Walter Reed Army Institute of Research launched a new mindfulness podcast today. “WRAIR Minds” is the first WRAIR podcast, which will feature mindfulness exercises to help improve soldiers’ performance, attention, and well-being. Interviews will showcase the work of mindfulness researchers, teachers and students, both in and out of the military.
The podcast stems from years of mindfulness research at WRAIR, which has found that mindfulness training and practice can offer mental, physical and performance benefits for soldiers.
“The science is showing us we can not only help soldiers get better at their jobs by helping them learn mindfulness techniques, but we can also help them live better lives,” said Lt. Col. Vincent Capaldi, director of WRAIR’s Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience, in which the institute’s mindfulness research is conducted. “Mindfulness has been shown to improve working memory and attention, skills that are critical for Soldiers and citizens bombarded by multiple streams of data throughout the day.”
The show is hosted by Capt. Thomas Nassif, deputy chief of WRAIR’s Research Transition Office and mindfulness researcher/practitioner.
“I’m excited to be a part of something which we hope will make mindfulness more accessible to the everyday soldier dedicated to enhancing mental toughness, decision making, and performance,” Nassif said. “On top of that, we have some extraordinary guests in the field of mindfulness including military advocates like Director of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, who will be featured in our second episode.” Mindfulness exercises will be offered in every episode and, while the goal is to help soldiers learn mindfulness techniques, the exercises should help anyone begin or build upon a mindfulness practice, Nassif added.
Nassif said the current plan for the podcast is an inaugural 12-episode season, with future seasons dependent upon the reach of the podcast.
“With the explosion of mindfulness research and practice over the past decade, there are endless possibilities for future podcasts,” Nassif said.
New episodes of the podcast will be made available biweekly on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and other third party podcast apps.