Alison Keane

This paper, Mindfulness-just think about it: A different mental approach combats stress, advocated that legal professionals who practiced mindfulness experienced a reduction in stress. The research chose to focus on legal professionals because of the proven high-levels of stress that they face, often leading to depression, anxiety, divorce and substance abuse. Mindfulness was defined as “the capacity to pay attention in the present, or be aware of what you’re doing as you’re doing it.” Keane advocates that by practicing mindfulness, legal professionals will:

  • recognize when the stress symptoms start, and be able to counteract them more swiftly and/or slow them down
  • restore balance to body and mind
  • decrease stress, resulting in improved client and coworker relations and reduce stress-associated health risks like depression and substance abuse

Breathing exercises can be used as part of mindfulness to help create awareness for the present. While the study focused on lawyers, mindfulness is a tool that can be used by all workers to improve their well-being and focus.