Jane Lodato used to be an overworked and overstressed Silicon Valley executive before discovering the power of mindfulness, the practice of being present in the moment. She’s now chief of wellness in the department of surgery at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, giving members of the team easy access to mindfulness practices in a proactive and personalized way. Michael Marin, MD, surgeon-in-chief at Mount Sinai, is a big proponent of mindfulness training to improve the mental well-being of his staff, and he personally recruited Ms. Lodato to join the team.
Mindfulness is particularly beneficial for healthcare providers. The personalities and drive of surgical professionals can lead to stress and fatigue. “Perfectionism combined with intense pressure can cause individuals to question their behaviors or self-worth,” says Ms. Lodato. Mindfulness rewires neural pathways to better handle stressful situations and is scientifically proven to work, according to Ms. Lodato, who says it prevents your mind from racing ahead to the future and rehashing the past.