Finding joy in stressful times

Tags: anticipate joy, partnership, counseling, support, covid-19, benefit

By Anticipate Joy

2020 began with such hope. Many entered the year with an expectation for new vision and focus. We never could have predicted that this year would be marked by a health crisis that would tax our medical personnel and resources to unfathomable proportions. 

We are not fully aware of the effects of this pandemic on the wellbeing of the physicians and other medical providers who have sacrificed their own health for that of others. In times such as these, fatigue, depression, stress, and burnout are words commonly used to describe the experiences of our medical heroes. Nevertheless, some doctors manage to find joy and hope in their daily experiences. Why is this important?

Research tells us that people with high levels of hope and optimism are at a lower risk for coronary heart disease, they sleep better, have stronger immune systems, and live longer. It would seem that optimistic people have found a fountain of youth, leaving their unhappy counterparts to wonder if there is any hope for them. Gone are the days that we view joy as a character trait that you either have or you don’t. Positive psychology can actually put your ability to experience joy squarely in your own hands. Joy is simply a choice. 

Each day you wake up with the power to choose joy by shifting your mind to aspects of your day that are enjoyable, satisfying, or fulfilling. Joy is not reserved for days when things align perfectly; when the kids don’t argue and your patient is compliant with your treatment regimen. Joy is possible even on days when you wake up late, your patient’s illness takes a turn for the worse, and you drop the ball on a major project at work. Remember, joy is simply a choice.

How do we choose joy? It’s all in what you attend to. If your mind gravitates toward the negative aspects of your day, and you choose to replay every negative word that was said, every wrong choice, every missed opportunity, every fearful experience, then you have chosen depression, anxiety, and anger. But if you can stop those negative thoughts in their tracks, and instead, choose to notice what is enjoyable, satisfying, or fulfilling, THIS is how you chose joy!

Despite your present stressors, you have the power to choose your focus and ultimately decide to experience joy or sadness. This means that with a little bit of effort on your part, you can maintain a positive perspective, if you choose to see the positive in spite of the negative, and to look for moments that are enjoyable, satisfying, or fulfilling.  

If physicians can’t find a path to enjoyable, satisfying, or fulfilling activities (and many may not, given your unique occupational stresses and exhaustion) or these feel daunting, they should seek out a professional therapist. Anticipate Joy is a convenient online counseling platform with licensed mental health therapists that offers services as a benefit to TAFP active members and resident members. Make a commitment to find greater satisfaction and meaning in your professional lives by accessing this TAFP benefit today.

Your benefits

TAFP has purchased a bulk of sessions making online therapy available to you at a significantly reduced rate of $35 per session when you use the TAFP access. These sessions are available for active and resident members.

Access the Anticipate Joy service

Scan this QR code or use this link:

5 easy steps to get started

  • 1. Get Access. Use the customized scan code or this link to access your organization’s mental health benefits.
  • 2. Complete a brief intake. Answer a few questions about you.
  • 3. Purchase session(s). Take advantage of the low TAFP member rate. Purchase up to four sessions.
  • 4. Select a therapist. Review available therapists using filters and request a therapist that best fits your needs.
  • 5. Pick a time. After the therapist approves your request, select an appointment time that works for you and your therapist.

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