Has anyone ever told you that you should try meditation? Cool, I will too.
YOU NEED TO MEDITATE!
What do I mean when I say meditate?
Meditation is time that you spend trying to quiet your mind. You try to focus on a single thing. I usually focus on my breathing while sitting in a chair. You could also mentally scan your body, or listen to a guided meditation. This type of meditation is basic mindfulness meditation. There are lots of resources online for helping you choose what could be most useful to you. I use mindfulness because seems to be the most useful to me.
Here’s my process:
To me, meditation is the best way to train your mind to focus on what you need to focus on when you want to be focusing on it. There's plenty of research to back this up as well. Basically, it says that meditation is one of the best ways to combat distraction. Some research also says that on average we are distracted every 40 seconds when we work from a computer and it takes us up to 23 minutes to get focused again. Yikes! That means most people spend the majority of their workday either in a distracted state or recovering from it.
Why is distraction a bad thing?
Distraction slows down practice productivity. Your mind also wants you to be distracted by the symptoms of nervous anxiety when you perform.
Why is meditation good for your attention?
It lowers the time it takes for you to bounce back from distraction. This will have positive ramifications for more than just practice and performance.
When should you meditate?
I usually do a quick session of mindfulness meditation before each practice session or performance. This typically happens early in the morning and in the late afternoon or evening. I also tend to cap daily meditation sessions at two.
Give mindfulness meditation a try and let me know what you think.
Thank you for reading!
Jeremy is Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at West Texas A&M University.