Military spouses of service members face unique stressors. They often cope with multiple deployments, frequent moves, long separations and concerns about their loved one’s future. Many times they even have to manage a household and family alone. These realities of military life can take a toll on military spouses and impact the entire family. Children often take their emotional cues from their parents, so a parent’s anxiety can result in a stressful environment for the entire household. That is why it is important to address concerns as early as possible.
Stress & Anxiety
The demands of military life are challenging. Whether at home or abroad, service members regularly face difficult situations that can cause stress and anxiety.
When left unchecked, these feelings can last weeks or months, get worse, or interfere with your duties at home and in uniform. For this reason, it is important to reach out to your health care provider if you feel intense or lasting stress or anxiety. Your provider can work with you to manage your symptoms and keep you mission ready. Use the following resources to learn about stress, anxiety and other related topics.
Food is one of the most important drivers of good physical and psychological health. Proper nutrition provides the nutrients your brain needs to manage stress, regulate mood and emotions, maintain alertness and optimize physical and cognitive performance – all essential components of mission readiness. A diet rich in whole grains, nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables can even help lower the risk of depression.
It is important to remember that in any city or town, mass shootings are rare, even if they are highly visible occurrences that receive national attention.Most people will never experience one directly. However, when they do happen they are shocking and can be difficult to cope with. This is because they feel random and happen in places you consider safe like schools, offices, malls, movie theaters, restaurants—even military installations.
We all worry or feel anxious from time to time. You may feel anxious about an important briefing to your commander or preparing to leave your family and daily routine for a deployment. Anxiety is an emotion experienced when anticipating something threatening or dangerous that might happen in the future. It is usually accompanied by physical feelings of tension and worried thoughts. Occasional anxiety is common. However, if your anxiety interferes with daily activities or is affecting your relationships, check in with your health care provider.
Any role in the military can be stressful. However, for those like special operators, explosive ordinance technicians, submariners, aviators and others, stress is a significant part of the job. The extreme stress faced by these warriors, and others, can lead to psychological health concerns. Recent research focusing on special operations forces (SOF) highlights the risks faced by service members working in any high-stress role. Heavy physical, mental and emotional strain can lead to psychological health concerns.
Positive thinking can improve your mood and help you keep stress in check. Here are six ways you can turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts:
1. Don’t Overgeneralize. Overgeneralization is the belief that because something happened once it will happen again.