Webster’s Dictionary defines gratitude as “a feeling of appreciation or thanks.” So if gratitude is feeling thanks, I suppose being grateful is expressing the thanks you feel.
Psychology Today states that gratitude has 7 scientifically proven benefits. Gratitude:
I think it all lies in EXPRESSING our gratitude. We can feel grateful, but if we don’t share what we feel, we won’t experience the true positive effects gratitude can afford us. In my own experience, I learned firsthand how gratitude can shape you. My father passed away a couple months ago, and I still struggle on a daily basis, but having friends and family around to love on me has lifted my spirits immeasurably. They have done simple tasks such as send me cards, encouraging text messages, bring me cookies, coffee, flowers, as well as help me with errands and menial tasks. What makes me grateful is not simply that they bought me something; rather, it’s that they made me feel special by helping carry my burden so I didn’t have to do it alone. Sometimes I would have an especially hard day but then would come home to a new card and flowers with just the words I needed to hear. I’m beyond grateful for my friendships. Letting people I love into this hard season of my life has led to healing. It has made my darkest days a little brighter. I wrote a couple thank you cards to express my gratitude, and actually writing the words was cathartic. It showed me that though I just had a horrible loss in my life, I have been blessed with wonderful friendships. Essentially not all is lost.
I often think of the verse, Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God every time I remember you.” Now when I remember my father, I’m not only sad, I’m also overwhelmed by feelings of gratitude.
Written by Alexa, a guest contributor
The 12:12 Project is sponsored by Katy First United Methodist Church.