People like to use a lot of metaphors about how life is a game and we are the players. We rarely look at ourselves as athletes in life. Life is more than game or a competition. Life is a challenge which demands us to be mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually fit in order to perform well. We are athletes of this life, if we want to be. We can train our minds, bodies, and spirits to be athletically capable for handling all of life’s ups and downs. One of the ways we do that is through the practice of meditation.
Meditation makes us better performers. We rise to the challenges life presents more readily when we are regularly practicing meditation. Athletes of all statuses use meditation as a practice for their sports performance as well as other areas of their life. Meditation helps them focus their energy, visualize their goals, and calm their sympathetic nervous system while activating their parasympathetic nervous system. We can use meditation for all areas of performance in our life, athletic and non-athletic. From a daily workout to the daily grind of our jobs, from a pick up game in our favorite sport to performing in a professional sport, meditation makes us better athletes.
Lena Franklin writes for Mindbodygreen that “When athletes become more aware of their bodies, they also build inner resilience to handle stress, which unlocks elevated performance levels.” It is about more than performance, Franklin emphasizes. The mindfulness which comes from meditation helps us perform athletically because it helps us “…grow the inner capacities of distress tolerance, present-moment awareness, and acute focus to fuel what athletes seek most- results.”
The Journal of Health Psychology published a study which found that meditation practicing athletes had a greater motivation to work out regularly and felt more satisfied with their workouts afterward. “This indicates that the more present we are in the moment, the more capacity we have to top into inner resources such as motivation and satisfaction,” Franklin writes.
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