Health and Wellness

Firefighter Resiliency

What is resiliency?

One of the most important aspects of a firefighter’s life and mental health is resiliency. Resilience is often defined as one’s ability to bounce back from setbacks and to properly adapt to stressful situations. Resiliency is so important to us all because no one is immune to stress whether it’s daily irritants or major life-altering events.

Building resilience takes time. In order to help improve resiliency make sure to get enough sleep, exercise, and practice on thought awareness. Being more optimistic and seeing the glass half full in the long run will help change the way you think about negative or stressful events. If we improve the health and happiness in our individuals and workforce as a whole, then we will produce a higher performance overall.

Building resiliency is important for the following reasons:

  • It protects against heart disease (the #1 killer of firefighters!)
  • Potentially increase life expectancy by up to a decade
  • Inoculates against daily hassles and life altering events
  • Improves job satisfaction and productivity
  • Boosts your immune response
  • You’re at lower risk for injuries and pain, including headaches
  • Lowers risk of alcohol and dependency

Four pillars of resilience:

  1. Mental toughness
  2. Social connectivity
  3. Mind body “muscle memory”
  4. sparking positive emotions

Tactical Breathing:

Tactical breathing is used to gain control over physical and psychological responses to stress. Through practice one can gain control over heart rate, oxygen intake and emotions to increase concentration in various situation. Please see the link below for more information.

http://onresilience.com/2011/06/02/tactical-breathing-can-stop-stress-on-the-spot/

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