Can Meditation & Mindfulness Improve Physical Performance?

meditation mindfulness improve physical performance yogi

The short answer is Yes, but keep on reading if you want to find out exactly how meditation & mindfulness can improve physical performance. 

You have probably heard the phrase “healthy body, healthy mind” but it also works the other way round. You won’t have a healthy body either if your mind isn’t healthy. Both physical and mental wellbeing have a mutual relationship. 

So physical performance does not only rely on your physical wellbeing but even more so on your mental wellbeing. You won’t get the most out of your potential until you take care of both. Stress, for example, is essential and harmful at the same time. Experienced excessively and negatively it can not only have short- but also long term impacts on your health and thus your physical performance. Learning how to handle stress can help you stay focused and calm whilst experiencing pressure resulting in improved performance. This has been proven by several studies, for example, a study published by the University of California about ‘Self-reported mindfulness and cortisol during a Shamatha meditation retreat’. 

A common technique to practice mindfulness as well as getting a healthy sense of perspective is meditation. Often meditation is mistaken with turning off your thoughts and feelings but this is not what it is about. Meditation is about observing your thoughts and feelings without judgement which will over time help you to better understand and control them. It can help you tackle all sorts of mental and physical issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, sleep difficulties, confidence issues, recovery time and even obesity. 

You are probably asking yourself “Is meditation something for me ?” and the answer is “yes”. Meditation is a skill that can be learned by anyone, like any other skill. You just have to give it a go and be persistent as if you were picking up any other new hobby. Do not quit if it does not immediately show the desired results as it takes time to fully get comfortable with your mind, and the road to success will probably not be a straight line. 

It’s easiest if you make it a habit and integrate it into your daily routine, but it shouldn’t feel like a chore, it should be something you look forward to and feel comfortable with in order to fully relax and practice mindfulness. To contribute towards this positive feeling you should try to stick to a certain time and do everything that you need to feel comfortable like for example wearing comfy clothes. As with learning most skills, picking it up can be significantly more effective if it is guided through an instructor but you could also be guided via other means such as audio, video, and even texts, showing that it is getting more and more accessible and easier to get started. 

To conclude, yes Meditation & Mindfulness can and will improve your physical performance. Practising mindfulness and meditation are a useful way to get into a habit of being more aware and in control of your thoughts and feelings as well as their impact on your body.