Graduate Medical Education Pausing Practices

Gratitude

Research studies have found that we can intentionally cultivate gratitude, and that doing so is correlated with an increase in our well-being and life-satisfaction. Positive psychology research shows that focusing on things we are grateful for is a reliable way to improve our mood and increase happiness. In addition, it has a self-reinforcing effect; noticing what we are grateful for leads us to notice more and more things that we are grateful for. Visit here for more information on the science of gratitude

Instructions:

Pull out a pen and paper or fire up your laptop. Write down 3 things that you are grateful for. They don’t have to be grand or magnificent in nature. You might be grateful for the view of the mountains as you drive to work, the taste of your coffee, or your close relationship with your partner or other important people in your life. Imagine what your life would be like without these things and try to generate gratitude as you are writing. It will help to try to go into detail about whatever came to mind. Take a moment to recall the experience and savor it for a moment in your mind. The more vivid you make this the more power it can have for you. If things that you aren’t grateful for pop into your mind just notice that that happened and refocus your mind on what you are grateful for.

Alternative:

Write a short letter or e-mail of gratitude to someone who made a difference for you. Don’t worry about getting the words exactly right, just express how they impacted you in a positive way. Send it to them if you wish.

Want to experience more gratitude in your life? Take a 21-Day Gratitude Challenge and get a gratitude profile back.

Reflection Questions:

  • Question 1

    Did you notice any judgements coming up about how easy or hard it was to think of things you are grateful for?

  • Question 2

    What feels better to you, thinking about things you are grateful for or people you are grateful for? Why?

  • Question 3

    How might you pass on your attitude of gratitude today?