The Psychology of Gratitude and Business Relationships

As we enter the season of gratitude, we’re all a bit more likely to go out of our way to help the people around us and let them know we see and appreciate them. While we all know on some level that gratitude is powerful, did you know that science reveals in numerous studies that gratitude has the power to improve your health, happiness and success?

With this in mind we’ve gathered several ways that sharing gratitude and kindness are beneficial to all involved.

Lasting positive effects on your brain. Gratitude not only has immediate benefits - it can have a powerful effect on the way our brains process information in the long run. According to a 2017 study, participants experienced greater neural sensitivity and attentiveness to gratitude three months after writing a gratitude letter. Remember, gratitude does not have to be a grand or dramatic gesture to have lasting effects. Something as simple as writing a letter or saying thank you can contribute to improved brain function over time.

Improved sleep. A 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being actually found that writing in a gratitude journal can improve your sleep. Taking a few minutes to reflect on the positive situations and relationships in your life before bed is a great way to reap the benefits. If you notice a specific person coming up in your gratitude journal repeatedly, take the extra step to let them know how much you appreciate them by sending a quick Thnks!

Reducing stress and improving self-esteem. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life but practicing gratitude can help you reduce your stress and build up your self-esteem. According to North Dakota Behavioral Health, expressing gratitude releases serotonin and dopamine, two brain transmitters that make you feel good and decrease your cortisol stress levels. Gratitude not only reduces stress, but it also helps you to develop a stronger sense of your own individual value. By improving your self-esteem, the need for social comparison is reduced. So rather than being resentful toward people who may seem to have it better, you can appreciate their accomplishments. Show your gratitude by sending a health and wellness Thnks to help someone you know relax and feel appreciated!

Helping build strong relationshipsMaintaining relationships in and outside of the workplace is vital. According to a 2012 University of Kentucky study on the effects of gratitude, grateful people experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people. Gratitude helps us improve our sense of connection with others and appreciate others’ wins by creating a fuller sense of emotional maturity. We build upon relationships with people we feel warmth towards, and saying thank you is a great way to start that connection.

Lowering risks for depression, anxiety, and drug abuse. Showing gratitude can have lasting positive effects on your life. A study conducted by the Virgina Commonwealth University found that thankfulness predicted a lower risk of major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, alcohol dependence and drug abuse. Gratitude feeds your brain with positivity and helps you to acknowledge the goodness in your life. 

So if you’re not already feeling inspired by the season of gratitude, these are some great reasons to start taking stock of the things you’re thankful for. Meditating on and vocalizing your appreciation for others is a great way to give them a boost, but also an opportunity to improve your own mental and emotional well-being. 


Thnks can help you harness the psychology of gratitude to build stronger business relationships. Within seconds, you can show your appreciation by searching for a gesture, personalizing a note, and sending it via email or SMS. Interested in learning more? Request a demo, or click here to learn more about expressing gratitude in business!