Imagine an experiment involving two friends.
One is asked to spend ten minutes each morning and evening expressing gratitude (there is always something to be grateful for), while the other is asked to spend the same amount of time practicing complaining (there is, after all, always something to complain about). One of the subjects is saying things like, "I hate my job. I can't stand this apartment. Why can't I make enough money? My spouse doesn't get along with me. That dog next door never stops barking and I just can't stand this neighborhood." The other is saying things like, "I'm really grateful for the opportunity to work; there are so many
people these days who can't even find a job. And I'm sure grateful for my health. What a gorgeous day; I really like this fall breeze."
These two friends do this experiment for a year.
At the end of that year the friend practicing complaining will have deeply reaffirmed all her negative "stuff" rather than having let it go, while the one practicing gratitude will be a very grateful person. . . Expressing gratitude can, indeed, change our way of seeing ourselves and the world."
Seven Tenets for Refining Gratitude
1. Gratitude is independent of one's life circumstances.
2. Gratitude is a function of attention.
3. Entitlement makes gratitude impossible.
4. When we continue to give gratitude on a regular basis, we recive it back ten fold.
5. Our deepest sense of gratitude comes through hope and faith.
6. Gratitude can be cultivated through sincere self-reflection; and
7. The expression of gratitude (through words and deeds) has the affect of heightening our personal experience of gratitude.