Yes, You Can Determine Your Level of Joy!
At different points in your life, you’ve probably felt an intense sense of connection and heightened exaltation. All feels blissful, purposeful, divinely connected. The French call this expansive feeling “joie de vivre” or joy of living. This state of happiness enables you to experience intense satisfaction and see the glass as full. Sometimes it lingers pleasantly. Sometimes it is gone as quickly as it came.
In “The How of Happiness”, by psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, she defines this state of being as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive wellbeing combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful and worthwhile.” While living continually in this state of bliss and contentment would be ideal, it’s not possible to feel this way 24/7. A bit of assistance, though, can help you get your juices going and access this state and the emotions associated with it.
Backed by Science
Quite simply, plant medicine holds a key to open the doorway to accessing more joy…to live in the “joie de vivre” .
Research is confirming marijuana’s role in accessing that happy place. Scientists have found cannabis restores normal endocannabinoid functions, serving to balance and harmonize your system. Your endocannabinoid system/ECS helps balance every other system in your body. Supplementing it is essential to your health. In other words, marijuana can improve your mood…and your overall health to support that mood.
THC activates a neurotransmitter in your brain known as anandamide or the “feel-good molecule.” This chemical stimulates feelings of joy, improves your memory and boosts your mood. The blast of powerful energy released by smoking or otherwise consuming cannabis gives THC the name the Bliss Molecule. Happiness results from triggering or supplementing the body’s supply of natural anandamides.
In other words, weed makes you happy. The connection between the two is so beneficial researchers are now exploring the use of cannabis as an alternative to anti-depressants. The results are encouraging. Serious cases of depression are being helped without the dangerous side effects of pharmaceutical medicines. Patients report less anxiety, reduced insomnia and increased energy and focus.
Of course, there’s more to happiness than smoking marijuana. Your daily life, relationships, foods, career and lifestyle determine your overall state of wellbeing. Anandamides are also released by physical exercise such as running, hiking, yoga and dance. The “runners high” results from the flood of anandamides stimulating neurotransmitters in the endocannabinoid system.
Case(es) in Point
I asked one friend how he used marijuana to improve his mood. He takes a special brand of pre-rolled Sativa joints on long hikes and rocky trails. Once he reaches the peak, his spiritual experience begins. He explained there is nothing like smoking a doobie while surveying the expansive views and allowing the bliss molecule to spread throughout his system. The resulting feelings of love, peace and gratitude are the most memorable aspect of the hike for him.
Another friend commented that a joint gave him his daily, “attitude adjustment” and helped his creative juices to flow.
You can improve your mood by spending time on activities that stimulate your brain to produce more of this neurotransmitter. It’s the simple things: nurturing others and being mindful of self-care, exercise, and eating well. Getting a good night’s sleep helps, too. Spending the day with your best friend or your significant other does wonders for your attitude. Do something good for another person. Take the day off and go for a hike. Indulge yourself and consume more chocolate…without feeling guilty about it. Chocolate enhances these happy feelings and triggers the release of the bliss molecule, so go for it!
Happiness is within your reach at any moment. This holiday season, if you want to BE the joy to the world, focus on supporting your endocannabinoid system and share a marijuana moment with those you love.