Gratitude is an Attitude: One Family’s 30 Day Experiment to Live a Life of Gratitude and of the Power of Thank You

What is the Meaning of Gratitude?

According to Dictionary.com the definition of gratitude is:

“The quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful”

Is it possible to live a life of gratitude when everything feels like it's going against you?
Is it possible to live a life of gratitude when everything feels like it's going against you?

How can I be Grateful when life is getting me down?

In these very trying times there are many families around the world that are going through some very difficult and challenging times in their lives.

My family is no exception and we are in fact facing some very difficult and trying situations, not least of which include debt which we are struggling to repay, taking care of three very old and infirm parents, raising and home schooling our 6 year old son, and trying for the past two years to get our home business off the ground. So as you can see we have a lot to complain about!

However, the question my husband and I asked ourselves is: “Yes, we certainly have a lot to complain about, but truly, what do we have to be grateful for and how can an attitude of gratitude change the way we feel, and in due course change the outcome of our life?”

Hence began our 30 day experiment of living with gratitude each and every day!

A Daily Dose of Gratitude, the Power of Thank You

So here is what we decided to do every day for 30 days in our gratitude experiment.

Think of everything you are grateful for right now and say "Thank You"
Think of everything you are grateful for right now and say "Thank You"

1. Thank You Affirmations

Every morning upon waking up, before we do anything else, my husband and I spend a full half an hour doing 108 gratitude affirmations.

What this means is we each have a string of 108 beads and every morning we sit and think of 108 things we are grateful for that day and say thank you for each one. Not only do we think of things we are grateful for, we also have to say why we are grateful for each one.

Believe me when I say that although I never considered myself an ungrateful person, finding 108 things to be grateful for each and every day is quite a challenge! Giving a reason “why” even more so!

An example of a typical affirmation is:

I am grateful for my warm bed because it was so cold last night and I was so warm. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Why do we do this 108 times? No reason really other than we wanted it to be challenging. Saying thank you ten times is not much of a stretch and most affirmations work in high numbers. Also seeing as 108 adds up to the number 9 (the number for completion), we settled on 108. If you want to give this a try yourself you can use 108 or any number you feel comfortable with.

Make a list of 10 reasons why you are grateful for the WORST thing in your life right now!
Make a list of 10 reasons why you are grateful for the WORST thing in your life right now!

2. Ten Reasons Why You Are Grateful For…

Next is one of the most challenging exercises of the day. Every day my husband and I each have to make a list of 10 reasons why we are grateful for the worst thing in our life that day.

This can include anything from not being able to pay our bills, to being ill, to having problems at work, etc…

In the course of the experiment I have had to find 10 reasons to be grateful for not having electricity for 2 whole days because a storm knocked down our power lines, my father being in hospital due to complications caused by his leukaemia, a house full of overseas guests with a broken toilet over the Easter holidays, and probably most stressful of all, bills, bills and more bills that needed payment by month end!

An example of this would be:

I am grateful that I do not have money to pay my bills at the end of this month because it allows me the opportunity to show my faith in God / The Universe / The Power of Attraction /(fill in your personal deity),etc.

As you can see, living with gratitude can be a challenge at the best of times. Funnily enough though, just saying thank you makes such a profound difference to how I feel about even the worst problems that I am faced with. Gratitude brings me such a profound sense of peace and joy that my day seems to be brighter even though I have so much to overcome.

Even though this is one of the hardest exercises it is also one of the most fulfilling. If you can be grateful for the worst things in your life then the good things are a piece of cake.

If you try nothing else try this experiment next time you are faced with a problem and see how you feel after you’ve made your list of 10.

Send love to everyone you see!
Send love to everyone you see!

3. Love Bombs!

This is a game that our whole family plays every time we are in the car or out somewhere.

My son loves to pretend that everyone, be they pedestrians or drivers, are aliens and he loves to shoot them. My husband and I modified this game and now we all make sure that we shoot every single person we see with love bombs!

Each person we encounter on the road and throughout our day gets a dose of love from each of us. I will look at each person and send them a silent blessing: “I love you, I bless you and may your biggest problem be resolved perfectly today.”

Trust me when I say that after you’ve done this over 100 times in a day you will feel euphoric!

What are YOU grateful for right now?
What are YOU grateful for right now?

4. The Thank You List

This is the final exercise of our day. Every night before we go to bed we finish off our day making a list of no less than 10 things we are grateful for that happened during the day.

Not only does this remind us of all the wonderful things that happen in our lives daily, it also helps relieve stress and is the perfect recipe for a good nights sleep.

An example of something that would go on your Thank You list is:

I am so grateful that I made $$$ on Hub Pages today. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

So there you have it; my recipe for living a life of gratitude! Remember it’s all in your attitude and what better attitude to have than an attitude of gratitude? If it accomplishes nothing more than make you happier throughout your day you have accomplished more than most people ever do.

So How Did Our Attitude of Gratitude Experiment Work Out?

I can’t say that suddenly everything went away and that my life became perfect over the course of 30 days, but I CAN say that amazing little “miracles’” began to occur with regularity; an unexpected cheque in the post, a friend bringing us a whole lot of groceries as a gift, some unexpected and much needed sales in our business…

Is gratitude a cure-all? Perhaps not but it sure beats the alternatives; stress, worry and misery. So after 30 days I can say that I am truly converted and that I am now living everyday with gratitude in my heart.

I hope you give it a try too and let me know how it works out for you! Thank you for reading, “I love you, I bless you and may your biggest problem be resolved perfectly today.”

Books That Helped Me Along The Way

The Magic (The Secret)
The Magic (The Secret)

A workbook that helps you incorporate gratitude into your daily life.

 
The Power (The Secret)
The Power (The Secret)

A simple book that guides you in living every day with love in your heart.

 

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Comments 29 comments

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest

This is excellent! What great ideas you have and I know for certain the power gratitude has in improving quality of life and in healing from pain. Love the love bombs! :) Voted up and awesome :)


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Thank you so much for your very kind and generous comments Christin S. I truly appreciate the feedback. This was a very personal account of a very trying time in my life and it’s wonderful to share my experiences with other like-minded people.

Glad to spread the “Love Bombs” around! Thank you!


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

Voted up, awesome, useful and interesting. I love the way you and your husband think and I too have placed my life in the hands of an "attitude of gratitude." "The Secret" was a great experience and from time to time I go back and reread this handbook of affirmations. I am so glad I happened upon your positive story and thanks for sharing your words of wisdom with your readers.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Thank you so much for your kind words @pagesvoice. In a world that sometimes is full of bad news it is important for all of us to keep positive and to make a difference if only with our attitude.

I read once that a science experiment was conducted to discover how long it takes for an idea / habit, etc to become commonplace and it was proven that if only 7% of the population starts doing this thing then everyone will eventually be doing it! So my goal is to get 7% of the population to live with an attitude of gratitude and soon we’ll change the whole world into a place of love, kindness and joy! Thanks for the vote and for taking the time to read! :)


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

The love bombs concept is great, and inventive! I like that you switched from being an aggressive action to being one that is loving. I am a strong believer in gratitude. I vote up and will share too.


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

I feel like I am stalking ChistiWrites but she is sharing a great article. I have read the secret that truely works. Gratitude is so important and brings not ony more love but, more of everyting into your life!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

@ChristyWrites thanks for your praise. I agree with you about the love bombs, we are trying to teach our son to be loving and un-prejudiced. So far because we are home schooling he seems to be doing well as he has no idea about race, size, sexual orientation or anything else that so characterizes adults. The love bombs are just another way to teach him loving kindness to random strangers and I am truly grateful for that :)

@Angela Brummer you are so right! I have also read The Secret as well as The Power and recently The Magic and all have inspired me to be a better person and to live a life of gratitude, love and joy. Thank you so much for reading my story and for your very kind words :)


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

I am back to read this again! It is just amazing! I will share this!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Thank you so much Angela! Now I know what will be on my gratitude list tonight… YOU! I really appreciate the support and the kind words. Thank you!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Trinity, you are a person I would love to know in the real world. :) I love this idea and I have used a variation of it over the past six years. There is so much to be thankful for.

Perhaps you'll be doing a hub about homeschooling soon; as I former teacher I would be greatly interested in your impressions of homeschooling.

Great job my new friend.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

@billybuc my dear friend! It is such a pleasure to hear from you and get your positive feedback; you put a smile on my face every time. I agree with you that we are very much alike and would be great friends if we ever met :) Maybe one day when I visit the US I’ll come look you up.

Thank you for the great suggestion on a homeschooling hub. I’ll think about it and get some ideas down. You’ll be the 1st to know. Thanks for stopping by and as always leaving me such a wonderful and uplifting comment.


Sonya L Morley profile image

Sonya L Morley 4 years ago from Edinburgh

Great hub, full of ideas and inspiration, I feel energised after reading it. Thank you for sharing your experiment here, I have experienced similar outcomes after making time for daily gratitude exercises and I can only say - wow does it work or what!!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Do you make $$$ in one day on HubPages? I'd be grateful to learn your path to that success. I'll look to see if you've written hubs about it. Is your $$$ symbol the same as in restaurant guides?

Anyway, Up, Useful, Interesting, Awesome, and shared. Thank you for the excellent hub on gratitude.

Back in the 70s when I was in my 30s I went through a period of shifting from a negative to a positive attitude. The book EDGAR CAYCE ON ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS helped a lot. I learned by experience that it is generally as easy to find excuses to like as to dislike a person and to find reasons to express praise and gratitude as to complain.

I was drawn back to church by the question, to whom can I say thank you in general.

I'm afraid if I tried expressing gratitude a certain number of times at a certain time of day, it could become rote, just as a prayer before meals or any ritual can become rote. On the other hand, maybe your experiment is something to emulate. I'll think on it.

A positive attitude has not made me less poor or more successful, but I'm a lot happier.

When I close my eyes at night to sleep, I recall what I accomplished that day, however minor or partial and what worked out well for me, while (with circumstantial exceptions) I let problems wait for next day. A sense of gratitude helps me get contentedly to sleep.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

@Sonya L Morley it’s wonderful to hear from someone else who is applying these principles; it really makes it worth while when you see the results. Thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting.

@B. Leekley it is nice to see you again and thank you for your comments. I cannot say whether gratitude is a magic wand but in my experience it sure beats the alternative (a gloomy, miserable outlook on life). I like to look at everything in my life every day and show gratitude even if it’s only for my own piece of mind. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

Trinity M: Wow, a wonderful uplifting hub. You would LOVE the book "1000 gifts" by Ann VosCamp, it is all about giving thanks. I love the book so much I'm on my second reading. She has listed 1000 gifts to be thankful for, hence the book, but now her journal is up to over 4000 thank yous. Thanksgiving is truly a hugh key to peace of mind.

You gave terrific suggestions in this remarkable hub. Voted up, awesome and useful. Blessings, Sparklea :)


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi Sparklea, thank you for stopping by and for your lovely comments. I have made a note of that book you recommend and am looking forward to reading it. I’ll let you know my thoughts on it once I’ve read it. Thank you and blessings to you too my friend. :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

What a wonderful hub! There are always many things we can be greateful for. I thank God every night for many, many things. I try to be greateful before I ask for any blessings. (I don't want to be greedy!) Sometimes it is hard to be grateful, but if we would sit and write down what we are grateful for, we will always come up with more than what we thought. Voted this up and awesome!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

sgbrown you are so right, life can get a little overbearing sometimes, however with a bit of gratitude the blessings do come pouring in. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comments and support, it is greatly appreciated.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Trinity, this is a wonderful message and even if someone were to do just one of your ideas, their world would start to be a better place. Great job and a wonderful read. Voted up and shared. :)


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi TToombs08, so nice to see you :) I’ll be glad if my message makes just a small difference for the better in peoples lives. Thank you so much for taking the time to read, comment and share, I really appreciate it. Have a lovely day.


rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

This is a great article! I used to preach "Do a check up from the neck up and check the latitude of your attitude" every morning. If more people would do as you've written, each day would be a whole lot better.

Fantastic!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hello rcrumple, thank you so much for stopping by. I love your quote and if you don’t mind I’d love to use it? What better way to start the day than with a check up of ones attitude latitude :). I do appreciate your support and your wonderful comment. Have a fabulous day and keep on smiling :)


btrbell profile image

btrbell 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Beautiful hub, great idea! I am so impressed that you and your family did this! It makes me want to try this with my family as well. Or at least, on my own. I love the gratitude beads. Thank you for sharing this !


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi btrbell! I must admit being grateful can be quite challenging at times, especially when things are less than rosy, but it is truly worth the effort and the inner peace you get from it is priceless. I hope you do give it a try and I would really love to hear about your results.

All the best to you and thank you for your support :)


Vellur profile image

Vellur 3 years ago from Dubai

A great hub, counting our blessings is the best thing to do. We must be grateful for what we have. Voted way up.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

I'm grateful for this hub! I hope everyone who comes across it and reads it will pick up some gratitude vibes and spread them around! I like the "love bombs" I just might borrow that term from you! Thank you Trinity!:)


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 3 years ago Author

Hi Vellur, I agree with you completely, counting our blessings is one of the most important aspects of gratitude. Thank you so much for your kind comments and for your support; I am truly grateful for wonderful hubbers like you. :)

Hello Linda! Nice of you to spread some “Sunshine” my way. I do love seeing you and you are more than welcome to borrow my “love bombs” :)

Thank you for your unwavering support and your wonderful comments that always put a ‘smile on my dial’ :) Have a great day!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

What a nice hub post on giving gratitude and knowing th power of Thank you. I think everyone can learn from your sharing on this topic. WEll done.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 3 years ago Author

Hi teaches12345! Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by; I truly appreciate your support. Have an awesome day :)

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