Practicing Marine Corps vigilance leads to mental flexibility

As we all know, the first name for relaxation and mindfulness is the United States Marine Corps (Please do not email me about that joke.) However, the Marine Corps actually piloted a mindfulness program in 2013, with the goal of addressing the high rates of suicide among Marines and cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans.

Amid the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, Officials told NBC News They were looking for a way to help American forces deal with the stress of combat Designations for those areas. Results It was an experimental program It’s called Mindfulness-Based Mental Fitness Training (MMFT) and if it yields positive results, it will be incorporated into regular Marine Corps training regimens.

The eight-week course, tested in Camp Pendleton, California, has its roots in Zen Buddhist practices, but the Marine Corps stated that his course was not connected to any religion. It was inspired by a decades-old mindfulness program called Mindfulness Based on Stress Reduction that was actually designed for high-risk populations such as cancer patients. In 2013, it had not yet been combat tested in Marine Corps combat training.

When units of the Marine Corps undergo combat training, it’s a kind of “Stress vaccination,” physically and mentally prepare them for the battles ahead, but this kind of exposure can compromise their mental resilience. The MMFT is designed to further inoculate stress into the Legion and subsequent deployment using mindfulness techniques and actually increase mental resilience.

At the time, studies have shown that these techniques increase reaction and advance physical recovery after training. It also showed improved attention spans, faster mental processing and reaction times, higher pain tolerance, better immune function, reduced negative moods, and fewer symptoms of fatigue.

Two Marine Corps infantry battalions were subject to the study. Within those battalions, each platoon underwent mindfulness training, while four others went through training as normal. Individuals underwent two hours of instruction over the course of eight weeks, with a four-hour workshop, silent training, and 30 minutes of daily exercises to perform.

The two groups were then assessed three times during the eight weeks of training on heart rate, breathing and blood draws. They were also given neurological examinations. Results found Heart rate and breathing recovery are improved, and mindfulness training “affects brain structures important in integrating information about the internal physiological state and the body’s response to stress.”

Elizabeth StanleyHe is a professor at Georgetown University army A veteran who was diagnosed with PTSD while she was serving. She helped develop and test the Navy’s MMFT program study. Although mindfulness is still gaining traction in military circles, Stanley still lectures And he writes about MMFT.

Not only can vigilantism reduce the number of US veterans seeking professional help after service, she says, it can help reduce burnout among chaplains and health care workers after deployments.

The beneficial effects of mind training on physical fitness can continue long after publication ends. Stanley writes,” which increases the likelihood that Warriors will be ready, willing, and able to deploy again when needed.

Blake Stilwell can be reached at blake.stilwell@military.com. He can also be found on Twitter @tweet or in Facebook.

Do you want to know more about military life?

Whether you’re considering joining the military, looking for fitness and basic training tips, or keeping up with military life and benefits, Military.com has you covered. Subscribe to Military.com Get military news, updates and resources straight to your inbox.

Show the full article

© Copyright 2023 Military.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *