Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by

How’s Your Brain?

How’s Your Brain Doing?

Building and maintaining mental strength is critical to your performance and effectiveness in life and at work.

In the book Armor Your Self: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement I talk about the importance of strengthening your “Self” physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

When I talk about mental health and fitness, I’m talking about the cognitive functioning and fitness you need to thrive as a law enforcement professional or other emergency responder.

The other things you might think of as “mental health” are covered in the emotional and spiritual health categories of our overall plan for building Tactical Resilience™ and I will, or have, covered them in other articles (See Below).

For the purposes of our discussion here I want you to think about the cognitive functions that are critical to your performance in your capacity as a law enforcement professional or other emergency responder role.

To me mental strength comes from regular conditioning much like… you would do for your physical “Self” in the gym but these exercises are different and the gymnasium is also different.

At The Law Enforcement Survival Institute we teach that the 13 Primary Areas of Mental Conditioning for all Emergency Responders are:

Situational Awareness
Memory
Language
Mental Flexibility
Anticipation
Problem-solving
Decision-making
Verbal Fluency
Reasoning
Processing Speed
Reaction Time
Attention/Concentration/Focus
Prioritization or Sequencing

So when I ask “How’s your brain?” I’m wondering if you have done anything to condition strength in any of these areas?

I know that if this concept of strengthening and conditioning your “Self” physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually is new to you that this can be a little overwhelming.

No worries, just like learning anything new, you take things slowly, one piece at a time and work your way up to a full fitness routine.

I believe that if you want to strive for excellence and continuously improve in your profession you are already working every day on some small way to improve yourself. This is just one more thing to add to your list of areas for on-going improvement.

The science around exactly how cognitive or brain training impacts your overall health, well-being and resilience is uncertain so you will have to make your own judgements about what you do and how much and how often. I believe that the more you challenge your Self in all areas of your being that you will be better for it and will be building the kind of life that brings happiness, well-being and resilience. Try it out and you be the judge about what helps you!

So, if we pick just one of the 13 categories, say “Reasoning”, then here’s a quick example of a simple reasoning problem for your to ponder:

Write the next three numbers in the sequence: 5, 7, 11, 17, 25, …

Just like in law enforcement we need to look for patterns.

If you enjoyed doing the “workout” on this one then just go seek out more exercises to improve your overall fitness – mentally.

That example is just one of the sample reasoning problems that can be found at an excellent Web site from West Texas A&M University at:
http://www.wtamu.edu/academic/anns/mps/math/mathlab/beg_algebra/beg_alg_tut35_reason.htm

Again I ask, what are you doing on a regular basis to UP YOUR GAME when it comes to your thinking, reasoning, problem solving, communications skills etc.?

The book Armor Your Self: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement has over 50 exercises, tactics and techniques, along with resources like the link to the West Texas A&M University, just to help you strengthen your “brain”.

Maybe you should start today?

Here’s some homework for you to get you started:

Brain Metrix is an educational website dedicated to brain training programs. It has a lot of ads but it’s free.    http://www.brainmetrix.com/

Try things out and if you like what you are doing then consider doing some cognitive training on a regular basis.

Our CopsAlive.com website and the book Armor Your Self: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement are just some of the ways we at The Law Enforcement Survival Institute are trying to help you be as safe, healthy and resilient as you can be.

If you would like to read a sample chapter from the book CLICK HERE.

If you liked this article consider these previous articles from CopsAlive.com:

How’s Your Spirit?
http://www.copsalive.com/hows-your-spirit/

Plant the Seeds for Comprehensive Fitness Today!
http://www.copsalive.com/plant-the-seeds-for-comprehensive-fitness-today/

Quiet Your Mind
http://www.copsalive.com/quiet-your-mind/

Our Armor Your Self concept is also available as onsite training – CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the program description and pricing information.

Stay safe and stay well,

John Marx

© Copyright 2017 – The Law Enforcement Survival Institute, LLC and CopsAlive.com – All Rights Reserved

CopsAlive is written to prompt discussions within our profession about the issues of law enforcement career survival, health and wellness. We invite you to share your opinions, ask questions and suggest topics for us in the Comment Box that is at the bottom of this article.

At The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) we train law enforcement officers to cope with stress and manage all the toxic effects and hidden dangers of a career in law enforcement.

Our “Armor Your Self™: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement” on-site training program is an eight hour, hands-on, “How to” seminar that helps police officers and other law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to build Tactical Resilience™ and survive their careers in police work. To learn more CLICK HERE

The concept of “True Blue Valor™” is where one law enforcement officer has to muster the courage to confront a peer who is slipping both professionally and personally and endangering themselves, their peers and the public. It takes a system of organizational support and professional leadership to support and foster the concept of courage and intervention. We will train your trainers to deliver this program to your agency.
To learn more CLICK HERE

Our “Armor Your Agency™: How to Create a Healthy and Supportive Law Enforcement Agency” Program includes critical strategies that you will need to build a system of support and encouragement for a healthy and productive agency. To learn more CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to read more about The Law Enforcement Survival Institute.

CLICK HERE if you would like to contact us to learn more about training for your organization.

I’m John Marx, Founder of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute and the Editor of CopsAlive.com. Connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

CopsAlive.com was founded to provide information and strategies to help police officers successfully survive their careers and improve their heathy, wellness and effectiveness. We help law enforcement officers and their agencies prepare for the risks that threaten their existence. Thank you for reading!

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