When we think of soldiers, things that come to our mind are being brave, strong and macho. However we seldom try to look into their lives during their duty and how it affects them in short term and long term. Lot of studies and research have published reports and media coverage about how they under go extreme physical and mental stress. Mental being most dangerous as it is long lasting and in some cases lead to permanent disorder.
Being involved in combat missions, prolonged war, anti-terrorist missions and serious accidents, soldiers who either retire from their services or come back from missions show abnormally high levels of stress called Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. People who suffer from PTSD often suffer from nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, and feeling emotionally numb. This not only adversely affects the lives of soldiers and their families but put a huge pressure on their country to deal with the aftermath of war.
Veterans and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
It has been proven time and again that no matter how grave and complicated the mental issues are, Meditation works in most cases. Provided, a proper guidance and routine is followed for over a period to observe those visible changes. United States, NATO forces and handful of other nations whose armies are constantly involved in anti-terror operations or combat missions have been doing studies and research for decades, for an effective and long-lasting solution to deal with PTSD.
Mindfulness for Veterans
Mindfulness, the practice of using breathing techniques, similar to those in meditation, to gain focus and reduce distraction is inching into the military in the United States, NATO forces and those of a handful of other nations.
Indian Armed Forces has taken serious steps to include meditation in the fitness routine of the soldiers, specially for those who are involved in active operations.
The British Royal Navy has given mindfulness training to officers, and military leaders are rolling it out in the Army and Royal Air Force for some officers and enlisted soldiers. The New Zealand Defence Force recently adopted the technique, and Netherlands Military Forces are working on the idea, too.
The approach is based on the work of Amishi Jha, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Miami. She is the senior author of a paper published about the training’s effectiveness among members of a special operations unit.
Scientific validation regarding benefits of meditation
The paper, in the journal Progress in Brain Research, reported that the troops who went through a monthlong training regimen that included daily practice in mindful breathing and focus techniques were better able to discern key information under chaotic circumstances and experienced increases in working memory function. The soldiers also reported making fewer cognitive errors than service members who did not use mindfulness.
The science and research has huge amount of evidence and data to prove that Meditation Techniques have long lasting impacts on our brain and have been proved to very effective in dealing with serious mental illnesses. With four weeks of experience can have significant improvement in our daily lives.
We at Neuphony, believe not only mental patients should follow the practice of meditation but everyone of us, who want to keep their mind fit and stay productive and healthy.