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Mindful or Mind Full? The Hidden Power towards Increasing Athlete Performances and Well-Being

Mindfulness is becoming a buzzword in the performance and wellness worlds. But what does it really mean? One of the questions I'd like to ask as a form visualising mindfulness is: Are you mindful or mind full?

A person with his/her mind full of thoughts but the dog is being mindful of the environment.
Are you mindful or mind full?

As the illustration shows, having your mind full of thoughts can distract you from the present moment or environment that you are in. Meanwhile, being mindful can make you be more aware of the present moment that you are experiencing. So, how does this mattered for athletes and exercisers?

Focus On The Present

As mentioned, mindfulness helps you to focus on the present moment, being aware of your thoughts and feelings, being non-judgmental about them and letting them go.

When you're mindful, you stay in the present moment instead of drifting off into the past or future. This can help in many phases. including your training and competition settings. At times there are too many distractions that makes it hard to focus on what you need to execute. By being aware of your thoughts and emotions, you are able to dictate what needs to be entertained and which thoughts needed to be pushed away.

Magnifying glass helping to illustrate focusing on the present moment, instead of past or the future.
Being mindful helps you focus on the present, instead of the past or future. Hence, you have more capacity to execute control

Manage Your Emotions

Mindfulness training can help you improve your performance by allowing you to be in control of your emotions. When we are mindful, we are able to recognize our thoughts and feelings without being overwhelmed by them. This helps us respond appropriately instead of reacting impulsively or unconsciously. For example, athletes often felt anxious before a competition, which can cause tension to their range of movements. Being able to identify what causes this anxiety and make adequate adjustments, the athlete will have a better chance In addition, mindfulness allows athletes to stay calm under pressure because it trains them how to relax their bodies when they become aware of the stress felt.

Boost Creativity Creativity is a crucial part of being an athlete. You need to be able to come up with new ideas and approaches in order to perform your best, but you also need to be open-minded enough to consider all of them. Mindfulness can help you with both of these things by improving your ability to think creatively and flexibly, which will help you find new ways of approaching things in the moment. Studies have shown that creativity is often impeded by fear of judgement and risks of being ridiculed. By being mindful of these fears, athletes can practice the non-judgmental awareness perspective of mindfulness to engage in boosting their creativity.

A brain nerve signals that is being utilized for creativity
Mindfulness practice can help wire the brain to be less judgmental and engage in creativity.

How to Harvest Mindfulness

The most common skill to be more mindful is via mindfulness meditation. It is a mental training practice that teaches you to slow down racing thoughts, acknowledging and let go of negativity, and calm both your mind and body. There are various ways of doing it depending on the goals of the athletes. Be it for performance enhancement or improving general well-being, mindfulness meditation can be customised to suit the need of the athletes at the moment of need. Some athletes might find the concept of mindfulness meditation daunting at first. As such, athletes can practice more daily practicable activities. Activities like eating, brushing teeth, running and weigh-training can be utilized. The simple way is to add the connotation of "mindful" towards all these activities. For instance, if you like to engage in mindful eating practice, you can utilize your five senses to experience the food you put into your mouth. If you are exercising, you may try focusing on your breathing and where your feet are as you move. These daily practices can uncover your skills on a smaller scale but at the same time enhance your mindfulness experience.

A girl engaging in mindful eating by observing the food she is going to eat.
Mindful eating can help you practice mindfulness and be more aware of the food that you put into your system.

In Conclusion The bottom line is that mindfulness can help you feel better and perform better. It's not about being perfect or having a perfect performance, but rather about being aware of your thoughts and emotions so that you can control them. And even small amounts of practice will make a difference! Are you an athlete looking to take your performance to the next level while improving your overall well-being? Mindfulness could be the key you've been missing! Take the first step towards a more present and focused mindset by incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine. Explore with us what are the most suitable mindfulness skill(s) that can have a positive impact on your performance and well-being.


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