The Gift of Gratitude
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”
– Zig Ziglar
It’s no news flash to you that the last few years have been extremely challenging for dental managers.
COVID-19 rocked our sense of normalcy and we were left grasping at the things that we could control and holding on to them for dear life. When something this world-changing occurs, we start to get some perspective on what is important and what is meaningless in our lives.
As we continue to navigate these ever-changing waters of packed schedules, not enough staff, supply chain issues, and reduced reimbursements, we are going to have to shift our perspective to survive; many of us have heard that a huge portion of success comes from a positive attitude.
Practicing gratitude can improve your overall attitude. According to the National Science Foundation, an average person has 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thoughts, 80% of them are negative. By focusing on what you are grateful for, you are able to shift into a positive mindset.
What is gratitude? Webster’s dictionary defines gratitude as the quality of being thankful and a readiness to show appreciation for (and return) kindness.
Practicing gratitude can be a key element in finding a more fulfilling and balanced work life and even make us happier at work. What can you start to see as a blessing instead of a burden? What can you be grateful for today?
Take time each day to implement gratitude into your daily life. Asking yourself what it is about your job that you feel grateful for can change your daily work experience. For instance, just simply looking for situations that make you smile or positive comments to yourself about what you or others did well today, are great starts to implementing gratitude.
Focus on the little things we can control and let go of what we cannot. The story you tell yourself about your job will be how you experience it. So instead of venting about the negatives, focus on what you appreciate.
Research shows that gratitude practices have positive effects on your general well-being. Simply starting and ending each day by stating what you are grateful for can have a profound impact on how you view and manage stressors in the workplace as well as in your day-to-day life.
Appreciating your job, your co-workers, and your bosses, changes your personal energy and how you “show up” at work. Actively sharing your appreciation for others builds stronger and more trusting relationships and relationship-building is the key to any successful practice.
We don’t know how each of our team members started their morning or what they may have going on in their personal lives, but by taking just a few minutes each morning to focus on what we are grateful for, we can shift the mindset of the whole team.
Implementing the practice of gratitude in your office can be very simple. Take turns during your morning huddle to have each staff member share one thing that they are grateful for. Challenge them to think of something different each day. Or, start a gratitude jar and have staff write down one thing each morning and read through them at your monthly staff meeting.
As we continue to navigate this new normal, just remember that there is good in every day, some days just require you to look a little harder to find it.
About the Author
Angella Winters, DAADOM is a busy practice manager, wife, and mother of 3 beautiful children. A 2002 graduate of the University of Montana holding a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry, she began her dental career in 1997 while still in high school as a chairside dental assistant. Her drive to learn led her to a practice management position at a large pediatric dental practice in 2010. In 2018, Angella left her position to open 3 Rivers Pediatric Dentistry. Angella earned her AADOM Fellowship in 2019, her AADOM Mastership, (MAADOM) designation in 2021, and was inducted as an AADOM Diplomate, (DAADOM) in September of 2022. She is also the President of the Northwest Montana AADOM chapter.
In her free time, she stays busy shuffling her children to soccer, football, track, and wrestling. She enjoys early morning runs with her dog and spending time with her family outdoors enjoying all that Montana has to offer.