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
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: 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!