Walking the Blue Line – Mind & Body Balance & Anti-Burnout for Law Enforcement Officers
Mental & Physical Wellbeing & Anti-Burnout for Officers There are a number of things that can cause burnout, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, trauma & chronic stress working in Law Enforcement In This Free Webinar, I go over the causes & solutions of Burnout in officers & how to overcome them with a Mind, Body & […]
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Mental & Physical Wellbeing & Anti-Burnout for Officers
There are a number of things that can cause burnout, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, trauma & chronic stress working in Law Enforcement
In This Free Webinar, I go over the causes & solutions of Burnout in officers & how to overcome them with a Mind, Body & Energetic Approach based on Traditional Chinese Medicine
Contact Support@billfarr.com for question
Suicide, trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, cynicism, & divorce is an epidemic for those in law enforcement as well as burnout & exhaustion. This seminar is a preventative approach to all those and more.
How does an enthusiastic, optimistic in shape rookie become a bitter, angry, out of shape veteran counting the days to retirement?
- What do officers who are not dealing with these issues do differently?
- What are the long term effects on the brain, nervous system, and hormones of officers?
- Why do so many officers die soon after retirement?
- Why do so many have marital problems?
- Why do officers withdraw and isolate themselves?
- Why have so many officers committed suicide?
- Why is the life expectancy of an officer 15 years less than normal people?
Families of Officers
Right now things are worse than ever for law enforcement. That means children of officers are going to suffer more, they’re going to get neglected more due to stress and resentment building, in turn making unknowing children feel like they are not loved because mom or dad is trying to get over what’s happening to them at work. It also means that spouses of cops are going to be neglected more than ever, and unfortunately abused. Ignoring this is just turning your back on them. Facing this requires some work, but the benefits far outweigh the effort.
- Feeling Overworked, fatigued, resentful
- Feeling undervalued and unappreciated
- In a state of physical, mental, & emotional exhaustion from demanding circumstances or situations.
Emergency workers and police officers are always in the top 5 careers most likely to become burnout in studies. Reports show that in functional MRI’s, doctors are now seeing observable changes in the amygdala growing larger from burnout, from an overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol. This causes an officer to go to fight or flight more often causing more incidents, more regret at home and work, and more physical and mental repercussions. There are many exercises we do in this program to counter this.
A lack of trust is what keeps an officer alive and the ability for them to protect the general public. Being alert in this way is the foundation of the mindset required for policing. The type of engagement required for hypervigilance creates a state of alertness that impacts the brain and central nervous system. That is the activation of the sympathetic nervous system that is responsible for fight or flight, defensiveness, activating blood sugar and adrenaline, increasing peripheral vision, reaction time, and decision making allowing a cop to be on the constant ready for life or death, with energy for their entire shift, keeping them alive.
The problem is this required way of thinking for officers is the opposite of what’s required for a healthy body, mind, a good marriage, and good parenting. This is not to say these things are not possible, but awareness of this and how to counter the issues need to take place. if unchecked has been shown to cause burnout, depression, rage, can destroy marriages and families, and is why so many officers take their own life.
When the shift is over and this state of mind and body is turned off, the body shifts in the opposite direction balancing the nervous system, hormones, and brain function. Biologically this causes a lack of socialization, withdrawal, and dis-engagement physically and mentally, and this all mimics a depressive-like state in your brain.
Downward Biological Cycle – Off Work Attitude
This downward cycle is why, as an officer, it’s hard to make the simplest of decisions, after your shift, when your home, including what to do with yourself. This is why far too often default is the decision taken. That often means sitting on the sofa, turning on the TV, and doing “nothing.” This can cause vicious cycles leading to physiological harm and endless wasted time and regret.
Having awareness of this is also important because, without the life or death stimulation of a possible threat, cops can become unmoved, and bored or uninterested in doing anything else. So everyday life discussions or activities could become too mundane and uninteresting to them. This is a recipe for the death of a marriage, family relationships, or any other passions or hobbies in an officer’s life.
If unchecked, the downward effects of hypervigilance will immediately cause:
- Weight gain
- Lack of sleep
- Low energy & personality
- Social isolation and lack of interest & socialization
- Sarcasm, bitterness, resentment, anger – feeling the need to fight or feeling the victim.
- That everything outside of work seems mundane and boring.
- Procrastination and difficulty in decision making not related to work.
- Noninvolvement in children’s needs and activities.
- Not doing the activities you used to love such as hunting, fishing, sports, woodworking, or other hobbies and interest.
All of these make your spouse and children a direct victim of the cycle of hypervigilance. That is in addition to your physical and mental health. And most of these are caused by hormone imbalance. That’s because…
Hormone Imbalance & Weight Gain
When you feel stress, your body produces the stress hormone cortisol. With continued stress and overproduction of this hormone, your body doesn’t know the difference between the stress of relationships, finances, or pulling someone over that might have a gun versus that of an oncoming famine. So in any prolonged stress like this, the body has to assume a famine is near and it packs on weight so that you can survive it. This stress also causes elevated adrenaline, insulin resistance causing at least 5 lbs a year of weight gain, and reduced motivation and drive when you need it. This is why you see officers gaining so much weight within just a few years after graduating from the academy.
Heart Disease, Diabetes, & Stroke
This is also is a precursor of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke combined with the stress of the job, which we all know increases these risks further. Considering these factors, mental and physical training and education including mindfulness & meditation, psychological support, diet and nutrition, herbs, supplements, sleep techniques, and exercise are all necessary to maintain any level of mental and physical health and family stability for anyone in law enforcement.
6 Week Course (Under 30 Minutes a day from home)
My seminar covers all of these in under 30 minutes a day in a six-week training course. It comes with a complete diet plan with video recipes, a weight loss & exercise seminar including over 100 exercise videos specific to what officers need, all of which you can do at home with no equipment other than exercise bands and what you have in your house in under 15 minutes a day with just as much benefit as going to a gym.
An Officer’s Regrets
When asked in retirement, the three things that officers’ regret the most are:
- They didn’t spend more time with their family
- They didn’t keep up their health
- They didn’t do more of the things that they love doing.
These are all a direct causes of hypervigilance, burnout, hormone imbalance, and the other risk factors. We go over ways to counter all these.
Cynicism Leading to Depression & Anxiety
Another important risk factor for officers is to realize that Our worldview and predictions and expectations about life is defined by the situations and events that we see every day. Everyone’s life can be defined by their thoughts. If yours are predominantly negative, your life will look that way. And if positive the same. This viewpoint is also reflective of the ones you spend the most time with. This means your outlook and attitude is going to be transferred to your family and passed down to your children, so the stakes are high.
Those in law enforcement have a special disposition to this different than most people since they are called into the worst situations, often with society’s worst people as a function of their job. On top of the risk factors we’ve already discussed, this is yet another reason why an idealistic young rookie often turns into a cynical untrusting, sarcastic, negative, moody, veteran within a few years. The required intense and negative view in an officer’s work can wreak havoc on their personal life.
Prevention is the Key – It’s Predictable so It’s Preventable
Just like good policing, this is a preventative approach to safety, which is much easier than fixing a problem after it’s started. The exercises I have mapped out prevent what seems to be inevitable for so many officers such as divorce, cynicism, weight gain, lack of focus, enlarged amygdala increasing fight or flight, and the other risk factors.
The goal is to leave the job with your career, family, & relationship better based on your experiences, stronger and more loving, as well as your integrity intact, idealism undiminished, reputation in the community and with the brotherhood sterling, your hope faith, and attitude positive and pride in a long career that has made a difference in people’s lives. This is the objective of this seminar.
There is continuous necessary tactical training with firearms for cops, which is used possibly for less than 1/10 of 1% of the time you are an officer if at all. But I can guarantee you, in 100% of an officer’s life there is a necessity for trauma and PTSD training and support, as well as the other risk factors mentioned, and it’s probably less than 1% of officers that invest the time and resources towards this.
Benefits of Meditation
As an example of the results of this work, In a Harvard study of just 6 weeks of brand new meditators, it was proven that the part of the brain that is responsible for fight or flight response shrank in size. This is the amygdala. And The part of the brain that is responsible for compassion and creativity has been proven to grow. This is something we could all use especially for de-escalation of disagreements on or off the job and so many other things.
When high levels of stress hormones are secreted often, they can contribute to a number of stress-related medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Gastro-Intestinal diseases, adrenal fatigue, and more. Meditation and the other exercises in the program are not only helpful to turn off the fight-or-flight response but to bring the body back to pre-stress levels, which is why it is used by the military including with navy seals and should be made available to all officers as there are so many benefits.
Meditation at its core is an exercise that is proven in studies to increase focus, something everyone needs in a modern world, but officers need it as a matter of life or death, and to extinguish a situation before it gets to that point. Focus in an officer’s day is primary, and it decreases with stress, fatigue, hormonal imbalance, and so many other things so training and improving this is primary, especially considering yours and the lives of others are at stake and you use this daily. It can improve your accuracy at the range, your ability to stay calm in an argument with your spouse or kids, meditate, your ability to recover from hypervigilance, to lose weight, sleep better, and the list goes on.
An Officer’s Wellbeing Checklist
As a supervisor or administrator, after you do this program you’re going to have a checklist for your department of what is required for physical and mental health for officers. Same with an individual officer doing this. You can manage yourself as to what is required to stay healthy mentally and physically. So whatever is not working in your life you can look at the symptoms (below), recognize what is happening, and then find the associated solutions to the problem you’re having. Each of the risk factors has solutions.
So if you’re having a lot of cynical thoughts, you can check back to the session on gratitude training, the visualization training, the meditations can help against that as well. If you’re moody or gaining weight or feel low testosterone or overproduction of estrogen for women, you can check the sessions on herbs and the same with any and all risk factors. Done daily they could also eliminate the issue altogether.
This provides organization in the mental and emotional health for officers as a whole in your department. That is having that same unison and organization mentally and emotionally amongst all officers so they’re on the same page together.
Better Officers / Better People / Better Community Relations
Having awareness of the risk factors, the solutions, and uniformity in the way officers think emotionally not only creates less reactive and volatile officers but also better husbands or wives, better parents, and happier people.
Tracking – Credit for the work
The seminar also includes a back-end system that can track an officer’s class completion, as well as answers to exercise questions and login time, and new lessons not opening up until previous lessons are completed. So there are multiple tracking methods if you’d like to add the completion of this to a bonus program or mandatory for a promotion as an example. Considering the number of risk factors caused directly by the job, some form of credit should be given for the work and it is trackable.
If as an individual officer, you want to get credit for this seminar with the department then send them the link and I’ll do everything I can to get your department on board to offer it with possible credit, either way, the benefits far excide the price and effort as it will directly affect your happiness and that of your family.
Risk Factors Covered (with solutions for all provided)
- Loss of the Executive Function of the brain
- The up and down cycle of Hypervigilance
- Hormone Imbalance – effecting physical & mental health
- Anxiety & Depression
- Lower Life Expectancy
- The damaging effect of Singular Identity
- Heart Disease, Diabetes, & Stroke
- Neck, Back, & Shoulder Pain & achy joints
- Trauma & Bottling it up
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Lack of Sleep
- Eating Quickly & Unhealthy
- Long Hours
- Low Energy
- Inability to Focus
- Shift Work – affecting hormones, digestion, sleep, mood, and more
- Cynicism & Negativity
- Withdrawal & Isolation
- Divorce/Unhappy Relationships
- Damaged Parent/Child Relationships
- Sitting Disease
- Weight Gain
- Regret & Wasted Time
- Other factors particular to the officer, prescient, environment including a lack of appreciation leading to resentment.
Solutions Covered For Officers & their Significant others & Adult Family Members
- Full Diet & Nutrition Program with simple video recipes
- Herbal Remedies
- Meditation Instruction & Guided Meditation
- Full Exercise Program with over 100 video exercise to do at home or gym
- Hormone Balancing
- Overcoming Trauma & PTSD
- Overcoming Reptilian Brain Dominance
- Overcoming Anxiety & Depression
- Anger Management
- Deep Breathing Training & Techniques
- Sleep Training & Off-Setting Shift Work
- Essential Oils
- How to Debrief & Decompression after work
- Time Management
- Goal & Priority Management
- Visualization Training
- Focus Training
- Mindfulness Training
- Gratitude Training
- Journaling & How to
- & More
How These Risk Factors Costs a Department/Community:
- Higher Incidents
- Law Suits
- Poor Police / Community Relations
- More Accidents
- Sick days
- Workers’ Comp
- Man Power – Loss of Officers to Retirement, termination, paid or unpaid leave
- Lowered Productivity
- Lowered Retention Rate
- Lowered Engagement
Bill is a certified Master Herbalist, a Diet & Nutritional Advisor, a member of the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists, a best selling author, has taught in more than 20 countries, has worked with professional athletes, artists, consulted for large companies on avoiding burnout & lowering stress in the workplace, has been featured in Redbook, The Boston Globe, Expert Beacon, Fact-Based Health, and many more, with over 100 radio interviews. He has over 400,000 Social Media Followers & over 10 Million Video views.
- Divorce – https://www.policemag.com/374429/dealing-with-divorce-on-the-home-front
- https://stress.lovetoknow.com/work- related-stress/critical-incident-stress-debriefing-group-therapy
- Amygdala Source – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZGxYBsUXgU
- Burnout and PTSD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFkI69zJzLI
- Source – https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/burnout-prevention-and-recovery.htm