You are late in passing out your meds. It has been a long day. You haven't had a break, and it looks like lunch will be non-existent. Everyone is negative about how the workload has been divided, and gossip has been overheard regarding your manager.

Complaining, negativity, gossip, along with unreasonable or inappropriate expectations of the day or co-workers, can lead to resentment and ingratitude, making your day burdensome.

You recognize that your own attitude is less than perfect, but there is really nothing you can do about it, right? Well…maybe there is, and maybe it is time you think about how your attitude is not only affecting you but your co-workers and family.

Gratitude is Life Changing

Gratitude is defined as, "the state of being thankful." It is a readiness to show appreciation for what one has and for what others have done for us. It leads to return kindness, whether in thought or action.

We all know the feeling when we are thankful; we all know the feeling when gratitude is missing toward us. Gratitude is a virtue that can enhance our lives on even the worst of days. It can change our outlook on our circumstances.

Science has shown the practice of gratitude can improve our life and health, both mentally and physically. There is a correlation between people who display gratitude regularly and their overall health.

An Attitude of Gratitude Could Save Your Life

Well…maybe not your life, but your job, your marriage, your miserable state.

A study done by Harvard Health shows that people who practice gratitude are more optimistic and feel better about themselves. The study shows that giving thanks can help you to be happier.

Additionally, an article in Psychology Today reports that feelings of gratitude boost happiness and foster both physical and psychological health by:

  • Decreasing negative emotions such as resentment and envy
  • Decreasing depression, pain, and stress
  • Decreasing insomnia
  • Increasing the quality of relationships
  • Increasing our success in work, academic pursuits, and athletics

Flee Negativity: Prioritize Gratitude as a Form of Self-Care

Carefully cultivated, gratitude is a healing balm to our souls. With the studies above, how can we not care for ourselves by pursuing gratitude? The promise of better overall wellness will not only give us a new vitality and outlook on life, but will have a profound impact on our relationships within the workplace as they see changes in us.

Strategies to Help with Gratitude

We are all in this together. We need to work as a team, and in doing so, we need not only practice courtesy, but appreciation for our circumstances and those we work with.

  • Commit to avoiding criticism / gossip of others
  • Intentionally shift your mindset when negative thoughts invade; find something to be thankful for instead
  • Be mindful when someone has done something nice for you, no matter how small, and stop to thank them
  • Write inspirational grateful quotes on a 3x5 card and tape it to the med-cart or mirror
  • Set an alarm at regular intervals throughout the day to remind you to think about things you appreciate in your life
  • Use words of affirmation and encouragement
  • Write one thank you card a week to a colleague
  • Surprise someone with a cup of coffee

And There's an App for That Too! : Tools Available

  • Gratitude Apps - Apps likeLive Happy and 365 gratitude can get you started with implementing gratitude practices
  • The alarm on your smartphone - use it to remind yourself periodically throughout the day to stop and be grateful
  • Gratitude Journal App called Gratitude
Janine Kelbach, RNC-OB
Latest posts by Janine Kelbach, RNC-OB (see all)

    Lend Your Ears: How Nurses Can Benefit From Binaural BeatsWhat if I told you that music can deliver more than just comfort? That it can rewire our brains and…

    Here Are Eight Quick Ways to Instill Gratitude Into Your Nursing PracticeYou are late in passing out your meds. It has been a long day. You haven't had a break, and…

    Nurse educator standing in front of class

    The Growing Need for Nurse Educators and 7 Reasons to Consider this CareerSo Many Patients, So Few Nurses Short-staffed, high census, staff call-ins… do these sound familiar? Every nurse has experienced overwhelm…

    Young female African American nurse gives herself a hug

    The Ultimate Guide to Self-Care for NursesWhat Is Self-Care? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), self-care is defined as "what people do for themselves to…

    Nurses’ Eating Habits Exposed and 9 Ways to Beat Unhealthy TemptationsNurses Care for Others but Neglect Self-Care Shift work, long hours, and grueling assignments can make it difficult for nurses…