G is for Gratitude



The words “gratitude” and “grace” share a common origin: the Latin word gratus, meaning “pleasing” or “thankful.”

In the monthly copy of the AHP newsletter (Association for Humanistic Psychology) that I receive, a recent article defined gratitude as “orientation towards noticing and appreciating the positive in the world.”

I won’t argue with that, but I’d like to add a qualifier. I believe that definition describes passive gratitude. If, however, that spark ignites a fire that inspires personal change, that passivity transforms into active gratitude.

It is my perspective that gratitude in action—as a regular practice—has a wide brushstroke of positive effects:

Inward—through appreciation we find contentment.

Outward—it inspires generosity—be it our time, skills, or money—and gifts us with opportunities to serve.

Environmentally—it’s a catalyst for healing our planet through the respect of nature.

For thousands of years gratitude has crossed religious and cultural boundaries not only as a social virtue, but as a theological virtue, but it’s a relatively new subject in the field of scientific research.

The University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons’ research indicates that “Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, (and) regular physical examinations.” His research also revealed that grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that literally boosts the immune system—a clear physical benefit.

Dr. Alex Wood, a postgraduate researcher in the Department of Psychology, University of Warwick says, “…gratitude is an integral part of well-being;”—a distinct benefit to our mental and emotional faculties.

Gratitude helps to open the heart, the seat of compassion. It helps us to see the good in our experience, regardless. It enhances trust and helps us to forgive—an unarguable benefit to our spiritual aspect.

Better than a multi-vitamin, gratitude is plain good for us!

How do you weave gratitude into your life tapestry?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

149 thoughts on “G is for Gratitude

  1. How do you weave gratitude into your life tapestry?

    We must be reading the same books, because I just got done yesterday reading about how to make and record a gratitude book.
    Funny I had just finished this and I felt like my dishwasher was breaking, not going through it’s full cycle. So, I strated a load and went out to do some errands, thinking this gives it plenty of time to complete its cycle, if its not done by the time I get back home (stuck on wash after 2 hours of being gone) then I know for sure its broke.
    Well, it was done and working on drying. Right there in the kitchen it came to me, GRATITUDE!!! so I said I’m grateful that my dishwasher is working and I dont have to spend money to have it fixed.
    A ahaaa moment in motion.
    Now I feel confident to start my gratitude journal.

  2. I am grateful for the ability to blog — which was just yesterday threatened by some legal paperwork I received in the mail. Seems part of my blogging — which deals with the soap opera that is my life — is upsetting certain people, who are now attempting to silence my voice.

    So for now, I will continue to enjoy this medium, and fight these people with everything in me.

    Thanks for the reminder. We all should be grateful for many things in our life that we take for granted!

  3. Yay! Love your post! How do I weave gratitude into my life? Well, I do a sort of daily cross training for my soul. Fifteen minutes of free form writing followed by 15 minutes of gratitude journaling and 15 minutes of affirmations…. My gratitude averages 4 pages a day and I agree whole heartedly, it is a catalyst for much positivity and self love that begins within which I happily share with the world via donations, smiles, giggles and all out JOY for my existence. 🙂 Often times, I have gratitude fests in my head, like right now I am thinking, “WOW! The computer is a pretty amazing invention and I am so grateful for it’s amazing existence which provides me the ability one I’ve never even about something I LOVE… who I have never met which sparks connection in the most unique way.” 🙂 Often times I give thanks for my car and healthy foods and all the love in my life…. How do you weave gratitude into your life?

    Annyhoo, thanks for your thoughts and I hope you have the most AMAZING day!

    • Currie Rose – I love what you shared about the daily cross training for your soul – that’s fantastic! Thank you for stopping by “Speaking from the Heart” – I hope you’ll come back again.

    • Thank you Holessence for your lovely blog. Awesome.

      I also do much of what Currie Rose says above. Not exactly, but very similar.
      And even when things could really be better…financially anyway, I thank God for all the blessings I do have. I feel very rich. I write it in my journal, about it in my blogs or poetry, I tell God how grateful I am, and I tell others.
      The best gift(s) I am grateful for is God’s presence in my life; and the people who have been in my life, who are now, and those to come.

  4. I wake up grateful, regardless. I’m grateful for all of the beautiful miracles surrounding me, and that I can recognize them, regardless of any other thing going on in my life.

    Attitude of gratitude!

    Great post!

  5. I have long felt that gratitude is one of the most powerful skills we have at our disposal for creating our own inner peace and happiness. Being grateful for the small things and the big things and sharing that thankfullness is so uplifting.

    Thank you for sharing your finding and thoughts on this. Intertesting to see science finally catching on to the benefits of gratefulness.

    Keep well,

  6. I weave gratitude into my tapestry by sometimes dropping by my daughter’s job, walking in and giving her a wordless peck on the cheek, by kneeling beside my bed, folding my hands and communing with the Almighty, by experiencing the weather, whether it be rain, snow, sun, or hail, and saying “Thank you!”

  7. Gratitude, thank you with a hug, with tears, con abrazos fuertes y mil besos! How many more variations of “thank you” have we expressed or yet to do as this overwhelming feeling overtakes us?

    Thank you for defining or classifying each to better understand them. A blog just for gratitude–we needed this.

    The image you used is a constant one that unfolds on my bus rides to downtown Vancouver of which I wrote this haiku on thanksgiving that I would like to share with you:

    not two but hundreds
    of upraised pine branches–
    thanks still wanting

  8. Beautiful blog. In dealing with personal loss a new sense of gratitude has sparked in my life. Yet another example to make me realize how fragile our lives are. I have set out to make the most of mine while I still have it. I have started practicing yoga again, returned to things lost, and now make time for myself and my creative efforts. I am thankful to be alive. Hm.. that’s appropriate, considering today is my birthday. 🙂

    • Notesfromrumbleycottage – What a wonderful model for your children to see and participate in. Thank you for letting me know I’d been “freshly pressed.” I was wondering why I had an unusually large number of comments to moderate.

  9. I am feeling gratitude that after a full day of appts yesterday, we are at home today with no appts. We slept in, in fact mom is just getting up….I try to see grace and gratitude every day….trying to be thankful for the little thinks and also big, especially the grace to just BE….

  10. I think when we are able to stop complaining about the negative points of our lives, we can finally let go of of worry and embrace gratitude with open arms. What a wonderful challenge: attempt to find and acknowledge all of the positive moments in your day. Don’t worry about the things that give you difficulty or fear…turn to the things that bring joy and value to your life, and let the rest fall away. Easier said than done, but a great thought. Congrats on being FP’d!

      • I may or may not have remixed it and used it as my Facebook status. 🙂

        I rejoiced with a solid: “Yeay!” and quickly added a “oh snap!” after I looked deeper into other accounts of my life where results are far from favorable.

        A perfect blend of joy and sting all in one.

  11. I am a firm believer that an attitude of gratitude can change the world. I know it and have experienced that a little gratitude can work miracles! I try to remember to stop in my tracks when something negative comes out of my mouth and say something positive to counteract it. I am also trying to foster it in my children. You attract what you put out there. I had committed myself to being more grateful this month and than your blog comes across my path. Truth! Thank you!

    • mmgoodsongs – To stop in one’s tracks the moment they realize that something negative has been said and then counteracting it with something positive is a terrific model for your children. I admire what you’re doing. Thank you for stopping by today.

  12. Pingback: G is for Gratitude (via Speaking from the Heart) « Rwalley’s Blog

  13. Laurie… errhummm…note to self: sedately remember… I live a grateful life full of simple abundance that becomes part of the very act of my ordinary… like making oatmeal this morning, seeing the leave blow off the tree outside my studio window and so on.

    I am grateful for you and your beautiful posts “freshly pressed” and all. Big grin. Oh I can’t STAND IT! Hats off to you Laurie. Yippee! Congratulations! Super [[[hugs]]]. People are so lucky that you made “the press”. Because finding you is like have a gem show up in your pocket on every even day…

    so much for sedate 🙂

  14. Hi Laurie,

    We are totally aligned on this one!!!

    So many different aspects to gratitude.

    So often in life we see what we look for.

    A couple of major aspects even to that.

    We are bombarded with so much more information than our conscious awareness can process that it must be filtered down to what the conscious can deal with. A part of our brain called the RAS (Reticular Activating System) normally does that for us, and it is very sensitive to context.
    At another level completely, it is possible to be grateful for absolutely anything. That we are alive, and able to experience it, however “painful” it may feel at some level, is sufficient cause to be grateful.

    One of the things that affected me profoundly from my school days was reading about what people thought was the greatest technological progress (this was in the early 60s). One very old lady said “running water”. Not having to walk 2 miles to the river every day, then walk the two miles back carrying two heavy pails of water, and the wet washing, made the biggest difference in her life.
    Reading that, I really got how profoundly different and more privileged our lives are than most of those who went before us. And yes the romans had water, reticulation, and they used lead pipes (from where we get the term plumbers, from the roman term for lead – plumbous), which caused poisoning in many people.

    We are still learning, about levels of toxicity of various substances that we use, both from their actual use and from their manufacture, and we are, on the whole, getting more aware, and more friendly to the environment; and we have a lot still to do.

    So yes – gratitude fr the extraordinary privilege it is to be alive at this time, to have had the experiences I have had, to be who I am, and to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
    In every mouthful of food, every breath of air, every step taken, every sound heard, every hug, every pat of the dogs.

    Gratitude is one of the greatest antidotes to stress, and in that simple way, one of the most healthful things we can engage in.

    • Ted – I didn’t know about the Roman plumbing, that was cool – thank you. You’re so right that gratitude is one of the greatest antidotes to stress and that it’s SIMPLE. Not only is it one of the most healthful things we can do, it’s one of the most heartfelt things we can do.

      That aside … did Jewelia arrive safely in Orlando yet? She’s been on my heart and mind.

  15. I love the notion of “active gratitide.” Blogging about my life in Haiti, I wrote even today about my struggle to change, especially in light of the poverty I see all around me in Port-au-Prince.” I’m asking lots of questions, not always getting answers that satisfy. I just can’t figure out how to actually “be the change [I] I want to see in the world” that Ghandi talks about. Here my less than flattering, I’m-an-American-I-deserve-running-water, entitlement issues stand out in stark and ugly relief against the backgrop of Haitian hope-in-the-midst-of-suffering.
    Thanks for the insights!

    • Kathryn – I’m so glad you stopped by “Speaking from the Heart” today. When you can’t figure out how to actually “be the change you want to see in the world, ” simply BE love.

    • Roamer – Your words are well worth repeating, “Gratitude fills our being and almost gently steers us to the path of well-being and doing right every day.” Thank you for stopping by and leaving those words of wisdom.

  16. I loved this post, today…
    G is for feeling Grateful your post was chosen this day for Freshly Pressed…and that I happened along to find it.

    Not believing in coincidences, I will continue to look with eyes wide open for reasons to be blown away by the good in this world.


    • Planejaner – I don’t believe in coincidences either 🙂 I’m so glad you found “Speaking from the Heart” and I hope you’ll come back. I love what you said, “I will continue to look with eyes wide open for reasons to be blown away by the good in this world.”

  17. I just read your fantastic post here. It seems like we share the attitude that “Gratitude is good for you.” Grateful Nation is an online community that gives grateful people like you the opportunity & resources to connect, give back, and be thankful. Follow GN or jump into the unending cycle of gratitude here at Grateful Nation Thank you, Vanessa

  18. Am I grateful? Yes, of course. However, I have a ‘pride’ complex (I’m pretty sure there’s a proper word for it); expressions of gratitude are akin to being indebted to someone. My pride (however wrongly), does not let me do this. I find it hard to say ‘thank you’, no matter how much I mean it.

    I’m not denying it’s good for you; I’m just pointing out how it’s actually quite difficult for some people (this just made me seem like some sort of insensitive, ungrateful git; I’m not, I just have something ‘wrong’ with me.)

    Good post, nonetheless! 😀 (it’s convinced me to try get over my ego [no matter how much it coaxes me against it] and be more verbally grateful.

    • Yusura – I’m glad this post has convinced you to try, regardless of how you feel. That’s excellent! THANK YOU for stopping by “Speaking from the Heart” today and leaving a comment. I appreciate you.

    • Darlene – Please make yourself at home and look around. In this particular series I’ve posted A-G. I’ve still got to post H-Z. I post on the even-numbered days of every month. I also invite you to look through the archived posts. I’m glad you found “Speaking from the Heart” and GRATEFUL that you left a comment.

  19. I’m so glad I stumbled on this article! BTW, in case you didn’t know it, this was a featured article on the main page of WordPress.com!
    The heart and soul of my blog is to develop an attitude of gratitude. When I am in that spirit, I find countless blessings in my everyday life!
    Thank you for this post. It confirms my own belief that being a grateful person is good for my overall health and well being.

    • Ferd – With all of the comments I did finally figure out that I had been “Freshly Pressed” (featured on the WordPress main page). Needless to say, I’m tickled pink 🙂 One good visit deserves another. Count on the fact that I’ll be over to check out your blog on gratitude 🙂

  20. Laurie, I love your post on Gratitude. I write in my Gratitude journal every night before I go to bed.
    I am now following your blog and would love to interact more. I am in the process of being certified as a life coach and would love to send my contacts to your site.

    Make it a great day!
    🙂 Karin Conway

  21. Laurie, I am DANCING around this hotel room in GRATITUDE that you got featured on FRESHLY PRESSED! In fact, I have tears of JOY! So delighted…what a gift in this day. WaHOOOOOOO!!!

    • My Camera, My Friend – I’m GRATEFUL that you stopped by “Speaking from the Heart” today. I think that GRATITUDE is quite possibly the “silver bullet” — body, mind, and spirit.

  22. My Word! Have you become syndicated? What does Freshly Pressed mean? Are all your wrinkles gone? If so, I want to be pressed too. I am grateful that you let us share in this wonderful class of yours, reminding us to look a wee bit closer, day by day, through every letter in the Alphabet. I am also very grateful to be here in the flesh, to have the ability to speak to the Master of the Universe several times a day and give Thanks. Thanks for my eyes, my breath, my truck, the roof over my head, and my bed at night. Thanks for all the people who write books and keep my brain exercised. Oh, there’s a world of things to be grateful for, if we only took the time!
    Oh, and I am grateful that I got the contact from Ogden Publications in the mail today…..Yee Haw!

    • Sandi – “Freshly Pressed” means that my blog was selected along with 11 others (a dozen) to be on the front page of http://www.WordPress.com. I had no idea that it happened until I had an in-box full of comments that needed to be moderated. One person said, “Congratulations on being FP’d” – I still didn’t understand. But when another person said, “Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed” I whipped over to the home page and sure enough, there was the back of me, arms reaching to the sky. Needless to say, I’m tickled pink!

      “Oh, there’s a world of things to be grateful for, if only we took the time!” Amen, siSTAR!

  23. I think “G” should stand for gravitate in this case, Laurie. I had the same question Sandi did: have you gone syndicate? 67 comments? Hello? Put a little gratitude out there and suddenly people flocking gravitate to your blog. Gosh, but it is so easy to play the “woe is me” game, and gratitude is the cure. If we fill our lives with gratitude, there is no room for woe.

    • Barbara – Nope, I haven’t gone syndicate :). I just replied to Sandi and explained that I’ve been “Freshly Pressed” (you’ll see a full explanation there). I love what you said, “If we fill our lives with gratitude, there is no room for woe.”

  24. Laurie, congratulations for making the freshly pressed page. Great article!

    I can definitely attest to the benefits of active daily gratitude since I began my 100 day gratitude challenge. There are too many benefits to list them all here, but just as your article says, my heart has opened more and I feel wonderful regardless of my circumstances. I feel more peace and joy.

    It is definitely a worthwhile practice that I highly recommend for the improvement of quality of life.

  25. This is spectacular news! Laurie Buchanan is a real internet sweetheart, and fully deserving of this Glowing accolade. Her blogsite is a veritable display of Gratitude for her readers who are blessed with her Generous doses of sound advice, concern, and real caring. Few make themselves as available, and fewer still inform their subjects with such a winning chemistry of compassion and spirit. I have been recipient to Laurie’s special gifts, and I am so much richer for it.

    Freshly pressed? You bet. The attendance here is proof parcel!

  26. Hai Laurie,, I’m practicing being grateful by imagining my heart’s smiling. Keep maintaining positive energy and wow, when I’m grateful, I feel more content,- feel the harmony within.. Anyway, nice picture.. Great article.. 😀

    • Stellycious Stella – I’m sure glad you stopped by Speaking from the Heart. It’s sounds like you’ve got a good handle on GRATITUDE. You mentioned the photograph — my husband took that of me in early spring this year and it seemed appropriate to support the topic of GRATITUDE.

  27. I have to admit that I would argue that gratitude can and should be expressed for both the things in life which we view as positive and those which we view as negative. If this is not the case then our gratitude, and all that goes with it, is limited by the number of positive factors in our lives. Also it is often that which we initially view as negative, difficult, and painful, which leads to the most personal growth.


    • Noothergods – Like you said, it’s both the positive and seemingly negative things (difficult, painful) that leads to the most personal growth. I choose to be GRATEFUL for everything. Thank you for your comment.

  28. Yes, you’re absolutely right!

    I think I’m going to start making a ‘gratitude list’ every morning. In this economy, more people could benefit from being more thankful.

    Please feel free to take this quiz and find out what fears are holding you back in life:


    Much love,


  29. I just stumbled accross this blog. I loved the topic of gratitude. I just wrote one on giving. And I believe that giving comes from gratitude. The relationship to the word “grace” struck me as well. I believe that is why we should serve God: because I am grateful to him. We don’t serve God to earn our way into heaven. And we should serve our fellow man because that is the best way to serve God, and each other. I am glad I stumbled on this blog (-:

    • Jamie – I, too, am glad you “stumbled” onto this blog (actually, I don’t believe in coincidence; I believe that everything happens for a reason). I appreciate the perspective you shared. Thank you for leaving a comment. I hope you’ll come back.

  30. Congratulations on being featured on Freshly Pressed!

    Loved your post. As a therapist I am always encouraging my clients to incorporate gratitude into their life and healing. I appreciate your comment about “active gratitude” and will be using it with clients in the coming days. Thank you.

  31. Thanks HOLESSENCE,

    I’m blessed by your words.. Gratitude is more than multi-vitamin.. eat it daily, for healthy mind n soul..

  32. Pingback: G is for Gratitude (via Speaking from the Heart) « Love and Happiness: All the Time

  33. I’ve been in some “challenging” situations in my life. Yet, I was taught by my mother (a very strong and wise woman, full of faith and gratitude) to always be thankful for what you have. So, I have learned to be grateful for any little tidbit of goodness that comes into my life. I have learned to sometimes say to myself, “Things could be so much worse.” And I have learned that even blessings come in the disguise of seemingly bad or hard times. Joy can be found in the littlest things and the most quiet moments, if you are willing to see this. And when you do appreciate, or are “grateful” for the small things, it makes the bigger moments all that much better!

    • Rtcrita – It sounds like you have an amazing mother. You really hit the nail on the head when you said, “I you are willing to see.” That’s vital. Thank you for visiting Speaking from the Heart. I hope you’ll come back.

  34. Wow, this is so in-line with my most recent thoughts (and blog post incidentally). Thank you for helping me re-enforce what I have just began to realise is true:- if I don’t change soomething, I’m choosing it.

  35. Ma’am, you’re giving me a great inspiration!. I Like this. And I try to do it. I hope you can give spirit and more inspiration to all of people in the world.

    Thank you very much… 🙂

  36. AAHH, did you feel the immunity boost from just reading these posts on gratitude? What a blessing. I am a big fan of Dr. Emoto’s research on the positive effects of love and gratitude on water. More specifically the water in our bodies. I practice active gratitude on a daily basis by focusing my intention to be mindfully grateful for EVERYTHING. I am especially grateful to have been traveling for over 30 years to an island where I am embraced with attitudes of gratitude. Some people still walk to get their water, and many people wait each week for a boat to arrive with living essentials, yet examples of gratitude are abundant from those with an island perspective of priorities. Health and wellness, waking each day and no expectations.

    • Lisa – Like you, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Emoto and fully appreciate the research he’s done on the positive effects of water. I learned a lot more about water at a class I attended in Chicago Monday evening. I like what you’ve shared here about island life (which has prompted a different idea. I’ll send you a separate email this afternoon when a window of opportunity presents itself). Thank you for stopping by today. I so appreciate YOU!

  37. Hi holessence,
    How amazing to stumble across your beautiful blog and your words are just pure blissful.
    I personally live in gratitude in every moment.and have a gratitude journal that just puts everything into great perspective.
    Love your writing!!
    Blogging is amazing…you can meet people who you instantly feel connected to…thank you!
    Lots of love,

    • Zeenat – I’m so glad that you found “Speaking from the Heart.” and that you like what you found. I do hope that you’ll come back. You’re right – a gratitude journal is a great way to keep things in perspective.

  38. Inspiring! At a low point in my life some years ago, I began a gratitude journal. I did so, believing that I had nothing to be grateful for. I remember my first entry. It said, “I am funny.” That was the non-negotiable of my self-worth. As the days wore on, knowing I would “have to” write something in the journal that evening, I began to see the world in a new way. At first it was almost artificial (“I have to write something, so I’ll write this.”)After awhile, I really did see everything from a point of gratitude. A journal was no longer enough to contain my abundance of gratitude.

    • Life in the boomerland – Thank you for sharing your story here, that’s great! I’m glad you stopped in and I hope you’ll return again, soon. I post on the even-numbered days of the month.

  39. Hey Laurie,
    nice words there. 🙂 its surprising how obvious the answers of our problems are but it gets somewhat strange in the convolutions of life and we require external influences to remind us of our potential to get through. whats next? H for Humor? 😉 😀

    • Krazzyking – The problem with those external influences is that they fluctuate day-by-day; they’re not reliable. When we look inward — to the real deal — we’re spot on! As for “H” — you’ll have to tune in tomorrow 🙂

  40. That’s the key alright ‘have no expectations’. It’s taken me about ten years to figure this out for myself, duh! If only someone had taken me aside for just one moment and said, “…today’s expectations can often become tomorrow’s resentments”. There simple!

  41. YAY LAURIE!!!! Congrats – You so totally deserve this!!!! I am grateful for you in my life.

    Murphy has been getting me a lot lately. So I have to stick my tongue out at him and be grateful for the things to do go right in my life. Like having some good family and friends – like you!

  42. Dear Laurie,

    Even though it is easy to get angry or upset about things that happen in everyday life, I try to push them away by being grateful everyday for being healthy and lucky for being who I am. I am grateful for your post!

  43. Holy moly, Miss Laurie! School’s gotten a bit crowded, hey? Learning is so much better when shared 🙂 Horray – ‘Freshly Pressed’ has never looked so good!

    I try to never take anything for granted and to be thankful for the simple joys of life – a walk in the woods with the pack, a beautimous sunrise, the joy of my granddaughter’s smile, the amazing earth around me. I’ve been meaning to keep a gratitude journal but am always conscious of giving thanx.

  44. Laurie, many congratulations! Thought I would squeeze in for a moment to say how grateful I am for all that you share here….your generosity of spirit, your wisdom and yourself.
    Thank you.

  45. Nice read! I try to look at situations with a positive attitude. By doing so, I am able to appreciate the good aspects of it. For example, I have to spend at least another hour every day to commute to and from work. I reason that by being in traffic I am: 1) avoiding a speeding ticket, and 2) saving on gas. By looking at the positive in this, I avoid feeling frustrated or angry (i.e. road rage!) Congrats on Freshly Pressed, I am grateful for your thoughtful insight! LB

    • Ibwong – What a refreshing outlook you have. I love the way you have a glass that half FULL instead of half EMPTY. Thank you for stopping by Speaking from the Heart. I hope you’ll come back again soon.

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