There is indeed a distinct difference between the state of gratitude and being thankful, although interpretations may vary depending on one's perspectives and cultural conditioning. Generally speaking, both gratitude and thankfulness have a semblance of expressing appreciation and recognizing the positive aspects of one's life and the complementary actions of others.
That being said, what sets gratitude apart, is acknowledging and adopting a mindset and attitude that permeates one's outlook on life. Typically all-encompassing—-referring to a broader and deeper sense of appreciation for the overall abundance and blessings in one's life, such as personal relationships, experiences, opportunities, and other aspects of one's well-being. Ultimately. relishing a sense of awe—humility, and interconnectedness with the world around us.
In essence, gratitude is an entrenched state of being—-while thankfulness is often an in-the-moment customary expression of appreciation in response to particular acts of kindness—emotional or physical support, generosity, favours, or gifts received.
Needless to say, the two expressions are often used interchangeably and the distinction between them may not always be clearly explicit.
Let's strive to be mindful in the practice of gratitude.