It never fails that I get a ton of questions on these subjects as well as my daily routine in general, this post will take a slightly deeper look at three things I do daily.
For some reason there is a stigma around this term. People tend to associate meditation with some form of religious experience, while this can apply, it does not always, and I use the term meditation in a slightly looser form.
To me, to meditate means to practice stillness. Meditation is not something I force, rather it is a time when I try to sit (or stand) quietly and focus on my breath. During this time I also focus on my goals while using positive affirmations, and visualizations methods.
If you are like me, most of your self talk is negative. I am harder on myself, than most people are on me. I beat myself up mentally on a daily basis. Using affirmations has the opposite effect. When using affirmations I try to focus on my good qualities rather than my shortcomings. So instead of focusing on what I can’t do, I focus on the things I can do.
Affirmations can be as elaborate as you’d like, but for me, I try to keep it simple by, at minimum reminding myself of my positive qualities. I have found this practice to be extremely helpful during times of stress, or preferably while meditating before a stressful event or situation. Affirmations, such as I am strong, I am balanced, I am smart, etc, have been infinitely helpful while practicing my jiu-jitsu, and training CrossFit.
Instead of limiting the use of affirmations to just fitness, try using them in any areas in which you have goals.
I use visualization to help calm my nerves and reinforce positive behavior. This goes back to the affirmations above. If I am affirmation something, I will then visualize that affirmation taking place. Generating as much detail as possible is key when practicing visualization methods.
Use affirmations to generate visualizations of previous successes (small and large). Add in details such as sights, sounds, smells, feels. Always focus on past wins or successes and remember how these moments made you feel. Add the emotion to the vision.
Start with just 5 or 10 minutes.
Sit, and relax.
Focus on your breathing for a few deep cycles, then start to think about your goals.
Visualize your goals having already been reached
Focus on how you have felt when you have achieved previous goals.
Use positive affirmations during this time, such as “I am so happy and grateful now that ____________(fill in blank with a current goal).
When your mind wanders, just come back to your breath and reset.