BRAIN HEALTH | 11.7.2016 | BY KEVIN PEARCE
What is mindful performance? Well, mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance. So mindful performance is applying that presence to whatever it is you’re performing - whether it’s a sport, a musical instrument, or a speech.
Mindful performance also means being smart with your equipment. If you’re biking, skateboarding, snowboarding, etc., be sure to wear a helmet to protect your brain! You only get one.
Another aspect of mindful performance is knowing when NOT to perform, and to instead sit out. Injuries are part of the game, but it’s important to take them seriously, especially traumatic brain injuries. Moderate to severe TBIs are often easier to diagnose. But, if you suspect you have a concussion, report it to your coach, parent, or athletic trainer immediately. It’s better to sit out a few games than miss the entire season - or be forced to end your career.
Yoga and meditation have really helped me carry the idea of mindfulness into the rest of my life. I’m more aware of my behaviors and how my daily activities affect my brain and overall lifestyle. So, whatever it is that you’re doing, even if it’s drinking a glass of water, be fully engaged in the present moment and you’ll start to cultivate that mindful awareness.