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Article courtesy of Pamela DeNeuve, Law Firm Strategist
Mayo Clinic tells us that we can relieve stress when we laugh or use our figurative "funny bone.
Since the work of lawyers/solicitors is demanding and stressful, they must go out of their way to seek humor in their life. The question where is the lawyer's funny bone?
Everett believed that he did not have a funny bone in his body. He hadn’t had a good laugh in years, rarely smiled and didn't realize that he walked around wearing a frown. Everett lost his sense of humor long ago. He couldn't remember ever joking around smiling or laughing.
“My wife says I analyze everything. She says that I take life too seriously. She calls me ‘sourpuss.’ That hurts because deep down I know she is right.”
Everett asked himself:
What happened to my sense of humor?
Why am I so serious all of the time?
Have I lost my sense of humor for good?
Lawyers can be a serious and intense group, in and out of the office. This seriousness makes it difficult to enjoy work or at home. The intensity and the analytical side is usually inculcated into the lawyer persona beginning in law school.
Thinking like a lawyer might include an inclination to:
- Being confident or arrogant
- Analyze everything
- Avoid emotional involvement
- Strong ability to win arguments
- Logic, deductive reasoning
- Use of analogies to prove a point
- Always questioning
- Ready to say no
- Speak in generalities
This lawyerly way of thinking can choke out laughter and humor if an attorney is not careful.
“My wife, Helen, tells me that our house is like a tomb. She and my kids walk around on eggshells. Now Helen wants to get away from me and take the kids. She and the kids are tired of tiptoeing around me when I am home because I’m always in a foul mood.”
Everett didn’t realize how laughter saves many marriages and also relieves stress and increases health.
The Benefits of Laughter
Mayo Clinic’s scientific research reveals that a hearty laugh fuels the immune system with disease-fighting powers that will help you stay healthy and energetic.
Laughter can be the best medicine for a lawyer. It not only repairs damage in relationships but it also increases the immunity. Prolonged stress can result in the flu, back pain, sore throat, chronic autoimmune disorders and even worse.
Long-term Benefits of Laughter
• Improves the immune system
• Relieves pain
• Increases personal satisfaction
• Lessens your depression and anxiety
Short-Term Benefits From Laughter
Laughing causes physical changes in your body. Laughter can:
• Stimulate many organs.
• Enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air
• Stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles
• Increases the endorphins that are released by your brain
• Activates and relieves your stress response
• Fires up and then cools down your stress response
• Increases your heart rate and blood pressure
• Stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation
• Helps reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress (such as headaches, neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain)
Back to Everett
Everett believed that life was a joyless affair to be tolerated. He entertained himself by thinking and using his intellect.
Because of lawyer's high IQ lawyers are smarter than most they depend on their intellectual and analytical skills to survive and this leaves little room for humor, laughter, and fun. Many attorneys see little need to build their EQ (or their emotional intelligence)
Everett was the same. He never had a desire or an interest in emotional intelligence. He thought just being a smart attorney was all that he needed. Everett realized he had to make time to improve his sense of humor.
Five Ways You Can Improve your sense of humor
Find things that make you smile and keep them around you.
Look for ways to laugh at yourself and your stress will fade away.
Force yourself to practice smiling and start laughing.
Spending time with friends who make you laugh.
Don't laugh at the expense of others.
Laughter was the best medicine for Everett
Thankfully, Everett realized to have a happy home life and to raise his children properly he needed to learn to laugh.
About Pamela DeNeuve:
She knows lawyers, solicitors and law firms. She understands the demands, the stress, burnout, addictions, and problems that lawyers face. She has advised and counseled since 1992. She knows you cannot understand why you have no motivation and things look bleak. Pamela can help you get back on track. Learn more about Pamela at http://pameladeneuve.com/