Episode #179 A heart doctor’s quest for healing and happiness – with Jonathan Fisher, MD FACC

In his recently published book, Just One Heart, Dr. Fisher draws upon the vast body of scientific literature on positive psychology and wellness, as well as the teachings of mindfulness and stoicism which have withstood the test of time for over two and half millenia. A major take home point is that the ability to manage our thoughts and emotions impacts our physical, mental and social health as much, if not more than, any medication, healthy food or physical exercise routine. 

As you listen to this interview, I suspect you’ll be grabbing your pen to capture the many practical techniques Jonathan shares. Near the beginning of the interview Jonathan lists the emotions that he calls ‘heart breakers’ and goes on to share the ‘heart waker’ emotions that have been demonstrated to help people heal their heart and pursue happiness. Later, he offers us a daily routine that’s distilled in the acronym, ‘BESTLIFE’, designed to assist in manifesting positive emotions at the start of each day. He shares another technique, composed of three brief questions, that empower us to rapidly shift from a pessimistic to optimistic mindset in our daily interactions. One thing I love about Jonathan’s approach is his focus on translating the concepts of mindfulness into daily practices and techniques that “are super simple and …easy to remember”. 

Our dialogue is content rich but also deeply personal and touching. What makes it so is that Jonathan has not only grounded his perspective in scientific literature and numerous interviews with experts; he’s also integrated it into his personal life and professional practice – with patients, clients and organizations. Jonathan’s personal pursuit of self-compassion and his transparency, integrity and generosity provide a wonderful example of lived mindfulness. 

Dr. Fisher is a unique cardiologist in that his practice includes not only the care of the cardiovascular system, but also tending to the metaphysical heart. I wonder how different healthcare might be if more doctors, nurses and other clinicians were trained in the ways that Jonathan has trained himself – to “think differently about the heart”.

You can learn more about Dr. Fisher and his work through his website and his book, Just One Heart: A Cardiologist’s Guide to Healing, Health, and Happiness, available for purchase now on Amazon.