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Physician, Heal Thyself! (Rescue Yourself from Stress)

“There is no profit in curing the body if in the process we destroy the soul.”

Wow! Nothing could ring more true for us, as physicians. How often do we sacrifice ourselves and our lives for our work? Is it noble work? Yes! Is it worth destroying our own physical health and perhaps our soul? No.

This notion is applicable to both ourselves and our patients. We, as humans, are so much more than our physical body. This has become acutely evident to me over the last 10 years. I experienced my own near-death experience and have also had the opportunity to study ancient healing practices and universal hermetic principles within a western mystery school holding the lineage of King Salomon. Healing the body is very important, but ignoring the soul and spirit makes any healing incomplete.

Why We Entered This Field

We all began our journey into the field of modern medicine with a deep compassion for others. We started with a passion for helping people, for making the world a better place. And we set out to do just that. We were so motivated that we studied and made sacrifices and trained and dedicated years of our lives with this goal in mind.

Healing for the Soul

And now we are all so very well trained in healing the body. We have some of the most advanced and amazing technology that really does provide miracles. But we cannot continue to ignore the soul and spirit. This has nothing to do with religion. Our soul has physicality to it. This has been scientifically shown. Yet we, in the western world, receive no training for spiritual healing.

As physicians, by our nature, we do offer compassion and kindness to our patients in addition to physical healing. We do have the ability to lift the spirits of our patients, and hopefully we do that on a regular basis. But how effective are we at doing this when our ownspirit is not tended to?

And how can we expect to be fully present for our patients’ healing, and provide them with the best possible outcome, if we ourselves are just merely trying to survive?

So, I ask you: What do we gain by sacrificing our lives to heal others if our own soul is ignored? And are we really able to save souls if we don’t know how to save our own?

Fill Your Cup

It is a universal principle that we cannot effectively serve others if our own cup is empty. Put your own oxygen mask on first, right? I know deep down that, as physicians and health care workers, we all have a desire to serve others and create a better world for everyone. But then life happens. We ourselves are just trying to survive! So, what can we do?

I get it! At first, educating ourselves about spiritual healing and empowerment seems like a good idea, but it can easily appear to be just another chore, another thing to add to our already overloaded schedules. And it’s easy to cast it aside. There’s seemingly no compensation for exploring this. So, where’s the motivation? It’s hard to move forward when we feel so much stress. In fact, we’ve accepted stress as a way of life. It doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s actually quite simple. We learn how to heal ourselves. “Physician, heal thyself.” And how, you say? We begin by examining ourselves and how we live. Over the doors to the great ancient temples of wisdom were engraved the words, “Know Thyself”. This must begin with knowing that we are body, soul and spirit.

Here are a few tips to start you on the path to finding relief from stress.

5 Quick Tips to De-stress

1. De-Clutter

Start a process of eliminating anything in your home that does not bring you joy. De-cluttering is often touted as an important step in de-stressing, and in fact, it is a huge part of facilitating a greater sense of inner peace. Make a commitment to yourself that over the course of several months – give yourself time but also a deadline – you will get rid of all that “stuff” in your home that doesn’t add joy to your life. I have found that it is so easy to just rent a large bin or dumpster, have it delivered to your driveway or the front of your house, and just start tossing stuff in! You’ll be amazed at how fast it fills up and also how much of a difference there is in your sense of calmness and inner peace.

I highly recommend a book entitled,The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo.

2. Meditation

Who has time to meditate?! Meditation is one of those things that we know would be good to do, maybe we even recommend it to our patients, but it will always hold the lowest position on our list of priorities. Why is that? Well, we just don’t have the time, of course! That’s the funny thing about meditating. It takes time and that’s exactly what we don’t have enough of! You know what they say, “You should meditate for 30 minutes every day. Unless you don’t have time. Then you should do an hour.”

Let me share a little story of my own: Years ago I joined a gym and took advantage of the “free consultation” with a personal trainer. She asked me what my fitness goals were. I thought about how uncomfortable it was to do Cardio and so I said, “I’d like to be more cardiovascularly fit.”. She said, “OK, add 20 more minutes of cardio training to every workout.”. I was silently aghast! I didn’t say I wanted to DO more cardio! I just said I wanted to be betterat it! And so, I learned a very poignant lesson. The only way to become better or more comfortable at doing something is to do more of it! Yikes! There was no easy way out! (I subsequently became more cardiovascularly fit than I had ever been!) So if you would like to have more inner peace in your life, more quiet time, guess what? You have to bring more inner peace and quiet time into your life!

Start with just 5 or