Meditation has enjoyed a firm rooting in eastern philosophy for thousands of years. While at one time considered to represent nothing more than an esoteric practice carried out by devoted individuals such as monks, this mindset has now become extremely popular for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.
Of course, most of us are already well aware of specific benefits such as how meditation can help with depression or lead to lower blood pressure if practised on a regular basis. It is still a fact that we are really only scratching the surface in regards to how meditation can impact our lives. One example of this observation can be seen in the growing number of professional athletes who are incorporating such mindfulness into their daily routines. What benefits do these practices have to offer?
Developing Mental Focus and Control
Any professional athlete is well aware of the fact that focus can make all of the difference in the world between a successful match and a losing streak. Meditation is therefore excellent in terms of providing superior levels of attention before and after a competition. Another ancillary benefit of this practice is that it can be used to develop specific visualisations. These visualisations are then employed to reinforce certain behaviours (such as running a marathon under a certain time or connecting with the ball during a round of cricket).
Athletes are often under a great deal of stress. This can cause a lack of focus and ultimately, their performance may suffer as a result. Such observations are particularly relevant to those who may be involved in extremely fast-paced international competitions. Meditation will help to “silence” any extraneous mental thoughts that may prove to be counterproductive. This is why martial artists have employed the very same techniques for centuries.
A Way to Clear the Mind
We spoke about clearing the mind in the previous section and this concept should be addressed in greater detail. While there are many digital methods to take a break from daily stressors (such as engaging with websites such as Cherry sports, we also need to note that distractions can sometimes abound. This might actually be counterproductive in the long run, as the mind is not provided with a window to relax. In turn, the body will remain tense. In terms of meditation, the practitioner can expect to enjoy several physical effects such as:
- A Reduced Heart Rate
- A means to relax tense or cramped muscles.
- Greater overall mental clarity.
With certain practices such as Quigong, the potential to increase blood flow to certain portions of the body.
So, it only stands to reason that a growing number of professional athletes are beginning to incorporate such practices into their daily regimens. It is also interesting to note that the long-term advantages of meditation are only now coming to light. This is why even those who practice sports on a casual basis should consider such a healthy lifestyle change.