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Benefits Of Gratitude At Work

Sep 04, 2023

Medicine is a field that helps people who have any illness to feel better, both physically and mentally. As physicians, that is the basic principle we go by – until other things are added on. Insurance companies put restrictions on how medicine is practiced. Administration usually focuses on physician productivity. Oftentimes physicians feel devalued and unappreciated. In environments as such, in addition to the emotional burden from taking care of patients and interacting with their families, more than 50% of the physicians are suffering form burnout in the United States.

It is difficult to work in an environment where you are always stressed, overwhelmed, or feeling you can be replaced anytime. One thing that can make the workplace better is to practice gratitude.

Many studies have shown that gratitude decreases stress, depression and anxiety. Gratitude can increase efficiency and productivity at work. Imagine if everyone practices gratitude – what will this world transform into?

You may ask, how do you practice gratitude when there is nothing in your life right now that you are grateful for. You may think that everything is bad. Nothing is going your way. Especially at work, you cannot even take charge of how you really want to treat your patients. Many employed physicians also believe that they are restricted by what they are allowed to do rather than limited by their own ability to treat patients. Even though you are doing everything according to the standard of care, there is always the risk of being involved in litigation somehow. Most of the clinical time is used in patient documentation rather than the actual person-to-person connection. I can go on and on. There are so many things we can be ungrateful for – how is it possible to find the other end of the spectrum?

The first step to practice gratitude is to decide that there is something to be grateful for. No matter how deep in despair you are, no matter how miserable, angry, devalued and ignored you feel, there is always something to be grateful for. Focus on what you have rather than taking things for granted. Start with examining your life closely. The most basic thing you can be grateful for is your life. The more things you look for that you are grateful for, the easier it is to find more.

The second step is to believe in what you say you are grateful for. Think of something you are very grateful for. How does that gratitude feel physically in your body? Is it associated with a flow, a certain temperature, or more intense in certain parts of your body? Remember those sensations. The next time you are truly grateful something, those are the physical sensations you are expecting.

The third step to practice gratitude is to do it. Tell yourself what you are grateful for. After you have your gratitude at an individual level, think about what you are grateful for at the workplace. Are you grateful for the type of patients you get to see? Are you grateful for the staff? Are you grateful for the steady income?

Show gratitude toward others. A simple “thank you” or tell someone what specifically you are appreciating. In the workplace, showing your appreciation toward your coworkers is the simplest way to create a more peaceful environment. When you feel appreciated, you are likely to feel more connected with your coworkers and work as a team. You are likely going to be more motivated to do your best.

Be consistent in practicing gratitude. Do it every day, at home and at work. The more you do it, the easier it is to feel grateful and to find more things to be grateful for. This one thing will boost your mood, will increase your motivation, focus and efficiency at work.


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