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Professor of the Practice of Law University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Lawyer Well-being Newsletter: Helping Lawyers Improve Brain Health & Mental Strength

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Wisdom & Diet

Wisdom, also known as sapience or sagacity, is the capacity to think and act using knowledge, experience, insight, understanding, and common sense.  Its characteristics include self-knowledge, compassion, and unbiased judgment.  Wisdom is associated with self-awareness, reflective thinking, positive emotions, empathy, and prosocial behavior. Wisdom is also associated with good physical

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Resilience & Worldview on Nature

Today is Earth Day.  Feeling connected to nature is associated with resilience and happiness, as well as decreased anxiety.  Researchers evaluated how human’s relationship with the natural world influences psychological well-being during the natural disaster pandemic.  They explored two worldviews: harmony-with-nature (connectedness) and mastery-over-nature (the right to control and exploit

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Reframe Stress

The fight-or-flight stress response is designed to help us survive threats.  Our body automatically scans our environment for threat and when detected, it reacts by marshalling the right resources for a response to the challenge.  Our attitude about this process can make us more resilient. Understanding the stress response, and

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Impact of Pandemic Trauma

Trauma, like long-lasting chronic stress, can have long-term impacts.  The pandemic has traumatized all of us, but we are likely to have different experiences depending on our environmental sensitivity.  A study of 906 adults found that 31% were highly-sensitive, 40% were medium-sensitivity, and 29% were resilient to events within our

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Exercise Improves Sleep

Exercise empowers your memory-processing hippocampus and sleep improves your capacity to make short term memory more stable in your brain, which is critical to developing expertise.  When you exercise, you also improve your sleep quality. Researchers examined the impact of 60 minutes of vigorous exercise on sleep quality with delta

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Negative Information & Well-being

Our brain’s panic button, the amygdala, ignites the fight-or-flight stress response.  These almond shaped structures, one in each hemisphere (plural is amygdalae), evaluate our environment for potential threats.  And people have different sensitivity to their environments.  A study of 906 adults found that 31% were highly sensitive to environmental influences,

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Therapeutic Landscapes

Saturday, March 20 is the first day of spring. Research shows that spending time in green spaces, natural outdoor settings, can improve mental health.  Beneficial green spaces range from urban parks to the wildlife areas of state and national parks. Research also shows that exposure to blue spaces, bodies of

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Sleep Consistency & Mood

On Sunday, we spring forward and advance our clocks one hour for Daylight Saving Time. Sleep consistency and sleep duration are both important to maintaining well-being.  Prior research demonstrated that disruption to the circadian rhythm, the internal time-keeping system, was associated with poor mental health in a study of over

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Improve Brain & Heart Health

Food can offer a neurocognitive benefit, and a means to improve heart health and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.  Prior research indicated that the Mediterranean-DASH diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet is associated with lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  The MIND diet promotes consumption of plant-based

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Exercise & Omega-3s

Sometimes we avoid exercise when we are sore from a prior workout.  Recovery from exercise makes it easier to be active more regularly. Researchers gave 14 healthy males in their 20s an omega-3 supplement (7) or a placebo (7).  After 4 weeks, all participants undertook a downhill running workout.  Muscle

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Energy Drinks & Your Heart

This Valentine’s Day week we focus on the heart. Energy drinks may boost performance, but recent research suggests they have a negative impact on the heart.  Energy drinks have caused improper heartbeat and increased blood pressure in consumers.  Researchers examined the effect of 17 different energy drinks on cardiomyocytes, the

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Aches, Pains, and Thinking

A sore neck, back pain, or a headache might impair your cognition. Recent research examined the association between everyday pain and working memory performance in healthy adults.  Prior research has shown that pain interferes with executive function (planning and decision-making) and working memory (maintaining and manipulating information for short periods

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