Kwon-ho Go / KT Networks
Kwon-ho Go developed a panic disorder due to what he thought was excessive stress at his job. His doctor told him that everything is a matter of the mind and so he moved to the countryside to try to calm down a bit. But despite having clean air and reading books about mind training, his panic disorder didn’t get any better. When he started to feel like he was dying due to his panic attacks, one of his colleagues recommended that he try meditation. This is the story of Kwon-ho Go and how his panic disorder disappeared quietly like a visitor in the night after throwing away the pictures in his mind through meditation.
When Stress From Work and People Rise, Symptoms of Panic Disorder Present Themselves
I was assigned to a new office after 5 years of being employed with my company. Shortly after arriving there, I had a hard time adapting to my new and unfamiliar working environment. My boss constantly sent me work assignments, and tasks were piling up daily in my busy office. My boss’s criticism of my work hurt me deeply, while at the same time, I had conflicts with my coworkers. I was experiencing a lot of inferiority because my boss was constantly praising my fellow employees.
I thought maybe I wasn’t being treated well by my boss and I attributed his criticism to his prejudice against my small-town background. I felt inferior and I often took other’s words personally.
Then one day, after having lunch at work, suddenly, anxiety came pouring out through my body like an electric charge. I took the subway to go home after work, but I had to get off before reaching my destination due to the anxiety. I wandered frantically in search of a hospital and ended up in the emergency room. I was experiencing cold sweats and having a hard time breathing. I felt physically paralyzed. This was just the beginning of my struggles with panic disorder. I was overloaded due to the pressure of a sudden increase in work.
My Doctor Told Me to Change My Mind—But How?
My doctor told me that medications for panic disorder would only help on the surface and that I needed to change my mind to get better. I didn’t know what to do with my mind. I was always tense and my heart was often beating rapidly. It felt like standing alone on stage in front of a large crowd. When my tension was at its peak, I experienced hyperventilation. I barely managed to control my breathing. I was constantly anxious and fearful about when these panic attacks might occur. So, I moved to the countryside to see if my condition might get better living in a quiet place. But I soon found out that the symptoms were still there.
The quantity of work in the countryside was better, but the business atmosphere was the same as when I worked in the city. I blamed myself and couldn’t help thinking that being weak and susceptible to stress brought this kind of illness to me. I tried to relax by reading books that calmed my mind, but it didn’t help that much. The pain in the back of my mind started to mount on top of all of my existing symptoms and this made my fear of death rise.
My Panic Disorder Slowly Fades Away
‘Sudden death’ is said to be common in our 40s. I thought this would happen to me. At that time, I suddenly remembered a meditation that a colleague had recommended. I went to the meditation center. They taught me to throw away old pictures of my life. These pictures were the roots of all kinds of minds and feelings that I was holding. This is what caused my anxiety. I was so grateful that I could abandon these minds and thoughts I had. I was blaming my weakness for causing this kind of panic disorder but it was really the pictures and minds that I was carrying. I also discarded the memories of my miserable past such as being so timid that I couldn’t even sing in front of my family and when I was in school, I couldn’t say a word at class meetings etc.
I threw away pictures of memories saying, “I am too soft and timid.” I also eliminated my resentment towards my parents for making me so weak. I always wanted to be a good person to others. But when I looked inside myself, it was because I wanted to hear only good things about myself from them. Because of this, when I heard criticism from someone whom I was treating well, it hurt me even more. Those small wounds piled up and made me feel so small.
I realized that those pictures in my mind were my stress, so I diligently discarded all of those memories. At one point in my meditation, the old Kwon-ho Go who had been made to feel inferior and hurt by the words of other people, disappeared. All I did was subtract the thoughts in my mind, but I was changing little by little. The panic disorder, which was bothering me so much, disappeared silently. It was a miracle for me!
The World Is a Reflection of My Mind. When Things Get Tough, I Have to Look at My Mind First
After meditation my work life also changed. Confrontations with people decreased and I became open-minded enough to see and accept the world as it is. I don’t worry about the outcome of work, and when I’m working, I don’t get nervous if work doesn’t go well. I am relaxed while working and results come naturally. Now I just do my best and everything goes more easily. Instead of worrying about how others are doing, I first check whether I am doing well at my role and try to appreciate my colleagues.
We are in an era in which everything changes rapidly. Everyone says their work life is getting harder. If I stick to what I’ve been doing and don’t try to change myself, it will cause me to have more and more of a hard time in the future. Fortunately, I was able to abandon my mind and discard my stereotypes as well. Thanks to this meditation, I became interested in new fields. I am now respected by those working under me and I am able to ask for help without hesitation.
Before, I couldn’t even speak in front of others, now I lead family and alumni meetings. Even though work and meetings are challenging, I don’t have the mind of being affected by such a busy lifestyle. I’m always positive. It is said that the world is a reflection of my mind. At this moment, if you are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression or any other condition, I would recommend that you do this meditation and look at your mind first. Knowing how to look back means that you are ready to face a new you, a new world.