:: Mindfulness ::
Mindfulness is a form of meditation based on focusing on the here and now. A large part of mindfulness involves proper breathing which I covered on an earlier page and allowing invasive thoughts to slip away.
Practicing mindfulness everyday could be invaluable to the poker player because it allows the person to maintain calm and 'in the moment' which allows one to not exibit the normal signs of adrenaline. Why? Because adrenaline release has to do largely with the 'perception' of danger. Most of the time the perception of danger involves invasive thoughts such as 'what if I lose' or something to that affect.
Here is one excersise for mindfulness that may work for you:
1. Find a comfortable posture somewhere free of distraction. Usually sitting in a comfortable chair with my back straight and feet flat on the floor works for me.
2. Close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting at the bottom of a deep pool of water. When you have a thought feeling or perception, see it as a bubble and let it rise away from you and dissapear. When it is gone wait for the next one to appear then repeat the process. Don't think about the content of the bubbles. Just observe it. Sometimes the same bubble may come up many times, or several bubbles will seem related to each other, or the bubbles may be empty. That's ok. Don't allow yourself to be concerned with these thoughts. Just watch them pass in front of your mind's eye.
3. If you feel uncomfortable imagining being underwater, imagine that you are sitting on the bank of a river, watching a leaf drip slowly downstream. Observe one thought, feeling or perception as the leaf, and then let it drift out of sight. Return to gazing at the river, waiting for the next leaf to float by with a new thought. Or, if you prefer, you can imagine your thoughts rising as puffs of smoke from a campfire.
Sometimes it is easier to do these excersises with relaxing music in the background.
For more on mindfulness check out the books and cds on this page. Mindfulness Books & CDs
* Standard Disclaimer: (In case you decide to gamble away your car, house, boat, life savings etc... and then want to blame me) This site is maintained by me and all tips, odds and articles are only my opinion and are not guaranteed to be accurate. Poker is gambling and you make your own desicions as to how to play the game regardless of what you read here or anywhere else and you are responsible for checking your own facts before getting in over your head. Gamble at your own risk ... You have been warned.