One of the earliest concrete life lessons you learn can be traced back to childhood, and that subject is none other than gratitude. But there’s much more to the meaning of gratitude besides saying thank you after you’re given a gift, or when someone holds the elevator door for you. Although it’s terrific to say thank you to gestures such as those, gratitude dwells much deeper, and it’s time to dive in and discover the true meaning of gratitude.
In this article
Gratitude vs Appreciation
Gratitude and appreciation are lovely qualities to have, and perhaps they hang out under the same word umbrella, but their meanings make them a bit different.
Definition and Meaning of Gratitude
Oxford Dictionary Definition: (noun) the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
When you glance down at the definition of appreciation you can pick out the similarities between these two words’ meanings, but there’s one crucial difference. With gratitude, there is an action of kindness activated. When you are practicing and or experiencing gratitude you will feel this genuine urge to return that kindness back to someone expecting nothing in return.
And so, the meaning of gratitude is wanting to (not feeling obligated) reciprocate the kindness someone gave to you and expecting nothing back in return. Gratitude directly from your heart, with the purest of intentions.
Definition and Meaning of Appreciation
Oxford Dictionary Definition: (noun) recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.
Appreciation is a wonderful reaction to someone who has physically gifted you something, or perhaps they have been above and beyond awesome to you and you want to show them your appreciation. This reaction of appreciation typically activates after something is given to you, whether it’s physically or emotionally because you are recognizing the quality of such gifted thing.
That is where the differences lie between the meaning of gratitude and the meaning of appreciation: gratitude is activated by a yearning to reciprocate kindness and appreciation is activated by the recognition of good quality that is found in a physical item or person.
Messages About Gratitude
Practicing gratitude in your daily life can truly make a difference! Over time, even if you don’t directly notice right away, you’ll be feeling happier and see the bright side more often simply because you are showing gratitude for what’s around you. These messages about gratitude can help you onto the grateful path to understanding the meaning of gratitude and what a wonderful addition it is to your life!
- Life begins to become lighter and more colorful when you realize the abundance you have. Look at the people who surround you, the sentiments you possess, and the food you have the pleasure of eating. Once you notice all you have and you have genuine gratitude for it, you’ll find yourself wondering if you really do need that full Amazon cart or reservations at that upscale restaurant in order to feel full and happy with the life you have the honor of living.
- Shine back your gratitude to each and everything that positively touches you, both living and inanimate objects, and watch your heart grow and your life becomes a different shade of color you didn’t know existed. The colors of pure gratitude and abundance.
- Say you take a walk and on that walk, you start to say to yourself all the beautiful things you see along the way and you’re thankful that each beautiful thing is there. You’re careful not to step on any of the beautiful things, or give a friendly wave to someone you see on the way. By the end of the walk, you’ll think to yourself, that was such a beautiful walk I’m so glad I went! If you treat your life just like that walk, if you show your gratitude towards the things in your life and you pour kindness into the world around you, you will see a beautiful life before you.
- Even on the rainy days of my life, I will search for the slivers of sunshine. And I know I won’t have to look for very long. When you are thankful for a lot, the bright side is always around the corner.
- Bring more kindness and gratitude into your life and into this world, not for the sake of wanting to receive it back. But for the simple fact of knowing that your life and the world deserve to be taken care of and shown care, and that is more than enough.
- When your heart is full of gratitude and you have your thankful goggles on, life will show you beauties that went unseen and opportunities that were left untouched. Because when you are thankful you begin to see more in the world and more deeply at that. And when your heart is full of gratitude, you’ll find that peace is not far behind.
- Gratitude begins when your eyes and heart open wide. And you don’t expect it to be filled with materials things or favors. But instead, it is filled with contentment and love.
- As children, we are taught to be thankful. And with a thankful heart that thankfulness will spin itself into a life of gratitude. The very best life you can lead, for you will always find beauty in it.
- Practicing gratitude sadly does not make you immune to bad days or unfortunate events. But it does thankfully show you what else life has for you, and the path to a better day.
- Start small when you’re practicing gratitude. Begin with showing gratitude for the barista who makes your coffee, or your coworker who always says good morning to you. It’s the little things that reveal to us what greatness lies in our lives. And with this gratitude building up, and as you practice every day, your heart will grow stronger and more full of love and life.
Messages of Gratitude that Define the Meaning of Gratitude
Showing your gratitude to someone is truthfully one of the purest feelings. Maybe this person helped you with a difficult task, they bought you a thoughtful present, or they’ve just always been there for you! No matter the case, these messages of gratitude will be a perfect way to express to them how much their presence in your life means to you.
- Life is unpredictable, but my gratitude for you is unmoveable! There won’t be a day when I’m not grateful for you, even if it’s one of your off days or mine. Because my life wouldn’t be the same without you, thank you for being the best!
- No matter what happens in this crazy life you’re always there for me, and I want you to know that I will always be here for you. I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have you, and I’ll never stop having gratitude for you.
- It makes my heart sing and glow that you were thinking of me. And even without your kind gesture, I am always thinking of you and the deep gratitude I have for you. I will be here for you no matter what!
- Just knowing that you are present in my life overflows my soul with gratitude and love. My life has forever been changed by the kindness you’ve given to me. And I will never stop showering it back onto you and the world around me; thanks to you!
- The world is a beautiful place. How do I know this to be true? Why you can see it plain on my face. It’s all because of you!
- I can’t begin to express how thankful I am for everything you have done for me. You are one of the utmost amazing humans I’ve ever met, and my gratitude for you is overwhelming. Whatever you need, any time, I’ll be here for you.
- In life, you’re lucky if you have something to be appreciative of. But you’re blessed if you have something to have gratitude towards. You are my blessed reason, I have so much gratitude for you and nothing would make me happier than to put a smile on your face and show you the kindness you’ve shown me and so many others. You’re the greatest!
- My gratitude for you started when we first met, and it shall continue on until the end of time. Because gratitude doesn’t die with you. Not if you’ve shown it to others and they continue to practice it and pass it along.
- It’s never a waste of time to show someone how much gratitude you have for them. But it is a waste if you’re waiting and expecting something in return. My point is, that I would like you to know how incredibly grateful I am to have you in my life and I will be here for anything you need.
- Life is about much more than material things and high-ranking achievements. It’s about the people you love, the moments you share, and the gratitude that fills your heart and pours out into the world around you.
Gratitude Messages for Friends
A large portion of our lives is spent with friends; making memories and experiencing life together. And those friends deserve to know how much they mean to you, who doesn’t need a reminder of that? Take a look at these messages of gratitude to friends that define the meaning of gratitude and you’ll feel the gratitude fill up your heart. This list is sure to inspire you into sending some gratitude messages for friends whose day will be made after receiving it!
- Together or far apart. I always have gratitude for you within my heart!
- My world would lose its best and brightest colors if I didn’t have you in it. I cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for you, you are one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met. And that is precisely why you deserve the purest kindness the world has to offer, and I will always give that to you. Thank you for being a true friend!
- If I had a dollar for every time I felt gratitude towards you, we’d be millionaires! And then we’d donate it to charity because there’s nothing better than spreading the gratitude around!
- You really are the best friend in the world. I’m so thankful for you every single day, my gratitude for our friendship overflows into every detail of my life.
- The moments we have collected together in our friendship are some of the brightest treasures I will ever possess, and you are the greatest friend I could ever ask for. I’m so grateful for you, and I’ll never stop showing you that!
- You’re the best friend in the whole wide world! My gratitude and awe for you expand out into streaks of color in the sky and out past the galaxies in our universe. Maybe you’ll think that’s overboard, but that’s just how much I love ya and how thankful I am for you!
- When I express my gratitude for you, I’m not talking about the gifts you’ve gotten me or favors you’ve given me. I’m talking about holding gratitude for exactly who you are no matter what day you’re having, no matter what season of our lives we’re in, I am just extremely grateful for you!
- Life wouldn’t be the same without true friendship. And my life would be incredibly boring if I didn’t have my best friend! Just by our friendship, you have shown me the true meaning of gratitude, and what it means to be content with the beauty that surrounds you.
- The best cure for loneliness and the greatest form of happiness is spending time with a best friend. And so I’m telling mine that I’ll be here for you no matter what the time and my gratitude for you has no end!
- My days as so much brighter because you’re a part of them. And I always want to provide you with the same warm feeling in your heart and a bright smile, as you give to me, because you have always been nothing but sweet. Thank you for being such an amazing friend, and I just want you to know I am over the moon with gratitude for you.
Messages of Gratitude for Teachers
One of the most overlooked positions in society is a teacher. Every day they provide the service of knowledge, care, and attention to the children in your community and the future of the world. It’s safe to say that there isn’t a case of showing too much gratitude towards teachers; they sure could use a lot of it! Dive into these gratitude messages for teachers and surprise a teacher in your life or community with the pure gift of gratitude for the incredible work they do.
- When I ponder the meaning of gratitude there are a few things that come to mind. One of them is a person who is smart, patient, and incredibly kind. A role model for me and so many others, such a remarkable leader. When I think of gratitude there’s no way I can’t be reminded of my amazing teacher!
- This world would never be the same without the selfless gifts of a teacher. And for the kindness, lessons, and energy you have given to students the world around you is indebted with gratitude and will flourish from your teachings.
- The work you do is not taken lightly, and I know I don’t speak for just myself when I express my gratitude. I speak for the whole school, the community, the country, the world! Because without teachers like you, people like me and so many others wouldn’t have opportunities to grow, learn, and embrace the world.
- I can only imagine the pressures that some days may hold, and the challenges you face. And although it doesn’t minimize those hardships, please try to remember this when you are going through those dark moments. My gratitude for you and everything you have done not only in my educational journey but my life journey has made an impactful and incredible difference, and it always will. I will always be grateful for you!
- There should never be a day when you don’t know how valuable you are to this community and to society, and especially to the individual lives you forever touch. But if you feel like you are experiencing a day like that, please remember that I am always so full of gratitude for you because you truly are the best teacher I have ever had.
- Sometimes I feel like I’m not good enough for the world or I’m not smart enough. But then I remember the amazing teacher I have in my life and the wonderful things they taught me. And with that, I know that I will always be more than enough for the world. And I will forever be grateful for the awesome teacher who taught me that.
- Life will give you many lessons, but the most valuable ones have come from you. But the best lesson I learned out of that came from my heart, and that was to show gratitude towards the things and people in your life who bring you joy. Thank you for everything you do, and for believing in me.
- My gratitude for you extends outside the classroom and it will for the rest of my life. Because you taught me things about life, not just academics. And you listened to me and showed me kindness not just as one of your students, but as a person you care about.
- A teacher isn’t just someone who will usher you through life’s vast knowledge door. They’re the person who showed you lessons beyond classroom sessions, and who you’ll have an abundance of gratitude for!
- The world definitely could use more teachers, but teachers like you are one in a billion! I am filled with so much gratitude because I got to experience having you as a teacher and I learned things I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. Thank you for being my favorite teacher.
- Press, Pretty Simple (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 118 Pages - 09/16/2017 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Messages of Gratitude to a Boss
Let’s give it up to the person who’s running all the big picture stuff, they need a helping and thankful hand too! These messages of gratitude to a boss are a great way to express your thankfulness for the work they do as well.
- It isn’t easy being the boss, and I’m incredibly grateful for the leadership and encouragement you display around the workplace. There’s no other person I could see being a better boss than you!
- You’ve given me opportunities I wouldn’t have had if you hadn’t opened the door. And for that, I am incredibly grateful and full of gratitude.
- Every day I walk into work full of gratitude, even if it wasn’t the best morning. Simply because I have a good job, nice coworkers, and an awesome boss who made it all possible. Thank you for seeing the potential in me, and for keeping this ship afloat!
- Work isn’t everything, but it means everything when you work for a great boss! Thank you for making everyone at work feel like a real person and giving us the motivation to go above and beyond. You’re the best!
- I’m surrounded by gratitude when I walk into the office because you’ve helped to create a work environment that is positive, uplifting, and encourages you to be yourself and work hard. I speak for the whole office/workplace when I say that we are thankful for the hard work you pour into this company and all of us.
- This office/workplace wouldn’t be as successful and functional without your awesome guidance, patients, and hard work. Thank you for being a top-notch boss, and a great person. We all have so much gratitude for you!
- Not many people can say they have a boss they can add to their gratitude list, but I’m one of them! You’ve taught me the true craftsmanship of hard work, and to see the value in myself for the abilities I have and skills I will sharpen along the way. Thank you for being an incredible boss!
- The world is full of bosses, but none of them rank on the employee’s gratitude meter quite like you! You make going to work less stressful with your compassionate nature and the vibe you put out into our workspace.
- Not every boss gets to hear words of gratitude from their employees, but that’s because not all of them have taken How to Be The Best Boss lessons from you! Thank you for being a boss that I can look up to, that I can talk with, and who genuinely cares about their employees.
- Having a boss like you, whom I can truthfully say I’m grateful for, has been one of the most unexpected blessings of my life. Work takes up so much time in our lives that having it be a positive and rewarding environment enriches that energy spent there even more. I’m full of gratitude for the workplace you have built and for bringing me on board.
Gratitude Messages for Birthday Wishes
Isn’t it one of the sweetest feelings to receive lovely social media and text notifications wishing you a happy birthday! Reciprocate that kindness by sending out these gratitude messages for birthday wishes, you can never put out too much gratitude into the world!
- Thank you so much for the beautiful birthday wish(es)! My heart is so full, and I feel so blessed to have such amazing people in my life.
- My birthday couldn’t be more special because of all the wonderful people who are in my life and wished me a happy birthday. You truly have shown me the true meaning of gratitude, to be surrounded by people who love you and care about you. Thank you so much!
- I am overflowing with giddiness by all of these birthday wishes! I can’t express my gratitude enough for each and every one of you who took the time to wish me a happy birthday, and for being a part of my life. I’m one lucky duck!
- Every year I am thankful and blown away by your incredible and selfless friendship. Thank you so very much for wishing me a happy birthday, every day feels like a wish come true with you in it!
- My heart is filled with gratitude for this/these beautiful birthday wish/wishes. Words can’t do justice to expressing how thankful I am!
- Thank you very much for making this day even more special with your kind words. You always know what to say to make me smile, and my heart always sings songs of gratitude when you’re around.
- I am the luckiest birthday girl/boy to have so many amazing people care about me on my birthday. Thank you for all the birthday wishes, I will never forget the amount of pure gratitude I am carrying with me right now!
- There are tons of things I can write down on my list of gratitude on my birthday, but the number one thing is the people in my life. Thank you, with all my heart, for the beautiful birthday wish/wishes!
- Birthdays aren’t about gifts to me. They’re about the people who surround you, the relationships that show you the meaning of gratitude. And that’s what I feel right now reading this/these birthday wish/wishes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
- I can call my life beautiful because I have so much to be thankful for, and I can say my birthday was amazing because of all the people who care enough about me to wish me the best day. Thank you so so much for the birthday wish/wishes!
More Positive Messages, Quotes and Sayings
- Karma Quotes
- 59 Mindfulness Gratitude Quotes to Share with Friends, Family, and Co-workers
- 70 Uplifting Quotes on Work Ethic