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LRAFB invests in mindfulness leadership

A women speak to an audience

Dr. Jannell MacAulay speaks to audience members during her Mindful Foundations workshop at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Sept. 8, 2021. For those in attendance, the overarching takeaways included stress management, burnout prevention and recovery techniques; training your mind for optimal focus and attention; as well as practicing mindfulness and maintaining work-life harmony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mariam K. Springs)

A group of people have a discussion

Dr. Jannell MacAulay and Col. Angela Ochoa, 19th Airlift Wing commander, discuss mindfulness techniques during a Mindful Foundations workshop at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Sept. 8, 2021. The purpose of the workshop was to guide audience members through the alignment of personal values to the organizational mission with a focus on key elements of creating and sustaining cultures of optimal performance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mariam K. Springs)

A group of people listen to a presentation

Members of Team Little Rock attend a Mindful Foundations workshop taught by Dr. Jannell MacAulay at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Sept. 8, 2021. The purpose of the workshop was to guide audience members through the alignment of personal values to the organizational mission with a focus on key elements of creating and sustaining cultures of optimal performance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mariam K. Springs)

A group of people practice mindful breathing

Senior Master Sgt. Jason Amaxopulos, 19th Medical Group superintendent, practices mindful breathing during a Mindful Foundations workshop at Little Rock Air Force Base Arkansas, Sept. 8, 2021. The purpose of the workshop was to guide members through the alignment of personal values to the organizational mission with a focus on key elements of creating and sustaining cultures of optimal performance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mariam K. Springs)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Dr. Jannell MacAulay held a Mindful Foundations workshop for Team Little Rock leadership, supervisors and key spouses, Sept. 8.

The purpose of the workshop was to guide members through the alignment of personal values to the organizational mission with a focus on key elements of creating and sustaining cultures of optimal performance.

MacAulay, a 20-year Air Force veteran, boasts a career’s worth of experience leading and building teams, and creating innovative solutions to optimize the human weapon system when operating in high-stress environments.

For those in attendance, the overarching takeaways included stress management, burnout prevention and recovery techniques; training your mind for optimal focus and attention; as well as practicing mindfulness and maintaining work-life harmony.

“My favorite part was learning mindful breathing techniques and seeing how it helps you refocus on the task at hand and minimalize the extraneous distractors,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jason Amaxopulos, 19th Medical Group superintendent. “We often forget to plug into ourselves, we are usually plugged into so many other things. Hopefully, now everyone will begin to understand that taking care of yourself is not a selfish act, it is a good thing to do.”

During the workshop, MacAulay emphasized that mindfulness requires exercise just like physical fitness.

“We have to train our brains so they can perform and protect at peak levels,” said Amy Wunderlich, 62nd Airlift Squadron key spouse. “This workshop, and more like them, help educate and reduce stigmas against mental well-being. Foundational mindfulness techniques could help mitigate stress and optimize performance, keeping our Airmen and civilians safer and healthier overall.”

Wunderlich added that the workshop provided lessons learned that she can implement in her role as a key spouse, assisting Airmen and their families to find a healthy balance between taking care of themselves, their families and their fellow wingmen.

“Including key spouses in the synchronization of effort on learning better self-care and mindfulness helps achieve more optimum results for the whole,” she said. “If we are all speaking a similar mindfulness language when it comes to caring for our squadron members and families, we can all communicate better as a support resource.”

Mindfulness practice can be beneficial to all because it enhances the mind domain of human performance, said Col. Angela Ochoa, 19th Airlift Wing commander.

“The body and mind are integrally connected and to optimize human performance, we must invest in developing both,” Ochoa said. “If we invest in exercising our minds, we can positively shape our everyday experiences and our response to stress.  Dr. MacAulay has brought to light another great tool to optimize performance as Mobility Warriors.”

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