Mental Preparedness

Mental Preparedness and The Benefits of Warrior Mind Training

Published on November 21, 2020 by First Responder Wellness

Some of the most formidable warriors throughout history used meditation techniques before going into battle. Why? They realized the tremendous benefits of preparing the body as well as the mind for intense exertion.

When it comes to first responders, whether in the military, law enforcement, firefighting, or EMT, going to work may mean going to war. Literally or figuratively, the body and mind may not know the difference as the intense waves of stress and anxiety can be similar to a warrior in battle. First responders are our modern-day warriors. Mentally training like one too may prove beneficial for building the strength it takes to do the job and maintain resilience even after it is done.

The Samurais of ancient Japan practiced meditation and saw the power in connecting the body and mind in self-awareness. They realized that along with being physically prepared, having razor-sharp attention and mental precision gave them an edge on their enemies. The way they achieved this mental clarity was through specialized training and meditation. Today, meditation and mental health awareness can be stigmatized as a form of weakness. However, practicing mental toughness as the Samurai did may strengthen your mind and overall performance.

Warrior meditation, or warrior mind training, has already been adopted in various training facilities and among soldiers as a form of mental combat. Adopting some of the techniques the ancient warriors used to achieve success and resiliency may benefit modern-day mental acuity.    

How It Works

Meditation aims to still the mind so that the actor and the action are seamless when performing a task. After practicing over time, the point is to rid the mind of digressive thoughts so that it can act and react without hesitation or disturbance. This way, you do not have to overthink your next move; you would be operating from a place of trained natural reaction and what you know intuitively.

Using Music to Silence the Mind

One way to practice quieting the mind is actually by listening to music. In warrior meditation, the use of music as a focal point allows one to tune into the practice of deep listening and mental focusing. This practice requires constant concentration. The idea is to listen to the sound and the aspects of it without letting your mind wander. Another use of a focal point is placing two fingers just below the belly button, closing your eyes, and focusing on this spot as the music plays. This process is supposed to help clear the mind of all other thoughts.  

One of the leaders of implementing this practice was Sarah Ernst, who led classes on military bases for soldiers. She developed a program specifically for the military by incorporating standard meditation techniques and ancient training techniques used by the Samurai. The main emphasis of this tactic was getting soldiers to live in the moment. Focusing on the task at hand and then leaving it behind when done can be specifically helpful in the day-to-day workflow of first responders. 

Why It Can Work 

– Builds Mindfulness Skills: It cultivates mindfulness skills with specific exercises to create control and concentration. It also provides self-regulation skills for coping with the physiological and psychological effects of extreme or prolonged stress.

– Builds Resilience Skills: Having resilience means being able to function effectively during stressful experiences and bounce back after such incidents. Training your mind to be in the moment may help you be all in during a stressful situation and be completely present in moments after the event. It can help train the mind to be able to leave the battle on the battlefield.   

Although each individual is unique when it comes to experiences and treatments, practicing mindfulness may improve your mental health and well-being. Practicing quieting your thoughts, especially when they are intrusive, is a skill that can be beneficial for anyone under stress. 

First responders have the unique task of putting themselves on the frontline to protect and help others. This job demands a physical and mental sharpness that is not unlike great warriors of the past. Finding what works best for you in achieving this is important, and many have found warrior mind training and meditation to help their mental health.

To prevent injury to our bodies, we remember to be physically prepared and fit before doing an activity that requires exertion. It is just as important to practice mental preparedness if we know we will be in stressful situations that require mental agility. Going to work every day as a first responder can often feel like a warrior going into battle. There are many stressors that one faces. By utilizing self-help practices such as meditation, you can better prepare the mind for what might come. Not unlike ancient warriors’ mindfulness techniques, warrior mind training seeks to provide first responders with the tools to limit mental injury and treat existing injuries. The skilled professionals at First Responder Wellness can provide you with some of these self-care tools and resources. If you are interested in taking the path towards better mental fitness, reach out to us at (888) 743-0490.