By Airman 1st Class Jonathan Whitely | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 50th Operations Support Squadron is hosting Monday Morning Mindfulness sessions at 7:30 a.m. every week for its members.
The purpose of the sessions is for Airmen to start their week with self-reflecting and goal setting.
“Monday Morning Mindfulness is a forum for people to create space prior to the beginning of the week to practice mindfulness in the workplace,” said 1st Lt. Matthew Rochell, 50th OSS GPS warfighter collaboration cell instructor, and one of the founders of the class.
Rochell said mindfulness can help Airmen train their minds to focus on the present. He said the goal is for the lessons learned can be applied in all aspects of ones life.
“Practicing mindfulness is a good way to step away from routine life,” said Staff Sgt. Drake Smith, 50th OSS course manager. “Mindfulness is being more aware of what you’re doing and how it can impact you long term.”
The forum is currently hosted in the new OSS crosslink room and is open for members of the squadron, regardless of rank or job title. Additionally, there will be free tea and snacks for attendees.
“The course goes over topics such as self-inflicted suffering, gratefulness, letting go, taking a moment to breathe, relaxing, finding intentions and setting goals,” Smith said. “Whatever your situation may be, the course can help.”
Every week, the Space Team for Airmen Resilience sends their psychologist to the course to mediate it and ensure Airmen are getting the most out of the session.
“Mindfulness practices are equivalent to stretching or going to the gym, but for your brain.” Rochell said. “We’re essentially doing mental pushups, and with the guidance of the STAR Team psychologist, we’re able to ensure we maximize this exercise.”
Smith said these sessions can help people get out of their own heads and help them focus on the mission, consequentially erasing a negative mindset and starting the week on a positive note.
Additionally, he added the class has no religious or spiritual ties, the only intent is for Airmen to practice mindfulness.
“Everyone has their own ways and were raised to think different things,” he said. “It’s not always easy to be open-minded, but meditation is something every person should do if they want to better themselves. It helps you [learn] to love yourself, forgive others and let go of things.”
Smith said before this course, he would’ve never thought of meditation as a group activity, but believes being with a community of people all focused on mindfulness helps him focus.
“You’re mitigating mental volatility with mindfulness,” Rochell said. “The military can be stressful, but by being a more mindful person, you will be better at connecting with people and accomplishing the mission.”