I’ve been using the positive power of gratitude to improve my well-being. As with anything else in life, I’m getting better with practice. I haven’t always been great with acknowledging gratitude, but I am truly making strides. Although in my head I struggled with a daily gratitude practice, for a while I was doing a Gratitude Wednesday weekly. Getting through a tough year, I am restarting that practice on this Thanksgiving-eve. Practicing gratitude for what we have and the people around us should be a year-round practice, because it has been proven to improve well-being. Ryan Will, MD just shared his gratitude for the impact Freddie Fu, MD had on the careers of many surgeons, and encouraged us to reach out to others who have done the same.
The power of gratitude is real and I encourage you after reading this to try one of these three ideas, or create your own gratitude practice.
Ways to Practice Gratitude:
- Keep a Journal – Save 5 minutes of your day to write down in a journal what you’re grateful for.
- Mindfulness – Take 5 quiet minutes to think about what you’re grateful for. Set a reminder to do it as you unwind from your full day.
- Write a Letter – Write a letter to others that have had a positive impact on your life and tell them what they’ve meant to you.
That all sounds like a good deal for relatively little investment. Think also of what it feels like when someone thanks you, be it a patient, family, nurse, or another physician. That is one of the best feelings in my experience. Now you can give that experience to those who have helped you along your path.
Take the time to write to one or two people who had a significant impact on your education. Gauge how you feel for the next several days. If you notice a positive change, then reach out to more people in your life. You won’t be disappointed.