Five Minute Meditation:
I hear it all the time in my practice… people feel too busy to meditate. Schedules are hectic, kids are busy and sometimes setting aside time to sit down for a meal can be strenuous. However, consider this. A study published in Time Magazine from Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience reported that meditation practices can reduce anxiety levels by 22%. In that same article, researched showed that meditation can actually form new and permanent neural connections in the brain. The practice of meditation is essentially training your brain to focus on the moment, not to worry about the past or future events. The best thing of all, is Anyone can do it, do it virtually Anywhere and it only takes five minutes. As with any practice, the more you do it, the easier it will become. Here is my step by step guide to Five Minute Meditation. Get comfortable, and follow these simple suggestions.
Minute 1: Focus on your breath and breathe deeply
Sitting up is ideal, with arms resting comfortably on your thighs. Shut your eyes, as typically we are more able to shut off outside distractions when we rest our eyes. Observe how your body feels in the sitting position, and start to focus on your breath. Do your legs feel any sensations, or the air feel cool? Notice all surroundings and start to deepen your breath. Breathe in thru the nose inhaling for a count of four, and exhale thru the lips slightly opened for a count of six.
Minute 2: Find your Natural Pace
Don’t worry about the count of your breath, but rather allow the inhalation and exhalation to be natural. Try to focus on the rhythm and take notice to your body rising and falling anywhere from your belly to chest.
Minute 3: Stay Focused
Stay aware of your breath and keep that as your focus. If thoughts come into your mind, use visualization to help put them aside for the five minutes. One teacher of mine shared their technique which was to imagine a small chest sitting next to you. As a thought floats in, take it and store it in the chest. It will be there when you are finished, available to access. However, for the time, there is no need to put any energy towards it. It is amazing how this visualization also allows to put thoughts aside and works just as well in recall when you finish.
Minute 4: Relax
Focus on breath… you are exactly where you should be right now. This is the most important thing you should be doing right at this moment.
Minute 5: Gratitude
At the end, start to think about something you are grateful for… such as your family, or having these few moments to sit in silence. Also at the end, take a mental note on how your body feels. Do your muscles feel more relaxed? Your head less tense? Remind yourself, everything takes practice and the more you meditate, the better your will feel and the easier it will become.