Mental health promotes healthy thinking

by Airman 1st Class Michael Stuart 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 86th Medical Operations Squadron Mental Health Clinic offers a new Healthy Thinking and Relaxation class, developed to help individuals identify their beliefs that can sometimes become alarming or inaccurate. The class, which focuses on two of the four Comprehensive Airman Fitness pillars, helps people develop attitudes and beliefs consistent with their long-term goals and objectives.The class’ main focus is to teach people how to balance their thinking as well as learn positive ways to cope with stress through relaxation techniques taught and practiced together in the class.
An important portion of the class is to help normalize the stress we all feel by emphasizing that seeking help is a sign of strength and that everyone has challenges. It’s all confidential and private; no one is required to talk if they don’t want to, but members are encouraged to participate throughout the class.
“This class helps people better manage symptoms of stress and depression that may impact their daily lives in social, familiar and occupational settings,” said Capt. Rachel Wiley, 86th MDOS psychologist. “It’s important that people know their thoughts are directly connected to how they feel, and the way we think about things greatly impacts our emotions and behavior.”
With the stress military members endure during their career, learning how to manage daily difficulties and cope with unwanted scenarios can be a valuable tool. A few Airmen from the MDOS sat in a few classes to gain a broader understanding of mental health.
“I definitely recommend this class because it’s a very interactive group and you’re not just sitting there listening to people talk,” said Airman 1st Class Charles Jackson, 86th MDOS mental health technician. “The class is designed for someone to get exactly what they put into it.”
According to Wiley, just like learning a new sport or instrument, success in any new skill requires motivation. Expert assistance such as attending this class, practicing the techniques learned, measuring progress and rewarding oneself for new accomplishments leads to acquiring a new skill.
In order to get into the class, one must already be a patient of the mental health clinic and they must visit the clinic and fill out an intake form. Each class runs for four consecutive Friday
sessions. For more information on the Healthy Thinking and Relaxation class, contact the mental health clinic at 479-2390 or 06371-462390.