What does it mean mindfulness on positive emotions? It is a powerful way to improve your wellbeing as a lawyer immediatly. It helps you to become aware about your state of mind first, in order to recognize thinking patterns and secondly to choose to change your attitude in order to improve your wellbeing as a lawyer. Saying yes to inner happiness it sounds easy, but it is an actual hard work on oneself. Before telling you how you can improve your wellbeing, I like to share my story with you.
What is Positive Psychology?
When I was attending the lecture by Prof. Dr. Veronika Brandstätter-Morawietz at the University of Zurich in the Winter Term 2021/2022, I was very surprised by your statement about the application-related areas of emotion psychology, because according to her description it dealt with negative emotions. She then explained that clinical psychology deals with the psychotherapy of anxiety disorders, educational psychology with training for aggressive children, while organizational and business psychology deals with emotional work. I went to her very thoughtfully during the break, because I knew better due to my self-taught studies on psychology, philosophy, anthropology, as well as spirituality and religion. This is why, I confronted her about it. She looked away, repeated “Good question!” three times, and then brought it out, “Yes, indeed. There’s a movement that’s been going on for 10 years called positive psychology. It came out of a critical reflection that the research is mostly about negative emotions. In the contrary, positive psychology values the worth of living, focusing on both individual and societal well-being. As a result, I was grateful because I had never heard about positive psychology, even though I have been practicing it for decades. Enthusiastically, walked back to my seat. However, I was actually disappointed, that she did not inform the fellow students, who were obviously not in the best of moods due to the pandemic, that the areas of application of emotion psychology were not only negative. I thought she should have given them a motivation to positiveness.
This is why, I was very thoughtful about the design of my psychological studies after this event. During this semester I had insight into the university’s research machine. I wondered, if that was actually the explanation for the fact that, as a lawyer, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the outcome of some court psychological expertises in some cases.
Considering that I have been counseling my clients with my disposition for wellbeing and happiness, since I started practicing law and afterwards as a life and career counsellor, I recognized that for me at this stage of knowledge, I had no purpose in continuing my study. At least, I got in touch with myself and found out that I was right by studying law and not psychology.
What are emotions for lawyers?
We are the master of disguise. As a lawyers, we must be objective, rational and emotionless, so that other parties do not recognize what we feel and think. With time there is though a real danger, that we disconnect from our emotions. This may affect our privat and work environment in a negative way. In the worst cases, it may leads to unhappiness and illness.
Mindfulness on positive emotions: do you know what are emotions?
Emotions are time-dated, concrete single occurrences of, for example, joy, sadness, anger, fear, jealousy, pride, surprise, pity, shame, guilt, envy, disappointment, relief, and other types of mental states similar enough to those mentioned. (Meyer et al, 2001, p. 24)
There are five emotion components:
1. Cognition: assessment, evaluation, categorization, causal attribution, naming.
2. Physiology, peripheral arousal (ANS), central nervous activation (CNS), reflexes.
3. Motivation: Motivational orientation, willingness to act, functional aspect.
4. Expression facial expressions, voice, gestures, attitude, social communication.
5. Experience: subjective experience, feelings. (from Rothemund & Eder, 2011, p. 168).
The difference to affect and mood are that an affect is an intense emotional state, while a mood is characterized by low intensity, prolonged duration, and lack of objectivity.
Check your emotional wellbeing with mindfulness on positive emotions
Maybe people around tell you that you are too rational and wish you to be more human, maybe you are attracted to people who are emotional, maybe you just feel overwhelmed from your workload that you are not even able to describe how you feel inside, maybe you are so stressed that you wish for a relief, maybe you are afraid to show your emotions, because you are afraid to be rejected. Well the choice is yours! You can continue this lawyer lifestyle or you can open up to a slowly change.
If you have a growth mindset, take time during the day for these exercises:
- check how you breath six time at day: is your breath quick, do you forget to breath, which parts of your body move when you breath?
- meditate regularly with an app, if you need it. I recommend Calm, since there are different programs also for sleeping.
- Write a diary and try to describe how many emotions you felt during the day and try to identify them.
- Speak with someone you trust about your emotions.
If you would like to try my holistic method, I recommend that you attend to the Swiss Mindfulness Weeks For Lawyers or call me for a private counseling.