Thursday, June 12, 2014

Meditate to Melt Bar Exam Stress

Summer bar preparation is kicking into high gear.  The first week is a blur.  The second week is overwhelming.  The third week is a blur again.  Bar preparation is excruciating- physically, mentally, and emotionally.  One way to stay even and remain focused is to practice meditation.

Meditation can take on many forms.  However, mindfulness, attention to breathing, and intentional focus are necessary components.  First, try to create an environment where you can be quiet and free from distractions.  You do not need to redecorate or go to extremes.  Merely find a spot where you can feel relaxed for ten or twenty minutes per day without being interrupted.

Next, concentrate on your breathing.  Think about good air coming in to refresh and satiate your spirit; and, the bad “stressful” air being exhaled and released.  Attention to breath is essential to meditation.  If the only one thing that you accomplish is sitting with your breath for 10 minutes, you will still be in a better mental place.  Try to clear your mind and focus on your breathing and let everything else melt away.  Thousands of assignments, rule statements, MBE questions, and life stressors will try to infiltrate your thoughts.  Keep them out by concentrating on your breathing.  Let this time be just about your breathing. 

By making meditation a daily practice, the stress of bar review will slowly melt away…at least for a short part of your day.  Even though schedules are strained, adding a 10-20 minute daily meditation can help add a deeper level of peace and contentment.  So... turn off your phone and computer, find a soft spot to land, close your eyes, and breathe. 

(Lisa Bove Young)

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