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Gratitude: A Remedy for Burnout

Practicing gratitude increases resilience and helps prevents job burnout.

I am grateful for you, that you are here, reading my blog! A sincere thank you.

Too often, it’s easier to focus on the negative than the positive things happening in our lives. It becomes a habit. Some people even become addicted to the drama.

We’re hardwired to remember the negative experiences and give them more weight! It takes three positive events to “neutralize” a negative event.

When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you- Lao Tzu

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If I start now, maybe I can be beautiful like her someday

 

Have you ever had a sweet, elderly patient who was grateful for everything you did, everything her doctors did…just a grateful spirit? That’s the kind of old lady I want to be someday.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is a way of being. It’s the quality of being thankful; of being appreciative; of being kind. It’s an affirmation of goodness. It leads to forgiveness and paying it forward. Gratitude is one of the most reliable methods for increasing personal happiness. What’s great about living a life of gratitude is that it’s a choice you can make today, and it costs nothing!

A grateful person cultivates a sense of awe. Picture yourself out on the ocean, in a boat, whale-watching, and being so close to a huge, gray skinned whale that you want to reach out and touch his rough hide.

Or picture standing at the bottom of a massive, roaring waterfall, deep in a remote, green forest, with the spray misting your face. 

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There is beauty everywhere credit © Yukayang | Dreamstime.com – Lotus Flower Photo

Or the absolute quietness of snow. Watching snowflakes fall thickly one by one, each one icy exquisiteness. Awesomeness is everywhere. 

Gratefulness is being mindful. Inhaling the steam and aroma of the hot cup of coffee cradled in your hands. Then taking that first sip of the day. 

Mindful people watch what they say because they take responsibility for influencing others around them.

It’s maintaining perspective. To help keep perspective, remember the bad things. You got through those hard times, and you’ll get through your current situation, too.

This, too, shall pass

Gratitude is choosing to focus on the positive. It’s tempting and easy to grumble at work because it’s a cheap way to quickly bond with coworkers, and to feel part of the group. Day shift gripes about night shift, night shift gripes about day shift, and everyone gripes about Lab. What if no one griped for an entire shift?

Grateful people are appreciative. Of small things. Of a budding flower. Of a stranger who lets your car cut in front of them in stalled traffic.

How to do it

Ready to change your life?

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Before bed, write down three things you are grateful for

Each night within two hours of going to bed, write down three things you are grateful for. It’s like rebooting your brain during the night while you sleep, and setting it to Positive Mode. Even if you aren’t feeling it, you gain the benefit. Keep going.

By day four or five, you’ll find yourself looking for the positive during your day. You’ll see, smell, and notice things around you previously missed.

You’ll inspire those around you to be more positive! The Step Down Unit at the hospital where I work has a team of genuinely nice, positive nurses. You can feel it when you walk on the unit. Like attracts like, and so they keep hiring nice people. It’s contagious, and it builds.

Read here about a time I was deeply appreciative for Anita, the nurse who took care of my mother at the end of her life.

It’s so safe and refreshing to be in the company of a truly grateful person. It’s easy. You can relax and be yourself, because they will look for the good in you, and not be quick to judge.

Be that grateful person! Click here for more tips on how to prevent burnout.

Until next time friend,

Beth

About Beth Hawkes (131 Articles)
Nice to meet you! I'm a Nursing Professional Development Specialist in acute care, a writer, speaker and career columnist.
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