What is stress?

  1. Stress is the feeling of being under threat. It produces a “fight or flight” response that is helpful in life-threatening situations, such as when faced with a knife wielding robber.
  2. Stress is inescapable in legal practice, with its pressures and demands. It is important to note that stress is not necessarily a bad thing.
  3. Extremely low stress levels lead to boredom on the job.
  4. Optimum or healthy level of stress motivates and brings out the best performance from lawyers.
  5. However, excessive or unhealthy level of stress will push lawyers over the peak of optimum performance into the burnout zone.
  6. This can be seen from the graph below.

Watch this animated film on stress in the legal profession and how to manage it.