The conundrum of Lawyer brain and the secret cure

mental errors

Lawyer Brain arises when you spend your career critically thinking, stripping everything around you of ambiguity or mystery. It’s something entirely unavoidable for lawyers in their day-to-day careers, the issue arises, however, when Lawyer brain encroaches your everyday thinking.

The consequences of Lawyer brain 

Lawyer brain can force you to exist in the black and white when in reality, the grey can be quite enjoyable. The thing is, lawyers are so used to breaking things down and analysing facts, that it can cause them to squeeze the spontaneous fun out of their personal life. Over-analytical thinking can lead to more pessimistic thoughts. This pessimism can lead to habitual negative thinking and depression. The key is to not to normalise this negative thinking when it occurs outside of work – otherwise, you are trapped in Lawyer brain.

How to heal Lawyer brain

Interestingly, John Stuart Mill, identified with the negative consequences of critical thinking. He said that he turned to poetry to heal himself of the depression he could feel from his analytical inclinations. His favourite poet was Wordsworth who he described as saving him from depression “… the delight which [Wordsworth’s] poems gave me, proved that with a culture of this sort, there was nothing to dread from the most confirmed habit of analysis.”

Poetry exists almost entirely in the grey and is a great liberation from the strict confines of critical thinking. Just simply letting your thoughts wander, without purpose, can ignite your imagination and help you to reframe your negative thoughts into more creative and positive ones. It also helps you to train your brain to use different thinking patterns. It takes you out of the Lawyer brain trap and helps you to become more self-aware. So, when you do start to feel negative – you can simply change your thought patterns. Try it out and see what you think. It’s the perfect break from all the legal reading.

For more on this topic read this great blog from Law Care here.

Don’t let these bad habits damage your happiness

happiness

We all strive for happiness. Happiness, however, has no universal definition. Instead, it depends on you and whatever it takes to get you to the bliss, content, utter euphoric state of happiness.

Unhappiness, on the other hand, is easy to identify; you can see it, feel it and you definitely know when it’s wrapped its arms around you.

Happiness, rather satisfyingly, has little to do with financial circumstances. A University of Illinois study found that people who earn the most (more than $10 million annually) are only a tiny bit happier than their employees.

Psychologists from the University of California found that happiness makes up of only 50% your life circumstances and genetics `9i.e things outside of your control). So, the remaining 50% is up to you.

Unhappiness can catch up with you. It grows, following a long period of time, not being self-aware. During this time your thoughts and actions have been unhealthy for you. You have failed to look after your needs, properly and you are left feeling unhappy.

The good news is that this state of unhappiness is not permanent and resolvable. So much of your happiness is determined by your habits (in thought and actions) and once you are aware of the unhappiness traps – they are easily avoided to ensure you a future, filled with happiness.

1. Not being true to yourself

If you’re anxious, say it. Don’t pretend you’re not feeling something when you are. Suppressing feelings is unhealthy. It doesn’t let you deal with anything. Instead, by pushing your feelings down, and not dealing with or accepting them, you are vulnerable to them coming back and attacking you, when you least expect it.  The height of emotional intelligence is, respecting your feelings and allowing yourself to experience the consequences that come from embracing them, for what they are. Only then, can you express and use your feelings, in a manner that helps (rather than undermines) your ability to reach your goals.

2. Too much tech, too little nature

Everyone enjoys binge-watching a TV show and checking up on social media. The real question issue is how much of your time do you give to that TV show or social media pages, avoiding the real world? Does it make you feel good or numb? Most times, it doesn’t make you happy but just passes your time. Is that what you want your life to be? Did you know that taking a walk in nature is a natural anti-depressant? It can boost your flat mood far higher than any tech, ever could. Monitor your tech time and make sure you’re spending more time with nature, than tech, for a happier life, it’s that simple.

3. Waiting for the future

Telling yourself, “I’ll be happy when …” is one of the easiest unhappy habits to fall into. Future imagined circumstances don’t lead to happiness. Happiness happens, right now. Even if you get everything you want for your future, happiness comes from within. You can’t be happy, even if you have the husband/wife, car, job of your dreams if you haven’t worked on your internal happiness. Don’t spend your time waiting for something to change how you feel. Instead, be in control and focus on improving your happiness, right now.

4. Fighting change

Change is an inevitable part of life, and if you fight it it’s because you are struggling to remain in control. The problem with this is that you remain on edge, constantly fearing change and actually put up a barrier between yourself and the actions you need to take to improve your situation. You must remain adaptable for change. Be flexible. Your brain needs challenges to survive. Your brain craves adversity. By avoiding adversity you become mentally weak, which leads to unhappiness. Embrace change, live an interesting life and reap the happiness rewards.

 

 

 

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