Intense trials can be exhausting for the witnesses, legal team, jury, judge, videographer, court reporter, and everyone involved. Trials that last days, weeks, and months can be taxing and mentally test a person’s ability to perform their jobs at highest level required for a sustained period of time.

The good news is we can all improve our mental stamina.

Much like elite athletes who get tested on their mental will during big competitions, workers the world over, including court reporters, can learn the same skills to boost their mental stamina, according to psychologist Robert E. Corb from UCLA. Try these mental exercises on for size before your next trial or deposition:

  • Think positively– Nip negativity in the bud by focusing on improving your self-confidence and replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, rather than saying, “I’ll never make it through another day of testimony.” Reframe your thoughts and say, “I’m a skilled court reporter who enjoys the challenge of accurately recording testimony, and I do it well.”
  • Visualize success– Athletes often use visualization to see themselves scoring the goal or crossing the finish line. Focus on moments of past success to give yourself a boost. Think about how you felt and replay that moment in your head. Visualization can also help calm you down if you are feeling stressed about a big case.
  • Be prepared for setbacks– Trials rarely go as planned, which can throw even the most mentally tough court reporters for a loop. When things go off course, have a plan in place to keep you calm and centered while the roadblock gets sorted out.
  • Manage stress– Court reporters hold high-pressure roles, and it can be hard to stay relaxed when the pressure is on. Try different techniques to help you manage stress levels, whether that be exercise, meditation or otherwise. If you develop sound coping strategies for managing stress, you’ll be better equipped to handle anything that comes your way in the courtroom.
  • Get enough sleep– Keep your mental game strong by getting enough rest – at least 7-9 hours per night is recommended to give your brain and body enough time to rebuild and repair after an exhausting time. When you’re tired, your reaction time is slower and you are much more likely to make mistakes.

Improving your mental stamina doesn’t have to be tough, and it isn’t reserved for just the best of the best. Try incorporating these steps into your daily routine so the next time you have a long trial, you’re prepared to mentally go the distance.