Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude. ~ Joseph Wood Krutch

When I first came across this quote, I had to stop and think about it. Why would happiness be a kind of gratitude? According to Webster's Dictionary, to be grateful or thankful is to be conscious of a benefit being received and to be well pleased.

So does that mean when we are happy, we are receiving something that is to our benefit, something good? I think the key word here is "receive." When we receive something, we welcome it into our life. We take hold of it and experience it. Life is good. Simple blessings are all around us. Once we receive them with thanksgiving and appreciation, we experience true joy. That is why true happiness cannot exist without gratitude. Gratitude opens our hearts to receive the good things in life with joy.

When we do not receive a new day as a gift and blessing, but rather dread it and complain, we are not receiving the benefit and joy it can bring us. When we do not receive love and kindness offered to us, or help and opportunity made available to us, we do not benefit from them, and we do not experience the joy and gratitude they can bring us.

So, is being happy, in a way, also being grateful? I would agree that it is. However, I don’t think we necessarily have to be conscious of all our blessings and benefits in order to be grateful and happy. Ever wake up singing for no particular reason? Life is good and there are so many reasons to have a thankful heart. Simple pleasures and blessings fill our days and the opportunity to enjoy them is always there.

Where there is gratitude, there is true happiness. Gratitude opens our hearts to receive the good things in life with joy. ~Krystal

Copyright © 2010 BeHappy4Life.com
written by Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC
New Day Counseling Center

Author's Bio: 

Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher & musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling, a family couples counseling and child teen counseling center, BeHappy4Life.com, an award-winning, self-help and inspirational site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights & words of inspiration to change your life, and Baby-Poems.com where you can find beautiful baby poems, baby quotes, cute sayings & baby videos that will touch your heart & increase your joy & gratitude for the children you love & enjoy! Krystal also has several blogs: Be Your Best blog, Baby Poems blog and Words of Inspiration blog.