Happiness as a Lawyer
There is a common misconception that attorneys are very unhappy people. The stress from work can be a major cause of unhappiness in the workplace. Even though stress is sometimes an unavoidable part of working, finding ways to gain happiness can help you have an overall good day and work experience. Here are some ways to brighten your day:
Think about the big picture. A series of bad events does not mean you are a bad person, or a rain cloud is always following you around. The universe is not out to get you. Instead of thinking about the smaller worries and negative events happening, think about about the bigger picture. You have a home. Your family is there for you. Maybe you have a great vacation planned in the near future. Don’t obsess over one setback.
Learn to laugh. Studies have found that laughing is a stress reliever, enhances oxygen intake to your organs and brain, and soothes tension. In the long run, having a good sense of humor and laughter can improve your immune system (less sick days), and relieve pain. Try listening to a funny radio show on your way to work, cracking some jokes during lunch with your coworkers, or watch a funny sitcom when you get home.
Don’t overload yourself. A recent poll found that Americans are using fewer of their vacation days compared to the last 4 decades. It equaled up to around $52.4 billion in time off benefits that were not used in the last year. The “All Work No Play??” culture of many law firms and workplaces is taking a toll on our overall happiness and health. Use your vacation days, and take a break so you can go back to work refreshed.
Get moving! Biologically, our bodies were not meant to sit behind a desk for extended hours at a time. During your lunch break, a quick walk around the office or outside can help you feel refreshed. Start a yoga group with your coworkers. This will help you build strength, and relationships with those around you.
Build relationships with those around you. Humans are social creatures and flourish in social environments. Working behind a computer can make this a more challenging feat. To gain better relationships in the workplace, invite your assistant or intern to go have lunch with you. Take some time to get to know your coworkers at a happy hour or lawyer event in your city. You can learn something new about those around you and form long lasting friendships. Having friends and positive relationships in your firm will help you become more optimistic about the office and working at your firm overall.
Sure, becoming a happier attorney will not happen overnight, and the practice will take some time to cement into your daily life. If you work to continue to find happiness as a habit, your work performance will improve, and you will feel better about yourself and career in the long run.