Flex Your Gratitude Muscles

Flex Your Gratitude Muscles

An attitude of gratitude can help everything from your mood to your booty — try these six easy steps to be more thankful.

Don’t just count your reps, count your blessings! Science says that giving thanks can do a lot more than change your outlook; it can benefit your body, health and even the number on the scale. Read on for the crazy-awesome perks of practicing gratitude, plus tips to cultivate more of it.

Exercise More

Giving thanks can get you to the gym — and keep you going. A study by the University of California, Davis, found that gratitude-givers exercised an average of 1.5 hours more per week.

Bonus! Think of exercise as a gift you’ve been given rather than a chore you must do, and you’ll be less likely to fall off the workout wagon.

Sleep Better

Forget sheep; count your blessings! According to a study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, spending just 15 minutes a night jotting down grateful sentiments can make you sleep better and longer.

Bonus! Better sleep means more workout hours logged and less cravings.

You’re Grateful — Say It!

“Gratitude is good medicine,” says Robert Emmons, Ph.D., psychology professor at the University of California, Davis, author of Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier. Studies have linked the practice of gratitude to lower blood pressure, lower levels of bad cholesterol and even improved immune function.

Bonus! When a person expresses gratitude, they’re more likely to care about their health and even get regular checkups.

Boost Willpower

If you’re agonizing over whether to eat that slice of chocolate cake, gratitude could help bolster your self-control. In one study, psychologists from Northeastern University found that writing about a grateful experience can help us think long term rather than focus on instant gratification. “Grateful people are less likely to make rash, hasty decisions they will later regret,” Emmons says.

Bonus! Keeping a gratitude journal can cut your fat intake, keeping you on the road to shaping the physique you want.

Improve Energy

When your inner slacker kicks in, the last thing you want to do is hit the gym. The antidote could be gratitude. One study found that those who regularly wrote down things they were grateful for reported higher energy levels and increased life satisfaction.

Bonus! Gratitude is contagious. You not only reap the rewards but so do those around you.

Put It in Writing

Pick up that pen! People who keep a gratitude journal report being 25 percent happier. Writing a letter also can get the good vibes flowing. In a University of Pennsylvania study, writing and delivering a gratitude letter had a positive impact on happiness one month later.

Bonus! Practicing gratitude has also been shown to fend off stress, anxiety and depression.

Get Your Gratitude On! 

Here are some more ways to increase your thankfulness.

  1. Before you get out of bed, think of three things you’re grateful for.
  2. Write a meaningful letter to someone you’re thankful for.
  3. Start a gratitude journal and write down one thing you’re grateful for each day.
  4. Reflect on a nice thing someone did for you, or think about a person you’re grateful for.
  5. Send a daily gratitude note to a buddy (and vice versa).
  6. Write what you’re thankful for on Post-its and stick ’em on your bathroom mirror.

Written by Allison Young for Oxygen Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Also in Light Reading

Which HappyLight is right for you?
Which HappyLight is right for you?

2021 is here, and like the rest of us, you're no doubt staying safe indoors social distancing, but that means you're probably missing out on critical vitamin D like never before. At Verilux we know a thing or two about using artificial light to help get you back on track by choosing the right lamp from our line of HappyLights®. Learn how light therapy can help you start feeling better and sleeping soundly to go from sad to happy. 

View full article →

Woman reading ebook
Self-Care Tips For Isolation During The Holidays

By now it’s clear: We’re going to remain isolated (at least somewhat) through the holiday season. Isolation may be the “new normal,” but to most of us it will never actually feel normal (or comfortable). And it may be particularly trying during the holidays, when we're used to spending more time with friends and family. If you could use a little bit of a boost though, or some help with self-care during the strange holiday season to come, read on for a few helpful tips!

View full article →

Tips For Going Back to School Remotely
Tips For Going Back to School Remotely

This year has been a bit strange. OK, maybe a lot strange.. and going back to school doesn't necessarily mean the same thing this fall. So, while having a great set up at home for studying was important before, it's even more so now. Here are a few things that won't break the bank, but are definitely worth getting to make your study space the best space.

View full article →