Training The Mind: A Meditative Practice
When it comes to training the mind, the concept is so simple, yet so hard to implement a consistent practice.
What does it mean to be mindful?
It is re-directing your energy toward increasing your awareness and being fully present in this moment. I believe it is also strengthening our mind-body connection and a stepping stone to creating and accomplishing great things. Mindfulness helps people become aware of their behaviors and significantly reduces stress, anxiety, and improves over all well-being.
There has been extensive research on the effects of meditation on the brain. The results are very encouraging. Neurologically meditation enhances connectivity of different regions of the brain, increases grey matter volume, and increases neural connections. The brain is open and receptive, rather than in fight or flight response mode. When we are in our place of calm, and in the present moment, we are able to act appropriate given the situation. We RESPOND rather than REACT.
Not only do we make better decisions, but our body movements are more coordinated, actions are more productive and emotions are much more controlled. This is especially beneficial in athletic competition.
When we are mindful, we are much more capable to become inspired, and our creative intelligence begins to show us things and more resources become available to us. Creativity always requires some sort of stillness. In addition, when we are in the moment we are able to cultivate more positivity in our lives and interactions. This peace we acquire makes it easier for us to deflect the negative energies we may encounter and we start to radiate a different kind of energy, impacting the people around us as well. Having a meditative practice can manifest what we want and open our mind to unlimited possibilities.
When it comes to athletes, the clear benefits of practicing mindfulness, are:
-enhances sensory awareness and muscle control
-increases concentration & improves attention
-control internal dialogue (eliminating self criticizing thoughts)
-enhances performance skills
-decrease awareness of unimportant external stimuli (distractions)
-increases energy endurance and mental stamina
-increases self confidence and self efficacy
-resolution of mental blocks