We are pleased to welcome Judi Cohen back to the blog. You may recall Judi’s post on being a recovering perfectionist. Judi practiced and taught law for 25 years before founding Warrior One LLC, which offers Essential Mindfulness for Lawyers® trainings and mindfulness-based executive coaching. Welcome, Judi!
Every few days another article on the benefits of mindfulness makes the rounds on the news. August alone revealed that mindfulness can decrease anxiety and help reduce relapse for clinical depression, in addition to lowering instances of doctor visits.
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine conducted a trial on one hundred patients between 30 and 60 years old who were not taking any medications for hypertension, and found substantial and statistically significant reductions in the primary outcomes [including] a 4.8-mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and a 1.9-mm Hg reduction in diastolic blood pressure (DBP).” In other words, mindfulness lowered their blood pressure. And it seems that meditation and mindfulness is an effective coping mechanism for teens struggling with early-life traumas as well, not that lawyers act like teenagers too much of the time.
But you don’t need to be suffering from anxiety, depression, high blood pressure or adolescence to reap the benefits of mindfulness.
Congressman Tim Ryan is bringing mindfulness to Washington, citing his personal experience with mindfulness as an effective tool to increase his capacity and resilience to handle the pressures of working in the U.S. Capitol. Even Google, arguably the smartest corporation in the world, is teaching meditation to its employees.
Given all that, it’s no stretch to see how a mindfulness practice will benefit a busy attorney.
The benefits may come in achieving wellness goals that are at odds with career projections, creating more mental clarity to be able to stay on track, or cultivating a more positive, healthy attitude.
Mindfulness isn’t new age any more. In fact, practicing mindfulness is about coming of age and realizing how important it is to understand and support the (legal) mind. In a short mindfulness training, researchers in a randomized controlled investigation of GRE-takers reported that a short mindfulness training, “improved both reading-comprehension scores and working memory capacity while simultaneously reducing the occurrence of distracting thoughts.”
This suggests that cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with wide-reaching consequences. Mindfulness is a practical, simple tool that lawyers can use to do better work, get better quality of life, and improve their own physical and mental wellbeing.
Mindfulness may be 2,500 years old, but new studies suggest that it results in more focus, better memory, lower blood pressure, and other important benefits. For lawyers who manage busy, relentless lives, a little mindfulness training can help you build a smarter, saner practice.
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Judi Cohen is the founder of Warrior One LLC, which offers Essential Mindfulness for Lawyers® trainings and mindfulness-based executive coaching. She also teaches Essential Mindfulness for Lawyers at Golden Gate University School of Law. Judi can be reached at Judi@WarriorOne.com.
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Want more great career info?
And check out these helpful posts:
- Do You Have the Right Mindset for Your Legal Career?
- Advice From a Recovering Perfectionist
- Smarter, Saner Lawyering with a Little (Mindfulness) Practice
- Lawyers Can’t Find Their Bliss… Can They?
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