Get to know yourself. Ask yourself questions like, “Do I have close relationships with people who have
a positive influence in my life?”, “How have I handled conflicts in my life?”, “Am I able to accept
responsibility for my actions?”, “Is stress affecting my attitude, my relationships, or my health?” And
Keep a journal. Journaling helps cultivate mindfulness by letting you be the spectator (or “narrator”) of
your life. Write down any thoughts, feelings, reflections that come to mind, and read over what you
wrote. Like someone on the outside looking in, you can arrive at information about yourself you never
Practice optimism. Smile more. Laugh more. Reach out to others or try to put a positive spin on a
stressful situation. Even if your heart isn’t in it at first, practicing the act of optimism will eventually
become a habit and change the way you feel.
Learn to manage stress. Time management strategies that help de-clutter your mind (or at least
your desk) can offer relief when you have a stressful schedule. Relaxation techniques including deep
breathing, Yoga poses, progressive muscle relaxation, and positive visualization are other proven methods for reducing stress. Remember, scheduling time for yourself can be as important as scheduling
anything else on your to-do list! And where possible, remember to rest.
Seek advice from a trusted professional. Counselors, chaplains, therapists, and your Director of
Psychological Health are all available to you when you need a confidante or military support. They are
experienced professionals who are there to serve your immediate emotional needs as well as work
collaboratively with you to develop emotional habits that work better for your needs.