A hard-hitting training regime can be essential to every athlete, in order to perform at their best. However, mindfulness meditation has been found to be effective in achieving optimal athletic performance through decreasing the level of anxiety, ruminative thinking, and enhancing the experience of flow.
What is meditation? Meditation is a wellness practice that has been proven to reduce stress, improve focus, and contribute to a range of mental and physical health. There are many forms of meditation, but to start, you can try sitting in silence and counting your breaths.
What are the 5 advantages of incorporating meditation into your fitness lifestyle?
- Stress Reduction
Meditation is proven to reduce stress, which is vital for optimal athletic performance. Whether in training, competition, living life under stress has been proven to negatively impact athletic performance. Studies have shown that the results of meditation are associated with reduced stress levels in addition to decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Being relaxed helps achieve a more positive outcome.
- Better Mood Control
Medication helps promote emotional health and well-being. It helps train your mind to focus on the present, decreasing the likelihood of developing depression and mood-related disorders. When you get a mood boost, you will be happier and feel better, at the same time, being able to focus on your training without affecting your mood.
- Improved Concentration
Meditation strengthens self-control, improves the ability to maintain focus on something, and prevents the mind from jumping from one thought to another. No matter what sport you’re playing, you need to focus on the goal and be able to fight distractions to develop your physical capabilities. Meditation has been shown to increase states of focus within the brain.
- Increased Self-Confidence
Meditation helps quell negative thoughts, calm the mind, and reduce anxiety, helping you feel good about yourself and the decisions you make. Focusing on your meditation practice also helps you find stability, peace of mind, and self-acceptance.
- Improved Sleep Quality
Sleep is imperative to everyone. When you do not get enough sleep, you can experience negative effects such as weight gain, inability to maintain focus, mood disturbances, increased anxiety or depression, and decreased motor control. While physical training is important, athletes who practice meditation consistently can help their bodies to recover quicker from training, racing, and even injuries.