If you ever have the desire to see a perfectly executed eye-roll, or just have a glance at an eloquently blank stare, here’s what to do: Ask another attorney if they’ve been stressed out lately. Pushing the point can escalate the matter from grumbles to outright growls and with good reason. Although everyone experiences stress from time to time, attorneys are more likely to suffer from stress more often, and at higher levels, than the general public. The numbers bear it out. Attorneys are 3.6 times more likely to be depressed than people in other occupations; 19 percent of them suffer from anxiety; and 21 percent have some form of substance use disorder.
Stress can negatively affect mental and physical health as well as cognitive processes such as attention, concentration, and memory. In this article, I want to explain how stress impacts your body, which will enable you to better understand the importance of actively and regularly managing it. I will also discuss several strategies and concepts to consider when planning how you can better address the stress you experience, professionally and personally.
How stress affects the body
One of the most important steps in getting stress under control is understanding how it affects the body. To begin to understand the connection, it helps to understand the difference between the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).
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The Practical Lawyer
CLICK HERE to read the full article, which was originally published in ALI CLE’s The Practical Lawyer.