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Guest speaker presents 'Mindfulness for Leaders'

Bridget Rolens demonstrates various mindfulness activities during the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction luncheon Feb. 27 at Scott. Mindfulness meditation is being used in a variety of ways in the military. Rolens is the owner and program facilitator for the Pathways to Mindfulness. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kiana Brothers)

Bridget Rolens demonstrates various mindfulness activities during the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction luncheon Feb. 27 at Scott. Mindfulness meditation is being used in a variety of ways in the military. Rolens is the owner and program facilitator for the Pathways to Mindfulness. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kiana Brothers)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- "Everyone take this moment to become aware of your feet on the floor, the connection of your body in the chair," said Bridget Rolens, owner and program facilitator for Pathways to Mindfulness. She was the guest speaker for the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction luncheon Feb. 27.

The Scott AFB Chapel, Mental Health Clinic, and Family Advocacy chose Mindfulness for Leaders as the topic for February's professional development opportunity at the base auditorium from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Christine Blice-Baum introduced Rolens, who has 40 years of experience in traditional healthcare, mind-body medicine and a variety of meditation practices rooted in the Christian, Buddhist and 12-step recovery tradition.

"Her deep passion is to help people attain freedom from the forces that bind the mind and heart in suffering," said Blice-Baum, the Wing Chaplain of the 375th Air Mobility Wing Chapel.

Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose to your experience without evaluation. Mindfulness also helps people cope with stress. Stress can be a contributing factor to stress-related health issues like cardiovascular disease and weakened immune system.

Rolens led an hour-long mindfulness workshop to help demonstrate and explain the techniques of being mindful. She mentioned some benefits included a reduction in stress and anxiety, an increase in focusing and concentration, managing health problems, and living more fully productive lives.

"The practice of mindfulness can improve your concentration," said Rolens, who also teaches mind-body skills for stress management.

She runs an MBSR program which is an eight week class with each class being about two hours in length. There is a day-and-a-half retreat after the sixth class, where guided meditation CDs are offered to the participants.

Mindfulness-Based Meditation is also being used in a variety of ways in the military, specifically for treating veterans and military members with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Marines practice calming methods developed by Naval Health Research Center scientist Douglas C. Johnson. There are also various resources available to the public on the Chapel EIM website.