Meditation is the key to a more successful, enjoyable experience on the golf course and in life.
Meditation is a technique of limiting our focus to one thing, such as the breath, while remaining still in order to calm the mind and train our attention and awareness, resulting in a more clear and controlled emotional state.
For most of us, our existence is experienced through our mind; through our thoughts and emotions. The biggest problem with this is our thoughts and emotions are ever changing. They do not remain constant, taking us on a rollercoaster ride everyday. Every golf round.
Meditation is paramount in improving our experience of life because it helps us create distance from our thoughts and regain control of our emotions.
Our wellbeing can change in an instant with just a simple thought. For example, we are out golfing and just birdied the hole. We move on to the next tee shot and hit it dead left out of bounds. What immediately happens? We start thinking, “I am the worst golfer”, "I alway hit a bad tee shot" or “I always have to sabotage my round”. One minute we are excited and joyful and the next we become our own worst enemy.
This is a common situation for most of us, but that does not mean we have to accept it. There is a way to overcome these mental breakdowns and emotional rollercoasters; to be constantly joyful, excited and energized; to distance yourself from any fears, worries and doubts and just experience life's moments as they come, without a reaction.
When we create this space we don’t immediately react to something, but calmly let it pass by. Our mood does not completely change from of a simple, fabricated thought because we can now look at it rationally, with space. Going back to our golfing example, instead of immediately believing you are a bad golfer because of one bad tee shot, we can either completely ignore the thought and let it pass or counter it. "I just birdied the last hole. I am a great golfer. Every round will have some bad shots, but I am not going to let that affect me”. Different techniques work for different people, but without meditation it is difficult to see the thought as something other than you and real. Meditation helps improve our awareness and bring the falsities of these situations and interpretations to light.
Meditation might come with a stigma or seem too time consuming, but we will never know if these opinions are true or false unless we try it for ourselves. Our time is valuable but wouldn't it be more valuable and more enjoyable if that time was spent in a joyful, positive state?
Regardless of your thoughts and feelings about meditation, the fact remains that meditation helps us distance ourselves from our thoughts and emotions, giving us a clearer perspective and more control of our actions. It will help bring more positivity to our round, keeping us present and focused, helping us improve in every aspect of our golf game.
Another advantage of mediation is that it has a residual effect. Meditation not only works during the 10-20 minutes while in that calming, meditative state but it’s benefits continue long after the work is done.
So as you start this mediation journey, remind yourself that this is a gift you are giving to yourself. This is something you are doing for you. If you have ever been fed up by your angry responses to missed putt or fear of hitting over a water hazard or disappointment in a chip shot, then mediation is for you. To be a calming, guiding friend on and off the golf course.
Meditation is a process you will begin timidly and perhaps with some skepticism, but it will soon become a journey of inner growth, perspective and understanding.