Meditation techniques for focus and high performance
The word “meditation” may be reminiscent of peaceful relaxation or the yoga class in your gym, but the truth is that there are many meditation techniques used by executives and competitors to help prepare and perform at the highest level. Below I provide simple instructions for two meditation techniques, including Box breathing and Sports visualization.
What is meditation
Meditation has been used by humans for thousands of years to improve concentration, reduce stress, gain perspective and increase wellbeing. More recently, it has been mentally adopted by professional athletes prepare for the competition, from managing directors to Increase creativity, make better decisions and manage conflicts, and by special military forces too Improve focus.
Meditation is simply the practice of focus, loss of focus, and return to focus. It does this by focusing on a thing like the breath, a word or a sound, a visualization, or a repetitive activity and then going through the process of focus, loss of focus, and return to focus. Just like with muscle training, this practice of losing focus and regaining focus is valuable in many critical, stressful, and competitive situations. With practice, you can do a lot Improve your ability to focus more deeply over longer periods of time and bring clarity to thought processes.
When you meditate, your mind wanders into all sorts of random thoughts. It’s frustrating, but normal. Meditation is an exercise to increase awareness of loss of focus and to practice returning to the object of your focus. The only way to get better is to practice. And practice. Just like getting better at the piano or learning a new language. Training and strengthening this ability to focus and refocus is beneficial for almost everyone, especially if you want to work at a high level.
How do you meditate
Quite simply in a few words: find a place where you are unlikely to be disturbed. Sit in a comfortable position and set a timer for 5-20 minutes. Close your eyes and spend up to a minute calming and relaxing your muscles. Focus your mind on something – breath, a word or sound, a visualization, physical sensation, or a repetitive activity (i.e., a technique). Your mind will naturally drift away and you will lose focus. When you find that your mind is wondering, return your attention to your meditation focus. Repeat this process for 5 to 20 minutes: focus, loss of focus, return to focus, loss of focus, return to focus.
The actual meditation process seems meaningless. Counting breaths or repeating a word in your head seems like a waste of time. But what you really do is train yourself to concentrateAccept that you are losing focus and then return to focus. In addition to the benefits of exercising your ability to concentrate Some side effects include better performance, less stress, clarification of your thinking, and in some cases, new creative results.
Here are two examples of meditation techniques that can improve focus and performance: boxing breathing and sports visualization.
In this boxing breathing exercise (described by previous Navy Seals in podcasts and youtube videos), you breathe in a four cycle pattern of 4444: inhale 4 seconds, hold 4 seconds, exhale 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds (dies are the four steps in the ‘box’ cycle). As you inhale, breathe in an upward motion first from the abdomen, diaphragm, and then inhale from the chest, exhaling first from the chest, then from the diaphragm, then from the abdomen, exhaling with light force and with filled cheeks. It can be helpful to say or think, “Inhale 2, 3, 4, hold 2, 3, 4, exhale 2, 3, 4, hold 2, 3, 4”.
Find a place where you are unlikely to be bothered. Sit in a comfortable position and set a timer for 1-5 minutes. Close your eyes and spend up to a minute calming and relaxing your muscles.
When you inhale up to 4, you may want to ingest some positive, healthy oxygen. See and feel how you breathe in purity, health, vitality and calm. Imagine all of these attributes spreading to every cell in your body as you hold your breath until 4. Now exhale carbon dioxide and pain, anger, impatience and sickness through 4. Then rest until 4 and feel relaxed.
If there are other people nearby and you cannot find an isolated location, this exercise can be done with your eyes open. That way you can repeat a mantra or count it for yourself and no one will notice that you are meditating.
Your mind will wander and when you find yourself thinking about something other than the breathing pattern, focus on it again. Continue until the timer runs out.
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Sports visualization can be used to improve performance while swimming, running, golfing, skiing, or any other sport to increase the effectiveness of intentional training and before a competition. The process of creating and “rehearsing” a positive mental experience to improve your ability to achieve a successful result in real life has been from great athletes from Muhammad Ali and Michael Phelps to Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill and the great Harnessed rugby player Jonny Wilkinson.
Find a place where you are unlikely to be bothered. Sit in a comfortable position and set a timer for 2-10 minutes. Close your eyes and spend up to a minute calming and relaxing your muscles.
First, imagine yourself achieving perfect shape in a variety of specific actions relevant to your sport. like a tennis serve, a penalty kick, a basketball shoot, putting or cycling. Imagine achieving perfect shape over and over again in the key actions and repeating the action over and over in your head.
After a while, think about the actual environment of a competition, such as when you are in a game or on the day of the game. Visualize the sights, sounds and smells, the atmosphere, the sensations and your own nerves. You could even start the alarm early in the morning and move through the day, adjusting to the competition and getting that feeling on your stomach. It will help your body get used to working under pressure to test even the nerves you are about to feel that day. Use multiple senses such as sound, image, and smell. The more vivid the mental image, the more effectively your brain prepares your muscles to perform the same physical and technical action in a real situation. Imagine getting perfect shape in certain promotions during the competition. The key is to focus on perfect form, all of the little things that you have trained for and that you need to do in order to survive at the highest level.
Your mind will wander but keep returning to the perfect form of key actions and the sights, sounds and feelings of the event. Continue until the timer runs out.
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Final thoughts and more meditation techniques
When you listen to interviews with high achievers and successful people in almost any field, it is not uncommon for them to use and rely on certain meditative practices. Whether it is athletes who are always preparing to perform, or military personnel who need to stay calm in difficult situations, or leaders who make decisions in public and stressful circumstances.
The most successful people often find out a certain form of meditation has significant benefits for their creativity, self-esteem, memory, well-being, productivity, and performance.
There are many ways to meditate, and each person’s practice can grow and develop over time in different situations and at different stages of life. Trying out different techniques is a great way to experience meditation and find a meditation practice that is right for you.
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