(This article was originally posted at Lawyerist on July 29, 2014).
Face it: anxiety is a part of your life. As lawyers, we are constantly pressured to deliver results for our boss, opposing counsel, the court, and most importantly, our clients. Regardless what can be controlled, we are expected to foresee what could go wrong with every correspondence, motion, hearing, email, settlement agreement, and contract. It is no wonder that so many lawyers suffer from anxiety, among other illnesses.
For most lawyers, anxiety is just another facet of life. In our do more culture, this means billing as many 0.1 increments as possible. Often, we do not realize how much stress we are under until we go on vacation — assuming we left our computers and phones behind.
Despite the prevalence of anxiety among lawyers, we rarely discuss healthy ways of managing it. To learn more about anxiety, I reached out to Joe Gilbert, a Licensed Professional Counselor in Raleigh, NC. Gilbert says:
Our brains are hardwired to scan our environment for potential threats. This served a purpose when our cavemen/cavewoman ancestors faced legitimate threats of starvation, attack by another tribe, or being an appetizer to a large animal. “Fight or flight” was necessary to stay alive.