What is Gratitude?

The Blends

Is Gratitude What You Think It Is?

We tend to think gratitude is just about thanking our version of a higher power (whichever you see fit) for the good times and resenting the bad. Everything we do, feel, and think has a way of showing itself back to us – some call this karma, while others understand its gratitude at work. In the first part of our Glow Up Gratitude series – we’ll explore what it means to be truly grateful – even if it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.

Gratitude is Choosing Our Way

Every decision, whether made after a lot of thought or on a whim, lays a brick on our life’s path. Owning these choices means we’re steering our own ship. Remember that time you chose to stand up for something you believed in? Or that instance you decided to take the easy way out? Each decision shapes our journey, our growth, and our understanding of ourselves.

“Life is a sum of all your choices.” – Albert Camus

Gratitude is About Our Hidden Emotions

Those feelings we sometimes ignore or don’t recognize? They have a sneaky way of influencing our actions and reactions. Ever snapped at someone and didn’t know why? Or felt an unexpected surge of joy? It’s worth exploring these emotions as they often have hidden messages about our needs and desires.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Gratitude is About How We Face Surprises

Life is full of unexpected moments. It’s not the surprise that defines us – it’s how we handle it. When faced with challenges, our true strengths and weaknesses come to the forefront. By understanding and acknowledging them, we can better prepare for life’s next curveball.

“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll

Gratitude is About Always Learning

Life is a teacher, and every day is a classroom. From every experience, there’s something to learn. Think of a recent mistake or a proud moment. Both instances have valuable lessons, whether it’s about determination, patience, resilience or understanding.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The Glow Up

Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness“. Does that sound like the typical idea you had of gratitude? Gratitude seems to be more about our readiness and resilience to show appreciation or kindness than it is about being thankful.

Think back to a minor inconvenience? Does it matter now? Did it make you any less resilient? Probably not. Did it limit your ability to show appreciation or return kindness? It probably did.

We’ll explore more as we move through this series – and until then – how can you use this understanding of gratitude moving forward?

Going Deeper | If the above resonated for you here are some additional reflections.

  • Choosing Our Way | Jot down three significant choices you made this month. How have they shaped your days since?
  • Hidden Emotions | Dedicate five minutes to silent reflection when you can. What emotions rise to the surface when you’re still?
  • Facing Surprises | Recall a surprise from the past week. Write about how you responded and how it made you feel.
  • Always Learning | Name one new thing you learned this week, no matter how small. Can you apply it in the future?

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**Note | Our blog is designed for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting a new health regimen. The FDA hasn't evaluated our content, and it's not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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