Prior to starting a training program, there is a mental component that needs to be addressed. Even if it is you telling yourself that you are going to change your ways or that you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. The mindset matters approach has become a lot more popular these days with apps, gurus and expensive programs to meditate yourself to a skinnier, stronger, hotter, healthier version of yourself.
"Get your mind right!”, what does it actually mean?
How do you get your mind right and does it imply there is something wrong with your mind? You have probably heard lots of anecdotes about mindfulness, mind over matter, and the power of the mind. These statements are common and used freely by many strength and conditioning coaches all across the world. Few people actually understand how to create a mindset of abundance and goal setting, and it is easier to do than you might think. Having the right mindset means you practice visualization in order to change your skillset, body, and/or outlook.
There is every reason to start creating change in your life starting today. The fact you are reading this means you are interested in changing but might not be 100% sure of how to go about it. Everyone has different goals and aspirations, and they can range from wanting to remain or become functionally fit, or simply feel and look good (in that order.) In this article we will create some solutions to some problems and propose options without requirements so you are always in control. Training for life requires the right mindset, and the keyword here is how you set up your mind for success. You can start training daily prior to actually moving and it begins by you setting a goal to physically do work that is aided by mental practice.
Want to look good? Then envision the perfect version of yourself.
Want to move often? Then imagine you moving well first.
Want to get faster? Then work to get stronger.
Let’s look at some of the facts and science to change your life in a matter of minutes executed daily. From self help books, to self imagery (going well beyond the physical in recognizing talents, strengths, and weaknesses), it starts with yourself. We want you to hear what we are saying and pick up what we are putting down, did you just visualize that? Your mind is such a powerful tool and if you desire the change and are willing to work on it daily for a little bit then it will pay off because you are overcoming psychological roadblocks and getting out of your own way.
Having the right mindset will set you up for success, which means with the right focus you too can achieve ANYTHING. Creating the mindset starts with something as simple as controlling your breath and understanding that controlling your breathing pattern will help you focus on the task at hand. A popular method is called “box breathing” also referred to as square breathing will help you distract your mind and calm your nervous system, ultimately decreasing stress in your body. Box breathing has more effects than calming your body since it can help you sleep, lower your blood pressure and cortisol, improve your mood, help you control your breath in worrisome situation, and use it prior to a workout to center yourself. You can practice Box breathing anywhere at any time, while sitting(upright), standing or laying down on your back or stomach.
How to Box breath:
1) Breathe in through your nose to fill your lungs with air for a four count.
2) Hold your breath for 4 seconds, try not to inhale or exhale for 4 seconds.
3) Exhale slowly for 4 seconds through your mouth like you’re fogging a mirror, with a relaxed jaw.
4) Try not to inhale for 4 seconds.
5) Repeat steps 1-4 until you feel better and focused.
Start this exercise of mindful breathing for 30-60 seconds anytime you want and focus on pulling the air in to your belly so your breathing is done diaphragmatic and not stressful into your chest type breathing.
This breathing technique is used by Navy Seals in order to control their stress level and it’s been proven to be successful for business men and women, parents, and people from all walks of life dealing with stressful situations.
The next time you are in a precarious situation and you feel out of control take 30-60 seconds to focus on your breath and mindset. If four seconds is too much it’s ok to start practicing with just two or three seconds in the beginning to set yourself up for success.
Meditation or visualization is another method of creating the right mindset.
The best way to describe meditation comes from author, podcaster, and yoga educator Derek Beres “Focus on one thing, as you acknowledge other thoughts but let them pass.” According to Deepak Chopra you need to choose your mantra: “A mantra is a word or phrase that you silently repeat to yourself during meditation. The purpose of the mantra is to give you something to put your attention on other than your thoughts.”
Meditation doesn’t have to be about emptying your mind, it’s about focusing on one thought, action, or process.
You can meditate yourself to a happier, stronger, stress free version of yourself. Meditation can happen anywhere at anytime during your day and we suggest you give it a try today or this week.
Here are six simple steps to begin your mindful meditation journey:
- Choose your mantra.
- Find a comfortable place to sit
- Gently close your eyes and begin by taking some deep breaths.
- Begin repeating your mantra silently to yourself without moving your tongue or lips. Hear your voice in your head.
- Do not try and stop your thoughts or empty your mind.
- Stop repeating the mantra after 5–30 minutes by using a timer with a gentle low sounding tone.
Breath and thought are more powerful than you might believe and when used properly you will improve your physical health beyond what you perceive to be possible.