News

  • Embrace Mindfulness: These 5 Tips Can Help You Get Started
    DoD photo by Cpl. Jason Jimenez

    If you are part of a military family, taking time for yourself, both physically and mentally, is important.  Mindfulness meditation practices reduce stress, boost resilience and promote overall better health. If the thought of trying to fit something new into your daily routine seems overwhelming, these five tips may help:

    1. Start small: Start with five minutes and gradually increase the length of time as you feel more comfortable.
    2. Download an app: You don’t have to figure out how to meditate on your own. Many people find a guided mindfulness meditation practice helpful. The Mindfulness Coach mobile app is free and offers tips to take with you on the go.
  • You Can Practice Mindfulness Meditation – Every Day
    U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Bowcock

    Meditation is a valuable tool for mental health, but working it into a busy schedule can seem challenging.

    Dr. Mark Bates, associate director of psychological health promotion at the Deployment Health Clinical Center, recommends several short meditation practices that can fit into your daily routine. These meditation practices can be a good starting point for bringing mindfulness into your everyday life.

    “You don’t have to add anything to your day; you can integrate meditation to enhance your day,” Bates said.

    It is important to note that relaxation is not the goal of these meditations, even though they may help you relax. Meditators should focus on simply performing the meditation, rather than attaining a specific mood state.

    Focusing Attention

    • Benefit: This meditation can increase calm and focus during different activities. Focusing attention helps you follow through on completing a goal while reducing distraction.

       
      “A big part of mindfulness practice is being in the moment,” Bates said.

  • Improve Your Health with 4 Mindfulness Exercises
    U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Knowles

    Mindfulness benefits both the mind and body. It can help you maintain control and balance and achieve your goals. Mindfulness can also help improve breathing, posture and other components of mind-body wellness through simple exercises.

    In addition to supporting psychological health, mindfulness can help improve overall wellness, said Mark Bates, associate director of psychological health promotion for the Deployment Health Clinical Center.

    “Psychological health is not just absence of illness, but a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being,” Bates said, referencing the World Health Organization definition.

    “You can easily work mindfulness exercises into day-to-day life without disrupting regular routines. In addition, linking new behaviors to existing routines is a powerful way to create new habits,” Bates said.

    “These very simple activities, when used every day, can make a big difference,” Bates said. “In fact, the power of these exercises — also called microhabits — lies in their simplicity and their benefits grow the more regularly you use them.”

    To start, choose an exercise that seems like a good fit with your goals and interests, Bates said. As you grow comfortable with that exercise, you can add more. Involving friends and family, and rewarding yourself, can help with motivation.

  • Feeling Overwhelmed by the News? You’re Not Alone
    U.S. Army photo by Spc. Tracy McKithern

    Do you feel overwhelmed by the recent reports of violence in the world? From international terrorist attacks to national civil unrest and violence, social media feeds and news outlets are flooded with powerful imagery, videos and heated debate.

    For our warriors, terrorism and violence are not new topics. Strong opinions and images of violence can be emotional triggers for those who have served in conflicts or for family members who have lost loved ones in similar attacks.

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and intense feelings can resurface when something unsettling happens. When you start to feel overwhelmed, we want you to know that we understand. We offer these tips and resources to help you manage those situations:

  • Top 10 DCoE Blogs of 2015
    2015 #TopTen #DCoEBlogs

    Themes often define a year. In 2015, that was definitely the case: our audience clicked and commented most often when we shared tips, resources and practices related to mindfulness. Other topics our readers found of particular interest were moral injury, resources for military kids and caring for traumatic brain injury (TBI). Listed below in order of popularity are the top 10 blog posts of 2015 on the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) website.

  • What You Need to Know about Mindfulness Meditation
    mindfulness blog series

    Mindfulness meditation swiftly gained popularity as a self-care strategy for improving psychological health symptoms and overall resilience. Clinical evidence shows that this strategy works. DCoE wrote a series of mindfulness blogs to help you understand what mindfulness meditation is, how it can help, what studies and data support it, and how individuals can integrate it into their daily lives. Below is a quick rundown on the entire series, including what you need to know about mindfulness meditation and how to get started.

    What is mindfulness meditation?
    Mindfulness meditation comes from a Buddhist tradition. It increases awareness of the present by focusing on your breathing, body and thoughts. With continual practice, this technique trains the brain to stay in the present moment and can help you accept things for what they are, without judgment.

Pages