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Gratitude And Resilience For Nurses: The Role Of Gratitude In Building Emotional Strength

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Gratitude And Resilience For Nurses: The Role Of

Gratitude In Building, Emotional Strength In The

Face Of Stress


COVID-19 managed to push nurses to their very limit.

Supporting grieving families, handling critical patients with minimal protective gear, and dealing

with hostile situations have left many nurses feeling physically and mentally drained.

An exhausted nurse begins to feel detached from their job and disengaged from their work. This

leads to nurses eventually leaving their jobs, staff shortages and creates a vicious cycle that is hard to come back from.


No matter the difficulty level involved in a workplace, we must foster a positive work

environment that builds communication and safety.


So, the question arises, how can we practice gratitude in nursing and how does it lead to resilience?


What is gratitude?

To be thankful is to have gratitude and gratitude is the key to happiness. Being thankful for what

you have in life can lead you to health, happiness, and resilience. This is proven further when

you express your gratitude towards others as it inspires them to be kind and helpful.


In the workplace expressing gratitude can lead to improvement in stress handling, increase job

satisfaction and improve self-efficacy.


How does gratitude improve resilience?

Nurses go through a lot on any given day; their workday is an emotional rollercoaster, dealing

with sick patients, talking to families and supporting doctors. It’s tough to go through all this

without breaking down under the stress.


Resilience improves nurses’ physical and mental health by providing a meditative effect and

reducing their psychological stress. This is set by practising gratitude as it blocks out all toxic

emotions such as envy, resentment, regret, and depression, which can block out all positive

sentiments and affect your resilience.




Practising gratitude in nursing

Gratitude is all about expressing the positive sentiments that you come across in your

workplace and all it takes is doing the simple things:


1. From the first ring of the alarm: Many times when we wake up, all we want to do is roll

over and sleep. Let’s stop that. From now onwards when you wake up, let the very first

thought be of something you are grateful for. Start with positive thoughts and keep

thinking about them throughout the day.


2. No more complaining: Being a nurse is never easy but when we complain all that

negativity enters into our space and ruins everything that we have worked so hard to

build. So, the next time you feel like complaining, take a deep breath and think about

something you are grateful for.


3. The gratitude journal: Keep a journal for a month and write about things for which you

are grateful, work hassles, or anything that comes to mind. This lets you put all your

thoughts into place and can create a different perspective on the way that you think.


4. The gratitude tree: Find an empty wall in a corridor at work and encourage people to fill

it up with post-it notes about what you are thankful for. Now whenever you walk through

the corridor, all you will see and feel is gratitude, happiness, and resilience.



Reflection:

1. What are 3 things you’re grateful for today?

2. Who at work can you give gratitude to this week?

3. Do you think your workplace will start a gratitude tree


Sources:

https://bmcnurs.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12912-021-00803-z

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/can_practicing_gratitude_boost_nurses_resilience

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_nurses_are_practicing_gratitude_even_in_a_

pandemic

https://www.registerednursing.org/articles/eight-ways-instill-gratitude-into-nursing-practice/


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