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Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital

As we come out of the Thanksgiving weekend, many are reflecting on the things for which they are thankful. It turns out that showing gratitude can have many positive health effects. Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor at the University of California, Davis is a leading researcher on gratitude. His research shows that practicing gratitude can have a substantial effect on a person’s life and health.

So what is gratitude? Most would say it’s showing appreciation for a kind gesture or deed. Dr. Emmons concluded gratitude has two components. First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. In the second part of gratitude, he explains, “we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves. “We acknowledge that other people gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.”

Emmons’ research shows expressing gratitude can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate efficient sleep. He concluded gratitude reduces risk for depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders, and is a key resiliency factor to prevent suicide.



Gratitude is also linked to happiness and can improve one’s outlook on life. Appreciating what you have leads to being optimistic and satisfied. People that knowingly express gratitude tend to be less jealous, frustrated, and regretful.

In addition, grateful people tend to experience increased self-esteem and confidence and improved mood. Evidence even suggests that gratitude diminishes the likelihood of developing post-traumatic stress disorder after a traumatic experience.



Mindfulness is the practice of being intensely aware of what you are sensing and feeling in the moment without interpretation or judgment. Those who are mindful tend to put positive energy into being appreciative of what is around them. Sometimes this is done through meditation and some feel when they spend a few minutes before going to bed thinking about the things they are thankful for, it results in more restful and relaxed sleep.

During the holiday season Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) nurses, clinical staff, physicians and others working in the health care industry will sacrifice time with their families to ensure the highest level of care is available for the community. Restaurant, retail, grocery, law enforcement and other community workers will be going full speed to make sure you have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

It’s a wonderful time to express gratitude. While it may not be the time for face-to-face visits, a phone call or virtual visit to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time can put a smile on someone’s face. Handwritten notes create positive feelings from the recipient.

If you would like to write cards for our health care workers, you can drop them off at the SNMH Foundation office at 140 Litton Drive, Suite 220, Grass Valley. You can also make a donation to honor our health care heroes by calling 530-477-9700 or going to http://www.supportsierranevada.org. We wish you the best this holiday season.


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