I'm going to let you in on a little secret.
Are you sure?
Mindfulness works. It really, really works. And you can apply it to anything in your life. It is that powerful.
What is mindfulness? It is the state of active, open attention to the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to the experience. (According to Psychology Today.)
That's great, but how do I apply it to x, y or z?
Let's talk about eating, since we all eat. How often do you multi-task while eating? You check your phone, watch TV, read a book or a magazine, do something, anything while you shovel food in. You get food all over, you miss your mouth and food lands in your lap, you don't even notice what you're eating tastes like.
Mindfulness slows that all down. It's going to require you put that phone, remote or book down though. Instead, you'll be focused on one task at a time. You start to notice more - how the food feels on your tongue; how it tastes; how it feels sliding down your throat. Because of this awareness, you start to notice when you're full so you stop eating as much. You lean up, you calmly digest, you enjoy each meal.
Great - but how do I apply this to sports?
Think about a recent win. How did you feel? Where you in the present moment? Where you 100% focused? That's mindfulness. It's hard to achieve at every moment, of every day. It can be hard to achieve it multiple times in your life. But if you practice, it will become more frequent and you'll be able to harness that inner strength when ever you need to. And it will make the impossible, possible.
How do you start?
With just 10 minutes a day. Yep, 10 minutes. I recommend starting in the morning when your day is calmest. You can even do it while you're laying in bed. Focus on your breath in, breath out. Notice thoughts or feelings come in, let them pass with curiosity and fade back out. All you have to do is just keep practicing this simple technique, and you'll be on your way.
For those overachievers - go to yoga at least 3 times a week. Focus on your breath, aligning your mind, body and spirit. It works, yo!