Stress in the Legal Profession: How to manage your Stress

The lens through which we see the world dictates our perception of a situation and our resulting experience of it, including the level of stress we feel.

Do you deal with stress negatively? Change your perception.

Many lawyers thrive under pressure and rely on ‘stress’ to get the job done. However, too much stress and negativity can be a bad thing and it is important to channel some of the stress and negative energy into more positive thinking, by changing our perception of what is going on around us and taking back control.

Are you a victim?

If you are particularly stressed you may be stuck in the victim state.

Victims:

  • see circumstances as overwhelming and negative.
  • say things like “I should…” and “I have to….”
  • focus on how to “get through” things.
  • Blame others for their stress.
  • worry without taking any action
  • focus on what they fear.

If this sounds like you, you need to focus on learning how to think positively and move yourself out of the victim state, but changing your state of mind and retraining your brain / your perception of things.

Take ownership!

Your goal should be to move yourself out of the “victim” state and to take ownership/

Owners:

  • look for learning and opportunity in stressful circumstances
  • use empowering language and say things like “I could…”, “I want to…” and “I choose to…”
  • focus on what they “get from” the experience
  • review their stress and asks what caused it and what they can change.
  • instead of passively worrying, takes action and raises concerns.
  • focus on what they want / can create.

By changing how you think about stress and how you deal with it, you can take back control and manage the root cause of your stress. Stress will never be eradicated, but by understanding your own personal experience of stress it can be managed.