Can Joy Be Prescribed?
As hospitalists, we are all to familiar with prescribing medications for our patients when they need it most. Whether its for high blood pressure, to aid in pain management, to suppress abnormal rhythms of the heart, or to heal an infection, medications are crucial components of healing for many. Working with patients shows us how delicate life can be, and the importance of taking care of ourselves so that we can limit our exposure to certain ailments.
We don’t have to be sick though, to prescribe ourselves a daily dose of something imperative to our well-being. What are we talking about? Positivity and joy. These emotional and psychological states can be arrived at by “prescribing” yourself and even your patients a plan that includes practicing good habits that promote happiness that cannot be shaken, no matter the circumstance.
Here are a few of our favorite tips for improving your state of mind and overall happiness in and out of the workplace.
Deep breathing exercises can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for allowing you to relax, and will ultimately help balance your autonomic nervous system and decrease your stress levels. Deep, or diaphragmatic breathing, can help calm anxiety and bring you to a position of peace. It can also help you feel better if you are in physical pain. To breathe deep, you should take slow, long breaths from your diaphragm, and push your stomach out each time you inhale.
People who show empathy tend to be happier. Whether it is showing gratitude, bringing a meal to someone in need, encouraging a patient, writing a thank you note, or simply offering a kind word and a hug, you can display compassion in a variety of ways. Often times, these acts help you just as much as the recipient.
It’s OK to be show sensitivity. Especially in the health care setting, it has almost become a faux pa to show any sort of vulnerability in front of patients and colleagues. And while as a clinician, you should want to be taken seriously and looked upon as an expert, you can’t be afraid to show a tender side. After all, we are all human. When we let our guards down and become more approachable, we may help our patients and their families in their healing process more than we realize. This in turn helps us feel happier.
Instead of being our own worst critics, let’s try talking to ourselves in a powerful and loving voice. In a recent blog post, we discussed the importance of practicing positive and personal affirmations. These can help you challenge your negative thoughts, increase your confidence, and help you feel calmer and more prepared to tackle anything that comes your way. All of this can equal higher spirits and cheerfulness.
Every now and again you just have to let loose and tap into your child-like self. Engaging in activities that make you smile will improve your mood and help you to feel happier. These could include singing, dancing, cracking jokes, or making funny faces with your colleagues. Humor has a way of breaking the ice and creating memorable moments that are filled with lots of laughter. And you guessed it – if you are laughing more, chances are you will be happier.
The above list is not exhaustive, as there are many other things you can do to increase your level of joy. However, as we mentioned, these are a few of our favorites. If you have any tips that have worked well at your organization, share them with us! We’d love to hear from you. We hope you will try a few of these tips to not only improve your joy, but also the joy of those around you, too.
Learn More About Advanced Care Hospitalists (ACH)
ACH is a Lakeland-based hospitalist group providing comprehensive patient care in community hospitals across Central Florida. Our providers are highly skilled, board-certified internal medicine specialists who are available around-the-clock to meet the care needs of patients from hospital admission through discharge. Post-discharge from the hospital, we continue overseeing patient care for 30 days.
We’ve found that continued care coordination ensures more accurate medication reconciliation, improved compliance with discharge plans, better scheduling of follow-up visits, and fewer hospital readmissions. Our providers do everything in their power to make sure our patients receive the compassionate and comprehensive care they need to promote healing and prevent a second hospital admission.
For more information about our services and our practice, please contact Advanced Care Hospitalists at 863-816-5884 or fill out a contact form online.