Ever wonder how the High level athletes do it? Sure, they push themselves beyond their physical limits, and train their bodies for perfection. But, all that physical training takes a toll on the mind. Forcing your body further and further beyond its comfort zone takes a lot of mental focus and energy. Its no question that grit and intensity will get you pretty far, but maybe there are other ways to perform at such high levels for long periods of time. A recent article in The NY Times Well Blog discussed some emerging research investigating the benefits of meditation in high level athletes.
The research was published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement. The study examined the effects of Mindfulness Training (MT) and Relaxation Training (RT) on sustained attention and emotional well being in college football players during their pre-season high demand training. The study showed that greater engagement in both MT and RT was correlated with less anxiety and a more positive affect over the high-demand pre season training. The study suggests that athletes must sufficiently engage in both MT and RT to experience the benefits of these programs over cognitively and emotionally demanding intervals, such as pre-season athletic training.
Check out the complete article at the NYT Well blog! And don't forget to meditate like the Pros :)