US military: Mindfulness helps soldiers cope in Iraq

The American Forces Press Service reports that US soldiers in Baghdad are being offered mindfulness as a tool for coping with stress.

Lion’s Roar
4 August 2010
Army Maj. Victor Won and Army Lt. Col. Vincent Barnhart meditate during a 15-minute “mindfulness” session at U.S. Division Center headquarters in Baghdad, Aug. 2, 2010. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Daniel Schneider.

From the report:

Mindfulness is a simple but ancient approach to living, which Western medicine has begun to recognize as a powerful tool for dealing with stress, illness and other medical or psychological conditions, and it can help soldiers in any circumstance, said Army Maj. Victor Won, deputy assistant chief of staff for intelligence in 1st Armored Division’s general staff section.

“It would be more effective for soldiers to learn and train mindfulness prior to deployment,” Won said, “since the practice will offer soldiers [a means] to cope with their mental stress before getting into a high-stress environment. However, practicing the meditation on a regular basis will help anyone, no matter where they are.”

Read more of the report here.

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