Mindfulness is a form of meditation that is very important in sport. How can your regular practice help you achieve success?

Mindfulness is a discipline whose importance often goes unnoticed in the field of sport . Often this occurs because it is unknown what it is and how it can be applied to improve performance.

This method, also called “mindfulness”, is a variation of meditation techniques with the aim of helping the person to connect with their innermost part. In addition, it aims to teach how to make more efficient use of their cognitive resources, such as attention or memory.

4 benefits of mindfulness for sport

In recent decades, mindfulness has been included in numerous contexts with the aim of not only increasing personal performance, but also psychological well-being.

In sport, interesting interventions that include this technique are being designed , and more and more athletes are practicing it on a regular basis. For this reason, we will discuss the importance of mindfulness in the sports field below .

1. Direct attention to what is important, the present

One of the basic teachings of mindfulness is that the only thing that matters is being present, in the “here and now.” That is, it does not make sense that the focus of attention is in the past or the future. On the one hand, the past has already happened and cannot be changed; and on the other, the future is uncertain, it cannot be accurately predicted.

This is especially interesting when an athlete makes a mistake . It is common for the error to remain spinning in the head and for the athlete not to be able to forget about it. However, mindfulness teaches that you have to turn the page and be focused on what is happening right now.

2. It is a way to increase team cohesion

One of the great advantages of mindfulness is that it can be applied both individually and collectively. Normally, one has the image of meditation as an activity that is carried out individually or in isolation, but the truth is that this discipline can be used to increase the feeling of a team .

This is revealed by a study published in the journal The Sport Psychologist. According to such research, an intervention program based on mindfulness applied to soccer teams proved to be effective in improving group cohesion.

3. It will help you calm down before a competition

Mindfulness can be of great help to lower the level of activation and get rid of negative emotions , especially nerves before a competition.

Many athletes feel a state of tension or stress before an important competition. Pre-competitive stress is not necessarily harmful, but rather it becomes harmful when, because of it, the person cannot perform as well as he has trained.

It has been shown that, thanks to mindfulness, it is possible to reduce anxiety before a competition . This is mainly due to the fact that many meditation exercises are based on controlling your breathing and distracting your attention from those thoughts that generate bad feelings.

4. Decreases the perception of pain

If there is something that characterizes an athlete, it is his high tolerance for pain. The practice of any sport requires that the person maximize his physical abilities to improve his marks, and this generates pain and fatigue.

A little-known effect of mindfulness , and very important, is that it is capable of acting on the regulation of pain. In fact, it is a technique that is used as an intervention to treat diseases such as chronic pain .

According to research published by the Journal of Psychotherapy , mindfulness -based interventions are effective in improving emotional regulation, action-based coping strategies, and adaptation to pain.

Take advantage of the benefits that mindfulness offers you

Although mindfulness is a relatively new discipline, its benefits are well known. These are similar to those of traditional meditation, except that, in this case, rather than leaving the mind blank, what is intended is to focus on interior aspects such as breathing or mental images.

The greatest of its advantages is its ease of learning . On the internet you can find many resources to get started in your practice. In addition, more and more yoga schools and wellness centers are offering mindfulness  classes for anyone, regardless of their previous knowledge.

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