The Big Picture

The Little Gym Blog
Research shows that expressing gratitude offers physical, mental, social, and emotional benefits. Being
grateful means having a thankful appreciation of the things in your life, whether they’re tangible or
intangible. Gratitude can be related to something in the past (recalling positive memories from
childhood), the present (not taking anything for granted in your daily life), or the future (maintaining a
hopeful and optimistic attitude about what’s to come).

Better mental health: when you feel grateful, you feel positive emotions that release dopamine, the
feel-good chemicals in your brain. This helps ward off mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and
depression. Those who can acknowledge that they have a lot to be thankful for are more likely to pay
attention to their physical health — and physical and mental health are intricately connected.

Better sleep: if positive and grateful thoughts are running through your head, you are more likely to
have sound sleep. And we all know that good sleep is essential for recharging the body and mind and
helps ward off health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Better self-esteem: when you feel grateful, you are more likely to think of yourself in a more positive
light because you are less likely to compare yourself to others.

Better relationships: When you express feelings of gratitude to other people, you are more empowered
to talk about any concerns you may have about your relationship. All of this may result in stronger and
more trusting relationships, with both participants feeling valued.