Want to know why I firmly believe in the benefits of mindfulness and meditation for athletes?! Because it works. Mindfulness has has been proven to change our brain’s neural circuitry to increase the capacity for resilience, inner peace, joy, true empowerment, and many other positive emotional states. The video below discusses the research and brain mechanism in regards to self-directed neuroplasticity. I could endlessly write on how I use mindfulness in my everyday life, in sport, and at work, but I want you to know for yourself the basis of which I believe in mindfulness mental training.
BTW if you want to skip ahead to minutes 27 and 33 that gets to the bottom line. Enjoy!
The citations below demonstrate empirical evidence on the benefits of applied mindfulness training, specifically the second one which highlights a new study (2010) that found that “mindfulness based cognitive therapy (which I practice) provides equivalent protection against depressive relapse as traditional antidepressant medication.” Additionally, studies have found that ONLY 8 weeks of mindfulness training create significant changes in the brain. By the way, mindfulness training is easier than you think. It is not sitting in Lotus position all day chanting. It is strengthening your natural ability of being aware in the present moment with out self judgement.
Here is a link to some FREE guided mindfulness meditations out of UCLA. It’s good stuff!
Mace, C. (2007). Mindfulness in psychotherapy: an introduction. Adv. Psychiatr. Treat. 13: 147-154. http://apt.rcpsych.org/cgi/reprint/13/2/147.pdf Retrieved 7-1-11.
This article is copyrighted and posted with permission of Michael Torres and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. It was originally posted on their site at:
http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/about_camh/newsroom/news_releases_media_advisories_and_back grounders/archives/2010/Pages/Mindfulness-meditation-found-to-be-as-effective-as-antidepressant- medication-in-prevention-of-depression-relapse.aspx
Hanh, T. N. (1991) The Miracle of Mindfulness. Rider.