Even the most positive people experience stress that can lead to negative thoughts and feelings about their jobs. The pressures associated with a career in healthcare can be overwhelming and ultimately contribute to feelings of dissatisfaction in the workplace. Vicki Hess, RN, MS, and Talent Symposium 2019 keynote speaker has a five-step strategy to help you regain joy at work by managing negative thoughts and feelings.

Watch this video to learn how you, your teammates, and direct reports can get back to sharing positivity in the workplace. Remember to check back each week for more expert advice from Vicki Hess.

Video Transcript

So, one of the best ways to get back on the rails, I call it SHIFTing your pows to wows. And when I wrote SHIFT to Professional Paradise, I wrote about this five-step process. So, let’s say you’ve been hit with a pow, something internal or external that feels like a heavy blow. The very first thing you do is stop and take a deep breath. Just doing that can make a lot of difference in terms of getting back to joy. But if that doesn’t work, the next step is “H.” “S-H” stop and take a breath. “H,” harness our harmful knee-jerk reactions. We all fall into two camps for knee-jerk reactions. We usually do fight-or-flight, so I’m always saying, “You can shout, you can pout, you can lash out.” None of those things are really going to help you or anybody around you. So, you want to be able to pull back and harness those harmful knee-jerk reactions, recognize what’s happening, and stop. This is not something someone’s doing to you. You’re making a choice to have that knee-jerk reaction. That leads us to the “I” — “S-H-I.” Identify and manage negative emotions. Notice I didn’t say “identifying stuff under the rug of the negative emotions,” because we all have negative emotions — they’re a natural part of how we are. We can recognize those, but we want to manage them. We don’t want to let them pull us down. We want to say to the negative emotion. “Okay negative emotion, I see you’re here and I feel you, but I don’t want to feel you anymore. I’m going to manage this and find a different way to feel.” Now, that might be taking care of ourselves outside of work, exercising, talking with family and friends, reading a book we love. It might be something outside of work. It might be something inside of work, taking a few minutes for a quick meditation or saying a prayer, listening to your favorite song. Those are all things that can help manage your negative emotions. Then, the “F” is to find new options. I always say you can do three different things here: You can say, “What have I done in the past that worked?” “What would someone I admire do if they got hit with this path?” Or, “What would someone objective do?” And those are three different lenses you can look through to help you find new options. Finally, the “T” in “S-H-I-F-T” is take one positive action. Do something to shift that pow to a wow. My mom always taught me to look for the laugh. Where is the laugh in this? Another way to think about this is to choose joy. To say, “Okay I might not be feeling very joyful right now, but I’m going to act joyful. I’m going to act like I’m joyful and then hopefully that will convince me. My actions will convince my brain that I actually feel that way.” So to get back on the rails, if you’ve been off the rails, you can use the S-H-I-F-T. You can download that at professionalparadise.com.


Register for a Talent Symposium conference near you to hear more from Vicki Hess.


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Diana Bishop

About Diana Bishop

Diana Bishop is the Content Marketing Manager at HealthcareSource. In her role, she develops and optimizes content for healthcare talent management professionals. She has been writing and developing marketing strategies for the B2B tech space for much of her career. Before getting into content, she attended Keene State College in New Hampshire where she studied English literature and creative writing. Besides writing, Diana loves art and graphic design and tries to make time for these hobbies in her free time.