Appreciation vs. Gratitude
The idea of writing an appreciation journal may feel too trendy for you…after all, it seems like we’re hearing the benefits of writing “gratitude lists” all over the place these days.
It may be helpful to note here the difference between appreciation and gratitude, so that you can leverage the appreciation journal for your full benefit.
I, and many others, have greatly benefited from this slight shift in understanding, and I hope it is helpful to you as well.
To understand the difference between these two words, it is helpful to imagine the posture of two people, one full of appreciation, and the other full of gratitude.
The person full of appreciation is standing with their arms open, and a free and unassuming smile on their face.
They are overwhelmed with thankfulness as they notice all their blessings.
At the same time, they are deeply content.
This person realizes the ebb and flow of the gifts of life, and so they have less of a sense of ownership over these gifts.
The person who is full of gratitude looks somewhat similar in that they are also thankful, but they are hugging tightly to themselves all that they have been blessed with.
They smile as their eyes focus on the things in their arms.
They may feel entitled to their gifts, and there is a subtle anxiety in their heart, a small fear that these things will be taken away.
Test this out, and see if you feel the difference for yourself. Think of something you are thankful for, and then say two sentences, one beginning with, “I so appreciate…” and the other, “I’m so grateful for…”
If the differentiation between these words is not helpful to you, and you find the word “gratitude” helps you grow in thankfulness, then by all means, continue using it.
But you might be surprised in the energy difference.