Researchers say that negative emotions—fear, envy, greed, entitlement, resentment, anger, and regret—block gratitude, causing “self-alienation,” broken relationships, and profound unhappiness, thus resulting in a worldview that is “deeply false to human nature and the nature of the universe, a distortion of reality.” Indeed, it hardly takes a doctorate in psychology to know that what Christians refer to as the seven deadly sins—really, seven deadly emotions—run counter to thanksgiving and get one to a wretched place of existence if left spiritually unchecked. At the same time, “grateful people tend to be satisfied with what they have” and are less likely to succumb to negative emotions. It is a bit of a therapeutic and theological gerbil wheel: positive people are grateful, and grateful people are positive; negative people are ingrates, and ingrates sink into a mire of maladjustment. The trick, according to this analysis, seems to be ridding yourself of your negative emotions.
From “Grateful: The Subversive Practice of Giving Thanks” by Diana Butler Bass