Mindfulness in Medicine, a monthly column by bestselling author Anne Bruce designed to cultivate leadership and collaborative relationships among hospital leaders, nurses, providers, and ancillary staff. Mindfulness is a powerful leadership tool that enhances emotional intelligence in medicine. It is a tool that, when practiced, can help us develop and implement relational coaching skills and illuminate various ways to improve hospital operations and cross-departmental performance. Mindfulness also improves our capacity for decision-making and participatory medicine, all while enhancing our own health and well-being. Your comments and insights on these postings are greatly valued.
Every day, people lose their jobs, battle life-threatening illnesses, and suffer through natural disasters like the recent Hurricane Harvey.
When disaster strikes, it's natural to feel frightened, depressed, and overwhelmed. But why do some people bounce back more quickly than others in the same situation?
The answer lies in the concept of resilience, which is the ability to recover from or adjust to misfortune and change. And according to Stanford Medicine
, it's one of the most important qualities that healthcare providers can possess.
This month, I’m pleased to welcome fellow author and keynote speaker Anne Grady
as my co-contributor to this piece. Anne is the author of Strong Enough: Choosing Courage, Resilience, and Triumph
and 52 Strategies for Life, Love & Work.
Here's her story.
How Important Is Resilience When You’re About to Lose Everything?
If anyone knows a thing or two about resilience, it’s Grady. She travels the world speaking at mental health organizations, healthcare systems, and Fortune 500 companies. She shows audiences how to ramp up their resilience while sharing her conviction that every person is indeed "strong enough."
How can she be so sure? Well, because she's been there.
Grady's son Evan has a serious mental illness. At the age of three, he actually tried to kill her with a pair of shears. (Grady recalled this painful incident in the opening of a TEDx talk
Over the next several years, the Gradys endured multiple hospitalizations, violent outbursts, and self-destructive behavior. A calm and happy family life seemed completely out of reach.
During Evan's first extended hospitalization, Grady and her husband, Jay, spent two months living in the Ronald McDonald House in Houston. Then, just after Evan’s release, Anne was diagnosed with a tumor in her head the size of an avocado.
She underwent six hours of surgery and spent several months undergoing radiation therapy. Her career as an author and professional speaker took a nosedive.
So how important is resilience when you are about to lose everything? Very important.
Somehow, Grady hung on. In fact, she began to write a second book about resilience and the importance of bouncing back after a fall.
Through this process, she went from radiation to radiant. How?
“It all comes down to mindfulness,” Grady says. She knows from experience that when we live in the present and accept ourselves without judgment, we can work magic on our bodies and our brains.
As part of the research for her recent book, Grady did a great deal of study on how to cultivate mindful resilience in tough times. Knowing that mindfulness has helped so many medical professionals fight stress and burnout, I invited her to share her findings in this month's column.
Here are her three top tips:
1. Choose your expectations wisely
Texas singer and songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard
sums it up thusly: