The ability to relax when needed is an important asset for anyone, especially athletes. Be it being stressed from work, sports, life, or just taking that game winning shootout shot, you need to be able to be relaxed enough to focus on what you need or want to do.
Relaxation techniques come in every shape and size. There are whole practices, including meditation and yoga. There are also techniques meant for a quick fix relaxation, like deep breathing.
For the athlete, having a long term relaxation practice is important to be able to come down from the game high and rise up from the game lows. Meditation is a technique that works to quiet the inner voices and let the mind be calm. It can be used anywhere at anytime and the more you do it, the easier it can become. But it is something that people think takes a lot of time and so much practice that you can never be good at it unless you put that practice in. However, meditation can be done by anyone in just five minutes a day. The key is to not put pressure on yourself. You can simply start by sitting quietly in a comfortable position (doesn’t have to be a full lotus on the floor), and empty your mind and just breathe. It doesn’t have to be that all of your thoughts go away. Thoughts may come and go and just let them, try not to focus on them, but let them come and go. And just be quiet.
As you continue to practice this, you may find that it becomes easier to let the voices and your mind be quiet. This just becomes an easier and easier practice the more you do it. And it then becomes a technique that you can use when you want to help quiet your mind, calm your breathing, focus on what you want and need to do.
Again, meditation does not have to be something that you practice for hours a day, it just has to be a practice of a few minutes a day, or a couple of times a day to train yourself to be able to use the calm of meditation to your greatest benefit.
If you haven’t worked with relaxation techniques before, give it a try and see what you notice.
Thanks for reading!
THP The Healing Path