More often than not, a hero's most epic battle is the one you never see; it's the battle that goes on within him or herself. ~ Kevin Smith
WFAA Profile: One Woman's Mission to Offer Meditation to Those in Uniform
Brain Science Shows Why It's a Great Idea for First Responders to Meditate
I didn't need a neuroscientist to tell me I was suffering from the effects of chronic stress. I knew that. I lived it. Every. Single. Day. But, I needed a few of them to prove to me that mindfulness meditation could help me do something about it. Considering heart attacks and suicide are the two leading killers of our brothers and sisters in blue, mindfulness meditation offers some pretty great stuff for first responders. Here's what the research is saying:
Over time, the constant, unrelenting activation of the stress response can have a negative impact on your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and can dramatically change the way you show up for work and life. This buildup of stress in the nervous system can inhibit your body's natural ability to heal and restore. So if you find yourself struggling a little, or a lot, it's not you. It's just what happens to the mind and body on stress. The important thing is that you do something about it! Because mindfulness meditation provides your body with an opportunity to discharge stress hormones and allows your nervous system to reset, it can be the perfect anecdote.
Resilient Badge Mindfulness Training is specifically designed for law enforcement and emergency fire services personnel. The skills training provided is practical, non-religious, and can be learned in a single training day. From one first responder to another, these are the powerful tools you need to help mitigate the negative effects of chronic stress and build resilience. The end game: a safer, healthier, happier YOU.
Just to Clarify Mindfulness meditation is a collection of tools that, when practiced over time, settle the nervous system and train the brain to be more focused, engaged, and less emotionally reactive. A regular mindfulness meditation practice will create real and lasting changes to the physical structures of the brain, enabling first responders to become more resilient and compassionate, and better able to cope with their stressful occupations.
While there are mindfulness tools and peace-finder practices for use in stressful situations, meditation, in and of itself, is not an isolated tool for first responders to use on-duty. What I mean is, they do not pull up to a call and close their eyes and focus on their breathing. Nor do they ever pull over, close their eyes and meditate inside their patrol car, fire apparatus or MICU. That would be a huge safety issue! We practice regularly, when and where it's safe, so we develop the capacity to show up and be safer later. Amidst the chaos.