“All roads to happiness touch the GRATITUDE milestone.”


It’s almost Thanksgiving so I thought a blog on gratitude would be appropriate. This holiday reminds us to take this one day to account for our many blessings and to be thankful. However, practicing gratitude is taking that reminder and incorporating it into our everyday lives and, in doing so, benefitting ourselves in very positive ways. I always try to dig deep to come up with something meaningful and worth saying in my blogs. This time, I felt a little guilty and was going down rabbit holes and getting lost in the process. I kept thinking that writing about gratitude is such a luxury. A luxury that I worried not everyone can partake of simply because of their individual life circumstances. Nurses see a great deal of joy, but far more often we see the deepest of human sadness. So why do I mention this in a blog about gratitude? It’s simply my nature to acknowledge that there is a lot of suffering in this world and I don’t know if gratitude is the antidote for it (keep reading). That said, the good news is that most of us are found in the middle experiencing an overall satisfying life in a series of days that we can rate as: “so so,' good or bad but will benefit from this practice.


There is a lot of talk about gratitude in today’s world. Every celebrity in their carefully worded acceptance speech is grateful for something or someone, the self-help aisle in the bookstore is filled with gratitude journals and even kindergartners are learning the practice of gratitude in their earliest academic studies. So, what is it all about?


I like to read about happiness, it’s a hobby that has turned into a passion that we have infused into THE ROUTE. It’s very important to me and I want to help spread the word that everyone can be a part of the happiness/gratitude movement. You don’t have to be a Harvard professor teaching the most popular course on campus about happiness or a happiness researcher at Berkeley or a psychologist specializing in happiness to do it. There’s a lot of science to this admittedly, but I can give you the Cliff’s Notes version, a happiness hack if you will, that quite possibly could change your life. How’s that for a proposition? 


All of the experts agree that the number one way to bring or boost happiness in your life is to experience and feel gratitude regularly. I started practicing this concept when my now teenaged daughter was very young. Each night, we would recite our goodnight prayers and after “God blessing” every single member of our extended families (over 50 people - I do not lie) I would wrap up our nighttime tradition (another happiness booster) by asking her to name three things she was grateful for that day. She always said: Mommy, Daddy and her grandparents so after a while I would say: “Besides Mommy, Daddy and your grandparents what are you grateful for? Who or what would you like to thank?” I wanted to teach her gratitude so that maybe she would remember later when life hit her with challenges that she can always find three things to be grateful for. Sometimes, we looked at big things like recognizing the effort of a teacher going out of her way or the kindness of a friend and other times we struggled and listed very simple things like finding a ladybug or looking at pretty flowers or dew drops on a blade of grass. The idea is that each day is different, but we can always find 3 things for which to be grateful. 


So, there you have it, the simplest way to practice the art and science of gratitude:

Think of 3-5 things each day for which to be grateful and VOILA!

Boost your happiness!

Write them down in a journal and BAM! You earn extra happiness points.



To dig a little deeper, let’s look at some of the leading experts to see what they have to say. Rick Hanson, Ph.D., says what we are trying to do is make feeling gratitude a habit that hard wires our brains for happiness. Think of a positive experience, person or thing that makes you feel good, then dwell on it a bit (at least ten seconds), then try to really absorb it (feel it deeply). The experts say doing this on a regular basis sets us up to enjoy a life with higher levels of emotional and physical well-being. Researchers at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley report that grateful people are happier, more satisfied with their lives, less materialistic and have less burnout. They also note that keeping a gratitude journal or writing a letter of gratitude can increase one’s happiness and overall positive mood. In patients with medical issues, one study with cardiac patients practicing gratitude showed improved sleep, less fatigue and had reduced signs of inflammation. Wow!


Like I said at the start, life is full of good, bad and “so so” days. Incorporating gratitude practices can elevate a life or even help boost the therapeutic interventions of those with poor mental health. So, my initial guilt thinking that this practice is only for those of us lucky enough to have an overall nice life is untrue. This practice can help all of us live a happier life. How wonderful is that? 


Today I’m grateful for:

  •  My delicious cup of coffee
  • The 1970’s soft rock playing in the background
  • My husband working so hard caring for his patients, supporting my ambition and being kind
  • My daughter who is physically present in school at this very moment
  • My wonderful co-founder and friend whom I know is knee deep in the business of the day
  • My teams at both THE ROUTE and NP Aesthetics, Inc whom I know give it 1000% every day
  • My parents both in their 80’s and my big beautiful circle of family and friends
  • My beautiful newly launched skincare line called THE ROUTE
  • My sweet dog Sophie


OMG!! I could go on and on!

It's easy if you try.



XO, Nurse Nancy

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