It’s uncontested that working in the legal field is highly stressful. Juggling court deadlines, client demands, and meeting the needs of your colleagues is no simple feat, and can easily feel overwhelming.
So, what can be done? Luckily, decompressing doesn’t require taking an entire hour or more out of your workday for a yoga session. Here are five quick and easy methods that will help you achieve a little calm.
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#1. Seek out complete silence
It’s likely that noise surrounds you everywhere, most of the day, from conversations happening around you to the sound of your own keyboard clacking. While music can help tune out some of these, a 2006 study shows that there’s nothing like complete and utter silence for relaxation and calm; it even beats out “soothing” music. Can’t find a quiet place? Try earplugs!
#2. Breathe in and out for two minutes
Being just a bit more intentional about an activity we’re always already doing anyway – breathing – can make a hugely positive impact to our well-being. The next time you’re struck with negative emotions, try setting a timer for two minutes, then deeply inhaling for three counts, and exhaling for four. Simple and effective.
#3. Use the S.T.O.P. method before you proceed
Too often, stressful situations escalate when we react without being as intentional as we could. The next time you’re put in a difficult position, try the following method, and you may just avert a crisis!
- S = temporarily stop your thoughts and actions
- T = take a few deep breaths to help get your bearings
- O = observe how you feel physically and emotionally, and what’s going on mentally
- P = proceed, using the information you’ve just gathered to make more informed, intentional decisions
#4. Curb your negativity
Along the same lines, it’s often natural to react to difficult circumstances with negativity, concentrating on what’s wrong, and thinking pessimistically about the future. It’s those thoughts alone, however, that could result in self-fulfilling prophecies. The next time too much negativity is clouding your mind, simply write those ideas down, take a step back, and proceed to evaluate them with a more neutral disposition. You may choose to make very different decisions after the fact!
#5. Follow a guided meditation exercise using a phone app
Many guided meditations take just ten minutes, with options for longer or shorter timeframes, too. And there are so many to choose from, some of which are free or offer trial periods so you can see which works best for you. If you have access to a conference room, car, or peaceful space outside during the day, simply turn the app on, and follow its instructions; calm will be on the way.
It’s not possible to remove stress or difficult situations from our professional lives, but with these tools and practices, it’s possible to feel better, and make more productive, constructive decisions when they arise. Why not give them a try, and tell us what you think?