As you probably experienced, the mind feed us with loads of thoughts all the time. If you haven`t reflected about it, try to focus on one thing e.g. your breath for one minute without thinking about something else. It`s pretty hard.
Our brains come up with all sorts of thoughts all the time, that’s what it does. In general, the thoughts are hard to control especially over time, in pressure situations and during stress. That’s why we should not try to control them. It is better to accept what you can`t control and instead focus on the things you want to, since it is much easier for us to control our attention. The thoughts can come and go as they like, we don`t have to act on or believe in every thought.
Often times, our minds tend to mostly be either in the future or in the past instead of in the present. We worry about the things that’s maybe going to happened in the future or ruminating about things that already has happened. Thus, often times we get stuck in thoughts instead of noticing what we experience in the moment. If we get stuck in negative thought patterns it could over time sometimes lead to stress, anxiety, depression etc.
Another alternative is to learn to be present and noticing what we experience in the moment; what we do, see, hear, smell, feel and taste. Just as it is, nothing more, nothing less. To be present is something that is central in a concept called mindfulness. Shortly, mindfulness can be described as being present in the moment without judging. Mindfulness have some positive effects on both the well-being and the performance. It can facilitate daily quality of life in terms of better mental health e.g. less stress, anxiety, depression. Mindfulness could also be facilitating for you performance in school, work or sports.
Everyone has probably experienced times when we are right there in the present moment. E.g. it could be when you are playing sports, walking in the woods or looking at a sunset. If you practice mindfulness you will increase the chances of you being mindful in everyday activities. You can practice mindfulness in several different ways, here are two easy and quick ways:
- notice 3 things you see
- notice 3 things you feel
- notice 3 things you hear
You decide how many things and senses you
would like to notice.
3 mindful breaths
- For your next three breaths, notice how it
feels and how it sounds
o Do you breathe with your nose or mouth?
Your stomach or your
chest ? Deep or shallow ? Can you hear your
own breathing ? Etc.
When you do these exercises your mind will be distracted, it is perfectly normal, just accept and refocus again on the breath or the senses. It is also easy to forget to do the exercise(s), to prevent this you can choose a specific time during the day you do the exercise, put a reminder on your phone or through a post-it note. Rather start small but steady than all in one day a week.
 Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., & Walach, H. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis. Journal of psychosomatic research, 57(1), 35-43.
 Sappington, R., & Longshore, K. (2015). Systematically Reviewing the Efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Interventions för Enhances Athletic Performance. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 9, 232-262. doi:10.1123/jcsp.2014-0017
 Gardner, F. L., & Moore, Z. E. (2007). The psychology of enhancing human performance, the mindfulness-acceptance-commitment (MAC) approach. New York: Springer publishing company.