What is gratitude exactly? Well, I think it is something as simple as what we see and then what we think when we see it. That doesn’t only mean with our physical eyes, but also in our mind’s eye; our imagination. I will have to add to this simple definition that as a result of what we see and what we think about what we see (or imagine), we will feel good.
Then, bringing this down to the most basic level possible, gratitude is a good feeling about someone or something, or even more simply, feeling good, or to feel good.
There are all sorts of levels for gratitude, just as there is all manner of ways good might feel. Feeling good might feel like love or joy, or knowing, freedom, appreciation, feeling empowered. You could also feel contentment, confidence, passion, enthusiasm, eagerness, or feeling happy. I don’t think you would feel any of those feelings without gratitude.
Another easy way to see gratitude is in being thankful. You could be thankful for something within yourself, or something outside of yourself.
My favorite way to think about gratitude is appreciation. When I am appreciating, I am in thankfulness, and I am in gratitude. So, rather than gratitude, a word that has become iconic of late, I prefer to use a word that is more descriptive of the act: appreciation.
And because it is more descriptive of the act, sometimes people want to know how to have more gratitude, or how to become a more grateful person. This makes it so simple and easy: begin to appreciate things, acts, people, flora and fauna, well, pretty much anything. The act of appreciating is being thankful. It is being grateful. As this occurs, one naturally becomes a grateful person.