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We have grown used to using both appreciation and gratitude as an interchangeable synonym of each other, and it does fit well. Take a look at this definition of gratitude from the net:
*gratitude – the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness*
You see that? Even the dictionary definition seems to be hinting at both being the same. Well, we have nothing to argue about nor are we here to clarify things so that the world starts operating well from tomorrow. The idea is to know the subtle distinction from the vibrational standpoint. Those of you that practice energy exercises understand that the vibrations of our feelings are different for different emotions, and that is what we intend to understand.
And those that don’t, you guys at least know the difference in how you feel when you are angry versus when you are happy. So, if you do, which I know you do, you send up different vibrations into your surroundings and the universe. The universe, upon receiving your vibration, matches the same and sends you back more of that emotion. In other words, if you are angry, you will find more things to be mad at, and if you are happy, you discover more things that make you happy. This is called the Law of Attraction. I guess many know about it and many who don’t have at least heard about it. My explanation above is just a summary of the idea of the Law of Attraction.
I know many of you are asking what has it to do with our discussion about appreciation and gratitude. So, let’s get on with it, shall we?
The thing is, gratitude and appreciation, though by definition are nearly the same, exhibit different vibrations. Both are good, but appreciation stands a tiny bit above gratitude on the vibrational front. Don’t get me wrong, both the emotions make us better human beings and something we need to have at all time. Knowing the difference, though, will allow us to appreciate (not gratitude) what we feel more. 😊
So, let’s get started. Now, think of someone who helped you when you were in dire straits. It could be your parents helping you in studies before the exam, your boss who helped you complete an impossible task or your spouse who stood by you in difficult times. Now, when you think back on the situation and see that you have come out of it, you feel a sense of gratitude for the person who had helped you. Correct? I suppose – yes. Now, when you feel the sense of gratitude, can you feel that you also experience the pain you were going through at that point and then the relief? You are thankful with a tinge of being relieved of the pain. You basically, go through the unhappy emotion before you come to the good feeling. I am sure you got that.
Now, let’s look at appreciation. When you are travelling to your holiday destination, you look at the surrounding, the beauty, the greenery, the birds and their chirping and you just fall in love with the place. You acknowledge the surrounding with love. This is the feeling of appreciation. There is a fundamental difference from gratitude which I will enumerate here.
1. Appreciation is the emotion when you feel good and have a sense of upliftment without needing to look into your past
2. It is also a feeling which does not have a reference with an unhappy situation before feeling happy
Needless to say, gratitude is the other side of the above two points. Meaning – it does look into the past before feeling relieved, and it does go back to an unhappy feeling before feeling happy. So, that’s the primary difference.
But how does that differ in vibration, and why is it important?
Well, as per the emotional scale, extending from “Love” on the positive side to “Fear” on the negative side, there is a continuum of emotions in between like joy, happiness, appreciation, anger resentment, and others. In this emotional scale, the feeling of appreciation is a level above the sense of gratitude. In other words, since appreciation is pure joy without any reference to any other emotion before it, it draws a better vibration than gratitude.
Of course, that does not mean that you should not feel gratitude. Gratitude is the essence of human thankfulness and an emotion which any time scores over the unnecessary negative emotions. The idea is to know that gratitude is good to acknowledge someone’s contribution to your life and then move on to appreciate them and their presence in your life. Get that? So, you recognise the past but move fast to appreciating the main contributor in that experience—no need to stick to the negative past for too long. 😊
Again, don’t abandon gratitude. Like I said, in an emotional quagmire of hate, resentment, sadness, hurt, anger, depression, anxiety, and other unnecessary emotions, feeling of gratitude is any time better. The idea is to try moving up the scale once you reach gratitude. Feel gratitude and then move to appreciation and even love. That’s how you can jump to the highest vibration available to us all. I hope you understand.
I am sure you understood the difference, and I suggest that you use this knowledge to your advantage. While you have some free time, look around, see the different things around you and start appreciating them. Why? Because you do not need a reason to appreciate anything. You just do.
And look at the best part, even if you slip on the vibrational scale, you will only drop to a feeling of gratitude. And that is an excellent place to find people or events to appreciate more!! How cool is that?
So, enjoy the feeling of gratitude and appreciation and do appreciate the subtle difference between them. 😊