In this episode, Dr. Michael Maddaus interviews Dr. Chris Germer—a clinical psychologist and thought leader on mindfulness and self-compassion. This in-depth conversation details the power of self-compassion and how important the practice is for our mental health and the ability to recover from failures and struggles. “When our self-worth comes from external approval and support, we are always walking in a minefield because it can blow up at any moment,” he says. Dr. Germer shares his personal struggles with disabling anxiety and explains how he learned to be kind to himself—self-compassion—not only when he succeeded, but also when he didn’t. The “new voice” in his head allowed him to activate warmth that dissolved fear—an astonishing breakthrough for him. Importantly, Dr. Germer says that self-compassion can very quickly turn into kindness toward others—another benefit of this practice. Listeners also will learn about the formula: pain x resistance = suffering, along with Dr. Germer’s advice for using mindfulness to turn toward “what’s bugging us” with curiosity and tolerance. “The Resilient Surgeon” is a program from the Society designed to inspire cardiothoracic surgeons to be their best selves, in and out of the OR, using scientifically proven tools and recovery strategies of the world’s top performers.
Dr. Germer can be reached at chrisgermer.com.
Learn more about STS wellness efforts at sts.org/wellness.