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Mindfulness in the Navy Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Dec 26th, 2020

Introduction

Neuroscientists have been focusing on different processes that can be used to remodel the brain’s physical structure. Mindfulness is one of these approaches. The concept focuses on people’s ability to become aware of the events happening around and within them. The objective of mindfulness is to use senses and emotions to enhance mental awareness. The practice is embraced in different working environments or situations to help employees reduce stress, become creative, empower their physical bodies, and boost neural connections and awareness. The thesis statement below summarizes the application and relevance of mindfulness in the navy and how the process can be improved to drive performance. The paper seeks to explain why there is a need for research in this field. Such studies will ensure more people understand the benefits of mindfulness in different workplaces and military units.

Thesis statement: A naval organization that wants to excel and thrive in the modern environment characterized by complex and changing working conditions must engage in research to understand the major neurological responses to overwhelming situations and eventually realize the benefits of mindfulness such as sailor empowerment, stress reduction, creativity, and flexibility.

Background: Understanding Mindfulness

Organizational behaviorists and psychologists have supported the role of mindfulness in business firms. For instance, Tang, Holzel, and Posner (2015) indicate that intrapsychic processes can be considered in an attempt to deal with the challenges affecting individuals. Mindfulness is treated as a measurable and reliable aspect that can be induced using meditative processes in an organization. Past studies have revealed that the practice can be collective or individual in nature. When an organization utilizes these processes, it can maximize mindfulness and ensure more workers and teams benefit from it. Similarly, employees will deal with stress and burnout, enhance self-insight, increase cognitive suppleness, focus on outlined aims, and eventually promote organizational performance.

Rossy (2013) asserts that mindfulness becomes beneficial when it is practiced by a person on a daily basis. Employees can achieve this goal by bringing awareness to their minds using their thoughts, senses, or emotions. Past studies have revealed that workers who practice mindfulness tend to record positive outcomes such as patience, calmness, and kindness (Tang et al., 2015). When such attributes are taken seriously, it becomes easier for individuals to address the challenges affecting them and transform their experiences. Within the working environment, the application of the practice will catalyze new changes that can result in improved personal or organizational effectiveness.

Neuroscientists have acknowledged that mindfulness is an efficient practice for persons working in stressful conditions such as in military organizations (Tang et al., 2015). The harsh and demanding situations can drain soldiers’ energies and increase the level of burnout. Evidence suggests that mindfulness training in the military is linked to increased levels of resilience. This is also the same case for strenuous working environments. Rossy (2013) goes further to indicate that mindfulness is relevant since it does more than just minimizing a person’s level of stress. The practice is applicable in a wide range of units or settings to boost creativity among workers. When individuals train their brains in mediation and mindfulness practices, they establish new neural networks and pathways that can result in productivity.

Findings: Mindfulness in My Organization

I am currently working for the United States Navy (USN). Since the seaborne branch happens to be the most powerful in the world, a wide range of approaches are used to empower every sailor and worker in the naval organization to achieve every outlined aim (Brewer, 2014). Mindfulness was introduced into the organization in an attempt to support individuals and make it possible for them to energize their nervous systems. The approach was embraced with the aim of training guardsmen and guiding them to re-pattern their energies and experiences. The commanders of different units argue that the common practice of stress inoculation has not been appropriate for dealing with challenging situations.

Mindfulness in the organization has been appreciated by many sailors because it improves the recovery process after operating in stressful conditions or environments. The program that has been implemented in my unit is called Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training. The role of this program is to help sailors “monitor their own bodies for autonomic activation and to use mindfulness awareness to tune this activation down efficiently and appropriately” (Brewer, 2014, pp. 803-804). Many people in the unit have revealed that the strategy guides them to work adaptively in stressful environments. The practice has also led to reduced levels of burnout after the sailors are exposed to stress for prolonged periods.

Sailors are encouraged to receive mindfulness interventions before and after deployment. The training process is capable of minimizing anxiety levels among sailors (Rossy, 2013). Unfortunately, recruits and new employees are not supported using the program. This gap has continued to affect their philosophies and meditation processes. Some individuals in the unit have managed to engage in personal mindfulness practices without having to involve their colleagues. Sailors and employees who use this meditation approach have been in a position to support the organization’s goals. The success of my organization is, therefore, attributable to the mindfulness intervention approach that has continued to guide, empower, and support the needs of sailors and employees who always operate in unforgiving situations and environments.

Recommendations

The findings or observations presented in this discussion can be considered to propose a number of recommendations that can transform the manner in which mindfulness is applied in the navy. Mindfulness learning should be introduced in military and naval training academies in order to ensure different people realize the full benefits of the practice (Wong, 2014). My organization should also promote the concept of collective mindfulness models whereby sailors can work as teams. The practice will ensure every person deals with various hurdles affecting performance such as stress and burnout (Rossy, 2013).

Recruited sailors should be introduced to the organization’s Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training program within the shortest time possible. Additionally, evidence-based programs should also be designed in accordance with the changing needs of different individuals in order to achieve positive outcomes (Brewer, 2014). Research should also be done to identify new strategies for employing mindfulness in different military units. These recommendations have the potential to empower the targeted individuals and guide them to achieve their goals.

Conclusion

This discussion shows clearly that mindfulness is a powerful concept that has captured the attention of military personnel and organizational theorists. Institutions can identify mindfulness training programs that resonate with their unique needs or expectations to empower their employees. Naval institutions should embrace similar programs to ensure their sailors deal with stress, re-pattern their energies, and engage in desirable practices that can result in improved performance. Continuous analysis and improvement of mindfulness training programs will support the needs of every sailor. These practices will eventually deliver significant gains such as reduced stress, increased cognitive skills, and enhanced memory.

References

Brewer, J. (2014). Mindfulness in the military. American Journal of Psychiatry, 171(8), 803-806. Web.

Rossy, L. (2013). TD Magazine. Web.

Tang, Y. Y., Holzel, B. K., & Posner, M. I. (2015). The neuroscience of mindful meditation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 16(4), 213-225. Web.

Wong, K. (2014). The Guardian. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Mindfulness in the Navy." December 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/mindfulness-in-the-navy/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Mindfulness in the Navy." December 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/mindfulness-in-the-navy/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Mindfulness in the Navy'. 26 December.

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