Yesterday was just “one of those days” for me. I had only gotten 4 hours of sleep the night before. I realized that my last week of my third semester was ending, final exams were coming up, and I had so much to get done before the weekend. I was reading through pathology notes, incredibly overwhelmed. Not to mention I was trying to find accommodations for someone to watch my dog while I went away for break, and nothing was working out. I felt my chest getting tight and I felt like I was losing control.
I HAD to calm down and I didn’t know how to do it. Usually, a few deep breaths and a good walk helps clear my mind, but not today. The tightness and anxiety was lasting the better half of the morning and into the afternoon. In the midst of my thoughts I was reminded back to a time in my very first semester of medical school, the very first week, where we had a professor telling us “how to deal with the stresses of medical school.” Looking back, it’s such a generic lecture, but what he said still rang true to me almost a year later: GUIDED MEDITATION. I never felt like I could really “relax” whenever I tried meditation. Yeah, it made me fall asleep quicker and calmed me down for the meantime when I could afford to sit still and quiet my mind, but I didn’t run to it as my first choice of relaxation because I am a restless, anxious person. Yesterday, I was desperate. I downloaded a few apps on guided meditation and put on the first speaker regarding “letting go of the tension.”
Whether you have 5 minutes or 30 minutes to spare, I encourage you next time to check out a guided meditation app or video when your stressors get the best of you. I can’t explain the inner peace and calm I felt after just 10 minutes of one guided meditation session. I don’t know why I haven’t turned to this more often. The speaker kept repeating “you are in FULL CONTROL.” Sometimes while being in medical school, we forget that. I sure do. We let all these worries and stresses pile up until we can’t take it anymore. Don’t get your stresses get the best of you because this is not what defines us.
“Meditation is not a way of making the mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the thousands of thoughts the average person has.” – Deepak Chopra
This quote rings true because we ALL have inner peace. We just need to take some time to find it. I encourage you next time to try it when you feel like you’re losing control – it could be one of the best things you can do for yourself.