Home Fitness guide Men’s meditation guide: mindfulness for athletics

Men’s meditation guide: mindfulness for athletics

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From physical to metaphysical, there are a number of reasons people love and practice meditation. Those who practice regularly and often may experience a lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, and more complete control of their thoughts and selves. But meditation can also contribute to better performance in sports and fitness. No matter what level of sport or what type of outdoor activity you enjoy, meditation can be a beneficial addition to your everyday life. Spiritual teacher and author of Peace of mind, epic life, Matthew Ferry, spoke to The Manual to discuss how and why more men should include meditation in their fitness routine.

Use meditation to calm the mind

Man meditating on a grass field.
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Meditation can be used to improve life in a number of ways, but above all it is a way to calm the mind, even when everything else around you can seem overwhelming. “Regular meditation improves well-being, leads to greater peace of mind and a feeling that all is well with the world,” Ferry said. “Meditation gives men a chance to step back from life and get out of the ‘go-go-go’ of the daily grind. We are able to have a perspective on what is really important. But adjusting the mind can also help you make better decisions rather than responding impulsively.

But meditation can also be used as a tool by athletes and is often used by high caliber athletes. “If you are an athlete, the stressors of everyday life can affect your physical strength. You can be distracted by curling negative thoughts and unwanted mental chatter, ”Ferry explained. “Meditation creates an opportunity to release negative thoughts and unwanted chatter so that you can focus on the best of yourself in your sport,” he added. This can easily be accomplished with meditation as a method of stress relief.

How to start meditating

A person running.
Pixabay

For most meditations, wherever you are, you can just close your eyes and focus on inhaling and exhaling. You can sit or lie down, listen to music or set a timer, and focus on breathing your thoughts whenever your mind wanders. However, the meditation used to improve athletic performance is a little different. “Olympic athletes spend time visualizing that their sport is being played perfectly to teach the mind and nervous system what they want to achieve. They dramatically increase the number of competitions by training mentally, ”says Ferry. “Men who play sports seriously can take a page from this playbook. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and visualize the outcome you intend to create in your sport,” he adds.

But if you just want to practice meditation while still being active, Ferry recommends that you try moving meditation. To do this, he asks people to define an intention such as “to find joy” or “to feel empowered”. Then go for a walk or run while keeping the intention in the center of your mind. You can focus on the pace of the activity, but you can also practice synchronizing your breathing with your own pace. Try to take four steps while inhaling, followed by four steps as you breathe out.

Set realistic goals

Young man sitting and meditating on a pontoon by a lake at sunrise.

Also try to be practical or realistic when setting your intention. Ferry explains that achieving a more positive mindset or state of being takes time and is an ambitious vision to define. “Meditation is a challenge and should be treated as such. The same way you might treat a new training engagement, ”Ferry said. “Lower your expectations. Ease in it. There is no rush, ”he added. So take your time and slowly try to introduce meditation and visualization into your routine. You may find that mindfulness improves your feelings and performance.

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