Meditation is more than just a passing trend. Although it only recently became popular in the United States, it has been in practice for centuries across Asia. Archaeologists trace back meditation to around 5,000 BCE. It is also the subject of many scientific studies, being investigated as an aid to cure depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Meditation should therefore not be dismissed as merely a passing lifestyle trend. There is convincing evidence that it works, and anyone who incorporates it into their daily lives would greatly benefit from it.
In fact, even the top athletes around the world do it. According to reports, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and the late Kobe Bryant practice meditation to clear their minds and sharpen their focus, a useful trait when they are on the court.
Reasons Why Athletes Should Meditate
Meditation does not just benefit the brain. It also has an influence on your performance on the court or the track.
The practice focuses on the present, teaching the mind to become more aware of what is happening now rather than predict the future or remember the past. Meditation rewires your mind so that you can stay in the game, allowing you to push yourself and make decisions that will bring you success.
Moreover, by including it in your training regimen, your mind becomes more resilient to stress. Sports are physically and mentally exhausting. It is a very competitive field and there is immense pressure for athletes to do well.
In addition, meditation is an opportunity to slow down. Athletes often have very busy schedules, especially before a match. They for several hours a day and strictly monitor their diets to make sure that they will be at their most optimum when it is time to enter the ring.
How to Meditate for the First Time as an Athlete
Meditation sounds very easy. You only have to sit or lie in one spot for several minutes, focusing on your breathing or reciting a mantra. However, it is actually more challenging than it looks.
As soon as you begin, you will find your mind wandering, remembering the things that you have to do or thinking about what you want to do next. People who are used to fast-paced activities might also start to feel the urge to start moving or just get bored.
Do not worry. It is normal to feel that way during your first sessions. It is an activity that has to be learned and, before you reap the benefits, you will have to do it regularly. It is similar to learning a sport or another hobby. It can get very frustrating, but it is a worthwhile endeavor because it will grant you numerous benefits, from improving your mental health to amping your performance.
However, for some people, finding the time or the space to meditate is a challenge. Everyone lives busy lives. Sparing just a few minutes from your day may not be possible. Perhaps, there are not a lot of spaces at home that allow peace.
For these instances, your bathroom can be your temple of calm. It would be perfect if your bathroom was renovated or designed with wellness in mind because, at least, it will give you spa vibes. However, it does not have to be fancy. You can meditate while in the bathtub after a workout to soothe your muscles as well as your mind.
To make it even more relaxing, use aromatherapy products. Add a few drops of lavender oil onto the water or light up a scented candle to calm you down and make the activity more pleasant.
The practice of meditation does not have to be still. There are hobbies that can induce a state of mind that is similar to meditation, including reading and knitting.
To those who cannot sit or lie still, it is possible to meditate while moving. It is called moving meditation. It can be done while walking or while running.
To practice moving meditation, you can do a couple of things. You can choose a mantra and repeat it to yourself over and over again to motivate you. You can also count your footsteps to focus your mind on the present.
Meditation has been proven to be good for the mind and the body. Everyone, not just athletes, should try it out because it provides numerous benefits such as a clearer and calmer disposition, a better grasp of thoughts and emotions, and overall improved life.