Vets, vet nurses & vet clinics – how to have an attitude of gratitude in your life and workplace

Mental Health

Mental health – which is a term I really don’t like much – there’s gotta be a better term but I can’t think of one … it’s been on my mind – hahaha – pun intended – for a few weeks now … as I mentioned in ep 044 – which was entitled “vet mindsets – how to stay positive in a covid pandemic locked down world” – even with my NLP training, I’ve noticed the light of positivity in my mind dim over the last couple of weeks, and if I’m feeling it, then I know that others must certainly be a little shaky too.

Since that episode I’ve had a few people ask me how can they have an attitude of gratitude – what does that look like – as part of their lives?   The conversation usually goes something like this:

I journal.

What does journaling look like?


Who’s got time to journal?


How do you start?


What’s the purpose of that?

I know what it feels like to hit rock bottom … I know what it feels like to have the devil start a very dark conversation inside your head… I know what prejudice is like – I grew up with it – just because I’m a white English-is-my-first-language-woman doesn’t mean that I haven’t grown up with people judging me.

I grew up in the East End of London … fortunately my mum and dad worked crazy hard for us to emigrate to NZ … they did that to give my sisters and me the opportunity to have a better life than we would ever have been able to have in the UK.

For this, I’m eternally grateful.

So….. let’s talk about growing an attitude gratitude and journaling.

There are plenty of reasons to practice gratitude, including the benefits to your overall mental health and well-being.

Practicing gratitude means different things to different people. From daily journaling, active meditations, to evening or morning prayers, gratitude practice can take many forms.

What does it mean to practice gratitude?

Put simply, gratitude means the state of being grateful.

It involves expressing thanks or appreciation for something, from a gift to life itself.

Being grateful is an active state

Gratitude is an active state – you have to go looking for it – it doesn’t just happen without having an open heart and an open mind… well I don’t believe it can.

Gratitude involves the recognition of the positive things in your life and how they affect you.

It can range from noticing and truly stopping to look at and smell the roses through acknowledgement of a beautiful flower you pass when you’re out walking … or being wowed by the beauty of a full moon … or a rainbow … or sunrise or sunset … the smile on a baby’s face … when your pet greets you with such enthusiastic love when you get home … when your kids show you their work of art that’s just for you… 

Being grateful, I’ve discovered, is most powerful during all the times I feel anything but grateful … when nothing appears to be going right … when I’m being beaten up on FB or LI … when a job-seeker tells me they forgot to tell me about the job they’ve already applied for that I’m working hard to get them an interview …

When you notice times of resentment, jealousy, frustration, anger … when you just want to rant and rage at the world because. Nothing. Is. going. right!

That is when it’s important to take time out and be grateful.  

Back in episode 44 I introduced you to Dr Alison Ledgewood and her studies on why the human brain seems to get stuck in the negative all the time.

Julie’s journals

vet clinics - attitude of gratitude - journal - Julie South
Julie’s “graffiti writing”
vet clinics - attitude of gratitude - journal - Julie South
Julie’s journal and colouring pencils

Getting started practicing gratitude

Gratitude jars

Morning meditation



Kiss your brain – Ted-X – Christina Costa

Christina Costa is a PhD Psychology Candidate at the University of Michigan. She researches the psychology of well-being in addition to teaching undergraduate psychology and is specifically interested in well-being for teachers and the science of gratitude.

Last year, Christina was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare and severe brain tumour.

Christina has used gratitude as a tool to help maintain her personal well-being throughout her treatment. In her Ted X talk, Christina shares some of the lessons she’s learnt through her research and experience about the power of gratitude in her life, and how it can be used to change yours.

She holds a BA and MS from the University of Michigan.

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