Expressive Writing - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon that wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 22

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

This week, we are welcoming to the mini-Podcast Dr. David Hanscom, an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in complex spine problems. This week, Dr. Hanscom talks to us about the technique of expressive writing to help with chronic stress and anxiety. It's important to note that stress and anxiety are part of the unconscious brain which is a million times stronger than the conscious brain. This means that we can't use rational means to mitigate stress and anxiety. Instead, we need to redirect by creating an awareness and some space. This is where writing - the mechanism of writing, not the content itself - comes in, because it offers a degree of separation.  


How does he suggest we apply the technique of expressive writing? By doing the following:

  • Step 1 - Put your pen to the paper and write with freedom: any random thoughts and emotions as they come to you.

  • Step 2 - Do not spend time analyzing your thoughts. It's just about separation. 

  • Step 3 - After writing, destroy it and do not hold into the writing.

Most importantly, find a few minutes a week to find time for expressive writing even if it's only 30seconds a day and start this week! 

If you’re not familiar with Dr. David Hanscom, he is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in complex spine problems. He's co-founder of “Awake at the Wound,” a process which brings athletic performance principles into the operating room. He's also founder of the Direct your Own Care project (DOC), a structured rehabilitation protocol for chronic pain, and author of Back in Control: A Spine Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain.

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