Planting and Cultivating the Seed of Gratitude

At times in our lives, it may feel like we are cultivating the plant of gratitude in a desert, and there is an invasive plant of aversion that is competing with the gratitude plant for resources.

During times like this, it may feel like we have nothing for which to be grateful. Perhaps we just lost our job, or our spouse wants a divorce, or for myriad reasons we are just in a foul mood. However, maybe we are willing to open to gratitude, even when conditions aren’t great.

Studies have found that practicing gratitude reduces depression and leads to a more optimistic view. In one study, participants were divided into groups of three, one group of which was instructed to write about what they were grateful for during the past week, a second group of which was instructed to write about their irritations or what was disagreeable from the week, and the third group of which was instructed to write about things that affected them, without specifying whether it was positive or negative.

After ten weeks, the study found

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