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Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Gratitude

Emotion Gratitude

When you want to write the emotion gratitude, it's important to "show" the emotion your character is experiencing through their physical reactions and dialogue, rather than "tell" it. In this article we provide you with inspiration so you can avoid showing not telling and immerse your readers in your story.

Gratitude is the feeling of being thankful and appreciative for something or someone in your life. It involves recognizing and acknowledging the positive aspects of your life and feeling a sense of joy and appreciation for them. Gratitude can be directed towards a variety of things, such as a person who has helped you, a positive experience, or a personal accomplishment. It is a powerful and positive emotion that can improve your overall well-being and relationships with others.

Contents:
  1. Different Types of Gratitude
  2. Situations Associated with Gratitude
  3. Physical Reactions to Gratitude
  4. Thoughts Associated with Gratitude
  5. Atmosphere of Gratitude
  6. Verbs Associated with Gratitude
  7. Emotions Before Gratitude
  8. Emotions After Gratitude
  9. Telling Gratitude Examples to Avoid
  10. Practical Examples of Showing Gratitude
  11. Exercises for Showing Gratitude

Different Types of Gratitude

Here are some different types of gratitude:

  • Simple gratitude: A general feeling of thankfulness for something good that has happened, or for someone who has helped in some way.
  • Deep gratitude: A more intense and personal feeling of appreciation, often for something that has had a profound impact on one's life.
  • Gratitude in the face of adversity: The ability to find things to be thankful for even in difficult or challenging circumstances.
  • Gratitude for the present moment: The practice of being thankful for what one has right now, rather than always striving for more.
  • Gratitude for others: Expressing appreciation for the people in one's life, and recognizing their positive impact.
  • Gratitude for oneself: Acknowledging one's own strengths and accomplishments, and being thankful for the person one has become.

Situations Associated with Gratitude

Here are some situations where a character might experience the emotion of gratitude:

  • Receiving a gift or favor from someone
  • Being helped or supported during a difficult time
  • Achieving a significant personal or professional goal
  • Overcoming a challenging obstacle or adversity
  • Being forgiven or shown mercy by someone
  • Being recognized or praised for their efforts or contributions
  • Witnessing acts of kindness or generosity by others
  • Having a meaningful or positive interaction with someone they care about
  • Feeling a sense of connection or belonging with a community or group

Physical Reactions to Gratitude

Here are some physical reactions a character experiencing gratitude might have:

  • Smiling or grinning
  • Tears of joy or happiness
  • Open body language (e.g. uncrossed arms, relaxed posture)
  • Verbal expressions of appreciation or thanks
  • Giving hugs or other physical gestures of affection
  • Helping others or doing favors for them
  • Laughing or giggling
  • Increased eye contact and engagement with others
  • Positive self-talk or affirmations

Thoughts Associated with Gratitude

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing gratitude might have:

  • I am so thankful for the people in my life who love and support me.
  • I feel grateful for the opportunities I have been given and the experiences that have shaped me.
  • I appreciate the beauty of the world around me and the small moments of joy that bring me happiness.
  • I am blessed to have a roof over my head, food to eat, and a comfortable life.
  • I feel a sense of indebtedness to those who have helped me along the way and want to pay it forward to others.
  • I am filled with warmth and positivity when I think about the good things in my life.

Atmosphere of Gratitude

Here are some ways that you might reflect the emotion of gratitude in the atmosphere of your scene:

  • Set the scene in a location that is visually pleasing or has sentimental value to the character, such as a childhood home or a favorite park.
  • Use sensory details to describe the environment, such as the smell of freshly baked cookies or the sound of birds chirping.
  • Have the character interact with objects that hold personal significance or sentimental value, such as a family heirloom or a handwritten note from a loved one.
  • Use language that conveys a sense of appreciation, such as using words like "thankful," "grateful," or "blessed" in the character's internal dialogue or dialogue with others.
  • Show the character expressing gratitude through their actions, such as giving a heartfelt thank-you or performing a kind gesture for someone else.
  • Have other characters express gratitude towards the protagonist, which can reinforce the emotion and create a sense of community and connection.

Verbs Associated with Gratitude

Here are some verbs commonly associated with the emotion of gratitude:

  • Appreciate
  • Thank
  • Acknowledge
  • Recognize
  • Cherish
  • Treasure
  • Value
  • Admire
  • Honor
  • Bless
  • Praise
  • Give thanks
  • Be grateful
  • Feel blessed

Emotions Before Gratitude

Here are some emotions that may come before a character experiences gratitude:

  • Appreciation
  • Relief
  • Joy
  • Happiness
  • Contentment
  • Surprise
  • Amazement
  • Awe
  • Wonder
  • Delight
  • Satisfaction
  • Fulfillment
  • Peace
  • Calmness
  • Serenity
  • Forgiveness
  • Love
  • Compassion

Emotions After Gratitude

Here are some emotions that may come after a character experiences gratitude:

  • Contentment
  • Happiness
  • Joy
  • Fulfillment
  • Satisfaction
  • Serenity
  • Appreciation
  • Empathy
  • Generosity

Telling Gratitude Examples to Avoid

Here are some examples of telling the emotion gratitude in a sentence. You should avoid things like this:

  • I felt grateful for her help.
  • He expressed gratitude for the gift.
  • They showed their gratitude by saying thank you.
  • She was filled with gratitude for the opportunity.
  • The character felt gratitude towards her mentor.

Remember, these sentences are telling the reader about the character's gratitude, rather than showing it through actions or descriptions. It's often more impactful to show emotions rather than tell them, so consider using body language, dialogue, or other descriptive details to bring your characters' emotions to life!

Practical Examples of Showing Gratitude

Here are some examples of showing gratitude in a sentence:

  • She hugged the blanket tighter, grateful for the warmth it provided on the cold night.
  • As she watched the sunrise, tears streamed down her face, overwhelmed by the beauty of nature and grateful for being alive to witness it.
  • He traced his fingers over the inscription on the tombstone, feeling a deep sense of gratitude for the sacrifices made by those who had come before him.
  • She smiled at the stranger who held the door open for her, feeling a rush of gratitude for the small acts of kindness that made life more bearable.

Exercises for Showing Gratitude

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing gratitude:

  • Start by listing things your character is grateful for. This can include people, objects, experiences, or even intangible things like good health or peace of mind.
  • Write a scene where your character expresses gratitude directly to someone or something. This can be through dialogue, a letter, or even just a private thought.
  • Show your character performing a small act of kindness as a way of expressing gratitude. This could be as simple as a smile or a thank-you note, or something more involved like volunteering or helping a friend in need.
  • Write a scene where your character reflects on a difficult time in their life and expresses gratitude for the lessons they learned or the strength they gained from the experience.

Want more help with showing emotion instead of telling? You find more help in our full emotions list.

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