Health Motivation and the Near Death Experience: Inspire Yourself First, then Your Patients
Healthcare is overwhelmingly devoted to disease intervention rather than prevention, yet so much of what we treat is preventable. We need to inspire personal goals and find our unique enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle. This 15-minute TEDTalk includes a brief example of a type of “negative visualization;” an intense behavior modification tool to place yourself in a critical “Near Death Experience” to emphasize the reality of the risks we ignore, before it’s too late.
I have used this technique with many emergency room patients to achieve a rapid change in unhealthy behavior. I suggest they repeat it daily for the first week to help it become part of their thinking as an additional tool for change.
Medical professionals can also benefit from this technique. We often advise patients on changing unhealthy behavior, yet often do not fully practice what we preach. For example, patients will tend to ignore weight reduction information from an obese clinician. If your own health habits are poor, or you lack the motivation to improve yourself, your ability and desire to inspire patients are minimized.
My hope in doing this talk was to help people make healthy changes before preventable diseases happen.
Please pass it on, and put it on your social media sites. TedTalks often get thousands of views, and if only 5-10 % of people watching get motivated to try again, then it could help more people than I can see in months of working in the ER.
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