Mental Tricks to Improve Your Performance

If you’re an athlete or someone looking to hit high levels of performance in any given field, you’ll know that the mental side of your pursuit is at least as important as the physical training you perform. Marathon runners and concert pianists alike require a steely psychological disposition in order to hit the peaks of their ability through dogged training and self-determination. It’s all the more important if you are without a coach or a tutor, or a team to help you push to succeed. Here are some mental tricks that are proven to boost performance in sport and other areas of life, too.

Visualization

You may have heard of this technique, which involves directing your mental energies towards a preparatory visualization of success. Not only does this gear you towards the eventual goal in terms of putting you in the position of achieving what you have set out to achieve, it is also vital preparation whether you are visualizing the entirety of a triathlon course which you are soon to race on, or visualizing your success in a business presentation in the office.

Mentally rehearsing stressful situations that you are hoping to perform at your optimum level can drag your brain into believing a little that you are in those situations, and this is where the effectiveness of mental mapping comes into play. Whether it’s anticipating mistakes or bumps in the road, or simply giving you the self-belief to go out there and make the most of the skills you’ve been training, visualization will ensure your performance tops out thanks to the mental preparation it involves.

Goal Setting

Goal setting is understood to be the primary source of motivation for athletes and high-performing people in society. Sports scientists have, for instance, identified the need for micro and macro goals leading to an ultimate training goal. For instance, this would mean a daily goal, a weekly goal, a monthly goal and a completion goal along the lines of training for a match, race or event in which your final goal is to place high or record a certain time, score, or position.

The importance of goal setting is largely associated with motivation. When you achieve your smallest goal, for instance, setting out on a run in the evening, you can give yourself a small mental reward in the form of pride and self-actualization. It complements the adrenaline and endorphins naturally released in the brain after exercise and creates a positive habit in that you associate training and small goal reaching with satisfaction and success. Scale this up, and you will have all the self-determination you need to succeed.

Rational Thought

There are myriad ways in which performers can stray from rational thought, sometimes without even realizing it. One of the most common ways in which this error is made is with superstition, which is prevalent amongst athletes and other high performing individuals. Whether you like to hit off on your training ride after a specific breakfast or you won’t go on stage without your lucky charm, these are unhelpful mindsets to rely on, especially if you happen to be without those lucky charms.

Instead, focus on a variation of superstition that rationally determines a routine that you are familiar with and that you’re aware is your best bet for success in whatever field you are competing in. A fixed diet, a good routine, some useful equipment, or your ‘game day’ music are all important things for elite performers to have set. They are the mental cues that can help you anticipate your own success. Just don’t let these rational routine ideas spread into irrational actions, some of which may come to hinder your performances without you being aware of it.

Break Up Challenges

There are setbacks in training for your elite performance that are quite inevitable, even if you are taking extremely good care to ensure you will not be unseated from success by carelessness or injury. When you experience a setback, planning your return to peak performance should not so much be about getting to the place you were at as quickly as possible, but of logically breaking down that requirement through patient planning and the dismantling of the challenges you’re likely to face.

For instance, an injury that puts you out of training for a month can be responded to in a variety of ways, from despair to overtraining that sets you back further after you complicate your injury. You should, in this example, come to terms with your injury and plan your method of liberating yourself from it. Aqua aerobics, stretching, non-weight bearing exercise, dietary control, vitamin supplements, you can do a great deal to recover effectively from injuries or other setbacks, but it must involve a cool head that can break up the challenges involved.

Meditative Techniques

More and more athletes are finding some real value in the practice of both meditation and yoga. The first in pursuit of a relaxed mind and the second in the actualization of relaxed bodily muscles and a state of flow. Various studies recommend these practices for athletes, and there are further studies that delve still deeper into the hypnotic or trance-like state in which you can be led that may help you achieve better performance.

Take the Raikov effect, which has yielded fascinating results from scientific studies in terms of heightened performance through influencing the brain when it is in a state of childlike vulnerability.  Or else, the centering and stress-busting effects of daily meditation, which may seem at odds with the lifestyle of a hard-training athlete but in fact complements their need for equal measures of exercise and rest; mental agility and mental relaxation. If you’re looking for practices that will help with your downtime, then looking at meditative techniques could well provide a welcome boost to your performance.

It’s something of an old and worn cliché that says that high-performers have the edge in the mental department and not the physical one. Whether it’s Tour de France winners, Formula One champions, track stars or even high-performing business CEOs, these individuals have a stringent set of psychological training techniques that allow them to achieve their dreams; follow these tips to improve your own performance.

Learn the Benefits of Therapy in Form of Art That Works Wonders in Your Emotional Life

When the word therapy is mentioned, there are a number of things that register on the mind and everyone interprets it differently. How about art and therapy in the same sentence? Does it sound workable? The answer is yes!

Art has been psychologically proven to have the ability to inspire people, especially the mind, and make them see things from a totally different perspective. Art may come in many forms, whether painting a picture or writing a story or a piece of music. It is known to inspire the brain as well as encourage positive behavior in people who use it.

For troubled minds, it can be a way to creatively express themselves as a step to sobriety. Through artistic expression, many people who could not communicate their feelings or thoughts are able to communicate their fears, ideas or thoughts in a way that no verbal communication can. Not just communicating but finding out some things about themselves that they did not know. How amazing!

Amazing benefits of art therapy

  • Eliminates depression – Research has proven that art therapy fosters positive thinking and provides a creative way for the patient to look forward to daily. This especially helps depression patients who are going through rehabilitation or medication.
  • Improves self-management – Personal management is vital in this life. People who have an addiction are not able to control themselves. Art therapy helps such a person learn the skills to focus and build discipline towards a healthy life.
  • Addresses past traumas – Most people who suffer from addictions are trying to forget and block out painful memories. Art can help such a person begin to express how they are feeling about the event and take steps to move forward.
  • Improves communication skills – People who struggle with expressing themselves always feel alone and may turn to substance abuse. Art therapy encourages self-expression and helps the individual develop communication skills over time.
  • Builds self-esteem – Personal confidence is likely to develop healthy habits. Art therapy is one of the best activities that help build self-awareness and esteem that helps the individual learn how to deal with life situations in a confident way.
  • Reduces stress – Stress is the number one reason why most people abuse drugs or other substances. Daily demands of this busy life can leave you totally stressed if you don’t learn how to deal with them. Art therapy helps convert all the negative energy stored up into positive habits that promote good health and eliminate dependence on drugs and other substances.
  • Improves problem solving skills – Art therapy is the most preferred activity that seeks to develop creativity within you. Young adults who are used to having decisions made for them can really use this technique to better themselves.
  • Provides a positive distraction – Art therapy is both a distraction and a focus. It’s a distraction from the bad things that have kept your mind occupied and a focus on the positive life outlook.

Who can benefit from this art therapy?

Art is something that millions of people appreciate but beyond the appreciation, it can be a wonderful outlet that supports mental health.  Today, in the world of psychology, art therapy is gaining popularity as an alternative treatment. Everyone can benefit from art therapy, from the young to the old.

How to keep toxic influences away from your body

It is said that you should treat your body as a temple. Instead of taking it for granted, you need to do everything in your power to pamper, pleasure, and protect it. One of the best ways for you to do this is by identifying any toxic influences that you could be vulnerable to. Then, you need to think up ways to keep your body safe. If you are unsure where to start, you should pay close attention to the following six tips. They will help you on your way towards a better life and a brighter future.

Give up bad habits

First things first, you need to give up any bad habits. This is your best chance of protecting your body and mind from long-term damage. Although this step will require a lot of hard work and determination, when it comes to the bigger picture, you will be glad you put the effort in. That is why you should get to work writing a list of any areas of your life that are out of control. Perhaps you find it a struggle to stick to a healthy diet. Or, maybe you compulsively check your social media. Whatever the case, the most important thing is that you identify the issue and start to make a change. Depending on the issue that you are facing, it might not be possible for you to do this alone. For instance, if you struggle with alcohol dependency, you should research Colorado alcohol rehab centers. Placing your trust in a team of experts will help you to keep toxic influences away from your body.

Avoid pollution

The next step is to avoid pollution at all costs. While it is vital that you spend plenty of time in the open air, it is even more important that the air that you are breathing in is clean. In order to achieve this, you will need to schedule in regular trips to the countryside or the ocean. This is a great opportunity for you to fill up your lungs with refreshing and restorative air. You can also avoid air pollution by reevaluating the way in which you are driving your car. Instead of opening your windows as you sit in traffic or turning on your air conditioning system, you need to think about what this will do to the air in your vehicle. Ideally, you should only open the windows when you are moving quickly through an open area.

Limit your use of technology

Another great tip for reducing your exposure to toxic influences is limiting your use of technology. In this digital age, it is understandable that you will spend a lot of you time plugged into your digital devices. However, it is vital that you don’t put too much strain on your eyes or your ears. That is why you should endeavor to look away from your screens as often as possible. You should also set yourself the rule of only using one piece of a tech at a time. In addition to this, you should avoid using inner ear headphones and turning up your media too loud. Then, during the limited times when you are on your devices, you should steer clear of sites that bring you down. Don’t obsess over the appearance of social media influencers or waste your time reading online gossip sites. Stick to websites that build up your confidence, inform you of world news, and connect you with the people you love.

Stay away from bad influences

Although it is important that you connect with the people you love, you should only do this if they truly want the best for you. In order to enjoy a long and happy life, it is vital that you stay away from bad influences. You need to rid your life of toxic people who try to lead you down the wrong path. Even if they aren’t doing it intentionally, hanging around smokers could result in secondhand smoke inhalation. Or, spending time with binge drinkers could tempt you to indulge. Of course, you don’t want to judge the people in your life, but you do want to be honest about your expectations. You need to make it clear that while they are free to make their own decisions, you would prefer them not to do certain things around you. If they are on board with this agreement, this is a sign that they have your best interests at heart. However, if they push back against your decision to make a change, it might be time to cut them out.

Clean up your living space

You can also make a positive change by cleaning up your living space. This is a fantastic way for you to create an environment that you truly enjoy spending time in. Carrying out a regular deep clean will also help to protect you against harmful germs and bacteria. That is why you should schedule in a cleaning session for the end of every month. Alternatively, if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, you could call in a professional. You could also invest in high-quality storage solution, as this will help to make the process easier. Instead of allowing your living space to get messy in the first place, you will be able to take complete control of your environment. Reorganizing your possessions will also give you the chance to identify any toxic influences that you need to get rid of.

Purify your air

During the process of cleaning your home, you should also take on the task of purifying your air. This is another brilliant opportunity for you to keep toxic influences away from your body. The air that you are breathing in has a huge impact on your health and happiness. In order to ensure it is as pure as possible, you will need to open up your windows and doors on a regular basis. Or, if you live in a highly polluted city environment, you will need to invest in an air purifier. You should also purchase plenty of plants, as they will help to clean up the air that you are breathing in.

How to Improve Brain Health

Your brain is one of the most powerful things on the planet, which means it much be taken care of as much as any other part of your body. Doing this can be hard when there are so many different factors which can affect its overall health, such as stressful times at work and mental health problems. Problems like this can lead to slips in your memory, focus, and your mood, which can have further impacts on your life. Nevertheless, you can take many steps in your daily life to keep it healthy, which are easy to incorporate into your usual daily routine.

Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is key to maintaining a healthy body, but it is also important to keep your brain healthy. This is because your cells don’t work effectively when you are dehydrated, which can lead to a decrease in memory retention and focus. Experts recommend drinking 8 glasses of water each day to keep your brain functioning normally. If you struggle to drink the recommended amount, don’t forget you can add flavorings to it to make it easier. Perhaps invest in a bottle that has pointers on how much water is left to drink in the day.

Exercise regularly

This may seem like an obvious point, as you may already be exercising to keep the rest of your body in good shape. Yet, doing a set amount each day with time to rest means it will be easier to think on your feet. This is why many people exercise before work, so they can set themselves up for the long day ahead. As with keeping your entire body healthy, exercise often goes hand in hand with healthy eating, where you can fill your diet with vitamins such as B12 and Omega-3 to promote general health and decrease chances of Depression.

Stimulate your brain

Exercise is one of the best ways to stimulate your brain, but you can keep it sharp and focused on doing brain teasers and games. Puzzles are a great way to give it a boost, but you can encourage critical and logical thinking by getting your whole body involved. Innovations such as the Escape Room Columbus put you under pressure to crack clues, which means your brain is forced to use itself to its full potential so that you can escape. If you are strapped for time, small brain teasers can be played from the comfort of your handheld device.

Sleep more

Sleep is important after a long day of work as your body recuperates for the coming days. However, it is most important for your brain. If you have spent all day inside, but your brain has been busy working and being under stress, you will still need a good night’s sleep to promote good mental health. While you sleep, your brain sorts through images and ideas from the day to clear space for the next day, and it also repairs any damage that may have been done. If you can sleep between 7-9 hours a night, you will see an improvement in awareness, memory, and irritability.