Denver Bar Association
January 2010
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Managing the Stresses and Anxieties of Being a Lawyer

by Stanley Popovich

Everybody in law deals with anxiety and stress, however some people have a hard time managing it all. Here is a brief summary of techniques to help manage the most persistent fears and everyday anxieties.stgress photo

When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, the first thing you can do is to divide the task into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks, one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success.

Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get your mind off the problem. You could get some fresh air, listen to some music, or do an activity that will give you a fresh perspective on things.

Try to visualize a red stop sign in your mind when you encounter a fear-provoking thought. When the negative thought comes, picture that red stop sign as a reminder to stop focusing on that thought. Try to think of something positive to replace the negative thought.
Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that make you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed or frustrated, open up your small notebook and read those statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking.

Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things; that includes learning how to deal with your problems. You never know when the answers you are looking for will come to your doorstep. We may be partly correct in predicting the future, but the other aspects can change dynamics involved and make a world of difference.

Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage, particularly when stress boils over into depression or anxieties. A professional will help provide additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. Talking to a professional helps you in the long run, because you can better manage problems in the future. Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.

Dealing with our persistent fears is not easy.  Remember that all you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and take things in stride. Patience, persistence, education and being committed to trying to solve your problem will go a long way in fixing your problems.
 
 


Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” - an easy-to-read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information, go to www.managingfear.com.
 


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