What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is defined as paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. This means:
- putting aside concerns about past events and worries about the future
- learning to view thoughts as mental events and not as reality
- deliberately focusing on what is happening right now, in a kindhearted way
Mindfulness involves being present with what’s going on in one’s life with kind awareness, questioning thoughts and assumptions, replacing judgement with compassion, and moving beyond preconceptions.
Just three mindful breaths can change the next hour. Mindfulness provides a means of enhancing calm and decreasing reactivity. Mindfulness changes the brain.
What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation? Mindfulness refers to a way of being in the world. Meditation is a specific practice of repetitively bringing one’s attention to a focal point. Mindfulness is an all-encompassing way of living one’s life that includes meditation and many other aspects.
Why is mindfulness important for physicians?
Mindfulness provides a path to find calm in the storm. As physicians, we excel at processing information and multitasking. We spend so much time “Human Doing” that we struggle with “Human Being.” All that doing leaves us spent and reactive to challenging people and circumstances. Mindfulness helps us regain our footing in the present and step off the cycle of reactivity.
Even brief focus on the breath can rapidly de-escalate stressful situations. Longer meditation quiets the busyness of the mind, facilitating greater ease and balance. There are many mindfulness practices that can be readily incorporated into the most hectic day, bringing calm and focus. Every moment of calm added to your day provides ballast against the many stressors of daily practice.
There are many studies documenting high levels of burnout but few demonstrating how to avoid or mitigate it. What we do have data for is mindfulness, with over half a dozen studies demonstrating that it decreases levels of emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and overwhelm, all decreasing burnout.
Enhanced focus, calm, and compassion all build resilience. The result is increased efficiency and productivity at work, greater ability to withstand external stressors, and less reactivity at work and at home.
What is Mindfulness-based Physician Coaching™?
Mindfulness-based Physician Coaching™ is Dr. Gazelle’s unique approach to helping physicians avoid burnout, decreasing reactivity, improving leadership, and developing true presence at work and at home. Utilizing a wide variety of evidence-based techniques, Mindfulness-based Physician Coaching™ helps physicians improve work satisfaction, create more balance, and lead more fulfilling lives.
“With Gail’s mindfulness coaching, I have more authenticity, ease, and enjoyment both at work and at home. The challenges in professional and family life remain, but I am more efficient and at ease with my clinical work, more comfortable with a wider range of emotions, and am living a much happier and full life.”
To find out more about Mindfulness-based Physician Coaching™, please contact us today.
“Gail has helped me with specific tasks, and with understanding and overcoming internal and external obstacles. I have strengthened my communication skills, and I am much clearer about what I have to offer the world. With her expert mindfulness coaching, I’m moving closer toward my goal and finding more life satisfaction along the way.”
“Gail’s mindfulness coaching has helped me so much. I’ve tried many things to manage long-standing anxiety, reactivity, and self-criticism. From a very insightful and empathetic stance, Gail has helped me reshape how I approach work and life, utilizing concrete mindfulness tools to keep me grounded, less anxious, and with a whole new level of clarity and sense of control. I feel so much happier and less reactive at work. With Gail’s guidance, I’m living more and more as the best possible me.”
Mindfulness-based Physician Coaching™ incorporates techniques such as brief meditation, body awareness, emotional regulation, questioning of habitual cognitive processes, and addressing patterns of reactivity. Physicians learn specific strategies that are readily incorporated into the workday. Mindfulness-based Physician Coaching™ actively strengthens the internal locus of control and leads to improvements in self-compassion, communication, empathy, reactivity, conflict management, adaptability in responding to organizational change, time efficiency, and patient satisfaction. Mindfulness-based Physician Coaching™ incorporates the research-proven benefits of mindfulness to decrease burnout and build resilience.
“Dr. Gazelle noted there were many more challenges to come. She said the worry and stress felt by physician leaders doesn’t translate to greater control over the outcome. Rather, it serves to increase anxiety, thereby contributing to frustration and burnout. Mindfulness leads to a different relationship with circumstances — an actual divesting in the outcome. “It allows a leader to weather storms of change. The ripple effect a physician leader can have is significant. Modeling open awareness, calm, and being less reactive can have a large impact on employee calm, satisfaction and productivity, which are all critical to the success of healthcare endeavors.”
Through Mindfulness-based Physician Coaching™, you will be challenged to be at your best despite the challenges of modern practice. You’ll develop greater clarity and calm, regain meaning and purpose, and become more resilient to the stressors of practice and life.
What is Dr. Gazelle’s experience with mindfulness?
Dr. Gazelle has utilized mindfulness practices for the past two decades. In 2013 her book, Mindfulness Support for Alzheimer’s Caregivers, a Harvard Health Guide was published by Harvard Health Publications. In 2015 her mindfulness coaching was featured in the Physician Leadership Journal.
Dr. Gazelle participated in the University of Massachusetts Medical Center Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and Mindful Physician Leadership programs, and the University of Rochester Medical Center Mindful Practice course. She teaches mindfulness to all second year Internal Medicine residents at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital as part of resilience training. To be the best possible physician coach she can be, she is currently honing her skills by studying directly with two leaders in the field, Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield.
Through mindfulness, I have become more intentional with my actions and have developed more compassion for myself and others. I laugh more and am much more content with my life. Mindfulness has improved my ability to manage the stresses of work, family, and life. I am committed to helping colleagues around the country access all the benefits mindfulness affords that lead to a very different character of every single day. Days that include more meaning and sense of accomplishment when we can tune in to appreciate it. Days that can be less stressful even if we’re not doing less (and I’ve found that I’m able to do much more.)