Olympic diver Tom Daley has revealed he meditates for 10 minutes every morning in order to help him deal with stress.
The 22-year-old said taking time out to sit still and focus on his breathing helps him cope with pressure in the lead-up to big competitions.
“I started doing it in January and it was unbelievable in the way that it made me feel a lot calmer,” he said during an interview with AOL’s BUILDseries LDN.
“My stress levels went down, [my] anxiety went away.”
Daley admitted that he was first advised him to try meditation over a year ago, but was skeptical about how helpful “sitting there with your eyes closed” could be.
However, he committed to a daily session at the beginning of this year and is now fully converted.
He said meditation has taught him that “with all the thoughts that are going around in your head and all the clouds...above that is always blue sky”.
Daley has previously spoken about the pressures of being an athlete in the limelight, revealing he saw a sports psychologist after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the London 2012 games.
During the final, Daley became distracted by a camera flash in the crowd, which caused him to make a mistake mid-dive. He was granted a retake and won bronze, but the incident caused him to experience flashbacks of flashing lights every time he went on the diving board.
Thankfully, he learned to manage the condition and was able to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
In the BUILD interview, Daley admitted that practising meditation didn’t come easily to him in the past and he would continually get distracted, worrying about everything on his to-do list.
But thanks to daily practice he now finds it easier to stay calm and focus on the present.
He believes it will help him “going into competitions and [with] various different things in life in general”.
Rather than getting stressed about things out of your control, he recommends “being in the moment and focussing on what you can do right now to be the best you tomorrow”.