Skip to content

What if Gratitude is a verb?

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” —Robert Brault

What if Gratitude is a verb?

This is the time of year when we see gratitude challenges and lists popping up all over the place. While there is value in listing and recalling what we are grateful for, the writing of a simple list sometimes gives a superficial nod to a practice that has the potential to give us more.

Let’s begin with the list. The first step in a deeper gratitude practice might be. . .

What am I grateful for?

  • Write out my first responses, then sift through the fluff, and identify deeper gratitude. 
  • Things, people, ideas, beliefs— How far am I willing to explore?

For the next step, digging in a bit. . .

Did I do anything to deserve the list above?

  • If so, then what? 
  • If not—consider the amazing fact of the presence of each one of the items on my list.

Third. . .

Is there any way to say thank you for the items on my list?

  • Is there a person, business, or entity I could speak a word of thanks to? 
  • Is it enough to simply feel gratitude in myself?  
  • What happens when I express that gratitude?

Finally. . .

Is there some way for me to be a blessing to someone else today?

  • What if gratitude is an action? A verb? Not something to be kept to myself but expressed in the thousands of small ways it can be shared? 
  • What if I write a note of thanks to someone I know who serves or demonstrates compassion— Who doesn’t know me, but has a job I would not want to do?
  • What if I smiled at the unhappy checkout person and offered a word of sincere encouragement and understanding? Maybe make room for someone trying to merge into traffic?  
  • How creative can I be in finding unexpected ways to shower little blessings all through my day? 
  • How can I be intentional in taking action to express my gratitude by sharing it?

If you are willing to share your active gratitude challenge results, I would love to hear from you!

Expressing my sincere gratitude to you, for giving me the opportunity to walk this life journey and explore possibilities with you!

by Dr. Nancy Harden


Dr. Nancy Harden is “Dr. Mom” to two young adult sons. Observer of humanity. Lifelong learner. Curious explorer. Recently returned to an increasingly simplified ‘Do it now’ lifestyle. Believer in being of service. Appreciator of the gratification of ‘Doing it myself’. Business builder. Movement magician. Stress intervention specialist. Serial entrepreneur/ bootstrapper. Accomplished public speaker and educator.

My “pedigree” includes being a Certified Feldenkrais practitioner (since 2000 – after 6 years of training), retired physical therapist (over 30 years experience) with both Masters and Doctoral degrees in physical therapy from Baylor University.