Your New Mission...
Should you Choose to Accept.
"Stay Alert, Stay Alive." Most likely this military motto is fresh in every veteran's mind. All forms of military training are built around this basic fundamental idea. Beginning with basic training, all service members are taught that hyper-alertness to detail, and reflexively placing the "Mission First" can mean the difference between life and death.
Downrange, these fundamentals are force multipliers for the military. But back home, as veterans attempt to transition back to civilian life, these ingrained behaviors can contribute to chronic stress and other disorders. Although military training is of great value in many ways, it does not always serve a person well outside of the military environment. That is why Armor Down developed a new Mission First.
Tame The Mind
Train The Mind
Armor Down created this Motto to stand in contrast to combat-training slogans. By means of mindfulness techniques, Armor Down aims to tame the hyper vigilant mind, and retrain it to process events and sensations in a much calmer, more even-tempered way. This is the basis of Mission First.
Mission First Approach
Demobilize With Mindfulness
A mind always set on "threat" can get stuck analyzing past events in order to anticipate future threats. Armor Down seeks to help the warrior tame the hyper-vigilant mind with mindfulness. To demystify this term, mindfulness is simply non-judgmental present-tense awareness. The basic practice consists of focusing the mind on what is happening in the present moment, instead of thinking about the past or the future. Then, to simply notice without judgment or reaction. Armor Down trains warriors to demobilize the military mindset by focusing on their five senses, because the direct experience of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell, always occur in the present moment. Over time, this simple practice can dramatically alter the way the mind reacts to previously upsetting or threatening situations.
Reconnect With Mindfulness
In the military putting the Mission First also means placing a lower priority on the body's needs, ignoring the body's signals, and in some cases, virtually disconnecting from it. It is akin to the, "No Pain, No Gain," philosophy that pervades the civilian physical fitness world. Armor Down's new "Mission First" approach retrains service members to reconnect to their bodies by noticing and interacting with bodily sensations instead of ignoring them. A central technique Armor Down uses is to teach warriors how to feel the alignment of their spine. As with mindfulness practice, the mind must be trained to recognize this vital area. Techniques employed include strength training, breathing exercises, stretching, and meditation. In addition to building body awareness, these practices can improve strength, postural alignment, flexibility, and balance.