Breakthroughs in our lives appear when we can create new ways of thinking and the way we look at situations we are experiencing. Creating new thoughts and paradigms in our lives can occur through introspection using mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness for just 5 minutes a day can help you to achieve a grounded, centered approach to life that will increase creativity and productivity.
Harvard research found that mindfulness can literally positively reshape your brain. The benefits of mindfulness meditation are endless and too many to list, but here are just a few of the ones that can matter most to people. Mindfulness provides stress reduction (lower heart rate and blood pressure), lowers anxiety, increases self-regulation, effective decision making, increases focus, productivity, and mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness for 5 minutes a day can enable us to calm and soothe the nervous system while allowing us to be more present. Connecting with this presence throughout the day provides a deep space for introspection and growth.
By choosing to take a 5–minute breathing break, it allows you to experience “being” in your daily routine. So many of us are always in the “doing” mode that at first, the “being” mode may feel strange. You may even feel like you don’t have time to practice, but the more you can practice mindfulness, the more you’ll begin to realize its positive effects. It can be as simple as taking a 5-minute walk or jog, or just sitting with no focus but on your breath.
Many times, we have preconceived thoughts about meditation and how “difficult it is, and if I don’t sit for hours, there’s no use.” But this is not true. Studies show that just small amounts of meditation time can be beneficial. The focus is just setting aside your thoughts and worries and being present in the moment. The best part is it can be done anywhere, anytime and it’s free!
Meditation can be practiced so many ways that there is bound to be a practice that resonates with you. For example, there is a mindful eating meditation that can be done with chocolate. Perhaps you are active, in that case, you may prefer a walking meditation or a breath or body meditation. All have proven benefits.
Integrating a 5-minute meditation break in your day will become a practice you will love and will become stronger with time. You may even begin to practice for more extended periods, for example, 10 or 20 minutes. Being able to incorporate practice for 5-minutes per day will help you to release stress and intentionally replenish yourself.
- Take a seat and make sure you are comfortable. Any nagging discomfort can be distracting. For example, tight clothing, or sitting in an uncomfortable position.
- Set a timer – this way, you won’t be distracted thinking you’ll miss an appointment or be late for whatever is next in your day.
- As you get ready to begin, let go of any thoughts of “am I doing this, right?” Be with yourself, know that focusing on the breath and coming back over and over again to the breath is normal. All human beings have busy minds that take us into the past or future. The only job you have during meditation is to come back to the present moment, breath by breath.
- Sitting comfortably, relax into the body, closing your eyes. As you close your eyes, let any stress, worries, or busyness drop to the wayside. Keep coming back to following your breath in and breath out. Counting the breath can help – count to 5 as you inhale and count to 5 as you exhale. Many of my clients find it helpful to count breaths.
- As you sit, let your mind relax into the moment. I like to feel into my body as I sit. Our bodies are the only part of us that is always in the present moment. Our minds take us to the past and future, but the body is ever-present in the moment, which makes it a perfect anchor.
- Continue this practice for 5-minutes. When you come back, take a moment before rushing back into the busyness of life to take an inventory of how you are feeling? Are you more relaxed, were you able to release tension while you sat? Notice how you feel and know there is no wrong or right way. It’s all about you.
When you practice, feel free to incorporate essential oils or meditation music if that will help you to become more present. These items aren’t necessary, but they can enhance your practice if you enjoy them.
The benefits of mindfulness are countless when you incorporate a regular meditation practice. Finding peace in stillness will help you to be more comfortable in your mind and body, and you will learn to respond instead of reacting in life.