful in general, or at other times they may feel less grateful.
  3. Emotion – people feel grateful in a particular moment.  They might have a positive experience that inspires feelings of gratitude.

Measuring Gratitude

According to Cherry, you can measure your ability to experience gratitude by asking yourself the following questions:

Do you have a lot to be thankful for?

Do you have a long list of things to be grateful for?

When you consider the world, can you think of things to be grateful for?

Do you think your appreciation for life and others has grown stronger over the years?

Do you frequently have times where you appreciate others or things?

Do you appreciate a variety of people in your life?

If you answer “yes” to many of these questions, you probably have a strong sense of gratitude.  If you answered “no” to many questions, then you might need to find more ways to incorporate gratitude into your life.

Signs of Gratitude

The author suggests that there are signs that can help us recognize our personal status regarding gratitude.  These are:

Spending time thinking about things that you are grateful for.

Stopping to observe the wonders of the work around us.

Being thankful for health.

Thanking others for their positive influence or help.

Doing something kind to show you are grateful to another person.

Paying attention to small positive things.

Meditate with a focus on thankfulness.

In conclusion, the article says that the more you practice gratitude, the better you will become at putting yourself into a grateful state of mind.  The author suggests practicing gratitude by observing and focusing on the present moment each day.  Keeping a gratefulness journal and writing down things you are grateful for daily.  Giving yourself the time to enjoy experiences.  Show appreciation for others.  Giving thanks – recognizing and appreciating others, things, and positive experiences.

As mentioned above, some people are more prone to feel grateful, however; experts suggest that we can all develop more skills in this area.  If we focus our attention on being grateful, we will cultivate awareness and better practice the skills of gratitude.

Please see the Verywell Mind article for more information.

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