Emotional Hygiene - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon that wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 15

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

This week on the Mini-Podcast we are welcoming back Karla McLaren, where we talk about emotional hygiene as a supportive mechanism to avoid the spread of emotions from one difficult situation to the next e.g. where you have to give a patient bad news about their health. Instead it offers a reset between situations that allows you to approach difficult situations with fresh energy and motivation.

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How do you practice Emotional Hygiene? By doing the following:

  • Take a breath in and out

  • Visibly relax

  • Create a sense of washing off the previous emotion and patient contact

  • Create an event boundary around the previous emotion and patient contact 

Most importantly, try applying the emotional hygiene routine together with your hand hygiene routine, and see how you feel at the end of the week! 

If you're not familiar with Karla, she is an award-winning author, and social science researcher. Her lifelong work focuses on her grand unified theory of emotions, which revalues even the most “negative” emotions and opens startling new pathways into self-awareness, effective communication, and healthy empathy. She is the founder and CEO of Emotion Dynamics, LLC. Karla is also the author of The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life’s Most Essential Skill (2013), The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings are Trying to Tell You (2010), and the multimedia online course Emotional Flow: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Emotions (2012).

Empathic Burnout is a perfect example of how surgeons can improve their effectiveness inside and outside of the OR.