We previously discussed how meditation can help in business, whether as a business owner, a manager, or as an employee. But the same benefits that businesses can enjoy from meditation, also translate to one’s physical performance, whether in sports or just recreational activities. In fact, meditation is now being integrated into sports training programs offered by different trainers, just like how binaural beats are being used as part of mental conditioning. It is a logical path to take, seeing as how an athlete or a fighter cannot win if they are already mentally weakened by different factors. And this is where meditation comes in.
Not a new concept
Meditation for physical performance is actually not a new concept. In fact, it is perhaps as old as the idea of meditation itself! In ancient times, warriors would spend time focusing their thoughts and emptying their mind of fear and distraction in order to be better fighters. In times of peace, the same ancient warriors who compete in friendly competition did the same before a match. While the process done by our ancient ancestors does not exactly fit the idea of meditation as we know it today, the fundamentals, and the results, were the same, although back then, it was understood as a spiritual effect. In modern times, many athletes refer to the time they spend alone, in silence, before a match, as “being in the zone” without realizing that they are actually tapping into the principles of meditation.
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Eventually, athletes and their trainers discovered scientifically why meditation worked in training the mind to function properly during an athletic or physical performance. Russians started the idea of “neurogenic conditioning” in which the nervous system of athletes were deliberately trained and conditioned in order to improve their functioning, and part of this training included meditation.
Why it works
Aside from the aforementioned benefits of brainwave therapy through meditation we previously discussed, wherein meditation helps produce brainwaves in the right amounts to achieve different results, meditation done for sports or other physical activities conditions the mind the same way muscle memory training conditions the body.
A mind that is full of doubt and other thoughts that can impede the functioning of a bodily process can cause that said process to not be executed at 100%, resulting in sub-par performance. But emptying the mind of those doubts and distractions is not simple and easy, and can only be done by constantly practicing meditation, whose effect is to remove all unnecessary thoughts to achieve a state of relaxation and peace.
But why does the mind being empty help in physical performance?
Because it allows the mind to use up all its capacity to command the body to perform at its fullest.
Picture this. Have you ever tried cutting a piece of paper down a straight line with a pair of scissors, only for the cut to be crooked whenever a random thought enters your head, or you suddenly have a doubt about your next movement?
That is how meditation can help the athlete. Regular practice of meditation allows the athlete’s mind to stay solid and be calm regardless of whatever scenario it is put in. This is most especially valuable in high pressure events, wherein the slightest self-doubt or the smallest distraction can mean the difference between losing focus and losing, or staying focused and winning.
But as mentioned above, it is not just beneficial to athletes. Soldiers, policemen, emergency services personnel, doctors, dancers, firefighters, and all the other professions that require a lot from the body’s capabilities to perform, can benefit from meditation.
How is it done?
Traditional meditation methods are the most common ways to practice meditation for physical performance. Usually done before or after a training session, and before an event, one can find a nice quiet place to stay in, sit down, and perform the basic meditation techniques we discussed in our previous post, by focusing on slow, deep breaths, and trying to empty the mind.
But there’s another form of meditation that can be done by athletes: having a mantra.
Having a goal as a mantra, and repeatedly thinking about it as one practices, aids in mental conditioning and helps clear the mind when that specific action is done. For instance, a coach makes a comment to a basketball player’s jump shot, telling him to “roll the ball” as they release it. Constantly repeating “roll the ball, roll the ball” in the mind during practice, can have dramatic results.
Not just for athletes
Meditation employed in this manner is not just for athletes. Anyone who enjoys any physical activity, and wants to be better and better at it, can use meditation to reap its benefits. So start meditating today! Listen to this binaural beats track for meditation to motivate and promote positivity and success, and improve your performance ASAP!
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