What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present moment. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

How does one become Mindful?  

Just as maintaining a healthy body requires exercise, maintaining a healthy mind requires upkeep as well.  Mindfulness exercises, like using the breath to bring awareness to the body, are the key to becoming mindful.  And only by practicing over and over can one achieve this goal.

What are the benefits of Mindfulness?

  • Improve wellbeing, physical health and mental health

  • Achieve balance and resilience at work and at home

  • Recognize and change habitual reactions

  • Respond more effectively to complex or difficult situations

  • Observe without criticism or judgement

  • Be present, in this moment, right now

 
 
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TRAININGS

Tactical Brain Training; Mindfulness for First Responders

 

Our workshops provide first responders with tools and strategies to manage stress on and off the job. Our trainings teach first responders how to lead in-house mindfulness programs within their own departments.

Workshop: Tactical Brain Training; Mindfulness for First Responders

Mindful Junkie offers Lunch and Learn educational workshops; Tactical Brain Training. These Lunch and Learns introduce first responders to the science and practice of mindfulness, as well as help us build rapport and identify individuals who are interested in more intensive training.

The Lunch and Learn includes lecture, break-out sessions, a mindful lunch, and a focus group component. First responders will learn guided breathing exercises, practices for focus and attention, exercises to identify emotional triggers, and the science behind why mindfulness works. They will come away with knowledge, skills, and practices to help them on and off the job.

First Responder Mindfulness 'Train the Trainer'

Mindful Junkie offers a two-day Train the Trainer immersion program.  These trainings provide first responders with knowledge and skills to act as First Responder Mindfulness Operators within their own departments. The First Responder Mindfulness Train the Trainer teaches first responders how to lead mindfulness techniques and meditations specific to the challenges of first responders. Attendees will learn how to lead guided meditations, as well as how to support colleagues in high-stress situations. Attendees will come away with the skills and resources necessary to create an in-house mindfulness aid program, as well as sustain their own practice at home. The goal is to create sustainable, in-house mindfulness programs.


WE AIM TO HELP FIRST RESPONDERS CULTIVATE SKILLS FOR:

  • Stress management

  • Situational awareness

  • Interpersonal relations

  • Responding vs reacting

  • Mind state regulation


Why mindfulness for first responders?

Chronic exposure to trauma takes a toll on first responders on and off the job. Research suggests that first responders are far more likely than the general population to suffer from a number of mental and physical health issues, some of which can be fatal.

A recent study found that suicide rates among first responders are more than ten times that of the general population. Another study found that 85% of first responders have experienced mental health symptoms, and one third have been formally diagnosed with either depression or PTSD. Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed said they felt there would be negative repercussions to seeking mental health support at work, such as a supervisor treating them differently or being seen as weak by colleagues.

Not only are first responders at risk of mental health issues, they are also more likely to suffer physical illness as a result of chronic stress. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, firefighters are up to 100 times more likely to suffer a heart attack than the normal population. A study of 464 Buffalo police officers found that one-quarter of the officers had metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms that lead to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. that have experienced trauma, these practices still remain largely inaccessible to first responders.

Tactical Brain Training; Mindfulness for First Responders gives first responders the tools to deal with stress and trauma, as well as increase compassion and empathy. This training teaches first responders how to manage reactions, notice impulses, and work through emotions -- in the moment, and when they go home.  

These life-changing practices help first responders reduce anxiety, improve sleep, process traumatic events, sustain focus in chaotic situations, and increase compassion and empathy for themselves and those they serve.