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Lifeline: Can gratitude change your life?

Filmmaker cites benefits of being grateful
Oklahoman Published: July 29, 2013

Filmmaker Doug Vermeeren likes to quote author Robert M. Pirsig when introducing the idea of positive psychology: “The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I'm looking for the truth,' and so it goes away. Puzzling.”

Positive psychology entails a call for science and psychological practice to be as concerned with strength as with weakness; as interested in building the best things in life as in repairing the worst; and as concerned with making the lives of normal people fulfilling as with healing pathology, Vermeeren says.

“People can become suspicious when you tell them that they can change their lives with a simple shift in perspective; it can seem too good to be true because it's an uncomplicated answer to many of life's challenges. But I'm just one of many who have experienced a measurable life change with gratitude,” said Vermeeren, creator of the new film, “The Gratitude Experiment,” (, which demonstrates through individual stories the powerful effects of gratitude on people's lives.

“I feel that everyone deserves that opportunity.”

He describes three areas in life that can be positively transformed with the power of gratitude:

Attitude: Gratitude can help us overcome any problem or hardship. It gives us perspective on what's important, what we truly value and what we have right in front of us. In our small corner of this vast universe, we find the most miraculous thing of all: life. No matter what situation we are in or worries we face, we can always be grateful that we are alive on this beautiful planet. There is a world of possibilities open to whatever attitude we bring to it. Today we can appreciate this opportunity, giving thanks for everything we have and sharing with one another what we are grateful for.

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