Is stress bad for you? Not all of it. In fact, a life without stress would be neither healthy nor enjoyable. You do NOT want to wake up to days that are stress-free. Your clients don't want that for you either. With the right stress, you are a better lawyer or mediator. From an article in the Stanford alumni magazine:
In her lectures and classes, [Dr. Kelly] McGonigal used to teach people how to reduce or cope with stress, as if it were something to be avoided and dreaded. But in light of this research, she's changed her tune. She no longer focuses on training people to relax, breathe and calm down in the face of stress. Instead, she encourages them to harness the stress: "Rather than trying to slow your pounding heart, why couldn't you view it as your body giving you energy?" she says.
After all, even if you could live in a stress-free bubble, you'd probably have to excise all the things that imbue your existence with happiness and meaning—like relationships, challenging work, learning and growth. "In a way," McGonigal concludes, "stress is a kind of engagement with life."
Read all of "What, Me Worry?" to learn why you may want to invite stress into your personal and professional life. For more tips on good stress, McGonigal has a book coming out in the spring: The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It.