Emergency workers, police officers, and firefighters are also prone to the kind of high level stress that our military personnel face.
They are plagued with on-going hyper-vigilance in order to be on call at any moment. They must be ready to respond at a moment's notice. This kind of high-level stress can take place while on the job in combat or on patrol on the streets, but it can also take place during training exercises. The constant stress of being called at any moment to handle a dangerous or potentially emotionally jarring situation builds up in the body and the mind. Over time those moments that were shut away will eventually rise to the surface because the brain begins to demand that it be processed. It has been my experience that when it does surface, it rears its' ugly head in ways that we often don't understand. Little things start to break apart around us and it begins to feel as if pieces of ourselves are chipping away and we can't catch them fast enough to put them back in place.
Developing a daily meditation practice may over time help a person to reconnect their mind and body, so that they can better handle the stress that occurs from day to day. It's like setting up an emergency response system inside our own minds. When stress occurs we often act on it, but what if we called in our own personal emergency response neurons to help us keep things in perspective. If we train our internal emergency response team to know what to do in the event of high-level stress, we are more likely to be able to respond to life in a way that doesn't shut us away from the best parts of ourselves in the process.
*image: Google Images