In a previous post we talked about the negativity bias: the tendency to give more attention and weight to negative experiences and information. And we acknowledged how easy it can be to give in to negativity in the current pharmacy environment.
Another way to counteract negativity is to practice gratitude. As psychologist Robert Emmons explains, “In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope.”
In other words, he says, gratitude can help us cope with hard times.
Emmons defines gratitude in terms of two stages:
- Gratitude is the acknowledgment of goodness in one’s life.
- Gratitude is recognizing that the source(s) of this goodness lie at least partially outside the self.
According to Emmons, gratitude is an approach to life that can be freely chosen for oneself — a conscious decision to see blessings instead of curses. But it is not necessarily an easy decision. Like other mindful choices, it must be cultivated.