Melissa Griffiths: Managing Stress and Overwhelm for Lawyers

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Melissa Griffiths discuss:

  • The connection between the brain and body.
  • The anxieties that we experience today (and why, biologically, they show up in the way they do).
  • Why lawyers are more prone to stress and anxiety than other professions.
  • How HeartMath can assist in dealing with unwanted emotions.
  • The single most effective technique people can use when feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Key Takeaways:

  • It is scientifically proven that the brain and mind can impact the physical body.
  • Your body doesn’t know the difference between being chased by a tiger or an upcoming deadline. It is up to us to bring ourselves back into balance rather than live in a state of constant stress.
  • Stress is any change in your environment that requires your body to react and change. Not all stress is bad, but it does need to be balanced and not take over our everyday existence.
  • The body knows how to communicate. Unless there has been an accident, there is usually something emotional behind the pain in your body.

“We can control how we respond to stress, which is really important because it means we don’t have to be victims to our own emotions and thoughts.” —  Melissa Griffiths

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About Melissa Griffiths: For over 25 years Melissa lived by the hormones of stress. As a high-performing business development executive, Melissa spent every workday (and most weekends) focused on generating revenue. She worked exclusively in professional service firms where she ran national sales teams, worked with Fortune 50 companies, and closed multi-million dollar deals.

In 2016 Melissa was forced to slow down when she suffered a freak accident that left her with adrenal fatigue, migraines, and depression. It took her 2 years to heal, during which time she went through a myriad of emotions from frustration and anxiety, to stress and overwhelm. In healing herself, she came to realize that her true value was synthesizing everything she had learned to teach others how their thoughts, feelings, and emotions can affect their physical body and overall health.

From working with both lawyers and accountants, she saw how the stress of these professions impacted people, who then took that discomfort back to their home lives. It became harder to work in an environment that fed the stress, rather than helping it.

Melissa founded Ascension to share the tools and techniques that worked for her. Melissa is a Certified HeartMath Practitioner, a Certified Emotional Resolution Practitioner, and a Certified BodyTalk Practitioner, and is in the process of completing certification as a Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional.

Connect with Melissa Griffiths: 



Connect with Steve Fretzin:

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Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.



Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

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Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.


[00:00:00] Melissa Griffiths: We can control how we respond to stress, which I think is really important because it means we don’t have to be. Victims to our own emotions and thoughts.

[00:00:14] Narrator: You are listening to be that lawyer, life-changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author, and lawyer coach Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

[00:00:36] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody. Welcome to be that lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin, your host. I hope, uh, you’re having a lovely day today. A wonderful day. You know, what I wanted to share with you right off the bat is just how much I appreciate you as an audience, and, and I’m watching the numbers go up or we’re coming up on 300 shows, which is super exciting, and I just think it’s important that if you’re getting value outta the show, you could tell others about it.

[00:00:57] Steve Fretzin: If you could give us a good rating. Selfishly, yes, I want to grow the show, but also I know that there are attorneys like you, like you out there that are hungry to grow and learn and, and take in the kind of information that we’re providing twice a week. So please, uh, don’t keep it a secret. Uh, there’s other people, other friends that I know that would give value, so please, uh, share the Be That Lawyer podcast with others without boring you.

[00:01:20] Steve Fretzin: With that, uh, Melissa, I just bore your mind out with, uh, talking about, talking about asking for help with, uh, promoting the show. Absolutely. Yeah. Thank you. All right. Well, I’m glad, I’m glad I’m boring you. No. Um, Melissa, welcome to the show. Um, I, uh, I wanna get into you and, and what you’re up to and all that I wanna share as I tend to do at the beginning of the, of the show.

[00:01:42] Steve Fretzin: Your quote and the quote I thought was really interesting, uh, and it’s gonna lead into our topic today. It’s, we worry too much. We don’t allow our bodies to heal and we don’t allow our minds and hearts to heal. And that was by who?

[00:01:57] Melissa Griffiths: That was actually a Buddhist monk who passed recently thick neck tan. And um, he’s got very, uh, he’s got a lot of quotes that really are appropriate for everyday life

[00:02:09] Steve Fretzin: and one of them isn’t.

[00:02:10] Steve Fretzin: Suck my tongue. You know about that. The Dalai Lana, I think he did say so. I think he’s just a little weird. Uh, I don’t think it’s creepy. I think it was weird. Maybe a little creepy. So tell me about, talk, talk to us about that, because I think it’s so true and my wife is like, uh, comes from a long lineage of worriers and I’m constantly like pulling her off the ceiling.

[00:02:31] Steve Fretzin: But talk to that quote and why you, why you feel, why was that kind of the quote of the show

[00:02:35] Melissa Griffiths: for for you? Yeah, and I think this really plays into our daily lives of how we can replay situations over and over, and. If you’ve ever really looked into how the brain works, every time we replay a situation, our body actually has the same response that it did at the same time.

[00:02:58] Melissa Griffiths: So if we get cut off while driving, for example, then we’re thinking about it again and again and we’re reliving that experience. And so I just really like that quote cuz it reminds me to stay in the moment and to really just be present.

[00:03:14] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. I’m curious, do you, are you of the mindset, and I, and I am, and I can give you personal experiences of this, that the mind and the body are connected, where when people are having stress and people are having anxiety, that, that it actually can, can, you can become not injured, but like you can hurt, like you can have sciatica, you can have your back problems.

[00:03:35] Steve Fretzin: Do you believe like that’s a thing like stress causing actual, like physical pain and problems?

[00:03:41] Melissa Griffiths: A hundred percent. And it’s not even a mindset, it is scientifically proven now that mind and our emotions can affect our physical body and stress For sure is dominant in that. Yeah.

[00:03:53] Steve Fretzin: Have you ever heard of the Mind Body Prescription?

[00:03:55] Steve Fretzin: Do you know that book? I

[00:03:57] Melissa Griffiths: dunno that book.

[00:03:57] Steve Fretzin: No. So it was, I’ve heard about it years ago and I was in a plane crash and I, I had, I was seeing chiropractors three days a week and had all kinds of back problems in my twenties. Okay. And I read that book, and I’m not saying it solved all my problems, but it, it definitely helped me realize the connection between where my brain is and, and my body.

[00:04:17] Steve Fretzin: So like for example, why is it one day my lower back hurts and then the next day that’s gone, but then my neck hurts. Then why is it the neck day I got sciatic? Like it’s not, that’s not an injury. That’s not like something I would go to the doctor. He might see an injury there like that. My spine isn’t aligned.

[00:04:32] Steve Fretzin: Right. But that could just be. You know, that could just be age or whatever, but I, I felt that I could heal it with my mind. And I, I’ve done it many times, uh, through exercises that I do, but I, I just feel strongly like we’re not realizing how connected the mind and the body are.

[00:04:47] Melissa Griffiths: Yeah. And the whole, uh, scientific community are around neuroscience now is starting to realize that and how the brain and the mind really can impact the physical body.

[00:04:58] Melissa Griffiths: I mean, when you think about it, we have the autonomic nervous system. Which is broken into sympathetic and parasympathetic, and they both have a very powerful role. But when one isn’t in balance, it can override the other. And if we are too stressed or we’re more in that fight or flight, which is what the sympathetic system is, then there are gonna be reactions in the body and it’s there to protect us.

[00:05:24] Melissa Griffiths: I mean, if, think about it, years ago, we are actually the descendants of the people who were afraid. Because if you walk up to the tiger chasing you, then you’re not gonna survive. So we’re actually programmed to run away and to have that response in the body. But I think in today’s environment, we just take it too far and it manifests in physical symptoms like heart palpitations and anxiety and panic attacks that the list goes on.

[00:05:52] Steve Fretzin: And it’s interesting, our anxiety today, when you compare it to a tiger or a bear, Are seemingly so insignificant, but to us, it they’re not. To us, they’re the most important, biggest things in the world, and in reality, are they?

[00:06:08] Melissa Griffiths: Well, either. The body doesn’t know the difference between whether you are being chased by that tiger or whether you have a deadline that a client is putting on you, right?

[00:06:17] Melissa Griffiths: The way the body reacts. It is the same physiological response as if you were trying to run away. Yeah. So you would have the increased heartbeat, which you need to run away. You would have raise in temperature, your digestion would slow down. And I think the challenge comes when that is not brought back into balance and our body stays in that state of chronic stress.

[00:06:40] Melissa Griffiths: And I think a lot, certainly a lot of people in the legal industry experience that on a daily basis. And not having the tools and techniques to bring it back into balance is, is where a lot of the challenges

[00:06:50] Steve Fretzin: come in. Well, everybody, if we haven’t captured your attention, then, uh, you’re probably sleeping right now.

[00:06:57] Steve Fretzin: Melissa, thank you so much. Melissa Griffith is the c e O of Ascension, and. I’m just so happy that you’re on the show. I thought we had just the most amazing conversation. Um, I dunno if it was a week or two ago about our talk today and just getting to know each other. And I’d love for you if you would, to just share a little bit of your background and expertise in the area of, of stress and the mind body connection and obviously I love that, be that Lori tipping point as well.

[00:07:21] Steve Fretzin: So let’s, let’s take a step back and then we’re gonna jump back into where we were, where we just were.

[00:07:25] Melissa Griffiths: Yeah, sure. So I guess any story, there’s always an incident that happens. For me, I had an accident similar to yourself, but mine was very benign in, in that I got hit in the head by a five-year old kid, which in itself doesn’t seem like an accident, but for two years it knocked me completely sideways.

[00:07:46] Melissa Griffiths: I had the worst concussion. I couldn’t get outta bed, migraines, nausea. Um, I couldn’t see properly for two years, and I had to go on disability leave at work. As you can imagine, that came with a lot of emotions, depression and stress being one of them. I forced myself to go back to work, and it was a horrible situation.

[00:08:05] Melissa Griffiths: I was working in the legal industry at the time, and through that whole process, I realized I didn’t want to be in that state. I had two young kids. I, I missed two years of their plays and sporting activities. I needed to do something about it. So I started to study what I could do to help my physical symptoms as well as my mental symptoms.

[00:08:28] Melissa Griffiths: And I found a couple of different techniques, which really did turn my life around. I liked them so much that I wanted to take it further. So in the evenings and weekends I started to just dig into podcasts and read everything I could about the brain, about neuroscience, about depression and anxiety, which were real for me.

[00:08:49] Melissa Griffiths: Um, And then over time I started to improve and I realized I wanted to help others. So I started to do things on the side in the evenings and weekends just to help people. And then I became certified as a heart math practitioner, became certified in emotional resolution, um, also in Body Talk. And I’m actually in the process of becoming certified as a clinical anxiety practitioner.

[00:09:13] Melissa Griffiths: All because I love it and I’ve seen the positive impact it can have on people. And I just, if everybody had access to these techniques, I think the world would be a much happier place.

[00:09:25] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And stress is something that we all suffer from, and I think at different levels. And lawyers, to your point earlier, I think are at the tip of the spear as it relates to.

[00:09:35] Steve Fretzin: You know, stressful jobs. I mean, maybe it’s like heart surgeons then, like, you know, litigator and then you know, transactional lawyer in that order. Um, but why, why do you feel like, or have experience of why lawyers are so prone to stress? What, what do you think is going on there? Well,

[00:09:53] Melissa Griffiths: I think the profession in itself attracts highly cognitive functioning people.

[00:09:59] Melissa Griffiths: There’s a lot of cerebral ness that comes with that. And with it comes a lot of stress. I mean, just think about the environment. We’ve got demanding clients, we’ve got deadlines, billable hours, all that in itself can bring a lot of stress and lawyers are lifetime learners, but they wanna keep growing and expanding.

[00:10:19] Melissa Griffiths: And of course with that come, comes a lot more pressure on themselves. Um, so I think the environment, plus it’s an environment in which failure is not really an option. Um, or at least not what most people strive for. So I think that the profession itself hasn’t done itself any favors when it comes to being able to manage stress.

[00:10:43] Steve Fretzin: And how do you define stress? What do you, with all your knowledge and expertise in this, what’s, what’s the definition that, that you go by? Well,

[00:10:52] Melissa Griffiths: if you think about it, stress in itself is a concept borrowed from engineering, which is the amount of resistance. That a material can have before it breaks or collapses, which is the same for people.

[00:11:06] Melissa Griffiths: Um, so I define stress as a, any change in the environment that requires your body to react or adjust. And I think it’s important to note that not all stress is bad. We do actually need a certain amount of stress in our lives. The challenge comes when we’re not able to balance that or it becomes too much.

[00:11:26] Melissa Griffiths: And a lot of lawyers in particular can become numb to stress. It becomes so normal that they don’t realize the stress that’s being placed on their body until it manifests into a physical symptom.

[00:11:39] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Okay. Let’s take a quick break to talk about how money Penny is changing the game. For lawyers who are losing business every day and may not even realize it, it’s impossible to provide amazing client service when you have phone, trees, voicemail, jail, or untrained staff handling your phones.

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[00:12:18] Melissa Griffiths: Legalese Marketing is not your traditional marketing vendor. Instead, we’re a true fractional CMO that helps you save time to spend your money the right way to build the practice of your dreams. We help through the entire process from customizing your intake system. To driving leads and even getting more reviews afterwards.

[00:12:34] Melissa Griffiths: Schedule your free

[00:12:38] Steve Fretzin: I see that all the time, and I, I watch the, the attorneys I work with, you know, here they’re trying to bill hours and, and manage people and all this stuff. And then I’m saying, oh, by the way, you know, we also have to do business development. We have to go out and do client development, which, you know, many of them, you know, just adds stress to, you know, and fuel to the fire.

[00:12:55] Melissa Griffiths: So Well, yeah. And if you think about it, when people chose to become lawyers, they loved it because they wanted the practice of law. They didn’t expect everything that goes with that. Managing a practice or managing the client piece or managing people, all of which is not necessarily billable hours and yet is part of the role.

[00:13:13] Melissa Griffiths: So there is a huge amount of stress that comes along

[00:13:16] Steve Fretzin: with it. Yeah. And one thing that, that we talked about in our initial conversation that I wanted to ask you about is, uh, is something you call, uh, heart math. And I’m curious about what HeartMath is and how that specifically race to, uh, relates to dealing with unwanted emotions.

[00:13:33] Melissa Griffiths: Yeah, so HeartMath is actually a nonprofit based out of San Francisco. They’ve been around for about 30 years. Their mission is to help people reduce and better manage stress and anxiety. It’s a very scientific organization. They’ve done a ton of research and they really operate on two main premises. The first is that we can control how we respond to stress, which I think is really important because it means we don’t have to be victims to our own emotions and thoughts.

[00:14:04] Melissa Griffiths: And then their second premise is that it’s best to handle stress in the moment that it comes up. A lot of people tend to focus on this, what I call a binge and purge approach, where they’re stressed all day and then they do an hour’s yoga at night and think it’s fixed. Really what we need to do is manage stress as it happens and be more in that mindful state, which we hear a lot about, and yet is really proven to reduce stress and really help the body from a physical perspective.

[00:14:32] Melissa Griffiths: So HeartMath came up with this concept of what is known as heart coherence, and this is when the heart and the brain are in a rhythm together and all the body systems are in a rhythm. And when we are in that place, We’re a lot more calm. We can, uh, function better. We can think more clearly. You can even measure how coherent your heart and brain are from different devices that are on the market these days.

[00:15:02] Steve Fretzin: Okay. So when it comes to unwanted emotions, this is what they’re doing is giving people techniques and in ways of sort of removing or limiting those emotions or just dealing with them, dealing with

[00:15:15] Melissa Griffiths: them and helping the body to change. That the state of coherence, which in itself will affect the physical body.

[00:15:24] Melissa Griffiths: And in fact, if you are game, I’m happy to share a, a small technique, um, which anybody can do at any time. I like to do this throughout the day, so you wanna Yeah, I would love that. Okay. So this is known as the quick coherence technique from HeartMath. And really the power of this comes from replacing.

[00:15:47] Melissa Griffiths: Depleted or negative emotions with renewing positive ones. So you can do it with your eyes open and or closed. Obviously, if you’re driving, don’t close your eyes. So the first step is focus your attention in the area of your heart, and imagine that your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area.

[00:16:09] Melissa Griffiths: Breathing a little slower and deeper, and find an easy rhythm that’s comfortable.

[00:16:18] Melissa Griffiths: And as you continue with this heart-focused breathing, make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life can be a pet place and accomplishment. And as you focus on that, just feel the calm and ease. Wow, that’s really pain and that that’s all it is.

[00:16:44] Melissa Griffiths: It takes 15 seconds, 20 seconds, but it can make a massive difference. And even when you see the research behind such a simple technique, how it can bring all the systems back in and really help produce that sympathetic nervous system, bring back the parasympathetic, which by the way is also known as the anti-aging, which I’m sure we would all appreciate.

[00:17:06] Melissa Griffiths: Um, So a just a simple technique like that can make a massive difference through the day.

[00:17:11] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. I can see how if, if, if somebody can just take a few moments or minutes in between, you know, the, when the moment comes where they’re getting stressed and they, they realize that and recognize it, to take the time to go through that exercise and then come back to whatever you’re dealing with, that you would come back and in a much better, more effective way than just kind of, you know, just like biting down, you know, grinning and bearing and going through it.

[00:17:36] Steve Fretzin: Um, without taking that pause.

[00:17:39] Melissa Griffiths: Well, and I encourage my clients to do this in meetings, especially when it’s maybe not going the way that you want it to go. Just take a moment to breathe into your heart area and experience a positive emotion. And it changes the whole situation. It certainly changes your reaction cuz it’s not worth getting sick over.

[00:17:57] Melissa Griffiths: Um, which is how I like to describe it.

[00:17:59] Steve Fretzin: If we wanna take it a step further, if you’re in a, like a prospect meeting with a really big client and you’re getting stressed out cuz they’re not gonna buy from you, you could say to the prospect, Hey, why don’t we do this breathing exercise together and totally.

[00:18:11] Steve Fretzin: See how

[00:18:11] Melissa Griffiths: that goes over. I, I start every quiet engagement doing that technique. Okay. When you’re both coherent and then you come at it from a much happier place. Yeah, they may. All right. All right. Fluff the

[00:18:20] Steve Fretzin: block. But I guess I, I guess if they’re up for it, you know, go for it. But, um, you know, I have a question for you that we didn’t discuss.

[00:18:28] Steve Fretzin: And I, I’m just curious about it, and I go through this because, uh, I just know that it works for me and I’m gonna be, you know, kind of opening up about something personal about myself. But, um, I’m curious, your take on crying. I know that there are a lot of people that don’t cry, like unless something, you know, they, they stub their toe or, or someone in, you know, dies that they’re very close to.

[00:18:49] Steve Fretzin: I can, like if something happened to my animal or something, but. Crying is something that is a, is a form of release. And do you, what’s, what’s your thoughts and knowledge about crying and how that impacts stress?

[00:19:01] Melissa Griffiths: I completely agree with you, uh, in the time and in the moment. Absolutely. I think it’s important to cry.

[00:19:09] Melissa Griffiths: I mean, certainly men, um, don’t cry as, as much as women that’s being proven. Um, I think if you find yourself crying frequently, Over a situation, then you may want to address how you are viewing that situation, if it’s something that’s happened in the past. Um, and that can be addressed by emotions and certainly HeartMath tech techniques or emotional resolution techniques can help why you would continue to cry.

[00:19:38] Melissa Griffiths: But when something comes up in the moment, a hundred percent, it’s a great release and that’s why kids. Cry that we, we’ve all seen how kids immediately react, and for them, that just changes their system and it brings them back into a more parasympathetic state. So yeah, big, big proponent of it, as long as it’s not ongoing over the same

[00:19:56] Steve Fretzin: issue.

[00:19:57] Steve Fretzin: All right, so here’s, here’s the personal share. So I realized long ago that the ability to let out emotion and the ability to cry. Actually has a release for me that directly impacts the pain that I’m feeling because I believe the pain is not real in the sense that it’s not an injury. The pain is there because that’s what my body is doing to, to help me avoid what I, what, what’s going on in my brain.

[00:20:23] Steve Fretzin: So my body, my mind would rather gimme physical pain to deal with then the emotional pain that I’m engaging and incurred. So give you an example. I was playing tennis last week. I started feeling some sciatica. Shooting down my leg right through my left, left cheek, if you will. And I told my wife, I go at some point I need some time alone cuz I gotta, I gotta work this out.

[00:20:43] Steve Fretzin: She knows what I’m talking about. So I’ll watch, you know, the end of. Steal the dreams or I’ll end, or I’ll watch the end of like, it’s a wonderful life. Like I know where all the movie scenes are that are highly emotional with the right music and the right tone, and I let it out and my wife will say to me, you know, the next day, how’s your sciatica?

[00:21:00] Steve Fretzin: I go, what’s sciatica like? It’s hot, like it never existed and that that just is so to me, so powerful that it just backs up and supports that, that what is going on with me is really much more mental than physical.

[00:21:15] Melissa Griffiths: Yeah. And I really do believe the body communicates with us. I mean, it’s our vessel in how we communicate.

[00:21:22] Melissa Griffiths: So if you’re feeling a pain, there is usually an emotional piece attached to it, unless you’ve just had an accident, obviously. Um, but I would look at what’s causing that. And is there a pattern and what’s going on in your life when something flies

[00:21:35] Steve Fretzin: up? Yeah, and usually it’s my teenager. That’s where I start to feel my lower back go out in my teenagers driving us nuts.

[00:21:43] Steve Fretzin: I felt help with your teenager. You’re not gonna help me with that. All right. No one is, no one can, but it’s, it’s, it, it definitely works itself out usually. Mm-hmm. So then what, so then you’ve shared one technique that people can use when they’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Is there a, is there another one that you’d be you open and comfortable sharing?

[00:22:01] Melissa Griffiths: Yeah, I mean, I think they’re the typical ones you’ve probably heard of, but I wanna reemphasize them cuz they’re important. Exercise really is a great way to release stress. And in fact, duke University conducted a study where they put people into different groups of people who were medicated with Zoloft, people who exercised, and then a combo of both.

[00:22:24] Melissa Griffiths: And at the end of the 16 week study, they found that the exercise was as effective as medication and actually more effective over long term. So I definitely am a big proponent of exercise, even 30 minutes a day, uh, sleep. I’m sure you’ve heard of that one too.

[00:22:42] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I’ve, I’ve heard of sleep.

[00:22:43] Melissa Griffiths: Yes. Yeah. And again, I mean, studies in people who’ve had sleep deprivation show just a, a massive reduced function in cognitive decline as well as like how, how the body actually reacts to that.

[00:22:57] Melissa Griffiths: Um, and then mindfulness, which for me really is being fully aware and being in the moment is that just drive technique that I mentioned to you when you get cut off. Um, and again, research has shown that having regular mindful practice really does improve the mood. It strengthens the immune system. So being focused and being aware, and I think lawyers really need to bring this in.

[00:23:25] Melissa Griffiths: And reduce any stigma around things like mindfulness. My, my vision is actually to have as much focus placed on mental health as there is in how to be a good manager, because I think being able to recognize stress and anxiety in, in our people as well as ourselves, would make a massive difference to productivity, to to health, um, within the US and all over the world.

[00:23:50] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And uh, the one that I, that I would like to add and then have you speak to also is eating, eating properly. I think that there’s a. You know, when you’re stressed out and you’re rushed on time, it’s, it’s fast food, it’s candy, it’s jamming things into your body and then drinking, right. Eating and then drinking at night.

[00:24:07] Steve Fretzin: And, you know, that’s the, you know, where I think there’s, there’s also a, um, sort of a thing of, and we’re all kind of doing this in our own way, but we’re all kind of self-medicating, you know, alcohol and, and uh, and, and now legalized marijuana and, and then prescription drugs and all that. So, but, but I’d love to hear your take on, on the eating and the drinking side of it as well.

[00:24:26] Melissa Griffiths: Well, yeah, I mean if you think about the chemicals that are produced in the body when we eat certain foods and how that relates to stress, and certainly when we’re under stress, we do crave more of those cortisol inducing foods, which would be your fast foods as well as alcohol and, and look, I mean, lawyers are three times more likely for depression as any o any other profession, which in itself tells you that there’s a huge amount of stress there.

[00:24:55] Melissa Griffiths: Um, so definitely focusing on diet and what we use to, to numb those feelings, if you like, it is key. But if you exercise and you get good sleep, then you are less prone to those cravings and being able to put some boundaries around your waking hours as well as what goes into your body and when. Um, is powerful and definitely I would recommend speaking with a nutritionist if you’re not getting the, the energy levels that you feel like you should have given what

[00:25:28] Steve Fretzin: you’re eating.

[00:25:29] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And the best visual is the, you know, the airplane where the oxygen mask comes down and they say, put it over your face first before you help somebody else. Mm-hmm. And I think what, what we’re doing is we’re helping everybody else all day and we’re not really taking care of ourselves. And that leads to not being able to really help our clients the way that we could, not really being present, you know, falling, you know, being sleepy or falling asleep at different times of the day when you need, you know, really, really focused energy

[00:25:57] Melissa Griffiths: and matters.

[00:25:57] Melissa Griffiths: Well, and the perfection doesn’t, doesn’t really help with that. I mean, late nights do tend to go with it. And we weekends, which nobody enjoys, but sometimes we, we just kind of have to do it. So, trying to be mindful of. Of how we look after ourselves is just as important cuz we’re no good to anybody if we’re in that place where we can’t get outta

[00:26:17] Steve Fretzin: bed.

[00:26:18] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Right on. And what are you doing, kind of wrapping things up a little bit, Melissa, what are you doing to help lawyers? Like, what’s your jam as it relates to? Alright, so I’m a lawyer, I’m stressed out, I’m managing a team, and I’m like, not sleeping. I’m thinking I’ve got, you know, pain in my back. What am I, when I, when I email you and call you, what, what, what’s gonna happen then?

[00:26:39] Melissa Griffiths: Well, my goal is to give everybody the tools and techniques they need to better manage stress. That’s that’s the underpinning goal. So we usually start with a survey, which is developed by the HeartMath Institute, extremely scientific. So we can just look at the different markers, like where is your stress and what’s causing it?

[00:26:58] Melissa Griffiths: And then I work with them usually over about eight weeks to provide those tools and techniques so that they can better manage it in the moment. And my ultimate goal is actually to work myself out of a job so that people have everything they need. And then to also to be able to teach others. I think as a, one of the roles of managers should be to look after the mental health of our people.

[00:27:21] Melissa Griffiths: And so giving people tools and techniques to do that is key.

[00:27:24] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. That’s awesome. Thank you so much. And let’s wrap things up with a game changing book and. You gave me the Go-Giver and, and as much as I love, you know, Bob Berg and the Go-Giver, I said, look, we’ve had that on the show and I want something unique and, and something relevant to what you’re doing every day.

[00:27:39] Steve Fretzin: And you gave me the biology of belief and right away I was like, awesome. Let me hear, I don’t know that book, but I wanna hear about

[00:27:46] Melissa Griffiths: it. Yeah, this book is awesome. It’s by a guy called Dr. Bruce Lipton. He’s a biologist, and what he discovered was that cells can be, Anything if you like. So one of his famous experiment was he took one cell and he divided it 50,000 times and put it into three different dishes.

[00:28:07] Melissa Griffiths: And then by putting in different external environments, he could actually change how those cells. Grew. So some grew as tendon, some grew as fat, even though it was the exact same step cell at his conclusion was how our environment can actually affect the cells in our body. So as we look at that from a stress perspective, what is going on in your environment that is impacting your, your body on a cellular level?

[00:28:35] Melissa Griffiths: Um, it’s a fascinating book because he really has taken the concept of, um, nature versus nurture. Uh, and how we c we are responsible for our own actions and responsible for our own

[00:28:48] Steve Fretzin: health. Yeah. Wow. That’s super interesting. Yeah, I’ll have to check that out. And, uh, just again, in wrapping up, have to thank our wonderful sponsors, uh, money Penny Practice, Panther and Legalese.

[00:28:59] Steve Fretzin: You heard about them earlier in the show. Uh, they are fantastic and appreciate them, and I appreciate you, Melissa, for spending some time and sharing your wisdom. I think the things that you’re talking about and that you’re doing, Are so valuable to the legal community, and I just, I just appreciate you and I hope that people, you know, not only, you know, really thought about what, you know, they heard today, but also that they reach out to you to learn more about how they can reduce their stress because it’s, it is really debilitating in their ability to be a great lawyer and to, to add value for their clients.

[00:29:30] Melissa Griffiths: Yeah, absolutely. It is an endemic, so my goal is to give people the tools to

[00:29:34] Steve Fretzin: fix it. Yeah. Fantastic. And thank you everybody for spending some time with Melissa and Knight today. You know, this show, you know, just is just continually working, you know, as an effort to try to help provide value for you and your day-to-day and make sure that you’re living the best possible life that you’re, that you can live.

[00:29:52] Steve Fretzin: And I think if you’re dealing with stress right now, Uh, that’s gonna, it’s gonna impact you. It’s gonna impact the way you do your job. It’s gonna impact the way you feel and how. You know how, how just efficient you can be. So listen, man, it’s all about being that lawyer, someone who’s confident, organized, and, and a skilled rainmaker.

[00:30:09] Steve Fretzin: Thanks everybody for spending time with us. Take care, be, be well, be safe. We’ll talk again soon.

[00:30:17] Narrator: Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, life-changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.