Meditation and Athletic Performance – Upping Your Mental Game

Ask any athlete and they’ll tell you — when it comes to real improvement it’s as much about physical performance as it is about mental performance.  As we continue to evolve our view on optimal sports performance the need to focus on mental health has become increasingly more obvious. But the question remains, can we train our brain the same way we train our body?  Read on to learn about the health benefits of a regular meditation practice paired with physical exercise.  

Meditation and Athletic Performance – What’s the Link?

We’ve moved way beyond the old paradigm of daily exercise alone as a standard routine for athletes.  Through years of biometric and sports performance research we’ve been able to consistently improve how to make athletes, better, faster, stronger, and recovery more quickly… no easy feat!  It’s only now that we’re slowly starting to see the positive effects of a consistent meditation practice on athletic performance in diverse clinical research studies.

 how to focus better, sports performance, sports meditation

Pain and Sports Injuries – Can we change the way we feel pain?

Injuries or “painful interruptions” can be a major cause of delay in any training program.  Injuries resulting from athletic activities (i.e., sports such as football) or the normal activities of life can impede range of motion as well as the ability to bear weight on affected joints. Aging adults are also more apt to develop arthritis in formerly injured joints—and a work-out at the local fitness center can get shortened or halted due to pain in a hip or knee.

Appropriate rest to recover from an injury is paramount, but the speed at which we recover can make or break our ability to get “back in the ring”.  To help speed the process — and engage in recovery treatments — is it possible to change the way we feel pain?  The answer is yes. A study published in Neuroscience Letters revealed that the brain’s transmission of pain signals is lessened through a regimen of meditation and mindfulness (1). This study also found that meditation can positively affect the neural signals that determine pain sensation in the following brain-controlled processes (2):

  • Sensory processes
  • Cognitive processes
  • Affective processes

Similar findings were also found in a study of research participants with arthritis published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (3). These researchers documented that a gentle exercise routine (e.g., Tai Chi or yoga) decreased arthritic symptoms and increased cardiac function in the participants. Furthermore, the authors of a research article published in 2017 in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience concluded that a three-month combined practice of yoga and meditation produced lowered inflammatory biomarkers (and arthritis is the result of inflammation in afflicted joints) (4).


Psychosocial States and Inflammation – The Impact of Meditation

Most athletes frequently deal with varying levels of stress and trauma – both physical and emotional. Improving mental toughness means being able to learn, adapt, and emotionally regulate past emotional events. It is widely recognized that emotional stress can be relieved by meditation—and also by aerobic exercise. Since stress is also associated with increased inflammation (as found in Rheumatoid Arthritis, as well as inflammatory bowel disorders such as Crohn’s Disease), the relief of stress can also relieve the symptoms of these disorders.

The previously-mentioned article in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience — as well as numerous other medical research articles — suggests the link between stress and reactive inflammation. Not only can embarking on a combined meditation and fitness regimen improve the overall quality of life for people who suffer from inflammatory disorders, it can also relieve symptoms of depression and improve energy.

how to focus better, sports performance, sports meditation


Improving Focus and Concentration in Athletics – How Meditation Helps

Recognizing where to run to intercept the ball and reacting quickly is vital in volleyball, baseball, football, and soccer. That attention and concentration can be improved by physical fitness (achieved through an aerobic and weight-bearing exercise routine), and also through practicing meditation on a regular basis. The following are areas where positive cognitive changes were produced by meditation, as related to increased attention/concentration (per an article in Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports) (5):

  • Brain function capacity
  • Neural activity
  • Circulatory blood flow

Altering our neural connectivity for the ability to access information quickly as an athlete is crucial. The formation of new neurons through meditation in the brain’s hippocampus region—which is linked to concentration and memory—was shown in study findings published in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (6).

This study tracked participants who performed exercise on a treadmill and a meditation practice, which suggested that participants’ increased blood flow and neural activity were the contributory mechanism leading to increased attention and concentration ability.

how to focus better, sports performance, sports meditation
Smith Lowdown Focus mPowered by Muse™


Upping Your Mental Game – Learn How To Control Your Focus

Life and sport are filled with chaos and distraction.  It’s not breaking news that a combined regimen of mental and physical exercise is the best way to boost mood, improve sleep quality, improve brain functioning, and boost overall health and well-being. For athletes, this is essential for their ability to execute as a top-performing player!

Meditation alone can be an amazing addition to any training program but if you’re looking for a way to start improving your mental focus now for better focus and concentration welcome to The Lowdown Focus with the Smith Focus App.  Specifically designed to help you develop a heightened sense of self-awareness and train your cognitive performance, the integrated brain-sensing technology provides real-time feedback on your brain’s activity level so you can learn how to control your focus.



  1. Zeidan F, Grant JA, Brown CA, et al. (2012). Mindfulness meditation-related pain relief: Evidence for unique brain mechanisms in the regulation of pain. Neuroscience Letters 520(2): 165-173. Webpage:
  2. Zeidan F, Grant JA, Brown CA, et al. (2012). Mindfulness meditation-related pain relief: Evidence for unique brain mechanisms in the regulation of pain. Neuroscience Letters 520(2): 165-173. Webpage:
  3. Prusak K, Prusak K, and Mahoney J. (2014). An integrated mind–body approach to arthritis: A pilot study. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 4(2): 99-107. Webpage:
  4. Cahn BR, Goodman MS, Peterson CT, et al. (2017). Yoga, meditation and mind-body health: Increased BDNF, cortisol awakening response, and altered inflammatory marker expression after a 3-month yoga and meditation retreat. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11:315. Webpage:
  5. Acevedo BP, Pospos S, and Lavretsky H. (2016). The neural mechanisms of meditative practices: Novel approaches for healthy aging. Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports 3(4): 328-339. Webpage:
  6. Shors TJ, Olson RL, Bates ME, et al. (2014). Mental and physical (MAP) training: A neurogenesis-inspired intervention that enhances health in humans. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 115:3-9. Webpage:

Muse App Updates: 5 New Features Added

Our development team has been hard at work taking your feedback and making a few upgrades to our Muse App!

Here are the latest release updates to our Muse Meditation App found in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store:

Muse App Update 1: Sign-in made easier

Now you can sign-in and sign-up with Google! If you have a google account, you can use Google to create new accounts and then sign in on them. If you’ve previously created an account with a google email address, keep logging in the way you always have.

muse app, muse meditation app


Muse App Update 2: New default soundscape 

Based on our Musers feedback, we’ve learned that our rainforest soundscape is one of the most popular audio soundscapes during Muse sessions.  So, we listened to your feedback and switched out the previous default soundscape “Beach” for “Rainforest”. Don’t worry, all your other soundscapes are still available, but now Rainforest will be the first one you see.

muse app, muse meditation app

Muse App Update 3: New time increments in session length

Due to popularity and your feedback, we’ve changed the way you can easily select your meditation session length.  We’ve removed a few session length defaults that weren’t as helpful, and added in a few new ones that have proved popular. Don’t like 5-minute intervals? You can still set a custom length up to 3 hours long (!!) using the bottom spinner menu.

muse app, muse meditation app

Muse App Update 4: Customize alert volume

Want to customize your Muse session in order to hear your birds chirping more clearly or to soften the voice guide? You can now set the volume for in-session alerts to be as quiet or as loud as you want for your individual preferences.

muse app, muse meditation app

Muse App Update 5: Easier access to demo mode

Are you a practitioner or coach using Muse with clients and frequently putting on demos of the app to new users? Now the Demo Mode is easily found in the Settings menu, and is considerably shorter.

muse app, muse meditation app

And that’s it! We are ALWAYS looking for user feedback to help improve your Muse experience so if there’s something you’d like to see please let us know at

Don’t have the app? You can download it for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

I measured my brainwaves for 1000 days straight: Why, how, & what transformed as a result

Michael Balchan was our first ever “Muse Millionaire” (1,000,000 calm points!!), and recently we’ve had the pleasure of following along his 1000 day journey of meditation with Muse. His results, transformation, and reflections were truly insightful.

This article has been lovingly republished with permission from the original found here.

“I know of no other single activity that by itself can produce such a great improvement in the quality of life.” – Bernie Siegel, M.D 

“The purpose […] is nothing less than the radical and permanent transformation of your entire sensory and cognitive experience.” – Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

In 2013, several years into a commodity trading career and desperately seeking answers for how to both manage my stress and improve my performance, I experienced an event that would change everything.

I’d been experimenting with meditation for months. It was the latest in a series of well-being activities designed to close the gap between how I wanted to feel and how I actually did. Enough people and resources had recommended the practice, it seemed be foolish not to try. So, I followed simple instructions from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, did a short audio course from Oprah & Deepak Chopra, and worked my way up to 10-15 minutes a day.

Then, one day, a shift happened.

It was after the close of commodity markets but before the end of the day for equities. I was wrapping up my post-trading work. when I heard my brother speaking a bit loudly considering many people were still focused on the open equity market.

He was close enough for me to speak to and an older-brother pattern in my brain immediately activated. The ‘make sure he knows it’s better to not do that,’ one. That pattern typically ends in a harsh, condescending comment – not a behavior I was proud of.

But, just as I was about to snap at him, I realized that I had a choice. I didn’t have to respond negatively. More importantly, I didn’t want to. Unfortunately, the split-second insight alone wasn’t enough. I watched myself continue, as if on autopilot, with the sub-optimal behavior.

The experience was a revelation.

I hadn’t yet been able to step in and change my behavior, but I’d discovered the gap that existed between what happened in the world outside – and how I chose to respond to it. On a deep level, I finally understood Viktor Frankl’s insight: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Having experienced a taste of the change meditation was capable of creating, I was hooked. I made a 100% commitment to training my brain every (!) single (!) day (!).

I was going to master my relationship with my mind. 

Over the following months, I continued with my daily breath-focused practice. I started noticing positive changes in many areas that meditation can impact: mental health, performance, happiness, relationships, focus, productivity, creativity, and more.

But, by the winter of 2014, my progress was reaching a plateau.

Highly regarded teachers and practitioners taught that the most important part of meditating is showing up, and that we shouldn’t “judge” our meditations – advice I followed. (and still do!) Still, new technologies had the potential to accelerate my progress and shorten the path to mastery.

It was time for me to up my game.

Enter: The Muse Headband

The Muse headband is a slim headband embedded with a personal, portable set of EEG sensors. Wearing it connects your brain to your phone, utilizing “transformative neurofeedback technology” to give “accurate, real-time feedback on what’s happening in your brain while you meditate.”

Bulletproof Exec Dave Asprey gave the Muse a strong recommendation in his first Quarterly box, where he encouraged taking a data-backed approach to mental training. Smartcuts author Shane Snow offered similar advice after his two-week experiment with Muse, shared on the 4-Hour Blog: “Can you rewire your brain in two weeks? The answer appears to be — at least partially — yes.”1

I was intrigued, and excited. Research by Anders Ericcson, whose work was popularized by Malcolm Gladwell as the “10,000-hour rule,” identified the fundamental role feedback plays in purposeful (or “deliberate”) practice. The quality of feedback is vital for learning new skills, as is the timing. The sooner feedback follows an action, the faster the brain can draw an association between that action and the outcome produced.

If the Muse could provide real-time feedback on how different ways of thinking affected my mind, I could accelerate my progress. Extend the results from Snow’s experiment over a longer period, and I might be able to achieve mental mastery in a fraction of the time: months and years instead of decades.

I’d already made a commitment to daily mental training. As Jack Canfield says, “Once you make a 100% commitment to something, there are no exceptions. It’s a done deal. Non-negotiable. Case closed! Over and out.” If nothing else, the Muse would be a fun way to track my progress and hold myself accountable.

It would also be a great thing to share with people who’d experimented with meditation but “didn’t know if I was doing it right” or “didn’t know if it was working.” And, even though I’d experienced phenomenal gains, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t wondered the same.

So I ordered a headband* and anxiously awaited the start of my own neuro-enhancement experiment. Would it be significantly different from what I’d been doing up to that point? If the Muse worked, would the results translate to life outside of my sessions? Could I train my mind to be in a state of present moment awareness and calm – all the time?

I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but I was excited to find out.

 *[link is good for 15% off.]

A Journey of 1,000 Days Begins With…

The Muse headband arrived on the day after Christmas: December 26th, 2014. I immediately connected it to my phone and started playing around with the software.

Rather than displaying brain waves by frequency – alpha, beta, delta, etc. – the app simplifies things into three groups: either my mind was active, neutral, or calm.

When the headband senses that your brain is in an active state, the app plays sounds of violent weather and strong winds blowing. As your mind quiets, so does the weather, until the wind is still and waves are gently lapping at the shore. Remain calm for a few seconds and birds begin to chirp. Collect as many birds as you can, spend time in a calm state to earn “calm points,” and receive various awards for different achievements: this is gamification in full force.

Muse: The Brain Sensing Headband

After setting up the band and completing the required three-minute introductory session, during which I earned exactly zero birds, I settled in for a twelve-minute meditation. It started strong, but around 3 minutes in my attention began to wander. The wind picked up and the birds flew away.

By the time I finished, I’d spent 55% of the time in a calm state.

It was both a reassurance that I’d been moving in the right direction and a clear demonstration that I had a lot of room for improvement.

My Muse streak increased to “1…

Over the next few days, I experimented with different techniques. I tried to pay attention to what part of my mind was thinking (or not), and where my focus was – sometimes on the breath, sometimes counting, and sometimes on a mantra.

Each day, the streak grew. In less than a week, I was recording sessions with calm percentages in the mid-80s.

However, once the holidays ended and the New Year began, I had a hard time replicating those results. I could see the impact of less sleep, busier days, and volatile markets in the quality of my meditations. I noticed that I was often falling asleep during the mid-week, early morning sessions. My scores dropped and the birds abandoned me.

Clearly, I had more work to do.

The goal, after all, wasn’t to find intense periods of internal peace, but to be able to do it regularly and consistently. Especially when the world around me was encouraging otherwise.


In the weeks and months that followed, I once again began to experience dramatic increases in my quality of life. Muse was delivering. The streak continued to grow, and scores continued to improve.

Initially, I could only hold a calm state for a shorter period. As my practice progressed, so did the length of time I could maintain focus.

After 100 days I felt proud. I’d learned that instead of forcing my mind to think (or not think) in a certain way, it was better to let go and allow the bio-feedback to do its work. Without me getting in the way, my brain quickly got the hang of how to get the birds chirping. It was Wu Wei – the ancient Taoist concept of “non-action” or “non-doing.” And it was working.

After a few months of consistently high-quality sessions, I re-introduced conscious control. I started working on being able to enter a calm state at will. By using the audio as a key to intentionally adjust what my mind was doing, I gradually found how to purposefully create the same state that my brain had done intuitively.

I also re-introduced other techniques I’d learned – mantras, binaural beats, visualizations etc. – using the headband to capture data on their effectiveness.

On day 291 I passed the 1 Million mark for “calm” points. Apparently, that had not been done before.

December rolled around and my streak rolled past one year. 365 days. It was a psychological milestone that got me thinking. In another year the streak would be around 700. Keep going, and I could get it to four digits: 1,000. That felt exciting. It was a long way off, but doable if I continued to focus on one day at a time.

As the streak increased, so did my commitment. Each milestone gave me more motivation to continue.

+1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 …

Every day, the length of my streak grew by one. Each day, my mind – and my relationship with it – grew stronger.

I started loosely alternating between sessions with the audio feedback on and sessions with the audio feedback off. That way, I continued to benefit from the neuro-feedback training, while also improving my ability to assess and alter my mental state without the Muse. By doing sessions with the audio feedback turned off and analyzing results after each meditation finished, I could compare what I thought the data would show to what it actually did. Eventually, this would become my primary way of training.

Meanwhile, the Muse headband went with me everywhere. I meditated at home in the early morning, on benches in the park, and in the back of the trading floor after the close. I wore it on planes, trains, and busses.

I logged sessions next to wildlife in the African Savanah and surfers on the beaches of Australia.

I once even meditated with the headband while riding my bike through the streets of Chicago, wondering how high a score I’d be able to capture as I navigated traffic. (Better than expected.)

Time I spent meditating in the morning had a significantly positive impact on the rest of the day. The rest of the day also had an impact on my sessions. The clock-time, environment, and amount of caffeine I consumed all impacted the calm score. But the number one factor, by far, was how sleep deprived I was. If tired, I’d fall asleep while meditating and quickly register an active brain state.

No matter how advanced I got, once fatigue took over the overall session score would plummet. On those days, I took comfort knowing that a short rest was exactly what I needed – and often had a bigger impact.

Still, even in deep-recharge mode and completely unplugged from the world in every other way, I made time to train with the Muse.

At 500 days, extreme negative reactions were rare, and any aggressive behaviors were made by choice rather than the result of backlash. During volatile markets, I could tell when I was losing control of my mind. I knew how to use one or two minutes to get re-centered and re-focused. When my wife or family said something that upset me, I was able (most of the time :) to express that upset in a calm way, and move together with them to a resolution.

It was becoming easier and easier to intentionally find “calm.” My session scores had stopped climbing, but my “calm life” score continued to increase.

The distinction between the things I could control and things I couldn’t was becoming very clear. As the ancient Greek slave turned Stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote in the Enchideron, “Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.

As my mental training continued, I wasted less time, energy, and attention on anything I wasn’t unable to control. The past, other people’s behavior, the weather, illnesses, global geopolitical events, what other people think of us – these things aren’t within any of our control. But the actions that we take and the way we behave – that is.

I was more consistently choosing actions that I felt proud of and satisfied by.

Gus, by the way, also loved meditating with the Muse. Both at home…

and on vacation…

At day 731, (two years in) a sense of presence, mindfulness, and peace were the default. I kept my cool through emotionally charged inter-personal situations. I maintained mental stability during periods of intense turmoil. During challenging athletic events or painful physical moments, I was able to find internal acceptance and strength.

It had become completely clear why experts across industries stress the importance of training our minds – there is simply no other skill as widely impactful, or as critical.

As Psychologist Belisa Vranich urges, “You must have a meditation or mindfulness component on your to-do list. Period. Recent research has been confirming this conclusion with ever more evidence as chemical changes, physical brain volumes, and meticulously set physiological markers are tracked and recorded.”

Then, on September 20th, 2017, the streak hit 1,000 days.

The congratulatory message was identical to the day before, only with one more digit. The real award was internal – I knew how much I’d changed, and the impact that it had on my life, as well as the lives of those around me.

The space between stimulus and response had become a place to live from, rather than just visit.

As Frankl said, that space presents a choice. It is the choices we make in those micro-moments that determine how we feel about our lives. When we make choices that align with our highest selves, the people who we want to be, and the values that we want to guide us – happiness ensues. Eudamonia. “Human flourishing.”

I had high expectations for how the Muse would help me to expand my mind. I hadn’t expected it to expand my heart and soul as well.

Lessons & Results

My meditation practice started with hope (+ faith) and out of respect for everyone who’d recommended and encouraged it.

After passing 1,500 days of meditation – 1,000 supercharged by the Muse headband – I can unequivocally say that it has transformed my life. My moment to moment experience of being has shifted on a fundamental level. I’m happier, more satisfied, more successful, more present, more loving, more stable, and more alive than I’ve ever been.

It’s as if I’d previously been living in a radio broadcast, only to now experience life in IMAX 3D with Digital Surround Sound. Instead of being a spectator, I’m now the creator of my experiences.

The neuro-feedback provided by the Muse was literally mind-altering, and the data collected played a big role in the brain’s re-wiring. Here are some of the final stats.

  • Over* 31,919 minutes of Muse-assisted meditation. (*Some sessions were lost due to connectivity problems.)
  • 67,702 birds collected.
  • 70,116 “recoveries:” catching the mind in an active state and returning to calm.
  • 3 million “calm points” earned.
  • Average session: 65% calm, ranging from lows in the single digits to highs in the mid-90s.

My journey has inspired me to write an introductory guide to meditation, lead group meditation workshops, and commit to supporting 5% of the world’s population in developing a daily mindfulness practice. (My team and I are currently working on an online pledge to track and support that global goal.)

As for the future, I don’t plan on going a day without meditating – for the rest of my life. The mind is just too important.

I’ve allowed the Muse streak to stop for now, but the headband continues to be a big part of my mental training arsenal. I’m due for an upgrade though – the old one has earned a break.

Are You Training Your Mind?

Today’s always a great day to start. Learn more


Professionals Using Muse – Muse in Practice

Mindfulness In Practice: Exploring Innerspace

With the ever-increasing demand to service patients that suffer from anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and the compounding stressors of everyday life, practitioners find themselves asking:  

“How can I help my patients learn to become more accepting and aware of their experience in the present moment?”

Both mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) techniques have grown in popularity over the past few decades since their inception. Mindfulness has been touted as one of the most cost-effective, patient empowering therapies for a range of conditions centered around the importance of mental health. Setting the stage for positive personal transformation, some view mindfulness as Cognitive Based Therapy (CBT) on steroids.  

Meditation has been extensively validated by leading neuroscientists for improving brain health and being able to literally change the structure of the brain. Furthermore, meditation has been shown to be as effective as antidepressant medication such as SSRIs in treating depression and is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder.

A key concept in the approach of mindfulness-oriented therapy is awareness and acceptance first, followed by change.  By empowering patients with the skills they need to become mentally agile, mindfulness helps our patients learn how to lean into the discomfort of their internal experience and gain control over their day-to-day reality — ultimately improving their clinical outcomes and overall quality of life.

Meditating With Muse: Improving Patient Outcomes

Beginning and maintaining a mindfulness practice can be difficult, even for those with the best intentions. For new learners, being able to identify the subtle differences in fluctuating mental states can be challenging — especially in order to begin to actively shift between levels of distraction and focus.

Muse allows patients to experience the benefits of meditation without the uncertainty that can be associated with traditional meditation practice. Additionally, Muse solves the common problem of adherence to practice by making meditation easy.

Meditation Made Easy:

  1. Gamification = engagement + enjoyment
  2. Tracking = accountability + motivation
  3. Real-time feedback = control + attunement

meditation and anxiety, muse,

What The Professionals Are Saying: Muse In Practice

We’ve been fortunate enough to have several health care practitioners integrate Muse into their practice – with amazing results.

Dr. Tom Diamond Ph.D., RCC, BCN, Board Certified in Neurofeedback had the following testimonial: 

“Muse is an excellent first step into both meditation and Neurofeedback. My clients are quickly able to learn Muse’s clear and well-organized program, and they are thrilled to see their scores rise as they gain meditation and relaxation skills. Muse makes self-driven brain change practical and enjoyable for many folks who would otherwise shy away from the difficult startup phase of meditation or the higher cost of traditional neurofeedback.

As a neurofeedback practitioner, the Muse has helped me develop a whole new series of lower cost, entry level sessions that significantly increase my marketing opportunities. And the Muse compliments my other services, motivating clients to grow into higher level services, such as brain map assessments and traditional specialist-driven neurofeedback. I also offer training for practitioners in my Muse-enhanced services.”

Here’s what Michael Decaire, MA, C. Psych., R. Psych., RP. and Dominika Zarzeczny, ND., BSc. have to say about how they have used Muse in practice and how they have seen it impact their patient’s treatment progress:

Meditating With Muse: How Does Muse Help?

Muse is designed to help novices learn to meditate and form the habit of a regular and rewarding practice. By being able to experience real-time feedback on fluctuating mental states, patients are able to progressively recognize the difference in mental chatter and calm focus at a much faster rate.

This paired with the ability track and visualize brainwave patterns, milestones, and rewards allows users to quickly overcome the learning curve that other beginners may struggle with.

Anchors and Attentional Loops

At its core, meditation relies on something known as the attentional loop. The meditator places their attention on an “anchor” — such as the sensation of their breath — to help them gently bring their focus back when their mind begins to wander.

As external distractions arise (ie. noise, motion, changes in temperature, bright lights) or internal distractions (ie. thoughts of the past/future, emotions, pain) eventually, the meditator becomes aware that their mind has wandered, and places their attention back on the anchor, and begins again. Each time a patient goes through the attentional loop, the brain’s ability to be aware of and control its own attention is reinforced and enhanced.

Meditation works without the assistance of a brain-sensing headband, but Muse makes the exercise more efficient by giving the user audio feedback to help them know when their mind has wandered. When the meditator loses focus, and their mind begins to wander, Muse senses the changes in their brain and the soundscape becomes more intense.

The increasing sounds serve as a cue for the user to investigate whether their mind is on task or not. It helps the user achieve meta-attention faster than they would otherwise be able to. That means that during a session with Muse, the user will go through more iterations of the attentional loop in a session thereby strengthening their neural pathways. Furthermore, the results at the end of each session help meditators quantify and understand how well they are doing from session to session.

Think Your Patients Could Benefit From Muse? 

If you’re a practitioner who would like to improve your own personal practice or if you have patients that you think could benefit from a device that can quickly and effectively teach meditation techniques, join our professional’s program HERE.   When you sign-up you’ll have access to 15% off our regular priced Muse headbands with your professional account.

Coping With Daily Stress: Meet Dan, Liza and Trevor

We’ve all experienced how it feels to go through a stressful time – maybe you’ve changed jobs, moved, or even lost a loved one.  These periods of heightened stress are usually when we are most aware of how it feels to be “stressed” or “overwhelmed”… but what about all the other times? What about all the moments in-between, when we put our heads down and move from day-to-day? What about our everyday waking lives full of deadlines, grocery shopping, meetings, soccer practice, holidays, and birthday parties?  

Coping With Daily Stress

Time magazine speaks to a major reason why North Americans are becoming increasingly more stressed: “Many more of us suffer from stress dysregulation than we did 40 years ago. Mainly through excess cortisol — a key stress hormone — this dysregulation makes the typical stress response too easy to trigger and too hard to turn off. This leaves us feeling highly agitated (even with no reason) and without effective ways to self-regulate and get back to a calmer, more functional state.”

daily stress, mindfulness, meditation

It can be much more difficult to sense our baseline stress levels when “stress” is essentially synonymous with everyday life. Most of us have become very good at championing the phrase “I’m ok” or “I’m good thanks”— without even a genuine reflection of if that’s how we’re really feeling. We then go on to bury our heads and continue to truck on, without really checking-in on how our mental space is really doing.

One of the ways to become more mindful and less reactive is through regular meditation practice.  Meditation helps us become more aware of our own thoughts, feelings, and reactions to everyday life while also helping us cope with daily stress.

Daily Stress: Meet Dan, Liza, and Trevor

We wanted to introduce you to Dan, Liza, and Trevor — three real-life individuals who use Muse to help them find balance in their day-to-day lives.  They shared their challenges with balancing work and life, being fully present throughout their day, and pursuing important goals, and how Muse has helped them by starting a daily meditation practice.

As Dan mentions “…like most people, I live a busy and constantly interrupted life”.  Muse has helped him get a handle on how to cope with everyday stress:   “…it would help you focus, it would help you de-stress, it would help you become less reactive.  Basically giving strength training to my concentration and my ability to stay focused… and not be distracted by every little thing that comes.”

daily stress, meditation, mindfulness

Similar to many of us, Trevor also notes that “…all the little things are just flying through your head all the time, and it all adds up to a pretty stressful situation especially if you are trying to balance a whole lot of things at the same time.”

daily stress, mindfulness, meditation

Coping With Daily Stress: Meditation

Are you someone who needs a little help cultivating a daily meditation practice? Maybe you’ve tried meditation before but never been able to stick with it consistently?  Muse helps provide real-time feedback as well as trackable results to help you stay engaged, and stay consistent.

Learn more to see how Muse can help make you calmer and more focused HERE.

If you’re a practitioner who would like to improve your own personal practice or if you have patients that you think could benefit from a device that can quickly and effectively teach meditation techniques, join our professional’s program HERE.   When you sign-up you’ll have access to 15% off our regular priced Muse headbands with your professional account.

You’ll also have full access to our Muse Dashboard – where you can:

  • Receive preferred pricing on products
  • Monitor and track patient progress
  • Gain access to our additional learning material and professional resources