Mental training is really as important as physical training. While it is mostly used by professional athletes, it can also be useful for others.
Basically you focus, or create a mental image of what you want to accomplish. This comes from the theory of psychology that you can control your behaviour by controlling your thoughts and then perform at the right level.
There are several exercises you can do to achieve this.
The basics is learning to relax. By this I mean that you need to control your body and your breathing. You can practise this in your everyday life, like when you are waiting for the bus.
A great way of practising breathing is lying on your bed and relaxing a muscle group at a time. You can feel how the stress escapes you and you get a feeling of complete relaxation.
Closely connected with relaxation and mental training is concentration. This is based on visualising something that has not yet happened, but is something that you want to achieve. That is why you need to focus on that and remove your mind from the world outside.
A good exercise to achieve that is to focus on your breathing, you can do so by counting slowly with your breath to five while you focus. Once you can focus on your breath you can focus on an image, a shape of any kind. The idea is to be able to control your mind, to focus on something specific. Later on you can apply this skill on the performance you want to achieve.
Affirmation means that you change your negative ideas (I cant do it) to positive (of course I can do it). By forcing yourself to think positive your brain will register it, and it will naturally happen. You turn a negative thought to something positive. which leads to positive actions.
It may sound strange to some, but it actually works. To become aware of what you are thinking and how it affects you, write down what you are thinking. Then you can analyse this and see how you can turn negative thoughts to positive, or at least neutral thoughts.
With mental training you control your body and your mind.
More on mental training:
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