Step 1

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Step 1Dr. Vicki Rackner Helps You Choose Health

1. Set the emotional thermostat.

The voice over the hospital intercom said, “Code blue.  830 East.”

I was a wet-behind-the-ears medical student new to the hospital wards.  My own heart pounded as I raced up the stairs. By the time I arrived at the cardiac arrest,  the room was a sea of white coats.

I stood next to my teaching resident leaning against the wall.  He looked at me and  asked, “What’s the very first thing you do when you arrive at a code?”

He said, “First, take your own pulse.”  His message: Keep the calm.

A person in pain often feels fear and anxiety.  It’s easy to catch the chaos. You help the most when you keep the calm rather than catch the chaos.


Emotions drive motion.  You make the best choices about chronic pain from a calm state.

Fear-based choices are like athletes playing not to loose; calm, considered choices are like athletes playing to win.

Set your emotional thermostat to “calm.”

Click here for Step 2.