Learning to breathe – An article by a physician

Parts of an article relevant to awareness of breathing to cope with difficult emotions experienced by a physician are given below (1).
……..

After the formal meditation that day (as part of the Mindfulness based stress management program) we spoke about breathing and how to use it as a tool to control difficult situations with patients. After that session, we journalled our breathing. I noticed that when exposed to sadness and suffering, I held my breath.

Although I had learned about the importance of breath before, I do not think I understood the practicality of the practice until the class session that day. One of the most useful things i learned in the course was simply how to breathe.
….

As a physician you should show the patients that you care but also create separation through techniques like deep breathing.
….

Before the meeting to discuss the end of life support for a terminally ill 90 year old patient, I feared I would cry and cause pain for my patient’s family. I reminded myself to breathe. Before I entered the conference room where the patient’s family was waiting for me, I reminded myself to pay attention to my emotions and use breathing to keep them under control. When I asked the patient’s husband how his wife was doing, he began to talk and cry. I took a deep inhale, feeling my lungs expand, to give me the strength I needed.

During the 45 minute discussion there were times when I felt my tears coming. I took a deep breath and noticed that my supervising physician’s eyes were starting to fill with tears. I started to feel a slight pit in my stomach. I again inhaled and felt my lungs expand.
….

I learned to show compassion for my patients without being distant or letting myself suffer. I know that none of these experiences would have been possible had I not learned to breathe.

(1) Learning to breathe – Article by a physician

If you like this page share it with your friends.