Can Meditation Help Improve Athletic Performance?
Importance of meditation for athletes has been getting wider attention these days. With all the latest scientific studies, it is proved over and again that meditation can plausibly increase an athletes' overall level of performance. People in sports frequently get distracted for external and internal disturbances. Moreover, lack of energy is another factor that often keeps an athlete low. These and multiple other negative aspects can be best managed with meditation. Irrespective of the nature of a sport one plays, meditation can be used to enhance physical and psychological capacity to a great extent. In fact, the benefits of meditation are mind boggling. It helps a sportsman to better his or her performance level every day and studies on meditation have shown that athletes who practice meditation regularly can perform with equal capacity throughout their career.
Benefits of Meditation for the Brain and the Body
In recent times, neuroscientists in different countries have undertaken several studies to see what changes take place during meditation. The advent of MRIs and other types of brain scanning techniques have helped to see the physical changes directly during meditation. The studies have shown beyond doubt that people who meditate regularly exhibit higher levels of gyrification. The brain then processes the information faster than before and, could also concentrate on a job more than people who don't meditate. In another study, it is proved that in the long-term meditation increases gray matter in the brain.
Can Meditation help Improve Athletic Performance?
Below are some of the reasons for which every athlete should start practicing mediation every day. In fact, the biggest stars in athletes are already habituated with meditation and have gained immense benefits out of this traditional and scientific ancient Asian practice.
- Focus is important in any kind of sports. Only focused performers can expect better results and constant up gradation in their performance. Meditation helps athlete to train the mind to control the focus. In a playground, amidst thousands of roaring spectators and surging expectations from the supporters, keeping focus on the forthcoming target is essential for an athlete.
- Injuries and muscle pains are part and parcel of the athletics. It is seen that the athletes who perform mediation regularly could cope with such injuries and pain very proficiently.
- Fears and tension of competition deviates an athlete's mind frequently leading to poor performance. Meditation has been a great help in this matter. It is proved that meditation calms the amygdala, the fear center in the brain, and controls fear and tension even when the athlete is not meditating.
- An unexpected defeat or inability to play at the last moment due to certain health condition is quite normal in athletics or other games. However, carrying this defeat in mind or getting into it repetitively is not good for any athlete. This is a kind of reminiscence that can ruin the performance of an athlete. On regular meditation, this negative habit of a performer goes away.
- It is a fact that meditation strengthens the immune system of the body. Staying fit and free from infectious diseases is necessary for athlete to perform at the optimum levels.
- The most popular athletes in the world are the strong and tough persons who are vastly popular for their mental strength. Meditation helps them to detach from the negative thoughts and remain target oriented.
- Stress and tension are part and parcel of an athlete's life. Meditation helps to reduce stress and tension drastically.
- Meditation helps the athletes to control their emotions in different situations. An athlete's life is full of success and failure, but they should tackle different emotional environments without getting influenced by those environments.
- Meditation helps to get a good sleep. Athletes need quality sleep for better rest and concentration in order to perform better. Meditation helps to improve quality sleep.
- Meditation improves the brain's capacity to think and plan in better ways. It also helps to think logically. These attributes are particularly important for the athletes. They need to detect their faults, disturbances and weaker areas more clearly. Meditation helps to concentrate on the negative aspects of their performance and work on those aspects more intensively.
Steps towards Effective Meditation to Improve Athletic Performance
- Yogic Stretching: Impact of meditation intensifies if that is done with a healthy body. Yogic stretching is necessary to keep the body healthy and ready for meditation.
- Pranayama: Pranayama is a breath control technique invented in India thousands of years ago. It purifies the body and mind. Pranayama helps the brain to work efficiently. Through pranayama lungs can remove hundreds of toxic chemicals from the body. Pranayama enhances the effectiveness of meditation.
- Create a Personal Space for Meditation: This is the most important aspect of meditation. Athletes should practice meditation regularly as they practice physical exercises. For meditating fruitfully, one must have a personal space where no one will disturb him or her while meditating.
- Do Meditation Rightly: It is better to take the help of an expert initially to learn the right way to meditate. There are various techniques of meditation; the most suitable one for an athlete can be understood by an expert only.
Meditation is a method to help the athletes to experience more intelligibility and peace of mind. It is a practice and it needs time to get perfectness. Its benefits are realized from the very first day. It relaxes the body and mind, keeps the concentration on the target and controls emotional aspects in life. As a whole, it inputs higher capability and dogmatic attitude in an athlete that stimulates him or her to work more proficiently and achieve better results in competitions.