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It’s that time of year again, where thankfulness is everywhere and everyone spends some time expressing gratitude for the things in their life before immediately heading out to fight over a big-screen television. American culture is weird.
But that doesn’t mean thankfulness isn’t important and shouldn’t be celebrated. In fact, we should try harder to express thankfulness more often in our lives. It doesn’t need to be limited to one day, we should set intentions to show gratitude every day!
I usually publish a post about what I’m thankful for every year around this time, but I learned that nobody cares what some random writer is thankful for. But people do care about thankfulness in general, and not just around Thanksgiving. Gratitude is important all year.
What’s the Difference Between Thankfulness and Gratitude?
You may have noticed that I used the words thankfulness and gratitude interchangeably. That’s because they are basically the same thing in my opinion. I’m sure that a student of language can explain the intricate differences in grammar and usage between the two, but that I am not. Colloquially, they are often used to mean the same thing.
What is Another Word for Thankfulness?
Gratitude isn’t the only other word for Thankfulness, though it’s the one we probably use most. Appreciation and gratefulness are two other synonyms. People use these words in a variety of ways to express their thanks, from the casual “thanks a million” to the formal “My sincerest appreciation for what you have done”.
What does Thankfulness Mean?
Thankfulness means being conscious of a benefit that we received, and appreciating that we received that benefit. It’s a feeling we have inside of happiness and gratitude when something good happens to us.
Although the meaning of thankfulness is pretty simple to grasp, expressing it can often be more difficult.
How Can We Express Gratitude?
There are numerous ways of expressing gratitude. We can simply give a genuine, heartfelt “thank you” to the person that gave us the assistance. Saying thank you and actually meaning it really does go a long way. People sometimes don’t realize how powerful these two little words can be. Writing thank you notes is also a great way to show appreciation and it’s unfortunate that it’s not common anymore. However, the fact that it’s so rare makes it appreciated even more.
Sometimes we can express deep gratitude through our actions rather than our words. We can repay the person who helped us, either in kind or by doing something for them that they can’t do themselves. Another option is to pay it forward. Instead of repaying whoever helped us, we can model their behavior and help others who might be in similar situations.
There are times when we are thankful for experiences, ideas, or just our position in life. There isn’t always someone to thank in these instances, but it’s still important to express gratitude. Showing gratitude for your position or things outside of your control helps keep you grounded. It can also improve your life by forcing you to be conscious about the good things you do have. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem like there is anything in our life worth being happy about, but if we actively think about it, we can usually come up with at least one thing.
I find that keeping a gratitude journal helps with this. Journaling helps us focus our thoughts. It helps us remember all the blessings we do have in our life, and helps us get into the habit of cultivating a more grateful heart. And if we make it a point to keep a daily gratitude journal, we can go back to previous entries on the days where we really don’t feel like we have anything. This will help us remember all the good we do have.
What Should we be Thankful for?
It can be hard to think about the positives when life is overwhelming. But usually, there is something that you can be thankful for. Many are thankful for good health, a job that pays the bills, or a certain person in their life.
Sometimes when we are at our lowest, we might not have even these things. When I was struggling with depression, the only thing I could think of to be thankful for was my cat. Maybe for you, it’s a favorite television show, a nice day, or comfort food. Finding that small thing to be thankful for can help you realize that there might be more out there to appreciate.
Things I’m Thankful For
Maybe I can make people care about the things a random blogger is thankful for! In all seriousness, this shortlist of the things I’m thankful for isn’t to toot my own horn. It’s to give you some examples of things you might have in your life that you could be thankful for, that maybe you didn’t consider.
My best Friends
A grocery store in walking distance
My space Heater
A good book
A group of blogging friends and a group of gamer friends
Access to clean water
How pretty it is outside
Hopefully, this shortlist will give you some ideas of the things that you have in your daily life that you can be thankful for. Sometimes we just need to learn to appreciate the small things (like a warm robe!) that we do have.
Setting Intentions to Be Grateful
It can be hard to remember to be grateful. Life gets in the way, and sometimes we end up taking the good things in our lives for granted. To help with that, you can set a daily intention to give thanks. Setting intentions help you get in the right mindset for doing what you want in life, and if you want to be more appreciative, an intention of thankfulness can help.
Set your intention to be grateful. Follow through on that intention by starting your gratitude journal, and documenting three things you are grateful for every day. This will help you build a better appreciation for the things you do have.
Quotes on Thankfulness
I hope this has helped you understand thankfulness and learn ways to express gratitude more in your daily life. Let’s part with some of the best quotes on thankfulness, shall we?
“It’s not happy people who are thankful, it’s thankful people who are happy” – Unknown
This quote shows that happiness comes from within, and it’s all about mindset. If we change our mindsets and start focusing on the things we do have, we will be happier.
“Reflect upon your present blessings -of which every man has many – and not upon your past misfortunes, of which all men have some” – Charles Dickens
I love this quote because it highlights the fact that everyone has struggles. Everyone has gone through misfortune in their life. No one is exempt from the harsh realities of real life. However, the opposite is also true. Most people do have at least a few things to be grateful for, and focusing on the blessing rather than the misfortune is a key to a happier life.
“When I started counting my blessing, my whole life turned around” – Willie Nelson
Your whole life can turn around when you start to acknowledge all the good things in it.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.