National Heart Month is the perfect time to commit to putting the heart back into your medical practice. Implementing a heart-centered approach to health and wellness can have meaningful and long-lasting benefits for physicians, their patients, and their practices.
Staying passionate about your practice starts with your own health and well-being. Physicians need to first practice self-care to properly care for their patients. Nutrition, exercise, and getting a proper amount of sleep can ensure that your basic health needs are being met. However, some lesser-known heart-centered ways of staying healthy can have a significant impact both physically and emotionally, and help you avoid burnout.
In honor of heart month, here are some heart-centered ways to stay happy and healthy that physicians can work into their practices, and share with their patients:
Focusing on Gratitude
With the stress that can come from practicing medicine, it can be easy to start to take your practice for granted. However, refocusing your thoughts toward gratitude can help you appreciate what you have, instead of focusing on what you think you may lack.
Studies have shown that practicing gratitude has countless physical and mental health benefits that can have a lasting impact, including increased happiness and reduced toxic emotions.  Cultivating and focusing on gratitude can also help you feel more satisfied with your practice by enhancing empathy which can greatly improve your relationship with patients.
Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort. Simply saying “thank you” can have a positive impact on mental and physical health.  Journaling is another easy way to work gratitude into your daily routine. Taking just a few minutes each day to pause and write down what you are grateful for can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and medical practice.
Practicing Heart-Centered Guided Meditation
Meditation is becoming an increasingly common wellness practice as many are recognizing its countless health benefits. In fact, between 2012 and 2017, meditation use among adults jumped from 4.1 percent to 14.2 percent. 
Research has shown that meditation is a proven means to enhance general well-being. It can reduce stress and the health problems that result from it, as well as control anxiety and help manage depression. Meditation can also contribute to better sleeping habits which are essential to overall health.  It may even help patients manage symptoms of conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, high blood pressure, and irritable bowel syndrome. 
Both physicians and their patients can greatly benefit from practicing meditation. While there are many different types, practicing heart-centered meditation can have major physical and emotional benefits. This type of meditation emphasizes healing and opening the heart. Not only can practicing heart-centered meditation help to generate kindness and increase compassion, studies have also shown it can reduce the risk of heart disease. 
Putting the Heart Back into Your Practice with a Concierge Model
Each year, more doctors are making the change to a concierge practice to put the heart back into their practices. A concierge model can help physicians maintain work-life balance and professional autonomy. It can also allow them to focus on developing better relationships with their patients to get more satisfaction out of their practice.
Learn more about how CCPHP can help you put the heart back into your practice with a concierge model by filling out the form below.
 Amy Morin. (April 3, 2015). 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude
 Harvard Medical School. (no date). Giving thanks can make you happier. Harvard Healthbeat. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
 No author. (April 2016). Meditation: In Depth. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm#hed3
 Matthew Thorpe, MD, PhD. (July 5, 2017). 12 Science Based Benefits of Meditation. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation#section7
 No author. (September 18, 2019) Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858
 Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. (February 2018). Mindfulness can improve heart health. Harvard Men’s Health Watch. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/mindfulness-can-improve-heart-health