Gratitude and Thankfulness!

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
Volume 15, Number 11

This month’s e-Letter is about Gratitude and Thankfulness.

The Thanksgiving holiday is here and as usual, we are inundated with Black Friday sales. While they are helpful in this time of inflation, we lose the importance of giving thanks and appreciating what we have. Thankfulness and gratitude are closely related but there is some difference. Gratitude is not only giving thanks but truly appreciating what we do have and the people in our lives that we care for. Even thanking strangers can do a lot to improve their moods and hopefully, they will pass it on. Maybe, in some way, being grateful for what we have and passing it on can help to heal our society. This is the true message of Thanksgiving.

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KimmelPsychology has provided a monthly E-Letter for over 16 years, which is educational, informative, and helpful. Topics change every month, but the format remains the same; brief information about the topic as well as suggestions for improvement.

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The entire staff at Joel l. Kimmel Ph.D. P. A. and Associates would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers a very happy and meaningful Thanksgiving.

An Exciting Offer! The Push for PCC!
Meredith Kimmel, ACC is pursuing her Professional Certified Coach, PCC, credential from the International Coaching Federation. Already an Associate Certified Coach, ACC, she is looking for the credential to be able to mentor coaching students, to develop other coaches, and to teach in accredited coach training programs.
This is a very personal goal for Meredith and as a result, she created the “The Push For PCC” coaching package which is a win-win for her and for people who want or need coaching. The package includes 12 1-to-1 coaching sessions. Each session is an hour long and conducted via Zoom or telephone. The sessions are greatly discounted in return for the number of hours needed to achieve the PCC credential. The win-win package is being offered only to the first twenty-five people who register for it and only a few spots remain.

If you are in the process of change or will be, if you are uncertain what to do, or you have always wanted to be coached, this is an opportunity. To find out more about coaching or the PCC package visit her website at You can contact Meredith at [email protected], [email protected] or call her at (954) 655-7066.

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Gratitude and Thankfulness!

                                                                            (Photo by Gabrielle Henderson)

While gratitude and thankfulness are similar, they are also different. Gratitude is not just saying “Thank you” but a deeper emotion that shows true appreciation to oneself and to others, including a higher power. Thankfulness is acknowledging that someone has done something for you. Gratitude is deeper and reflects a recognition of the qualities one has whether they are tangible or intangible. It is also a recognition of the blessings one has received and the goodness in their lives. It is appreciating what is truly meaningful to oneself and giving thanks for it.

Gratitude involves two steps according to Dr. Robert Emmons. The first step is internal as people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. When they receive something, they are pleased by it and the effort the giver puts into it. In the second stage, gratitude is external as people recognize that some of this goodness is directed towards others.

Expressing gratitude is a selfless act and intrinsically rewarding. It is done not only to feel good but to show others that they are appreciated and valued. Paying it forward is a way that gratitude can motivate those who received goodness to perform acts of goodness to others. Research has also shown that expressing gratitude can decrease depression, increase one’s sense of satisfaction in life, and improve one’s overall mental and physical health.

Expressing gratitude or thankfulness takes effort but can become a daily practice. Because in today’s society where people do not often show courtesy, it may be difficult to express thankfulness or gratitude. However, by developing certain patterns, one can bring gratitude into their lives.

We offer the following information about Gratitude and Thankfulness!

When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears…Anthony Robbins


  • Giving thanks is the recognition of receiving something beneficial
  • Gratitude is the appreciation of what a person finds valuable and meaningful
  • Having gratitude has long been a part of spiritual and religious practices
  • Gratitude helps people connect to something larger than themselves such as nature, a higher power, or a divine force
  • Gratitude begins when entitlement ends; giving thanks is easy for some people but very difficult for others
  • There are two stages of gratitude according to Dr. Robert Emmons:
  • Acknowledging the goodness in our own lives including the recognition that in general, life is good, and full of texture and detail
  • Acknowledging the goodness from sources outside ourselves; from others, pets, and the world in general but not ourselves
  • Gratitude can be reciprocated; performing an act of gratitude to one person may cause them to be gracious back to you or to pay it forward to others
  • Research has shown that having gratitude can improve your sense of well-being, decrease depression, increase life satisfaction, strengthen relationships, improve mental and physical health, develop stronger immune systems, and increase an overall sense of optimism about life
  • Simple exercises such as saying thank you or writing thank you letters can develop and increase a personal sense of happiness
  • Expressing gratitude will take effort but it can become a daily practice


    • Assess yourself to determine whether you are actually thankful for what you have
    • Before going to sleep each night, give thanks for all the positive things that have happened during the day
    • Keep a gratitude journal and write down what you have given thanks for
    • Develop a habit of writing a thank you letter or email for what you have received and thank others for the positive impact they have had on your life
    • Practice mindfulness and meditation by focusing on what you are thankful for
    • Ask friends and family to say to each other what they are grateful for
    • Go out of your way to thank others who have done something for you
    • Find new ways to express gratitude such as keeping a gratitude bank in which you add money for each expression of gratitude, keeping a gratitude chart, etc.
    • Seek professional help if you feel depressed and are unable to find anything to feel grateful about


Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at [email protected]

Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
Coral Springs FL 33067

As always, we are interested in your thoughts. If you would like to respond to this e-Letter, email me your comments at [email protected] and I will publish them next month.

Till December…

The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

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Copyright © 2021 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.