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Benefits of Gratitude November 2011

Dear Fellow Nurse,

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Thanksgiving is a nice reminder to pause and appreciate the many blessings that fill our life.

Today, our challenge is to keep this sense of gratitude alive. With the holiday season fast upon us, feelings of gratitude and abundance can easily slip away and we can find ourselves in a negative spiral of stress and anxiety.

For decades, it has been known that negative emotions can adversely affect our health. In more recent years, researchers in the field of positive psychology have studied the question, “Can positive emotions protect us from illness and promote better health?”

Many studies have shown a connection between positive emotions and improved health, greater happiness and longevity. In particular, people who regularly express gratitude enjoy many benefits, such as fewer physical symptoms, greater sense of optimism and more energy and focus.

We hope you will pass along the information and tips in this newsletter to help people replace stress and worry with feelings of gratitude and peace.

Be well,

Janet Fontana, RN, MA

Burdens or Blessings?

Have you ever stopped to think about what life would be like without some of the daily “hassles?” At first thought, you may think that life would be wonderful without them.

Well, what if you didn’t need to:

• Stand in a grocery line because you had no money

• Drive in holiday traffic because you had no family or friends to visit

• Get up early to go to work because you were laid off

When you bring a sense of gratitude into your daily life, you can dramatically reduce your level of stress and see your life in a more positive light.

Gratitude Research

Expressing gratitude is a simple technique that can bring a big boost in health and happiness. In numerous studies research shows that when people express gratitude they:

• Exercise more regularly

• Report fewer physical symptoms

• Feel better about their lives

• Are more optimistic about the upcoming week

• Make more progress toward goals

• Report higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, and energy

• Are more likely to help others

Here is a summary of gratitude research findings from UC Davis.

Practicing Daily Thankfulness

There is no one right way to express gratitude. Most importantly, your practice should evoke a positive feeling and remain fresh.

• Keep a gratitude journal

• Ask each person at the dinner table to say something for which they feel grateful

• Share a moment of gratitude with your significant other before falling asleep

• Offer a prayer of gratitude

• Write a letter of thanks to someone who inspires you

• Start your day by feeling grateful to be Alive

Inspirations for Gratitude

“Look closely and you will find that people are happy because they are grateful.” -Brother David Steindl-Rast

“It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”-Sheryl Crow

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” -William Arthur Ward

Free Nursing CE Program

Thank you for all you do! Please enjoy a complimentary nursing CE program on us. Use coupon code: Gratitude

“What a great way to earn CEUs and to gain knowledge that has enriched the care I provide to my patients as well as my own life. The presentations kept me engaged and made learning enjoyable.” Becky Nolan, RN


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