Find Your Gratitude

By Lillian Emlet, MD

Need a little help to ward off feelings of burnout? Find your gratitude. Practicing deliberate daily gratitude—“the quality of being thankful”—is the baby aspirin for burnout prevention. Yes, we realize that the “busyness” that infects so much of our work and personal lives makes carving out any intentional time incredibly difficult. Studies have shown however, that gratitude takes only a second. So close your eyes and spotlight some amazing things that are going well today.

Options for practicing a conscious gratitude include: creating a journal (writing it down makes it real and helps to form a habit); guided gratitude meditations (easily found via an App search); or triggered daily reflections (like when you brush your teeth or open your garage door). 

Cognitive pauses remind us of our incredible privilege of being physicians and having meaningful work. So recognize and celebrate your small triumphs. Be amazed of the difference your skills made in that last successful resuscitation. Be appreciative of that patient who gave you a sincere "thank you." Be thankful for the tremendous character and resiliency of your nurses and techs. Be mindful of your warm home, food and family that awaits you after sign out. Be grateful for simply “being.”

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