PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment and accepting the reality of a situation, understanding what can be controlled and taking purposeful action.
With constant uncertainty surrounding the current pandemic, being physically separated from loved ones along with other stressors, it’s important to incorporate mindfulness as a lifestyle.
“Mindfulness is an important practice for me because I value my mental health,” said Staff Sgt. Radelle Remmert, 21st Communications Squadron NCOIC of client systems. “My mental health is really what drives me to perform at my best every day.”
Practicing mindfulness helps train the mind to control where its attention goes.
“Often times, teleworking for me is more work than actually working in the office,” said Remmert. “We have had to make changes left and right to accommodate the downgrade of the manning mandate and the quarantining of personnel who were exposed or showing symptoms.”
With the added responsibilities of first-time motherhood onto her daily work duties, Remmert said she doesn’t allow difficult times to stop her from being mindful.
“Mindfulness helps us ground ourselves in the present moment, which is important because our minds are in the past or the future so much of the time,” said Jessica Schroeder, Peterson- Schriever Garrison community support coordinator. “Research from Harvard showed that our mind wanders about 47 percent of the time, and this skill helps us bring our attention back to the present.”
There are three mindfulness skills:
- Informal mindfulness – this skill is an informal practice that we do every day to ensure we focus on one thing, staying present with full attention. An example of this skill is being aware of how often you are focused on technology or multiple tasks.
- Formal mindfulness – this skill involves a regular practice to strengthen wellbeing which can include yoga, meditation and prayer.
- Mindfulness in the moment – this skill is used to help you during stressful times when thoughts and emotions are getting in the way of your performance. To practice this you can pause, observe your thoughts and feelings without judging, decide what’s important in the moment, and then take action.
One benefit of practicing mindfulness is strengthening resiliency.
“As we learn in the resilience program, mindfulness helps us stay engaged, it improves our focus and helps us concentrate on what is important,” Schroeder said. “It helps us take action during stressful times.”
P-S GAR is dedicated to ensuring personnel and their families have access to knowledge that can improve their overall quality of life.
“Mindfulness helps me return to a sense of calm and handle the challenges and daily stressors that we all face more effectively,” Schroeder said. “It also helps me appreciate the everyday things that I am grateful for because I’m more grounded in the present moment.”
The benefits of mindfulness can become evident the moment you start practicing it.
“Mindfulness helps me not only to clear my mind and bring my heart rate down, it also helps me see the positive during these challenging times,” said Remmert. “It helps me find the good.”
For questions or more information regarding mindfulness practices, email Jessica Schroeder at P_SGAR.firstname.lastname@example.org.