Behavioral Health

 Mindfulness

Last Updated: July 26, 2020

​Mindfulness has been shown to effectively reduce stress, build resilience, increase focus, boost working memory, and improve general wellness.

Practice Mindfulness for Better Health, Performance, and Relationships

Here is a secret to boosting working memory, improving focus and having less emotional reactivity: mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness involves learning to acknowledge and accept our thoughts and feelings with curiosity and openness rather than judgment. Mindfulness has been shown to effectively reduce stress, build resilience, and improve health. When we are mindful in our interactions with others, we can improve our relationships as well.   

Ways to practice mindfulness:

•       Breathe with deep, mindful breaths; the longer you breathe out the more you’ll relax.
•       Accept what you cannot control.
•       Send positive thoughts to yourself and your teammates.
•       Visualize a place of peace and calm in your mind.
•       Slow down and pay attention to nature around you.
•       Practice gratitude.
•       Set realistic daily goals for yourself.
•       Acknowledge your sources of motivation. Are they internal or external?
•       Be present and respond positively to others.

Mindfulness and Resilience

Mindfulness allows the presence of mind to reframe a situation and find opportunity and clarity in challenging circumstances. It increases awareness of potential options and responses.

Mindfulness and Focus

Mindfulness helps us control what we need to pay attention to during the day. Whether you are on the front lines, behind a desk, in a lab, or at a clinic, mindfulness can be used in a variety of settings. Mindfulness allows you to identify the priorities, the mission, visualize the end goal and to use your resources accordingly.

Mindfulness and Health

Numerous studies have demonstrated the direct and indirect connections between mind and body. A healthy mind is aware, calm, centered and results in a healthier body. Practicing the activities above will strengthen your body’s response to stressors, and ultimately, to illness. Mindfulness is not the absence of difficulties, but the presence of a confident and accepting attitude in the face of a challenge. With practice, mindfulness empowers us to take on the challenges life throws our way, to reach out when we need help, and to support those in need.

Additional resources:

WRAIR Mindfulness Quick Guide External Link
NIH Mindfulness web page External Link
Ready and Resilient (R2) Performance Centers External Link
Army Resilience Directorate Resources External Link