Can mindfulness meditation improve performance?
In this episode of The Key podcast, we look at the science behind the benefits of using meditation for performance enhancement. We talk about why meditation seems difficult for so many people and how it's truly a very simple process you can practice right now, even if you only have a couple of minutes.
If you're goal is to perform at you highest level, investing 31 minutes into listening to this episode could shave days, months, and even years off of your journey. Meditation and performance go hand-in-hand when you understand how to properly put it into practice.
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One of the main reasons we recommend meditation for peak performance is because of its ability to help you "LET GO" and enter into a flow state. This is where everyone struggles most: developing the ability to fluidly relinquish conscious thinking. Things like performance anxiety and fear of failure become major barriers to accessing the more creative and intuitive parts of the brain.
We believe nothing will help you increase your capacity to let go more than consistently practicing mindfulness meditation for performance.
I know. I know. You’ve tried it, and you can’t seem to get the hang of it. “It’s too frustrating,” you say. If this is the case, I can tell you with confidence you are over-complicating it. Meditation is simple beyond belief. Furthermore, you do not need to do it for extended periods of time to begin reaping the benefits of doing so.
It Doesn't Take Much Effort to Create Real Change
Just practicing a few minutes a day, with consistency, will actually begin making changes in your brain.
There is an overwhelming amount of neuroscience research exhibiting the numerous benefits of mindfulness meditation.
Scientific studies have shown, just fifteen minutes a day over an eight-week period creates structural changes in the brain. You're physically changing your brain. That's powerful!
Just 15-min a day of mindfulness meditation over an 8-week period will begin to create structural changes in the brain.
Every elite performer practices meditation in some form, whether they know it or not. Visualizing successful performances, particularly while tracking one’s body and emotional state, facilitates a decreased level of anxiety and increased level of confidence during the actual event. To achieve peak performance requires moving beyond the initial fight or flight state that performance or competition typically induces.
Expert meditators show a capacity to disconnect from their initial fight or flight response. Again, this ability is essential to access your maximum potential.
“The key to maximizing meditation for performance is to start small and stay consistent.”
Be Intentional About Starting Small
The key is to start small and stay consistent. Just begin with two to three minutes a day of developing a focal point, such as your breath or the sounds you hear, and just track whatever you notice. If you feel frustrated, notice that. If you are thinking about work, just notice it. Then, without judgment, bring your awareness back to your focal point and track it as best you can. Yes. It’s really that simple. No. One session won’t change your life, but practicing it consistently has the potential to do so.
Science Has Proven Meditation for Performance Enhancement Works.
The verdict is in. There is probably nothing more beneficial if you are in pursuit of your highest potential and peak performance than a daily practice of mindfulness meditation. This is due to how it affects your brain. When you are in a flow state, you develop a heightened sense of awareness and pattern recognition that your brain processes rapidly, leading to high degrees of creativity. Mindfulness meditation enables you to obtain a level of this capacity outside of flow states, which makes moving into flow more fluid when it's needed in a competitive environment.
Remember, the key to this and so many things is to start small and stay consistent. Shortly after beginning to practice mindfulness meditation the benefits you will experience will take over as motivators. You will find yourself wanting to go for longer periods of time and looking forward to practicing it. Trust us, it happens every time.
Once again, the fundamental steps are to identify a focal point and just notice without judgment. Don’t worry if it seems like nothing is happening. There will be a tremendous amount of activity going on in your brain that you won’t be aware of. If you truly desire to hit your peak, this is my number one recommendation.
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