Due to a focus on mental health over the last few years, mindfulness has become a buzzword used in all walks of life. Mindfulness has even made its way over to the sports world as a way for athletes to improve their performances. It is also a way for athletes to shake off anxiety, depression, and stress. The recent withdrawal of tennis player Naomi Osaka from the French Open is an example of the stress and press athletes are constantly under. It is also an example of just how the media and organisers of major events still don’t understand that athletes are people too.
Mindful meditation emerged in recent years. It has proved useful for athletes. Many athletes have long known that the real opponent is the mind. There are benefits to meditation and it offers athletes the chance to come to terms with their strongest rival: themselves.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is sitting silently and paying close attention to your thoughts, sounds, breathing, and/or parts of the body. When the mind starts to wander, you bring your attention back to the body and mind. You become very much aware of your breathing and the body inhaling and exhaling.
There are a host of benefits for individuals who practice mindful meditation, including:
It trengthens and improves the immune system
Lowers the blood pressure
Increases cognitive function
Increases tolerance to pain
It is claimed that 90% of sports is mental. Yet, for the most part, we only train the physical. This is why mindfulness meditation for athletes is so important. If you can train your mind for sports activity, you can improve your physical performance.
“When our brains get caught up in thoughts from the past…or thoughts of the future…it creates a stress response, and we can’t use the part of the brain that keeps us engaged in the moment,” Dr. Kristen Race, Ph.D., founder of Mindful Life, author of Mindful Parenting, said in an interview. “If we’re too stressed about performance, we can’t make good decisions and solve problems and stay composed.”
How to do Mindfulness Meditation?
Here is a quick video on how to do mindfulness meditations.