Happy Thanksgiving!

My son and I were talking about Thanksgiving the other day and I was trying to explain the holiday to him. I mentioned that it’s a day when we all think about what we’re grateful for. I gave him the 5-year –old version of my definition, but I thought I’d share the most useful definition of gratitude I’ve come across with you, the writing community here at Live to Write-Write to Live, a community I am so grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Definition of Gratitude*

First, gratitude is the acknowledgement of goodness in one’s life.

Second, gratitude is the recognition that the source(s) of the goodness lies at least partially outside the self.

Using this definition, gratitude is more than an attitude, more than a feeling. It requires a willingness to recognize that:

  • One has been the beneficiary of someone’s kindness,
  • The benefactor has intentionally provided a benefit, and
  • The benefit has value in the eyes of the beneficiary.


*adapted from Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, by Robert Emmons.


Some Gratitude Resources


Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, by Robert A. Emmons, PhD

The Psychology of Gratitude, by Robert A Emmons

Gratitude: A Way of Life, by Louise L. Hay

Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude, by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Gratitude: A Journal, by Catherine Price

Forgive For Good, by Dr. Frederic Luskin

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brene Brown

Guided Meditation CD

Becoming The New Human: Creating Change Through The Power of Our Emotions, Audio CD of Guided Meditations by Evelyn Rysdyk and Allie Knowlton


Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachDiane MacKinnon, MD: is a writer, blogger, life coach, family physician, mother, and stepmother. I am so grateful to this community for it’s support and encouragement. Thank you!

8 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. I mostly agree but still think that gratitude is an attitude in that we can decide to be miserable and ungrateful about all of the things we don’t have in our lives, OR we can decide to be thankful for every single blessing. Happy happy Thanksgiving – I am indeed grateful for your blog and your words 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Living Life Day by Day and commented:
    Today, more than usual, we are thinking about being thankful – like really thankful. But what’s your gratitude attitude? Read on to find out more because when we consciously make the effort to be more grateful every single day we can indeed increase the possibility of being happier than we’ve ever been. Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

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