Monday, June 3, 2013

Which is Better, Gratitude or Appreciation?

Gratitude is a commonly used term these days. There are gratitude journals, gratitude challenges and gratitude quotes everywhere. Being grateful is a very good thing and has its place.

Although the words appreciation and gratitude are similar and often interchanged, appreciation produces a completely different “feeling” and a different emotion.

Let’s take a closer look at the definitions:


n a feeling of thankfulness, as for gifts or favors

Synonyms - acknowledgment, indebtedness, sense of obligation, thankfulness.

Gratitude is given for things that have changed such as improved health, a life that was spared, a larger house, a pay raise, etc... In other words, gratitude, being grateful, brings with it not only thanks for the improved situation but recognition of the past situation (poorer health, lesser pay, a smaller house, a life that was nearly lost).


n the act of estimating the qualities of things and giving them their proper value.

—clear perception or recognition

Synonyms – rise, increase, gain, grow, acknowledgement

We often appreciate the warmth of the sun, the beauty of a flower, the love of a child, the kindness of a stranger, a warm cozy bed…

If you put a visual to the words, gratitude would look more like being on your knees giving thanks whereas appreciation looks like standing tall with arms stretched out toward the sky.
Now that yu know the difference, what will you choose today, gratitude or appreciation? Or maybe both?