Advertisement

Mindfulness in the Dutch Military Train Your Brain

  • Tom Bijlsma
  • Susanne Muis
  • Anouk van Tilborg
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 94)

Abstract

Mindfulness training (MT) programs are, apart from curative MT programs (e.g., PTSD treatment), not yet widely offered in the military. However, military (wo)men, who are often exposed to extremely stressful situations, might benefit from the “preventive” effects of MT (e.g., stress-reduction, enhanced wellbeing, increased military resilience and situational awareness). In order to meet busy military operational schedules, the current research investigates the potential effects of an economic, low-dose, self-training mindfulness intervention (i.e., 10-day Mindfitness training) in a Dutch military sample (N = 173) that was subdivided into an intervention- and a waitlist-control group. By using a pre-/post-test design, the effects of our MT on mindfulness, stress, wellbeing, working memory capacity, and situational awareness were explored. Concluding from a multivariate analysis of covariance, the intervention had a negative effect on stress, and a positive effect on mindfulness, wellbeing and (self-rated) situational awareness. These results indicate the need to further explore the potential benefits of implementing (both extensive and low-dose) MT programs in other domains.

References

  1. Albers, T.: Eindelijk, mijn scriptie over uitstellen (Master’s thesis) (2011)Google Scholar
  2. Barry, A.E.: How attrition impacts the internal and external validity of longitudinal research. J. Sch. Health 75(7), 267 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bishop, S.R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., Anderson, N.D., Carmody, J., Devins, G.: Mindfulness: a proposed operational definition. Clin. Psychol. Sci. Pract. 11, 230–241 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown, K.W., Ryan, R.M.: The benefits of being present: mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 84(4), 822–848 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, K.W., Weinstein, N., Creswell, J.D.: Trait mindfulness modulates neuroendocrine and affective responses to social evaluative threat. Psychoneuroendo-crinol. 37(12), 2037–2041 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carson, J.W., Carson, K.M., Gil, K.M., Baucom, D.H.: Mindfulness-based relationship enhancement (MBRE) in couples. In: Mindfulness-based Treatment Approaches: Clinician’s Guide to Evidence Base and Applications, pp. 309–331 (2006)Google Scholar
  7. Chambers, R., Gullone, E., Allen, N.B.: Mindful emotion regulation: an integrative review. Clin. Psychol. Rev. 29, 560–572 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chiesa, A.: The difficulty of defining mindfulness: current thought and critical issues. Mindfulness 4(3), 255–268 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., Mermelstein, R.: A global measure of perceived stress. J. Health Soc. Behav. 24(4), 385–396 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Good, D.J., Lyddy, C.J., Glomb, T.M., Bono, J.E., Brown, K.W., Duffy, M.K., Baer, R.A., Brewer, J.A., Lazar, S.W.: Contemplating mindfulness at work: an integrative review. J. Manag. 42(1), 114–142 (2016)Google Scholar
  11. Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., Walach, H.: Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: a meta-analysis. J. Psychosom. Res. 57(1), 35–43 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hart, M.: Design. Int. J. Childbirth Educ. 22(1), 22 (2007)Google Scholar
  13. Hülsheger, U.R., Alberts, H.J.E.M., Feinholdt, A., Lang, J.W.B.: Benefits of mindfulness at work: the role of mindfulness in emotion regulation, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction. J. Appl. Psychol. 98, 310–325 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hülsheger, U.R., Feinholdt, A., Nubold, A.: A low-dose mindfulness intervention and recovery from work: effects on psychological detachment, sleep quality, and sleep duration. Br. Psychol. Soc. 88, 464–489 (2015)Google Scholar
  15. International Wellbeing Group (IWbG).: Personal Wellbeing Index – Adult, Manual, 4th Edn. Australian Centre on Quality of Life, Deakin University, Melbourne (2006). http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/acqol/instruments/wellbeing_index.htm
  16. Jain, S., Shapiro, S.L., Swanick, S., Roesch, S.C., Mills, P.J., Bell, I., Schwartz, G.E.: A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training: effects on distress, positive states of mind, rumination, and distraction. Ann. Behav. Med. 33(1), 11–21 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jha, A.P., Morrison, A.B., Dainer-Best, J., Parker, S., Rostrup, N., Stanley, E.A.: Minds “at attention”: mindfulness training curbs attentional lapses in military cohorts. PLoS ONE 10(2), e0116889 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jha, A.P., Stanley, E.A., Kiyonaga, A., Wong, L., Gelfand, L.: Examining the protective effects of mindfulness training on working memory capacity and affective experience. Emotion 10, 54–64 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Johnson, D.C., Thom, N.J., Stanley, E.A., Haase, L., Simmons, A.N., Shih, P.B., Paulus, M.P.: Modifying resilience mechanisms in at-risk individuals: a controlled study of mindfulness training in marines preparing for deployment. Am. J. Psychiatry 171(8), 844–853 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kabat-Zinn, J.: Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness. Dell, New York (1990)Google Scholar
  21. Kabat-Zinn, J.: Some reflections on the origins of MBSR, skillful means, and the trouble with maps. Contemp. Buddhism 12(01), 281–306 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kristeller, J.L., Baer, R.A., Quillian-Wolever, R.: Mindfulness-based approaches to eating disorders. In: Mindfulness-based Treatment Approaches: Clinician’s Guide to Evidence Base and Applications, p. 75 (2006)Google Scholar
  23. Lutz, A., Slagter, H.A., Dunne, J.D., Davidson, R.J.: Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation. Trends Cogn. Sci. 12, 163–169 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Marlatt, G.A., Witkiewitz, K.: Relapse prevention for alcohol and drug problems. In: Relapse Prevention: Maintenance Strategies in the Treatment of Addictive Behaviors, 2nd edn., pp. 1–44 (2005)Google Scholar
  25. Meland, A., Fonne, V., Wagstaff, A., Pensgaard, A.M.: Mindfulness-based mental training in a high-performance combat aviation population: a one-year intervention study and two-year follow-up. Int. J. Aviat. Psychol. 25(1), 48–61 (2015a)Google Scholar
  26. Meland, A., Ishimatsu, K., Pensgaard, A.M., Wagstaff, A., Fonne, V., Garde, A.H., Harris, A.: Impact of mindfulness training on physiological measures of stress and objective measures of attention control in a military helicopter unit. Int. J. Aviat. Psychol. 25(3–4), 191–208 (2015b)Google Scholar
  27. Segal, Z.V., Teasdale, J.D., Williams, J.M., Gemar, M.C.: The mindfulness-based cognitive therapy adherence scale: inter-rater reliability, adherence to protocol and treatment distinctiveness. Clin. Psychol. Psychother. 9(2), 131–138 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Segal, Z.V., Williams, J.M.G., Teasdale, J.D.: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression. Guilford Press, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  29. Shapiro, S.L., Carlson, L.E.: The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness into Psychology and the Helping Professions, 1st edn. America Psychological Association, Washington, D.C (2009). http://content.apa.org/books/2009-08118-000
  30. Stanley, E.A., Schaldach, J.M., Kiyonaga, A., Jha, A.P.: Mindfulness-based mind fitness training: a case study of a high-stress predeployment military cohort. Cogn. Behav. Pract. 18, 566–576 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Taylor, R.M.: Situational awareness rating technique (SART): the development of a tool for aircrew systems design. In: AGARD, Situational Awareness in Aerospace Operations, 17, pp. 23–53 (1990)Google Scholar
  32. Trousselard, M., Steiler, D., Claverie, D., Canini, F.: Relationship between mindfulness and psychological adjustment in soldiers according to their confrontation with repeated deployments and stressors. Psychology 3, 100–115 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Weinstein, N., Brown, K.W., Ryan, R.M.: A multi-method examination of the effects of mindfulness on stress attribution, coping, and emotional well-being. J. Res. Pers. 43(3), 374–385 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zimmermann, F.: Mindfulness-based practices as a resource for health and well-being. Med. Acupunct. 27(5), 349–359 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty Military SciencesNetherlands Defence AcademyBredaNetherlands
  2. 2.Maastricht UniversityMaastrichtNetherlands

Personalised recommendations