Perspectives of U.S. military veterans regarding mindfulness practices
Mindfulness can be a useful tool to help improve both mental and physical health. It is increasingly being utilized in military and veteran population, with little information about how those populations perceive mindfulness and whether the stigma of mental health impacts that perception. This study received responses from 25 veterans about their familiarity with and opinions of mindfulness. Eighty-four percent had heard of mindfulness, and the overall opinion was positive. Thematic analysis was conducted on the responses to the open-ended questions, and three themes were identified. Participants consistently responded that circumstances are important for the perceived value of the practice of mindfulness, contending that mindfulness is more acceptable for veterans than for active-duty military members. Further research is needed to determine the generalizability of these results.