Mindfulness in the heat of Chaos
Operate in the Present & Master your self
What is Mindfulness?
Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.
“It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour,” he says.
“An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.
“Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment.
“It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.”
Control Your Breathing
How do you harness the fear and anxiety you feel inside when you’re in a fight? In life, how do you remain in control and focused when you are overwhelmed with day-to-day stresses? You breathe and remain calm.
Lets look at types of breathing and why it is so important. Diaphragmatic breathing, thoracic (chest) breathing, and clavicular (shoulder) breathing.
Your breathing type is an indicator of your physical state as well as a tool to change that state. Diaphragmatic breathing should be our natural mode of breathing. Breathing deep into your diaphragm produces a sense of calmness. While fighting, your body will try to get as much air into your lungs as possible. It does this through fast, shallow breaths into your chest. This type of shallow breathing is not sustainable, so once you’re in the corner in between rounds, you must come back to deep breathing.
When anxious, in the middle of chaos or a stressful situation, your body will activate your fight-or-flight mode. Your heart rate speeds up and your breathing gets faster in an effort to take in more oxygen. Just as if you were in a fight, you will likely be breathing into your chest.
Meditation strengthens the mind. It helps you stay present even when you’re uncomfortable—feeling scared, overwhelmed, or out of control. Sitting through the discomfort that arises during meditation builds that mindfulness muscle so you can use it in life when you are confronted with uncomfortable and scary situations.
Try staring at a small object then close your eyes, while still envisioning the object. The object what ever it may be will give you something to focus on to help you clear your mind of distractions.
This same focus is accessed during a fight. You focus in on your opponent and your trainer’s voice. Everything else, every sound from the crowd, every worry you had that morning, fades into the far distance. You are there to fight and everything else becomes unimportant.
Mindfulness like anything else is a practice, you need to invest the time in your self to reap the rewards of living in the present. Practice, Persistence and Performance every day will get you in the state of mind you need to be in to operate at your best consistently.
Jeff Hollows is the Founder and Head Instructor at Krav Maga Newcastle.
Krav Maga Newcastle provides Weekly Classes, Seminars and 1-1 Personal Training in Krav Maga and Martial Arts.