MF-18 - Jeena Cho -The Mindful and Resilient Lawyer

Jeena Cho of the Resilient Lawyer

Jeena Cho is co-founder of JC Law Group PC, a bankruptcy law firm in San Francisco, CA. She is also the author of the upcoming American Bar Association book, The Anxious Lawyer: An 8-Week Guide to a Happier, Saner Law Practice Using Meditation. She offers training programs on using mindfulness and meditation to reduce stress while increasing focus and productivity. She's the co-host of the Resilient Lawyer podcast. You can reach her at smile@theanxiouslawyer.com or on Twitter at @jeena_cho.

How did you get started with a meditation/mindfulness practice?

I started out in the Himalayan institute in 2003, and then fell out of the practice for a couple of years. But the seed was planted in terms of cultivating a meditation practice.

But then about 6 years ago, she did notice she had social anxiety (headaches, backaches, stomach aches, etc). Jeena self-medicated.

She was starting to loose hair when she was getting closer to her wedding. The doctor said there was nothing wrong, all in her head. Same with the psychiatrist. The diagnosed her with social anxiety. Again they prescribed more drugs and anti-depressant. But Jeena didn't want to go down that path again.

It's just medication, it's not a cure, its' a symptom blocker at best.

She had a friend who told her to go to a treatment program at Stanford.

She had two options:

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction MBSR

She didn't think CBT would work for, and it did work effectively. She recommends this treatment if you suffer from anxiety.

She signed up for an MBSR course as well, and it was life changing for her. Hard to describe. She's been a daily meditator since.

What is social anxiety?

Jeena had it in small groups, like self-introductions would cause cold sweats, even talking on the phone. They have you list all the things that cause anxiety. For example with phone anxiety, the therapist does role-play with you on the phone.

As a lawyer don't you also have to do public speaking type of things? Did being in court cause anxiety?

No, not as much in the court. There is always some anxiety though. Anxiety isn't all bad. But it can be interpreted in a positive way as well. If you just notice the physical sensation, and being with what is.

So Jeena used it as a front, as a way to sharpen your attention, instead of letting it debilitate you.

Explain MBSR Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction a bit more, what is it like?

- See more at: http://meditationfreedom.com/mf-18-jeena-cho-the-anxious-lawyer-turned-mindful-laywer/#sthash.AgLDzmgq.dpuf

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