This topic might seem strange related to fitness. The thing is, when you are trying to achieve something, your 100 kg bench press, starting your own business or simply feeling better, you need to get your head straight.
The mental aspect of achieving is the most important one. The first thing that mediation can help you with is focus. When you have clarity in your mind, when you are focused, that is when you are getting sh** done. Meditation helps dramatically in reaching clarity, unclustering the sticky ball of thoughts that is stripping you of energy and time.
To understand the difference, here are the six types of meditation in a nutshell:
There are dozens of different sub – types of meditation but these six main categories made it easier to understand. An easy way to get started is to try mindfulness meditation with the Headspace app.
They have done some great research on the benefits of using Headspace to meditate.
- 10 days of Headspace reduced stress by 14%
- Northwestern University found that 3 weeks of Headspace increased compassion by 23% and reduced aggression by 57%
- Irritability was reduced by 27%
- Focus improved by 14%
- Increases positivity and well – being
- Improved job satisfaction
With Headspace you can start with super simple guided meditations. You can start with just 3 minutes. You have to remember that mediation is not a magic pill. It is a gradual process like learning a language: the more consistently you practice, the easier and smoother it will go.
I have used Headspace for the past year and it has fundamentally improved my focus and pretty much everything that the research says it does, it does. It is hard to stay consistent but it is worth it, just like consistently going to the gym.
Meditation in professional sports
Yes, to get you inspired we have a few examples of well known athletes/teams practicing meditation during their careers.
1. LeBron James
The 6 time NBA Champion uses mindfulness meditation as a fixed component of his training.
2. Michael Jordan
As one of the greatest athletes of all time, Jordan used mindfulness mediation to get into as he called it ‘the flow’. His coach George Mumford has written a book about this.
3. Kobe Bryant
The third super succesfull basket baller on the list, who credits meditation to his success.
4. The Seattle Seahawks
During the 2014 season when the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll hired a sports psychologist to teach mindfulness meditation to the entire team.
Meditation is used in many sports and dozens of high performing athletes are reaping the benefits. Why shouldn’t you?
It is not only athletes who meditate, famous personalities such as J.Cole, Jay-Z, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey and even Jerry Seinfeld practice meditation.
Jerry Seinfeld talks about his 41 year long practice of Transcendental meditation while being the executive producer, editor and head-writer as well as playing the main character in his famous Seinfeld TV series show (that me and my girlfriend love).
I hope you got some inspiration to try meditating for yourself. Like I said, Headspace has really helped me get into the practice and offers great guidance into mindfulness meditation. There are many more resources out there that can get you started.
I think meditation is a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals but also to just unwind and clear your head, it is a tool that can be used for many purposes. What would you start meditating for?
Share with us your experience of meditation!