The Gift of GratitudeDecember 15th, 2021
As hectic as it can be, the holiday season often brings out the best in us. It is a time to pause and reflect on what and to whom we are grateful for. And it gives me the opportunity to tell you how much I value your commitment to our mission, your fortitude and perseverance during the toughest of times, and the tremendous care and compassion you have all exhibited to our patients, their families and each other over this past year.
As we see the COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, we know the first few months of 2022 are not going to provide much relief. Still, when we manage to look back on this past year with gratitude – remembering those who helped us through the difficult challenges – we are more likely to look to the future with renewed hope.
As I mentioned in my Power of Hope blog, you can tap into that hope, nurture it and even physically and emotionally benefit from it. Gratitude has similar benefits. Not only does it make you feel better when you contemplate what you are grateful for, you spread that happiness when you share your gratitude with others. Here at Michigan Medicine, we are good at helping each other and sharing our gratitude, as proven by this Little acts make big differences Headlines article.
“Gratitude is good medicine,” according to Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., author of The Little Book of Gratitude. This isn’t just a popular adage. Clinical trials indicate that practicing gratitude can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and encourage people to engage in more exercise and a better diet. Some studies even show that grateful people are less likely to smoke and abuse alcohol.
Most importantly, gratitude gives us strength when facing adversity and builds our resilience when we’re confronted with stress or trauma. Clearly, we can all use more gratitude in our environment.
It’s been a tough year, but a productive one. No matter where you work, I appreciate your contribution to our mission to advance health for Michigan and the world. I’m so proud when I see team members who exemplify our core values of Caring, Innovation, Inclusion, Integrity and Teamwork. And I see this happening every day!
I hope your holidays are restful and joyous, and that you find a moment to reflect on what you are grateful for – it will do you some good!
For those working during your holidays, please know how deeply grateful I am to your dedication to our organization and to our patients.
Holidays can also be stressful at times, so if you are experiencing difficulties, remember we have wellness resources for you, and you may also want to visit the Wellness Week 2021 page on Headlines or view the Winter Wellness Short Takes video.
Have a safe and healthy holiday. Thank you for all you do.
Have a gratitude message you want to share? Use the discussion box below.