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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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Gratitude

Gratitude, Apr. 16, 2020 Research that surveyed over 24,000 attorneys from all 50 states, examining the characteristics that make a new lawyer effective, found that optimism was one of the important qualities of success.  Lawyers utilize critical thinking and worst-case scenarios to identify and solve problems for clients.  These pessimistic

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Take a Breath to Induce Calm

Apr. 9, 2020 – You can engage the rest-and-digest recovery system to help control the fight-or-flight stress response. Your tool is your breath. Slow managed breathing can reduce anxiety. Sit comfortably, feel the ground beneath your feet, and slowly inhale followed by a gradual exhale. You can count the beats,

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Controlling Negativity During Stressful Times

Apr. 2, 2020 – The nervous system has two parts: the fight-or-flight stress response and the rest-and-digest relaxation counterbalance which returns the brain and body to equilibrium. While the fight-or-flight system evolved to help us escape predators, the threats that activate the stress response in modern society are mostly psychological.

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Tai Chi for Spring

Mar 26, 2020 – None of us is having the spring we planned on. We are not going to Opening Day, watching our kids play soccer, taking vacations, hosting BBQs, preparing our kids for Prom and graduation, or getting together with friends and loved ones. We are conducting emergency planning,

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The Neuroscience of Stress and Cognition

Mar 19, 2020 – Introduction Chronically stressed brains cannot think as effectively as non-stressed brains.  Stress hormones damage or kill brain cells in the memory-processing hippocampus, while at the same time slowing the birth of new brain cells there.  The hippocampus is simply not as functional in times of chronic

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Exercise Slows Brain Aging

Mar. 12, 2020 – Everybody talks about wanting to change things and help and fix, but ultimately all you can do is fix yourself. And that’s a lot. Because if you can fix yourself, it has a ripple effect.~ Rob Reiner Exercise has been shown to protect against cognitive decline,

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Nature Therapy

Mar 5, 2020 – We turn the clocks ahead on Saturday night to begin Daylight Saving Time. Time-shifting can be a grind and it has been shown to impair our health. There is an upside, more time to spend in nature. Metadata research synthesizing 143 studies of over 290 million

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Calm your Inner Critic

Feb 27, 2020 – We all harbor an inner critic. Negative self-talk and self-criticism can impair our confidence and self-esteem. It can also lead to imposter syndrome, where we doubt our expertise or competence. A recent study revealed that practicing self-compassion decreases the stress response and lowers heart rate. Researchers

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Your Brain on the Mediterranean Diet

2-20-20 – A new study has revealed that consumption of the Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) promotes healthier aging by improving brain function and reducing frailty. Aging results in inflammation and deterioration of body functions, which contribute to frailty. Researchers found that consuming the MedDiet for a year reduced frailty and improved

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Exercise & Appetite Control

Feb 13, 2020 – It’s the day before Valentine’s Day, and candy is everywhere, nearly impossible to avoid for a sugar addict like me. A new study demonstrates that exercise can protect against overeating. Researchers from the Center for Weight, Eating and Lifestyle Science (WELL Center) at Drexel University found

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Anxiety & Social Support

Feb 6, 2020 Four of the six primary human emotions initiate the fight-or-flight stress response: fear, anger, sadness, and disgust. Anxiety involves fear of anticipated negative circumstances. Many current treatments for anxiety are ineffective or result in negative side effects. Anxiety triggers the stress response, which impairs our brain, as

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Fasting

Jan 30, 2020 – If you participated in Dry January, you were alcohol fasting. That may have reset your dopamine system. The dopamine system was meant to drive eating and procreation to ensure survival. When we overindulge in alcohol, comfort food, technology, or other substances or activities of abuse, our

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