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Stress, Anger, and Anxiety: A Mindful Alternative for Service Members

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You’re stressed and anxious, so you never reach out to the recruiter to schedule that next interview. You’re angry and frustrated, so you yell at your spouse or you snap at your kids. You’re feeling alone and helpless and you don’t know where to turn, so you slowly withdraw from your friends. Could we get a raise of hands if we are hitting the nail on the head with these scenarios?!

We are here to tell you that those feelings are valid and understandable, especially if you’re dealing with a difficult situation like transitioning out of the military. But chances are, responding to those emotions in the ways outlined above isn’t the most beneficial path. It may damage your social relationships or cause you to feel guilty at a later time.

What if there was a different option?

Mindfulness has been getting a lot more attention in the last few years. You may hear it so frequently it sounds like a buzzword. The reality is that research supports mindfulness as an effective tool. 

Brown, Ryan, and Creswell (2007) summarize, “Mindfulness is associated with numerous health and emotional benefits that include the reduction of anxiety, depression, blood pressure, and the increase in optimism and self-regulation (Boyce, 2012; Carmody & Baer, 2007; Greeson, 2009; Smalley & Winston, 2010), all areas that are important to the health of the principal. The practice of mindfulness is also associated with developing a way of being and interacting with others that are indicators of social and emotional intelligence (Goleman et al., 2002).”

Benef Verell, a retired Army major, has personally experienced the benefits of mindfulness in her own life. She brings mindfulness practices to the military community through her writing, speaking, and workshops.

Benef’s vision is to see these practices taught at the beginning and throughout a service member’s career so they have the tools and skills necessary to deal with the stress of everyday life and the military.

We are extremely excited to have Benef host an exclusive workshop for past and present service members as part of our 21-day sprint course, ADU LIVE: May. Join us for the hour and half long virtural workshop, on Tuesday, May 18 at 8:30pm ET. Register now!

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Sources: 

Brown, K. W., Ryan, R. M., & Creswell, J. T. (2007). Mindfulness: Theoretical foundations and evidence for its salutary effects. Psychological Inquiry, 18(4), 211-237.

bethany@americandreamu.org

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