Rory McIlroy has just won the Open Championship at the age of 25; he is only one of three players in the modern golf era to have done so along with Nicklaus and Woods. Clearly, a very selective group of golf players!
When asked how was he able to navigate the stress of leading a major tournament, he said: “I only stayed focused on two words: process and spot.” McIlroy went on to share that these two words allowed him to stay in the present moment while allowing him to trust in his own abilities. He did not tie “process” and “spot” to a specific result. On the contrary, he took any misses as an opportunity to do better next time while staying firmed with his mental rehearsal strategy.
Present moment awareness is key to manage one’s emotions. It stops the fast pace thinking mind from being derailed by our emotions, and as a consequence, our abilities.
One exercise to practice present moment awareness is by breathing from the diaphragm instead from the upper chest. Lie down on a couch, place a light object on your stomach and see how such an object rises with each in breath. Then exhale normally through your nose. Becoming more mindful of diaphragm breathing will help the mind to slow down.