U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), in partnership with Helius Medical Technologies, Inc., is studying the use of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) among soldiers and veterans. They are seeking new interventions for improving soldier readiness and resilience, as well as reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

ARL’s Dr. Valerie Rice said early research demonstrates that active duty service members and military veterans who complete MBSR training achieve results that positively affect a soldier’s readiness – a top priority of the Army. “Our results have shown practical and clinically relevant reductions in PTSD symptoms, as measured by the PTSD Checklist – Military Version,” she says.

The studies also show that those who complete mindfulness training, whether taught in person or online, achieve significant decreases in stress, anxiety, daytime sleepiness, pain, and inattention, as well as increased energy. Those who score higher in mindfulness show quicker decision making speed and fewer errors on sustained visual and auditory performance tasks, than those with lower mindfulness scores.