Jun 27

Our minds and bodies crave balance. When we have the proper amounts of both rest and activity, we function closer to our optimum level. Needless to say, when we experience too much activity (particularly the unhealthy, stressful type) and not enough rest, we function at a much lower level than is possible. Merriam-Webster describes stress as “a state…of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium,” or in other words stress disrupts our internal state of balance. The quickest way to disrupt one’s sense of relaxation or equilibrium is to introduce a threat. We all face threats in our lives, some real and some imagined. The body’s reaction to a perceived threat has more to do with your perception of the threat and less to do with the objective nature of that threat. When thinking about how we perceive a threat, we must be aware that inherent in our appraisal of the threat is our appraisal of ourselves in comparison to that threat. For example, if you perceive getting into a physical altercation (someone you are dealing with becomes so upset they threaten to hit you) and disappointing others (making people feel bad, having others think poorly of you) as the same level of threat, and you see yourself as being unable to handle both threats, your body will have the same “Fight or Flight” reaction (activation of your Sympathetic Nervous System) leading to prolonged stress. Continue reading »

Jun 19

Have you ever wondered if there were things you could be doing differently to increase your productivity or have a greater sense of mastery and satisfaction in your work and life in general?  If you answer “YES” to this, you are not alone!

Let’s examine what skills and practices are important and essential in helping you to produce outcomes you desire.  Professional sports have a lot to teach us and are ahead of the curve in understanding and implementing skills and practices that allow them to extract their best performance and achieve satisfaction, even when they don’t win.

Professional sportsmen (and women) know the value of good self-care and how it positively impacts their performance, success, and sense of wellbeing.  Pro basketball players and pro cyclists have made dietary changes such as going gluten-free to give their bodies better recovery and nutritional balance with surprisingly good outcomes.  They have learned the benefits of rest/recovery in order to recharge their systems for the next challenge.  They understand the benefits of meditation, and quieting their minds and central nervous systems as a way to harness energy and creativity.  They know that visualization and repetition decrease anxiety and fear, as well as enhance their self-confidence and mastery in their ability to deliver optimal performance.

Professional athletes’ training and preparation provide a helpful and workable template that anyone can incorporate and use to better their performance to meet desired and targeted goals.  Why should lawyers, students or judges reinvent the wheel when they can borrow some of these same ideas and techniques? If this interests you, call LCL and come and speak to one of our clinicians about ways you might look at developing your own “optimum performance” in your practice and life in general.

 

Barbara J Bowe, LICSW

Jun 09

Law student Shaneka Davis undertook a survey of law students (and some practicing attorneys) asking about how stressed they are, sources of greatest stress, and ways of coping.  Her results are in, and summarized here.

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