The best gift you can give yourself this Christmas

doctor wellbeing
Dr Sachin Patel is a GP, entrepreneur, coach and mentor. He has built several successful medical businesses. As a coach, he aims to help doctors find more fulfilment, happiness and success in all that they do.

Sachin will be presenting on ‘Setting up your practice’ at the BFD Conference 2017: subscribe for email updates here.


Christmas can be both a joyous and stressful time.

Traditional celebrations can be weighed down with great expectations created by the marketers and the media. The buzz created around the festive period can often mask the simple beauty of spending time creating memories with those nearest and dearest to you.

Surveys have repeatedly shown high levels of stress amongst the population during Christmas. Whether this stress is related to financial issues, interpersonal issues, loneliness, tiredness; it exists across demographics.

So whether you are feeling stressed or not this year, I’d like to share a tip to help you be happier than you are right now. It’s the best possible gift you can give yourself… And the best thing is that it’s free and easy!


The positive effects of gratitude

Studies worldwide have repeatedly shown the benefits of regular gratitude practice. It seems strange that spending just a short amount of time daily feeling grateful can have such a profound impact on general well-being. The positive effects of regular gratitude practice have been proven to be both physical and psychological. It costs nothing, can be very quick, and yet could change the quality of your life experience.


So how do you practice gratitude?

Well, you can choose a variety of ways. My personal favourite is a very simple gratitude journal in an exercise book. Keep it beside your bed; each evening enter one thing that you are truly grateful for. Try and keep this up for three months at a minimum and see how things change for you. Alternatively, spend a minute a day in thought about one thing you can be grateful for that day.

Or why not carry your gratitude everywhere you go? Search for one of the multitude of free gratitude apps on your mobile device!

The key to getting the most benefit from the practice of gratitude is to actually feel the emotion. As doctors we are trained to keep our emotions to one side. This is one place where you can really reap benefits from connecting to your emotions. Remember you don’t need to aim for perfection; you’ll benefit even if you take a step forward and start practicing daily!

Thank you for reading this!