By Jessica Richardson, Clinical Coordinator, Physician Health Program, Saskatchewan Medical Association
Are you a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person? Our world view has a direct impact on our personal well-being. Recent studies have shown that, on average, people have 6,000+ thoughts per day. What is the temperament of your thoughts throughout the day? Consider thoughts about yourself and others. Imagine the impact your thoughts have on your mood if they are cynical or hypercritical compared to thoughts that are supportive, kind, or curious.
I’m not suggesting there is a place for toxic optimism (that’s just insensitive); rather, this is an opportunity to examine your perspective and overall attitude in life and find a healthy balance. Stress and challenges happen (especially in the field of medicine), that’s as certain as the sun rising and setting each day. The way in which we choose to manage those stressors, or the attitude in which we view them, is what’s in our control.
We are all solely responsible for our own personal management. Management is not “shutting off emotions” or ignoring stressors. Management is acknowledging the impact of a situation, identifying the thoughts and emotion(s) we are experiencing, and processing (or managing) your response. By heightening personal awareness, you can become more attuned to the perspective you hold throughout the day. If you’re stuck in the glass-half-empty mentality this is your opportunity to consider an alternative perspective.
There is a poem by Charles Swindoll that I refer to often in which he explains, “The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” Grace (for yourself and others) doesn’t cost you anything. So, let me ask you again, are you a glass half-empty or half-full kind of person?
Stress is inevitable. Struggling is optional.
If you are a physician struggling with mental health concerns, please know there is a safe, confidential place for you to contact.
Call the Physician Health Program at the Saskatchewan Medical Association.