Sport Can Reduce Stress through Mindfulness

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Updated: Apr 30, 2024
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Sport Can Reduce Stress through Mindfulness

This essay explores how engaging in sports can reduce stress through the practice of mindfulness. It delves into the psychological benefits of physical activity, such as improved focus, reduced anxiety, and enhanced mood. The piece will examine different sports and their specific mindfulness techniques, highlighting how these activities promote mental well-being. The overview aims to provide insight into the connection between physical exertion and mental health, offering practical advice on incorporating mindfulness into various sports routines. You can also find more related free essay samples at PapersOwl about Cognition.

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The Mental Aspect of Sports Performance

The sport consists of more than just excelling at a physical skill. It takes having the ability to regulate your mental state. Despite how physically prepared an athlete is for competition, their performance may suffer if they do not have control over their mind. Improving mindfulness or participating in mindful exercises may help athletes monitor and manage their sport-related anxiety, focus more during competitions, and help boost their confidence. Athletes are looking for whatever will give them an advantage, so why not try mindfulness?

The Nature and Prevalence of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the ability to be aware of your thinking, surroundings, present time, etc.

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It is the ability to think intentionally. Mindfulness is not something that is out of the ordinary. Surprisingly, we, as individuals, are already practicing mindfulness. We have the capacity to be present, and it doesn’t require us to alter who we are. The solutions or programs that ask us to change who we are or become something we’re not will continue to fail us over and over again.

The Potential of Mindfulness as a Social Phenomenon

Mindfulness has the potential to become a transformative social phenomenon. Here is why, anyone can do it. Practicing mindfulness can cultivate widespread human qualities and does not involve any individual modifying their beliefs. We can all benefit from the practice of mindfulness, and it’s easy to learn. Mindfulness is a way of living; it is more than just exercise. It can bring alertness and compassion into everything we do, and it can cut down on nagging stress. If we can practice mindfulness, even just a little, it will make our lives better. What makes the idea and practice of mindfulness great is it is evidence-based. Both science and experience demonstrate their positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships.

Mindfulness and Innovation in Sports

Mindfulness sparks innovation. As we deal with our day-to-day increasing complexity and uncertainty, mindfulness can lead us to effective and resilient responses to seemingly stubborn problems. The practice of mindfulness is used in everyday life, especially in sports. According to Silwa (2017), “For example, an athlete could identify that ‘right now, I have the thought that I can’t finish this race,’ so rather than reflecting an objective truth, it’s seen as just a thought.” Understanding where your mind is at in a moment can help change the outcome of your responses mentally and physically. Studies have been done to prove that mindfulness is an effective practice to help athletes overcome the daily obstacles in their respective sports. A recent research cited by Sports Psychologist Kaufman (2017) stated, “Two studies involving 81 university athletes found that athletes who completed the program showed significant increases in various dimensions of mindfulness and flow, which is the mental construct often associated with being “in the zone.” In this study, the athletes rated their own performance higher and experienced less sport-related anxiety. Kaufman did a follow-up months later and saw that these improvements were kept. Also, in the study, there were two teams that were involved in the mindfulness exercises, who previously had losing records the previous year, but both had winning seasons following mindful sport performance enhancement. One of the many positives of practicing mindfulness is that it can be exercised anywhere, anytime; all it takes is a few moments of your time and a bit of concentration on yourself.

Implementing Progressive Mindfulness Training for Enhanced Athletic Performance

Feeling mentally prepared can be enhanced through properly implementing progressive mindfulness training. According to Verma (2011), “Mindfulness-based interventions have resulted in numerous physiological effects such as decreased pre-competition salivary cortisol associated with decreased pre-competition stress and decreased resting heart rate” (p. 328). Having the ability to control these physiological effects could enhance the athlete’s sports performance and decrease the risk of burnout. Consistent mindfulness training can help athletes improve concentration and reduce anxiety, which may lead to enhanced athletic performance (Kuafmann 2017). Developing a regime for exercising mindfulness could benefit committed athletes. One part of the developed plan for a sport psychologist to come in and work with our student-athletes on mindfulness would be to practice the simplicity of being mindful, the “How to Sit” exercise. The information below is an example that I would have the sport psychologist try with the team before they go deeper into the practice.


  1. Silwa, J. (2017). “Mindfulness in Athletic Performance”. Journal of Sports Psychology, 24(3), 201-213.
  2. Kaufman, K. (2017). “Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement: An Intervention Study”. Journal of Applied Sports Psychology, 29(4), 406-422.
  3. Verma, S. (2011). “Impact of Mindfulness Training on Athlete’s Performance and Well-being”. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 6(3), 317-334.
  4. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). “Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Context: Past, Present, and Future”. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144-156.
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Sport Can Reduce Stress through Mindfulness. (2023, Jun 17). Retrieved from