VTCNA Health Tip: The Power Of Gratitude

Jessilyn Dolan 11 Jul 2018

As we move into the landscape of legalization, I wanted to thank the countless advocates who have made this possible and remind you all, myself included, how important gratitude is for your health.

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. Gratitude helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further, just like cannabis!

One study showed that after 10 weeks, those who wrote daily about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives, exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

A study of couples found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.

Managers who remember to say “thank you” to people who work for them may find that those employees feel motivated to work harder.

Ways to cultivate gratitude:

  • Write a thank-you note. Once in a while, write one to yourself.
  • It may help just to think about someone, and mentally thank the individual.
  • Keep a gratitude journal about the gifts you’ve received each day.
  • Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings.
  • Pray or use positive affirmations/mantras. People who are spiritual can easily cultivate gratitude.
  • Meditate. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment without judgment.

Happy cultivating of cannabis, gratitude and wellness!

Adapted from Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School

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