Learning life skills to become more resilient is a key component of the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, or CSF2, program. Two of those skills — hunting the good stuff and ATC, Activating Events, Thoughts, and Consequences — were taught last month through the Army Family Team Building Program at Fort Bragg.
Dee Ann Rader, Army Community Service Master Resilience Training Team lead explained during the training session that seeking out the good things that happen to a person on a daily basis can help them achieve optimism, build positive emotions such as gratitude and can lead to better health, such as getting better sleep and having less anxiety and depression.
“We want people to feel good more often during their day,” she said.
Rather than spending a lot of time thinking about how to correct something that has gone wrong, worrying about something about to go wrong or continually thinking about a failure or setback, people can learn to acknowledge the positive things in their life.
Rader said that acknowledging the good is more than just thinking about it.
“Record three good things each day and write a reflection,” she said. “The reflection is the most important part.”
The reflection can answer questions such as, why this good thing happened, what this good thing means to you, what you can do tomorrow to enable more of this good thing and what ways you or others contribute to this good thing.
Rader said a few years ago she made a New Year’s resolution to “hunt the good stuff.”
“It is so rewarding to me,” she said. “I can go back a couple of years and I get to reflect on those good things again because I wrote them down.”
In addition to seeking out the good things in life, learning to take a pause in order to identify thoughts to make sure they are under control before reacting to an event can help people understand their emotions and mitigate negative consequences.
Robert Shaw, MRT instructor, said people can use the ATC method to think about events or situations they did not handle effectively, as well as situations they did handle well, to learn about their emotions.
An activating event can be a trigger for our thoughts, he said. Thoughts are individual interpretations of the event, they are what you say to yourself in the heat of the moment. A person’s emotions or reactions are the consequences of their thoughts.
“If you can control your thoughts, you can get through just about anything,” Shaw said.
As an example, Shaw said an argument with someone you know can be an activating event, thinking to yourself that the person never listens to what you say is the thought and that thought can lead to frustration, anger and irritation.
To use the ATC method, a person can write down a description of the event, include the who, what, when and where. Then write down the thoughts you had in that moment. Write the emotions and reactions you had. Then write down and describe whether your emotions and reactions are helping or harming.
Shaw explained that by using the ATC method, people can become more self-aware and understand why they react a certain way to events.
Throughout the year ACS holds training sessions to increase resiliency among members of the Fort Bragg community. For a list of upcoming classes visit https://bragg.armymwr.com/us/bragg/categories/community-support.
Additionally, a Resiliency Academy that will cover all 14 of the CSF2 MRT skills will be held Jan. 24, 25 and 31, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the Family Readiness Group Center, building 236.