While not all of us are called upon every day to make split second life-or-death decisions, we can all benefit from the tricks and techniques that Navy SEALS use to energize themselves and accomplish their goals.
A google search for “Navy SEALS” and “mindfulness” or “meditation” reveals a number of interesting articles for lessons from Navy SEAL training that can help ordinary people cope with and succeed in the stresses of modern life.
My favorite article was in Time’s latest “Mindfulness” edition where a former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb advises on how to maintain calm and focus amid distractions and with time pressures. He writes:
When I went to military free-fall school, I was packing my parachutes for a timed exercise, and these guys came over and started screaming at me to hurry up. I didn’t even look at them. I just took my time and did what I knw I had to do. Block out the noise, complete the task at hand and move on the the next one. Otherwise, you get rattled and distracted, and that’s going to be a big problem when you jump out of the plane.
Truly words to live by!
I think it’s wonderful that these American heros have found a way to apply the mental toughness they developed in the military in real life and can teach us all how to do so as well!
Some more great advice from former Navy SEAL’s can be found in the articles below.
This provides 6 easy steps to build into your daily mental checklist to feel “energized, focused, and feeling great, with a full reservoir of willpower to spend on the decisions and actions [you need] to survive and accomplish [your] mission.
Your Own Frontline: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Building Resilience
by Eric Greitens
An excerpt of Eric’s advice:
“Segment. Learn how to break big challenges down into small pieces. Then attack the pieces.
Mentally rehearse. Just as you can physically practice and rehearse, you can also mentally rehearse. Done well, you build strength and clarity. Done well, you will not be overcome by events, no matter how difficult, because you’ve thought through hardship ahead of time.
Self-talk. We all talk to ourselves. You may not speak your thoughts out loud or share them with others, but there is always a conversation in your head about your environment and, most important, about yourself. You can’t shut this conversation off. The best you can do is turn it in your favor. There are times when our self-talk becomes destructive. I screwed up. I’m stupid. I don’t deserve to be here. Everyone thinks like this occasionally, but repetitive negative inner monologues can be destructive. Gain control of the conversation in your own head, and direct it to help you achieve worthy goals.
Breathe. Breathing, like blinking, is one of the few processes in your body that is both voluntary and involuntary. By taking control of your breathing, you can—this is a crude analogy—pull a lever on a lot of your other involuntary systems. By learning how to breathe, you learn how to begin to link the mental and the physical. You learn how to start taking responsibility for something very small and very simple, and you build a foundation of practice that will make you stronger.”