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Mindfulness is extremely helpful when you are having a bad practice and need to re-focus yourself back to the present. But bad days don’t just happen in athletics. Maybe at work a customer became angry or a scientific experiment failed. Both of these examples can cause someone to become distracted with frustration even when the cause is out of his or her control. This is the perfect moment to re-focus. Simply by reminding oneself of a focus-word or by trying to imitate a feeling of calm, one can extrapolate mindfulness skills into their entire life. Not only will this improve the welfare of their non-athletic life, it will also help them to practice mindfulness more regularly so that it may come more naturally when they do need to use it in high-pressure athletic situations.
Mindfulness in one’s daily life can be a bit different than on the court. For example, it is less likely that someone will look to gain the mental edge at work. However, if one can find a trigger that puts them in a calm mindset at work then they can more easily tackle the little bumps that are sure to come along. They can address issues with less emotion (if the issue calls for less emotion) and learn to see the world in a logical, productive light.
As a college student, I have faced many challenging exams. In one particularly difficult class, I prepared for the exam by expecting it to be overwhelming, knowing that I might worry initially, and training myself to calm down and begin work with an emotionally neutral, academically active mind. The preparation mediation worked. The exam was indeed difficult, but I successfully remained calm despite the preliminary panic. Admittedly, I did not perform amazingly on the exam. But I would still like to think that I gave myself a slight advantage by avoiding exam-long panic through the practice of mindfulness.
People face pressure every day. Whether it be in a sport, in work, or even in one’s personal life, and everyone can benefit from learning to cope with everyday stresses through mindfulness. Even if you don’t need to whip out that mindfulness tool box every single day, a daily practice of mindfulness meditation can help to make that place of peace available when it is desperately needed.