It comes to no surprise to anyone who has ever met a lawyer that we can be a bunch of Type A frenetic control freaks. We are often found doing ten things at once which we will claim makes us high functioning out performers, but does it really?
Perhaps we need to focus more on one task at a time, not only to perform that task better but also to enjoy that task more.
Perhaps being “mindful” could make us better lawyers, better partners, better friends – and better people.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
Mindfulness is a technique that creates space between ourselves and our reactions, dismantling our conditioned responses, which in turn brings us increased health and happiness .
According to attorney Jeena Cho, author of The Anxious Lawyer, An 8-Week Guide to a Joyful and Satisfying Law Practice Through Mindfulness and Meditation Mindfulness, there are several benefits to mindfulness for lawyers including:
- Easing stress and anxiety;
- Learning coping mechanisms for difficult work situations such as, complex cases, unreasonable clients, and hostile opposing counsel;
- Exploring your goals and values, and finding ways to align your life with them;
- Increased focus/ concentration;
- Creating a healthy relationship with digital technology;
- Breaking negative habitual behaviors;
- Improved listening skills;
- Improved interpersonal communication skills, such as with an opposing counsel; and
- Defining and becoming familiar with your authentic lawyering style.
Here’s how to practice mindfulness throughout the day (even while working!), according to Mindful.org:
- Set aside some time and space. Even just a few minutes will do.
- Observe the present moment as it is – aim to pay attention to the moment you are in, without judgement.
- Let your judgements pass by. When you notice judgements arise just make a mental note of them, and allow them to drift away.
- Return to observing the present moment as it is when you get carried away in thought. Mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.
- Be kind to yourself; don’t be too hard on your wandering thoughts. Practice recognizing when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.
Mindfulness could truly help your practice of law, your stress level and your happiness. So why not give it a try? You have zero to lose and tons to gain.
If you’d like to consult with the very mindful lawyers at Lightning Legal Group on any criminal or family law matter, call us today to schedule a free consultation at 505-247-2390.