The benefits of a mindfulness practice [or meditation practice as it is more commonly known] is now becoming more popular across the world in athletics. From the Chicago Bulls of the Michael Jordan era, to the current practices of the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Knicks, more coaches and athletes are understanding the benefits of being more aware, training yourself mentally and emotionally is just as much as you train your body, and gaining an ability to focus and re-focus more effectively.
If having a mindfulness practice can benefit some of the best athletes and teams in the world, it can also help you not just when you perform in your field, but in your daily life. So let’s get into why it’s so important for you to create a practice of your own:
A Mindfulness Practice will make you more Aware of How you are Communicating with Yourself
Confidence comes from a simple place: how you speak to yourself. When you are telling yourself ‘Fu*k. I can’t believe how much I suck right now,’ that does nothing to help you performance, let alone in your day-to-day life. One of the benefits of creating a mindfulness practice is that it trains your mind to be more aware of how you are speaking to yourself and how to create pathways in your internal dialogue that allows you to start move away from negative self-talk to ways that will actually help improve your performance.
Training the Mind is just as Important as Training the Body
When most people are looking to ‘reinvent’ themselves, most of them hit the gym, start a fad diet, and other things that unfortunately, don’t last in the long run. However, very few [especially men and male athletes] understand the long term benefits of training their mind and their emotions. Training the mind via a mindfulness practice has just as many benefits as going for a run or changing eating habits - and better yet, you can see the benefits from it by spending at little as ten minutes a day on it. So when you are looking at your training and eating regimens for the week, don’t forget to find the time to train your mind, both it and your body will be grateful for the needed attention.
Mindfulness Training will Increase your Ability to Focus
We all need to learn to focus better. It may be because you need to pay more attention to your spouse, concentrate more at work, or just need to control your daily thoughts which tend to be all over the place. And again, because we focus so much on training the body, we don’t think about or understand that we can train the mind to focus more, and be more engaged in the moment. Mindfulness training makes you not only able to focus better, but become more aware of when you need to re-focus. Start a practice, and you will see the difference within a few days.
All of us our busy and trying to find time to become the best version of ourselves. Whether it is in the office or on the field, training your mind to be more aware, spending time training it, and increasing your ability to focus, all by starting a mindfulness training are all things that we have time to do. Remember, if it’s something is good enough for the best athletes in the world, its good enough for you.