ABA Journal

On Well-Being

33 ABA Journal On Well-Being articles.

6 steps to starting meditation: Don’t overprepare—just dive in

Meditation is a tool we can use to train the mind to be in the present moment. Over time, you may naturally notice that the mind spends less time ruminating, regretting the past or worrying about the future.Here’s a simple practice to get you started.

Rethinking Reactions to Stress: You can’t control the sources of your anxiety—only your response

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing clear-minded attention to what is happening in the present moment. This seemingly simple practice has been shown to have a wide range of benefits, including decreasing stress and anxiety. Meditation is the primary tool for practicing mindfulness on a regular basis.

Day-to-day reality of depression may not look like you think

Depression can look as you might imagine: the inability to function or fulfill one’s daily responsibilities and to be in a constant state of gloom. But this isn’t true for everyone. As you’ll see from the stories below, there are many faces to depression and many paths for getting better.

Self-care isn’t selfish and can actually help your performance

Women, especially mothers, carry a disproportionate share of the cognitive load when it comes to child rearing and running the household. This is an additional burden for lawyers, who are already under tremendous pressure. Often, self-care practices lead to compounding positive effects. When you exercise, you have more energy, your mind feels clearer, you’re better able to focus and you’re more productive.

Attorney suicide: What every lawyer needs to know

Lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer from depression than nonlawyers, according to the American Psychological Association. Substance abuse rates within the legal profession are also much higher than for the general population. Clinical depression and substance abuse are highly correlated with suicide rates. The legal industry has the 11th-highest incidence of suicide among professions.

Picking the path: Take time to assess and create an intentional, joyful, satisfying life

As we head into the new year, it’s a wonderful opportunity to pause, take inventory and become more intentional about identifying your values and aligning your life with what is truly important. Mindfulness and meditation, as well as working with a life coach, were incredibly helpful as I figured out how to travel that unexplored path.

Lawyers on balancing motherhood or choosing a child-free life

Motherhood is more demanding than ever. Parents spend more time and money on child care. They feel more pressure to breastfeed, to do enriching activities with their children, and to…

Tales of addiction: What every attorney should know about alcohol and substance abuse

Lawyers often are warned about the dangers of excessive alcohol use, even as they celebrate wins and mourn losses. Legal practitioners must understand the issues of control, compulsion and consequences in managing their consumption. If you have a gut feeling about troubles facing another lawyer, you don’t have to diagnose the problem, says lawyer and consultant Jeena Cho. But you may need to prepare for a difficult conversation.

Relaxing the anxious lawyer brain takes practice

Lawyers live in a constant cycle of exhaustion and tension, trying to do more in less time. Jeena Cho writes that it seems normal to fantasize about catastrophic events intervening to postpone a court hearing, client meeting or other anxiety-provoking event.

Self-care is the key to stress and anxiety management

When I teach mindfulness and meditation, I’ll often start by asking the people in the room for a show of hands: Do they frequently experience stress and anxiety? Almost all the hands in the room go up. Then I ask, “How many of you take deliberate steps to prevent or let go of stress and anxiety?” Often, it’s only a small percentage of the room that responds.

Lawyer loneliness: Facing and fighting ‘No. 1 public health issue’

It can be lonely being a lawyer. We often spend long hours working in isolation. Even in law school, with almost 200 other students around me, I felt the sense of loneliness keenly. I saw my fellow classmates as competition.

Suffering can be the human consequence of lawyering

Many lawyers practice in the suffering business. Perhaps they should’ve taught us this in law school. What they also should’ve taught us in law school is that being in the presence of someone suffering affects you. Often, attorneys mistake this effect as weakness, ineffective lawyering, or as a sign that they are somehow flawed as an attorney.

Changing minds: 4 strategies for effectively implementing a mindfulness program

Creating a long-term mindfulness program that encourages participants to practice on a regular basis isn’t easy. It takes a good launch protocol, selecting the right technology and delivery mechanism, and curating the content to be highly relevant.

Learn to deal with—and not hide—excessive worry

What I have learned is that anxiety actually serves an important function. It’s the body’s way of letting me know there is a reason for concern. It’s like a smoke detector. The trouble is that my smoke detector was hyperactive.

Learn to quiet the inner critic and its impossible demands

Who do you think you are? Stop talking. You’re making a fool of yourself. You’re not really going to wear that to court, are you? You’re screwing this up! You’re not good enough. They should just take away your bar license.

Do these thoughts sound familiar?

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