Usefulness of Meditation for Military Care Providers

Usefulness of Meditation for Military Care Providers

Center for Contemplative Mind in Society , Mass. USA
More than 20 years of empirical studies offers strong evidence that meditative and contemplative practices can aid in relieving the acute symptoms of fatigue and burnout, including depression and anxiety, and physiological symptoms such as insomnia and a weakened immune system. Additionally, these practices help to cultivate cognitive and physiological capacities that support overall well-being and strengthen the resiliency of care providers.

Specifically, meditation practices can support individuals in developing five attributes that are key in preventing and treating burnout and compassion fatigue:

1) compassion and self-compassion

2) resilience

3) self-awareness

4) metacognition and attention

5) meaning

When considering the use of these practices with military care providers, planners should take into account:

1) the creation of a support system through the intervention

2) the importance of building trust and rapport with the participants

3) the timing of the intervention

4) presenting the material in a religious or a secular context

Finally, based on empirical studies and anecdotal remarks gathered through this literature review, it is probable that Soldiers will benefit by receiving improved care from military care providers who have been supported to develop greater skills in self-care and self-awareness.

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