Critical CareHealthcare WellbeingSMACCMeditation, Performance and Critical Care: Scott Weingart

Meditation, Performance and Critical Care: Scott Weingart

Scott Weingart discusses the scientific aspects of meditation. He believes meditation is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

There are two types of meditation: focussed attention meditation or vipassana, and contemplative meditation.

Generally, people exist in a default mode network. This happens when we are not focussed on anything in particular and thoughts occur in our brain without us being aware of it.

Spending a few minutes every day aware of what thoughts are occurring in our brain is highly beneficial. This helps with stress control, relaxation response control, slowing of telomere degradation, control over emotions and increased concentration.

Scott, however, wants us to focus on a single objective benefit of meditation – controlling the stimulus-response gap. Viktor E. Frankl explains – “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Meditation helps to choose our responses to stimuli, both good and bad.

Scott explains how to do mindfulness meditation or vipassana.

First, pay attention to your present circumstance by linking it to your breath.

Second, be non-judgemental and forgive yourself for the random thoughts that come up while meditating.

Finally, watch moment by moment as experiences unfold.

A book written by William B. Irvine on Stoics, introduced Scott to contemplative mediation. Stoicism is based on a philosophy of happiness which tries to eliminate negative emotions like hate, envy, anxiety, and fear.

Scott dedicates this podcast to John Hinds by explaining how he appreciated the moments he spent with John due to his practising of mindfulness.

Meditation is a way to appreciate every moment that we have in our short life. Exercise is work to live longer, while meditation is work to live better.

Meditation, Performance and Critical Care: Scott Weingart

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Scott Weingart

Scott is an ED Intensivist from New York. He did fellowships in Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, and ECMO. He is best known for talking to himself about Resuscitation and Critical Care on a podcast called EMCrit, which has been downloaded > 30 million times.