A recent article on ESPN described how the Seattle Seahawks team sports psychologist, Mike Gervais, used mindfulness training and meditation as a core part of the team’s training regime. Here’s a snippet from the article;
Full the full story on how the Seattle Seahawks successfully incorporate mindfullness meditation into their training regime, click here
“Quiet your minds, focus inwardly, visualise success”.
So if it worked for the Seattle Seahawks (yes, remember, they won the Superbowl), then it could work for you too!
Mindfulness may be a bit of a buzz word these days, and that’s largely due to the fact that IT WORKS.
Mindfulness mediation has a long history, it comes out of Zen Buddhist traditions and has been utilised by the west as a way to teach very specific psychological skills.
At it’s simplest, mindfulness is attention training
Mindfulness techniques teach us to be able to intentionally pay attention to what we want to, and shift our attention when we want to. Our attention is sort of like a muscle, you don’t just learn the skill and stop “training”, you have to keep using it to keep the skill up.
All of us are distractible to varying degrees, it’s part of being human, and distraction can often lead to negative mood states and anxiety. In fact some researchers believe that in order to stay alive the human species has developed a bias towards the negative, so we keep our focus on potential threat.
This is why mindfulness is so useful for anxiety. Anxious thoughts are “sticky” they hold our attention. And by utilising the techniques of mindfulness we can increase out ability to move our attention away from anxious thoughts, and keep coming back to the moment, even if we have to do that over and over again.
It might not win you a Superbowl, but it might help you trounce your social anxiety.
PS: sorry Denver fans!
So what do you think of meditation as a technique to help focus your mind?