Meditation is often be misunderstood by many and seen as something that is better suited to a yoga studio rather than a performance training environment. However, I completely disagree with this assumption and see it as a practice that can be used as an incredibly powerful technique to focus the mind and to train attention and awareness.
Meditation helps you to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state, something that can benefit all of us in sport, work and life.
Many people think meditation is about switching off and stopping all thoughts, but that’s not exactly how it works. Instead, you’re training your brain to focus on one thing at a time and get comfortable with being present in the moment.
Meditation is an incredibly powerful tool in the boardroom, on the field of play, at home, and can even help manage chronic pain by helping reduce perception of pain and regulate emotions.
Developing awareness to how certain interactions or events can trigger you throughout your day is the key to prioritising your mental health.
We are constantly bombarded with emails, messages, notifications and deadlines that gradually steal our focus and take us off course. This causes us to get into a more reactive state where we are not truly in control of our actions or emotions.
Developing an awareness that allows you to identify what, where or who causes you to be triggered is the key to
Visualisation is a process of imagining a scene, situation, or event in your mind, in as much detail as possible, as if it were happening right now. It is the process of creating a mental picture of something that you want to happen.
It is an incredibly powerful tool that aids you in mentally preparing for important events in your life. Using visualisation prior to a big match, an important presentation or even a challenging conversation allows you play out in your mind exactly how you want things to go…
If you’re like me and at times find yourself feeling mentally and physically exhausted by the end of the day, this is one simple exercise that will immediately change your physical state.
Breathing exercises have been shown to reduce stress levels and improve athletic performance which is enough to get anyone’s attention. The thing that makes this so compelling is the simplicity of it—just breathe!
To get started on this routine, simply take a few deep breaths through your nose until your lungs feel full and then slowly exhale through your mouth as if you were fogging up a mirror with every breath.
Once you’ve gotten into a rhythm where breathing comes naturally, it’s important to try counting to four on every inhale and at least six for every exhale for about five minutes each day or until all of your anxieties melt away, whichever happens first! A good indicator that you’re doing this correctly will be how relaxed those muscles in your face start feeling when they’re no longer tensed up from clenching their teeth all day long!
The body and mind needs rest to recover from constant effort, being mindful of the need to recover is the key to sustaining high performance.
This isn’t a quick fix solution, it needs to become part of your daily rituals. High performers are forward thinking proactive individuals, they have the tools in their locker to manage certain scenarios before they even arise. Staying calm, composed and in control is a superpower in so many aspects of your life, recognising that your body and mind need time to recover before you move on will is a skill that enables you to take time to make time.
Don’t simply push harder each day, it can ONLY lead to burnout and exhaustion. Learning how to rest, relaxat and meditate are some of the hallmarks of individuals who perform at their best, constantly.