Tag Archive for 'mindfulness'

Mindfulness and positive awareness of ourselves

The practice of mindfulness can be extremely helpful in focusing on one’s positive qualities and maintaining concentration on what is beautiful and significant in one’s life. Here is a potential mindfulness program to remain focused on the beautiful aspects of oneself:

  1. Breath Awareness - Start with a practice of mindful breathing. Find a quiet place, sit or lie down comfortably, and bring your attention to your breath. Notice how the air enters and leaves your body. This helps calm the mind and enter a state of presence in the present moment.
  2. Recognizing Positive Thoughts - Throughout the day, pay attention to positive thoughts about yourself. When thoughts of appreciation, gratitude, or self-love arise, take a moment to acknowledge them without judgment. You might jot them down in a journal to keep track of them.
  3. Practice Gratitude towards Oneself - Dedicate time each day to reflect on at least three things you love about yourself or are grateful for. They could be skills, personal qualities, relationships, or even small daily successes. Focus on how these positive aspects influence your life.
  4. Active Listening and Compassion - When interacting with others, practice active listening. Pay attention to what they say that’s positive about you or your actions. Even if they might be small things, accept them with gratitude and compassion toward yourself.
  5. Mindfulness in Movement - During daily activities like taking a walk, stretching, or doing household chores, be aware of your body’s movements and the sensations you experience. This helps you maintain awareness of the present moment and appreciate your physical abilities.
  6. Mindfulness in Leisure Time - When you have free time, dedicate it to yourself without external distractions. You can practice guided meditation, listen to relaxing music, read an inspiring book, or engage in activities that connect you with yourself and your passions.
  7. Daily Self-Reflection - Before going to bed, take a few minutes to reflect on the day that just passed. Observe and acknowledge the moments when you cultivated positive thoughts about yourself or practiced gratitude. This practice can help reinforce a positive mindset.
  8. Positive Visualization - Set aside time each day for visualizing yourself in positive and rewarding situations. Imagine yourself achieving your goals, feeling fully happy and fulfilled. This practice can help you create an emotional connection with your desires and goals, reinforcing a positive mindset.
  9. Cultivating Kindness Toward Oneself - Practice kindness toward yourself as you would with a dear friend. When facing difficulties or moments of self-criticism, be compassionate and kind to yourself instead of judging yourself harshly. Use reassuring and loving phrases to support yourself in challenging times.
  10. Creating an Inner Safe Space - Dedicate time each day to create an internal space of calm and serenity. This can be done through meditation, visualization, or repeating positive affirmations. This internal space becomes a place where you can retreat when you need to renew your energy and strengthen your self-confidence.

Remember that the practice of mindfulness requires time and consistency. Maintaining a kind and compassionate attitude toward yourself is essential. This program can be adapted and personalized according to your individual needs and preferences.”

Autogenic training or mindfulness?

I have found that young psychologists do not know about Schultz’s autogenic training. They all know, today, that mindfulness exists, which has nothing negative about it, but they don’t know the history. They don’t know how mindfulness was arrived at.

I consider this reduced awareness a limitation, because we are, if you will allow me, at the invention of how to cut the broth.

Let me explain. Schultz, about 120 years ago, devised a system to improve self-control and learn to relax that he named autogenic training. It means that through a process of training you can learn to relax.

His purpose was to free people from the dependence of hypnotics, today we would say make them autonomous through learning a psychological skill.

Most young psychologists ignore this approach, whereas they should be making this mindfulness their own and then using it with the adaptations that 120 years later we are now able to propose.

Instead we have moved to mindfulness, which is certainly useful, but we have thrown away the knowledge of the past, probably because it is not fashionable and certainly not because it is useless.

What do you think?

The psychologist training: the popularity of mindfulness

The issue for me is a different one. I have always thought that a psychologist’s use of a psychological strategy/technique, in this case mindfulness, should correspond to an interest not only in developing a skill, learning a technique. It should, in my opinion, be a way to allow a psychologist to acquire further competence in a field of interest.

It seems to me that this strategy and technique falls within those activities that also concern breathing control, the ability to relax, the ability to remain focused on the present represented by a simple or complex stimulus, external or internal to the individual and the ability to use the imagination to organize the visualization of tasks and situations.

My impression is that, instead, one runs the risk of acquiring skills “because in any case I could use them, they are fashionable and can be acquired easily without direct personal involvement”.

The idea I want to emphasize is, in short, the following: does the acquisition of professional skills correspond to the development of an organized plan or does it happen in a more spontaneous way on the wave of training opportunities and interests of this moment?

Workshop: How to improve the sport performance with breathing

Breathing has for too long been considered only as a natural event that the individual performs mechanically to ensure survival. Today the sport recognizes the breath a different relevance, to promote relaxation, to recover from stress during the race, to increase concentration and activation of the athletes in the most different situations of their activities. From training to competition, from physical to technical and psychological preparation, deep breathing and spontaneous breathing are useful to improve the effectiveness of the athletes’ commitment. Therefore, according to the requests of the different sports, it is possible to insert breathing training modalities. This theoretical-practical workshop aims to bring together experts in the different areas of sports science and athletes in introducing this practice within the usual training activities and competition routines.

The seminar will be held by Alberto Cei and Mike Maric, on February 19, at the Centro di Preparazione Olimpica Giulio Onesti, Largo G.Onesti 1, Rome. Program and registration


The meditation in sport

Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant talk about the relevance of mindfulness and meditation to develop the self-control and full mastery of ourselves during the competition.

“It’s like having an anchor. If I don’t do it I feel like I’m constantly chasing the day as opposed to being in control” – Kobe

“You seat on the bench, you take a deep breath and you reset yourself; and you do that through the mindfulness.” – Phil


Risultati immagini per Phil Jackson & Kobe Bryant discuss the value of meditation and mindfulness

Mindfulness can reduce the burnout

Chunxiao Li et al., (2019).Mindfulness and Athlete Burnout: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 449.

This review aims to identify, appraise, and synthesize studies reporting the relationship between mindfulness and athlete burnout and the effects of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) on athlete burnout. few variables may account for the relationship between mindfulness and athlete burnout.

Gustafsson et al. (2015) found that mindfulness had an indirect effect on athlete burnout through negative/positive affect. As negative affect has been viewed as an indicator of burnout susceptibility (Lemyre et al. 2006), mindfulness is likely to prevent burnout through adjusting athletes’ affect. Zhang and colleagues (2016) proposed another possible mechanism. They claimed that athletes with high levels of mindfulness tend to have low levels of experiential avoidance (i.e., willingness to avoid negative experience because of the distress brought on by the experience, which may in turn minimize the maladaptive influences of stressors and other negative factors on burnout.

The use of meditation in sport

The use of mindfulness seems to be one of the new strategies and techniques to train mentally athletes to stay focused on the present and on their performances, rather than be dominated by competitive stress. It want to remember that 40 years ago transcendental meditation and zen were already described as modes suitable to sports. At this regard, I report what had written at that time  two of the sports psychologists who have provided significant contributions in term of innovation and efficiency of their approach.

Robert Nideffer (1976) in the book “The inner athlete”:

“Trascendental meditation (TM) procedures can be helpful in improving an athlete’s general feeling of well-being as well as increasing his energy level and his ability to concentrate … they are very useful to athletes who engage in endurance events which require little in the way of external attention … keeps him from becoming locked into negative, self-defeating thoughts and feelings … most applicable in those competitive situations where an athlete’s responses require non thought, where movements have been learned so well that they have become automatic … complicated gymnastics routines or dives are often practiced to the point where they are almost reflexive” (p.179).

Terry Orlick (1980) in the book “In pursuit of excellence”:

“Thinking is useful in many ways, but there some occasions when thinking interferes with the task and you have to leave it behind …

In such cases, you cease to be your own conscious master but become an instrument in the hands of the unknown. The unknown has no ego-consciousness and consequently no thought of winning the contest … it is for this reason that sword moves where it ought to move and makes the contest end victoriously. This is the practical application of the Lao-tzuan doctrine of doing by not doing” (p.146, corsivo è di Daisetz Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture).

Relaxation, yoga, meditation, mindfulness

Relaxation, yoga, meditation, mindfulness

do you want but do something

Risultati immagini per yoga day 2017

Mindfulness enhances adolescents’ memory

A Randomized Controlled Trial Examining the Effect of Mindfulness Meditation on Working Memory Capacity in Adolescents

Quach, D., Jastrowski Mano, K.E., and Alexander, K,     J. Adolesc Health 2015

This is the first study to provide support for the benefits of short-term mindfulness practice, specifically mindfulness meditation, in improving work memory capacity. The study has involved 198 adolescents recruited from a large public middle school in southwest United States and randomly assigned to mindfulness meditation, hatha yoga, or a waitlist control condition. Results highlight the importance of investigating the components of mindfulness-based interventions among adolescents given that such interventions may improve cognitive function.