The Gratitude Project: Forms of Gratitude

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Connor McKenney

Gratitude is an emotional appreciation for a positive experience. This appreciation stems from the value we perceive from this positive experience. Gratefulness for tangible things does not come from their monetary value, but from the value it adds to our lives. Expressing gratitude encourages individual happiness and strengthens interpersonal relationships. It exists in four forms: gratitude for people, events, conditions, and for yourself.

Gratitude for people is based on our interactions with them. We feel grateful for the people that brighten our day, whether it is a friendly stranger we never see again or our closest family members. For our family members that love and support us unconditionally we can express our appreciation with words and by reciprocating their kindness. For the friendly stranger we can show our gratitude by ‘paying forward’ their kindness to others.

Gratitude for events such as getting a good night’s sleep, overcoming a stressful situation, or your favorite sports team winning a big game can be expressed through self-reflection, journaling, or spiritual practices.

Gratitude for conditions such as good health, wellbeing, and contentedness can be demonstrated by reinforcing those conditions. Display your gratitude for good health by eating healthily and exercising to reinforce it. You can improve your wellbeing by practicing gratitude.

Self-gratitude for personal accomplishments, qualities, and efforts helps to cement self-confidence. Self-gratitude can be practiced by self-reflection, rewarding yourself, and reinforcing your attributes that you are thankful for.

All forms of gratitude foster appreciation for the most important parts of our lives: our families, friends, health, experiences, and accomplishments. Gratitude helps us love our lives.

Next topic will discuss the mental health benefits of gratitude.

Heather L. Moir-Dangler is a Registered Representative of, and Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Moir Financial & Insurance Services and Cambridge are not affiliated.


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