The difference between Gratitude and Appreciation

I’ve just got back from a fabulous time at the Quest Festival in Devon. I had the absolute pleasure of running 4 workshops on Happiness, The Artist’s Way and ‘Future Self Now‘. Everyone who came to my sessions was really up for all the games and exercises that I love to throw at people. We had a fun time together!

Thinking about these past few days and how perfectly everything worked out, I’ve been feeling very moved today. I’m remembering, however, to make sure that I’m in a state of appreciation and not gratitude.

What’s the difference?

Well it’s this:

Gratitude is often a state of being pleased that something has worked out despite possible negative outcomes. E.g. “I’m grateful that my workshops worked out” (because they could have been a disaster!) or “I’m grateful that I had a smooth journey down to Devon” (because I could have got stuck in the normal jam around the M5). Gratitude, in other words, looks backwards and more often than not promotes the overcoming of something. It is has a sense of relief about it: –  “Phew I’m glad that that didn’t happen!”

Appreciation, on the other hand, is more a state of savouring a current reality. It is more firmly rooted in celebration and delight for the thing itself. Its about highlighting the positive and dwelling on the deliciousness of it.

So, what we’re talking about here is a difference in the emotional quality of the two words – not the words themselves.

Remember: What you pay attention to grows. So even though this talk of the difference between two words may seem like splitting hairs, it really does matter because Gratitude can trigger a focus on overcoming a negative in the past, whilst Appreciation lives very firmly in the savouring of the NOW.

So, new friends from Quest and old blog-buddies, I very definitely do not feel gratitude towards you (“thanks for liking me!”) – I APPRECIATE you in all your glory for who you are now and into the future!

5 Responses to The difference between Gratitude and Appreciation

  1. Hmmm interesting T. I have a painting called “Surge of Gratitude” that is now a greeting card…Surge of Appreciation…seems to say something different doesn’t it? The reason I chose Surge of Gratitude, was because of the Dr Emoto research on how water changes crystal formation depending on the word beside it. “Love and gratitude” was a particularly beautiful combination crystal formation. (
    .. Dr. Emoto’s work
    needs further research confirmation, but I don’t need science to know that different words, with different intent infused in them, feel differently. Hence all my word art!!! So…I will sit with your distinction of gratitude versus appreciation. One can “be thanked” with either word…I think there are “phew… avoidance” thanks and ” present to all is well in this moment, appreciation” thanks…..

    • Hey Kelly

      I love Dr Emoto’s work – fascinating stuff. I wonder if he’d find a difference between the two words? Abraham Hicks definitely say there is a vibrational difference between the two – in terms of how we respond energetically to them that is. xx

  2. Pingback: Road to Happiness | Baby Mama's Blog

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