Psychologists’ Perception Of The Influence Of A Regular Yoga Regimen On The Profession Practices Of Lawyers
This Blog is written by Prakriti Dadsena | Column Editor
“Speak what is truth, speak what is pleasant”
Job stress has become a key issue for management and organizations in recent years. Recently, one-third of Indians are living under “extreme stress,” according to the Psychology Association study, and 48% of Indians say that their stress has risen over the last five years. Work stress can be very stressful for individuals and organizations, and there are well-documented relationships between work stress and health consequences. Although stress factors are nuanced and variable, most studies have shown that corporate organizational health is deeply embedded in the physical and psychological well-being of individual members. In recent years, a great deal of research has concentrated on the importance of personal well-being and its relationship to organizational health and the importance of alleviating stress on the labor market. There is little research about how and to what extent mental health practices such as yoga can minimize individual stress and impact the morale, competitiveness, and working conditions of the company as a whole. In Daubenmier’s article entitled “The Relationship of Yoga, Body Awareness, and Body Responsiveness to Self-Objectification and Disordered Eating,” the author described yoga:
A now popular form of mind-body exercise in the West cultivates a direct experience of the body. … Yoga entails moving the body mindfully through a series of poses, as well as stretching and balancing the body while in a single pose. Although yoga has many physical health benefits (including increased strength, flexibility, and balance), the underlying goal is to unify the mind and body.
Unfortunately, many people are hard at work and waste money on things that don’t lead to their well-being or satisfaction – and most people don’t really know they’re doing it because they’re in the same lifestyles as all the others. And their ‘workplace challenges for lawyers can have a particularly profound impact on well-being. Indeed, the working and interpersonal climate of lawyers – including increased professional incivility –’ often seems to have been adapted to elicit feelings of distress! Lawyers are at greater risk than the general population of mental illness and addiction.
One in four lawyers suffers from high feelings of mental distress, including depression, anxiety, and burnout. Lawyers will continue to fight today without anything else: “The law firm culture encourages workaholic behaviors that lead to stress-related illnesses and dependencies, as confirmed by research demonstrating that lawyers suffer from alcoholism and illegal drug use at rates far higher than non-lawyers. Divorce rates among lawyers, especially women, also appear to be higher than divorce rates among other professionals. Although lawyers represent some of the best-paid professionals, they are disproportionately unhappy and unhealthy. The result is a profession full of burnouts and resentment.”
Yoga has been an ancient collection of integrated mental and physical activities to cultivate long-lasting psychological experiences of positive states, including ordinary transcendence, faith, awareness, and inner peace. Yoga has historically been practiced not only as a treatment for such pathologies but as a practice to enhance the physical and spiritual well-being of the whole of life. Research has shown that yoga can offer a wide range of psychological benefits in terms of both alleviating negative effects and encouraging healthy well-being.
The present research studied challenges faced by Lawyers in their personal and professional life, the perception and mechanism of psychologists to deal with the challenges, the Importance of yoga in lawyers’ life and the interpretation given by psychologists to understand lawyers’ minds.
CHALLENGES FACED BY LAWYERS
Every day, workers struggle with different types of stressors at work. The increased risk of psychological or physical illness may be triggered by evolving labor patterns, such as repetitive and monotonous activities, rapid work or fear of layoff during an uncertain economic age. Psychological stress can be triggered by very low or high person requirements and is a common situation for many easy and recurrent cases where health problems arise on a regular basis. Burnout is a growing issue in businesses all over the world. “The increased number of managers is obvious, they complain about tiredness, anxiety, and boredom”.
These factors affect staff and employers in innumerable aspects of health and finance. “Physical and emotional states can affect any body organ or system and alter, either forgotten or ill.” Back and shoulder pain is significantly correlated with low work satisfaction and low work variation.
The majority of headaches suffered by individuals are tension headaches induced by chronic neck and shoulder muscle contractions. “The number of people with carpal tunnel syndrome, the most common type of recurrent strain injury, is increasing with more and more people on the computer ” Employee stress can affect an employee’s mental health and can lead to depression, anxiety, or paradoxical symptoms. Employer expenses include significant absenteeism, productivity loss, and healthcare consumption. Unfortunately, the stigma of “mental health disorders” or “stress disorders” prevents many organizations from participating in work-related mental health and stress management. However, the legal responsibility for health threats and occupational stress disorders has been gradually drawn to attention.
In this way, lawyers are like chirurgers. A mistaken step from the scalpel and the surgeon may injure, maim or harm the patient irreparably. Lawyers are also in a very similar position.
Because of a lawyer’s mistake, someone can be imprisoned or lose money, or a criminal who merits imprisonment can be freed from more crimes on the road. Lawyers are constantly under massive pressure, which comes with their employment. Lawyers, however, are not over human, they have flesh and blood and nerves pretty much. Isn’t it quite shocking therefore that lawyers are not taught how to cope every day with this huge mountain of stress? The army is specialized in managing conditions of high intensity. Cricketers have counselors and specialists working together in high-pressure environments to ensure that they perform properly.
Worldwide research shows that lawyers are far more stressed than other professionals. An Am Law 200 study in 2018 found that lawyers’ job stress causes widespread addictions and problems with mental health. One of the three young lawyers or law students fights depression, often caused by excessive stress, according to an Austrian study by Jerome Doraisamy. The experience of Indian lawyers is not quite different from that of stress. In recent years, several lawyers have talked about depression and mental health, and overstress at the workplace that lawyers face on a daily basis. Justice DY Chandrachud discussed the matter and stressed the urgency of the matter.
A recent survey found that lawyers are more likely to divorce, especially if both wives are lawyers. Lawyers can be very educated about how family life and leisure is a challenge because of the constant need to work on a regular basis and the lack of real holidays. Job tension is possibly unavoidable for any lawyer.
PERCEPTION AND MECHANISM OF PSYCHOLOGIST TO DEAL WITH THE CHALLENGES:
Hatha Yoga is one way to prevent or reduce the possibility of stress on the part of the staff. Hatha Yoga has recently been introduced to the American workplace and is an ancient mental-body exercise that incorporates breathing and postures that unify and relax the mind and body. The offer of yoga to employees is a simple and practical way of alleviating tension in the workplace and training staff to reduce the risk of injury. Respiratory and positioning can be used “as a way to cope peacefully and discreetly with workday emergencies”. Yoga may be taught in group sessions or in any office space, e.g. in a conference room, after working time. When a trained teacher teaches staff techniques, they can practice individually in their own workspaces.
Yoga practice has shown that pain has decreased, stress has been relieved, injury has been minimized, posture has increased, communication has increased, energy and focus has increased, and overall health and well-being sensations have increased. In an empirical research study, participants in a yoga-based routine demonstrated increased grip strength and pain reduction in the carpal tunnel region of the wrists. There is no further observational research on the effects of yoga on MSDs. Yoga relaxes both body and mind physiologically. The sympathogenic neural system (otherwise referred to as the “fight or flight” system) joins the workforce, concentrating on growth, deadlines, meetings, and telephone calls. There is an increase in heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and adrenaline. In this focused state, workers may also be unaware or unaware of their positioning and movements and of maintaining good posture alignment.
Yet, when an individual exercises the postures, deep breathing, and stretching of yoga movements while at work, he or she increases awareness of his or her body’s positioning and movements, and may trigger a relaxation response. In this case, the parasympathetic nervous system starts where muscle tension is reduced, less oxygen is consumed and less carbon dioxide is eliminated, and there is a decrease in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. The only feature of the machine that is involuntarily and willingly breathing. Breathing. “When you can learn how to control your breath, you can learn how you feel mentally and physically, or at least how you feel.” In comparison to work tension, yoga has a drastic and opposite effect on your body: low heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. Being aware of the body helps break bad posture patterns and facilitates rest breaks with regular movements that can help because of discomfort and danger to MSDs. Preventative skills for life are yoga exercises.
While Yoga is focused on exercises and poses, “they can stress an already stressed body” without a chance to do so. Yoga classes begin with warm-ups such as head rolls or rollers on the back. A series of standing, sitting, sleeping and prone positions continues, most of which can be adapted for sitting. Finally, once the spine is fully warmed up, classes can end with spinal torsion and deep relaxation. A small, separate analysis of the effects of yoga at work shows that yoga participants recorded less anxiety and discomfort due to illness or physical challenges and a more general sense of well-being than those who did not attend a yoga class. Employees have also shown enhanced moral values and communication skills at work.
IMPORTANCE OF YOGA
The main principle that yoga aims to inculcate in a person is conscious. It helps the person to concentrate on the work he does. This sensitivity allows a lawyer to create a peaceful atmosphere and to communicate well with judges, clients, and staff. It becomes very important in a legislative context that one thinks about the plans ahead of it and does so and that one doesn’t dwell on the past work and in order to achieve this in a lawyer it becomes important for him to master the concept of consciousness.
The legal profession is one of the most stressed industries, according to the 2017 UK Health and Safety Executive Work-related Stress, Depression, or Anxiety Statistics. The hazards of prolonged stress include heart disease, high blood pressure, weakened immune system, irritable bowel syndrome, and diabetes. Stress influences our cognitive ability, our physical and mental wellbeing, and our behavior.
Law firms are known to require long hours of work for their staff; between 50 and 80 working weeks, lawyers and paralegals are often employed. A variety of stresses build an intensive working climate: long-distance, competitive environment, high demands, and erratic hours.
The ever-present method carries with it immense mental and physical costs, moment by moment. Adrenaline causes blood pressure to pump and make your heart beat faster; cortisol increases your blood sugar level, and if it is chronically high, it can damage your immune system. Not only is such chronic stress more susceptible to conditions such as migraine and irritable darkness, but more research shows that your risk of more serious illnesses, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and depression, may increase.
Following are the ways that Yoga can improve your law practice:
1. Brain Balance Right / Left
Lawyers are trained to think analytically. Such left-brain thinking is essential for the comprehension of the law and for the development of victorious cases. While lawyers must be smart logical thinkers, it is also helpful to tap the right side of the brain. Innovative elements of the right mind will help lawyers think outside their boxes and find smart solutions to the problems of their clients. Yoga practice encourages an optimal balance of thought between the left and right brains.
2. Yoga Helps Lawyers Understand The Needs Of Their Clients
The regular practice of yoga increases a person’s sensitivity to the needs of others. This is particularly helpful to support customers, especially when customers have higher emotional problems. Yoga helps people to think about problems when they are clearly and empathically present.
3. Yoga Helps With Filtering Thoughts
Intense mental acuity is required for the practice of law. The concern with unnecessary thoughts can make it more difficult to prioritize thoughts that require immediate attention. Yoga teaches practitioners to manage a continuous stream of ideas by eliminating people who do not really need attention and ultimately lead to the creation of an accurate capacity to concentrate on stressful circumstances. Yoga teaches its practitioners that priority will help inside and outside the courtroom what your mental energy is worth.
4. The Regular Practise Of Yoga Promotes Mindfulness
The term “consciousness” refers to the recognition of what’s going on right now. In your surroundings, therefore, you are clear and thankful. Working ‘at present’ helps lawyers listen actively – a much-needed feature when interacting with clients, colleagues, and judges.
5. Yoga Decreases Stress
According to an article in Harvard Medical School that reviewed scientific research, a yoga regimen can minimize the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. Research has shown that yoga reduces the frequency of exaggerated stress reactions by regulating physiological responses to stress, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.
Concentration and the art of listening closely are essential to every lawyer, and a lawyer cannot afford to miss even the smallest detail in a conversation. Yoga can help you listen carefully with specific meditative techniques.
INTERPRETATIONS BY PSYCHOLOGISTS TO UNDERSTAND THE STATE OF MIND OF LAWYERS
A legal framework is required to ensure that society works properly, and it aims to address the many issues that exist in society today. Although some legal authorities do not consider psychology to be a discipline relevant to the law, it is relevant as the law embodies behavioral theories. The rule of law, the practice, and the doctrine of human existence are fundamental assumptions.
- Psychology may allow current decision-makers to determine by presenting realistic images of human views and desires.
- It helps to verify the truthfulness of the witnesses because eyewitnesses often know they are manipulated or fear the accused.
- It can also help to eliminate false confessions by following peace models such as those widely used by the U.K. It’s the police.
- Psychological studies include the study of various fields of legal and social interest.
- It focuses not only on clinical forensic psychology but also on the scientific and psychological study of legal institutions as well as the law.
- The reporting of judgments that take into account the psychological dynamics of the accused’s mind guarantees the fairness of its true worth.
There are two psychological units that have an impact on law and justice: Legal Psychology and Forensic Psychology, which shape psychology and justice together.
PSYCHOLOGY OF LAWS
Legal psychology deals with and uses cognitive and social principles in the legal system. It focuses on analytical and psychological law studies with legal institutions. It is distinct from the therapeutic orientation of forensic psychology based on experimentation. In legal cases, the value of legal psychology can be seen in several ways:
• Academics and Research — Empirical research is primarily carried out by legal psychologists on modern and unpopular legal subjects. They also act as mentors and guide future attorneys.
• Counseling role – Legal psychologists have also played a consultative role in the judicial system. Judges and legal decision-makers are informed of certain psychological issues relating to the case in question.
• Trial consulting – Legal psychologists also often work in the area of trial consulting. In a number of cases where their expertise is helpful in any particular case, a psychologist who works as an academic is referred to as an expert advisor. Trial consultants play a variety of roles, including the appointment of judges, the conduct of mock trials, etc.
• Policy and Legislative Guidance – The practice of a legal psychologist relies on qualitative studies, and certain analytical testing policies need to be formulated on a variety of occasions. State and national lawmakers are therefore helping in times of crisis.
• Amicus briefs – Amicus briefs mainly provide scientific evidence and statistics for opinions. However, the assistance offered in the form of amicus briefs by a legal practitioner is uncertain.
• Expert witnesses – Legal psychologists are well trained to deal with legal problems even if they do not have formal training. They are useful in testifying to the witnesses. They also test the recollection of eyewitnesses, while the forensic psychologist testifies in particular to the integrity of the defendant.
Forensic psychology means psychological application to the understanding of crimes and other legal issues. The application of psychiatric specialties on the legal stage has been described by American psychologists as forensic psychology. The ones who are experts in forensic law help with legal proceedings in different manners:
• Assessment of mental condition – Forensic psychology helps in analyzing the mental condition with regards to the insanity plea, which is a tactic adopted by people to avoid death sentence and imprisonment. Forensic psychology also helps to assess whether someone does or does not have a psychiatric illness.
• Violence prediction and risk management – Forensic psychology helps to determine whether a person has or does not have violent tendencies and shows the harm he or she can cause to themselves or to others. This procedure is used mainly when an accused is jailed or released.
• Competence to stand the trial– Since the trial is too long and tired, people with a mental or physical disease can’t deal with it. Forensic psychology also helps to decide who is fit for prosecution and who needs to be psychiatrically sent immediately.
Staff feels strain every day when they’re at work. This stress can affect the physical and psychological well-being of the employee, as well as the employer’s finances and corporate morality. “As America rolls from corporate work, they have discovered the added value of yoga.” Corliss argues that ‘Americans rush from their high-pressure jobs to smooth out the authoritative voice of instructors, encouraging them to unite their minds and bodies. Employees will return to their working days with better communication, better teamwork and increased productivity, increased understanding, and mental acuity. “The resulting body and mind unification … may have powerful benefits for the restoration of life, particularly stress-related issues in hectic working life”
As has already been seen in a number of instances, no legal system is perfect. However, psychology is a step towards making a legal system perfect. Any study which relates psychological principles with legal applications is considered as legal psychology. On the other hand, legal psychologists in the form of researchers and scholars help to improve the legal system by offering new insights on legal problems and by providing alternative responses to them. The role of psychology in the legal system therefore modifies our legal system and helps to maintain justice, fairness and good conscience.
Yoga is an ancient practise, and it would be of great interest to know how this physical, spiritual, or mental practise can relieve stress in modern times, as it seems to have benefited people for so many hundreds of years. Researchers have further explored the influence of yoga and human well-being in the workplace throughout the entire process — from academic journals, articles and books on mental health, organisational theories and management strategies, to the interview process in which subjects have been formed from different perspectives.
The popularity of yoga has made the mind-body more conscious of the practise that can help the individual, but more needs to be understood as a kind of preventive care for both employers and employees. Yoga is a promising form of prevention that strongly suggests that it can reduce employee tension. This study suggests that employers may benefit from yoga practise so that their members can gain a stronger sense of membership of a better organisation and contribute to it.
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