ORLANDO, Fla. — We took advantage of Orlando's beautiful weather Friday to ask people a question: What are you grateful for?

  • Family, friends, living in Central Florida common responses
  • Numerous studies say gratitude can help mental, physical health
  • More Good News stories

“For one thing, I’m grateful for this beautiful weather, because some places are having a hard time,” said Orlando resident Ronnie Carrow. 

It turns out people here have lots to give thanks for, like friends. 

“I’m grateful for my best friend, right there," said Annie Barerro. "She’s helped me through everything, she’s been there with me through my entire life and I couldn’t ask for a better best friend. She's been there to pick me up and make me feel special.” 

Many people said they're grateful to be living here in Central Florida.

“I’m grateful for Orlando, because it’s beautiful, right?” said one man at Lake Eola. 

And of course, many people said they were grateful for family. 

So why are we asking people now?

Because usually you hear a lot about gratitude around Thanksgiving. But numerous studies say that gratitude can improve mental and physical health year round.

“It can really change your brain, change your brain waves, change the synapses in the brain and the way that they fire, so if you’re continuing to practice that positive thinking, it will actually come naturally," said licensed mental health counselor Shantala Boss. "It increases self-esteem, it increase positivity in relationships, it decreases resentment, it increases sleep quality, as well.”

And if you think you have nothing to be grateful for, then you need to hear from Celestina Dyer.

“I’m grateful for surviving breast cancer!” Dyer said.

She's cancer-free for now, but just thankful she has more time.

"I'm happy to be here," she said.

That's something anyone reading this story can be grateful for.

To increase gratitude in your life, Boss suggests keeping a "gratitude journal" and listing at least three things each day you're grateful for.