Gratitude and Thankfulness are often used interchangeably yet, they are very different in meaning.
Gratitude is being appreciative for kindness, wellness, food or other things you have in your life. Gratitude goes far beyond saying, “Thank you” as it involves a genuine feeling that leads to an action increasing your well-being.
Thankfulness is expressed to someone who has done something kind or been helpful to you. Being thankful, especially in today’s world, can bring a greater sense of peace and resilience into your life. Thankfulness promotes mindfulness and cultivates compassion transforming your life in wondrous ways. Thankfulness is a feeling expressed.
Gratitude is not being thankful. Genuine gratitude is used daily when you scan your world for the positive. You notice and appreciate what you have or what you have accomplished and you take action to accomplish more.
There is a form of gratitude called “Toxic Gratitude.” This happens when a person uses gratitude in a negative way. Sometimes, people use gratitude to manipulate others into doing something or they use gratitude to justify the way they feel or what they did.
Gratitude is also used to push positivity. Phrases such as,” you shouldn’t feel that way look at all you have to be grateful for in your life,” is used by “well meaning” people who do not realize the “mental health crisis” of the person that are speaking with at the time. You cannot be positive ALL the time without risking a mental health breakdown.
To the extent you stay positive the Universe/God must create a negative experience so you can stay balanced. Balance is essential for good mental health. That is why you must feel your positive emotions as well as feeling your negative emotions to process the messages in the lessons they bring to you.
Thankfulness is usually expected, in the moment. Gratitude is not necessarily expected in the moment and has a lasting emotional impact between the receiver and the giver.
Thankfulness – I am thankful for the beautiful sunset that paints the sky today.
Gratitude – I feel gratitude to my friend for listening to my troubles and helping me move.
Whether you use Thankfulness or gratitude or both make sure you are using them correctly. Be sure you never minimize or dismiss another person who may be struggling by saying things like, “look on the bright side.” In some situations, until time passes, there may not be a “bright side” that person can see. In this case simply offer a listening ear with no judgments, expectations or motives.
Sincerely with love,Ask Mary Ellen www.askmaryellen.com