Inner Peace

This 5 Minute Meditation Practice Is All You Need to Change Your Life, Immediately!

You sit at your desk, drumming your fingers nervously.  It’s Tuesday morning and you’re fifteen minutes early (as usual).  You pull up your calendar for the week and it’s booked solid.  You have files due today, tomorrow, and Friday and appointments at every available time and meetings in-between all of them. Your palms start to sweat.  Your heart begins to race.

You slowly wipe your hands on your skirt and instinctively you start biting your fingernails.  You think, “How can I get all this done?”  Your mind feels like its being pulled in ten million directions. You can’t get your thoughts straight and your hands start shaking.

5 Minute Meditation

Stress happens.  Sometimes we just need a break and 5 minute meditation a day can be enough to get our minds on the right path.  As we focus on taking deep breaths, we can clear our minds.  With 5 minute meditation daily, we can keep our minds clear and work more efficiently.  Scientific studies show that daily 5 minute meditation sessions can improve your mood and neural pathways.

How to 5 Minute Meditation

Meditating can be a difficult thing to pick up.  But there are hundreds of apps in the Google Play store or App Store to help you get started.  A quick search on the Internet will pop up with hundreds of 5 minute meditation videos, 5 minute meditation audio clips, and 5 minute meditation guides to help you start the 5 minute meditation process.

Diana Winston, a member of MARC (UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, created a 5 minute meditation session that focuses on your breath.  Winston recommends starting every meditation session in a comfortable position while sitting upright.  She suggests that you relax all your muscles and focus on “the sensations of your body…the connection with the floor or the chair…let your breathing soften.”  Pay attention to your “natural flow of breath” throughout the exercise.  “Feel the sensations of breath” in your chest, nostrils, abdomen, or throat.

“When one breath ends, the next begins.”  As you take another breath, “you might notice your mind might start to wander…thinking about another things…It’s not a problem. Notice your mind has wandered…and say thinking or wandering in your head softly and then gently redirect your attention to the breathing.”

Focus on breathing and softly redirect the mind when it wanders.  Once your five minutes is coming to an end, start paying attention to your body.  Feel your body connect to the floor or seat and think kind words about yourself.  Winston calls this process, “Finding a sense of ease and well-being for yourself and this day.”

The 5 minute meditation Initiative has a very similar form of breathing meditation too.  In their 5 minute meditation script, the Meditation initiative guides readers and tells them to these things:

5 Minute Meditation Script

  • Start with closing your eyes if comfortable or slightly open
  • Start with taking 3 deep breaths
  • As you settle into a natural rhythm of the breath, knowing throughout the practice you will hearsounds inside the room, sounds outside, these are not distractions, not disruptions, simplywhat’s happening around us as we sit and breathe.

(30 second pause)

  • Begin to notice the mind as it wanders, jumping from thought to thought. Gently guide the attention and focus to the stomach or chest. As you breathe in feel them rise, breathing out feelthem fall.

(30 second pause)

  • Simply continuing this practice, observing sensation of breath (30 second pause)
  • Notice the mind as it wanders. Release that thought, returning attention and focus to the breath

(30 second pause)

  • Breathing in, follow the breath in, breathing out, follow the breath out

(30 second pause)

  • The mind wanders, gently guide attention back to the breath

(30 second pause)

  • Letting go of expectations or judgments of your practice, just sitting and breathing

(30 secondpause)

  • Breathing in, feeling the stomach rise. Breathing out, feel the stomach fall

(30 second pause)

  • Learning to be comfortable in stillness

(30 second pause)

  • Knowing what it is like to just sit and breathe

(30 second pause)

  • Again, taking 3 deep breaths
  • Slowly open the eyes, slowly begin to move

This type of 5 minute mediation will calm your nerves, regulate your breathing, and help reduce stress levels with daily sessions.  With such a variety of meditation practices, find one that works best for you.  Are you more of a visual learner or verbal learner?

Once you have found that out, experiment with different techniques and different moderators.  Sometimes the change in tone or script can be the key to de-cluttering your mind and calming your nerves.

Benefits of 5 Minute Meditation

According to the Meditation Initiative, “the most important part of meditation practice is…immediately after, when you realize that any sort of quiet, still, peace or calm that you feel or any sort of racing mind you may have, has nothing to do with anything I said, has nothing to do with how you sit or cross your legs, and it has nothing to do with the sounds around us. It has everything to do with your own mind and your own mind’s reaction to an external situation.”

The reason why five minute meditation works in calming the mind is because people see meditation as a peacefully quiet action.  However, they don’t apply this calmness to everyday events in their lives.  We get angry over the wrong coffee order, the printer running out of ink, and the traffic as we drive to work.  We curse, stomp our feet, and honk the horn at things outside of our control.

In life, we tend to overreact.  We let the small things bother us.  We hold on to grudges and let other people affect our attitudes and the way we think.  Through 5 minute guided meditation, we learn that our good mood is the result of our own thoughts and when we are in a bad mood, it is also the results of our own thoughts.  Nothing affects our attitude except us.  We can control our attitude.  It is one of the few things in this world we can control.

Most of the worry and stress we feel in a day is the result of trying to control something we can’t.  The Meditation Initiative suggests a simple solution to our everyday problems. They recommend,“…stop trying to change and control everything outside of us and we work on changing our mind, our heart and our reaction to the world around us, [then as a result] life gets a little easier, a little more peaceful, a little happier, yet ultimately nothing changed except our own mind.”

This act of self-awareness, according to studies conducted at the University of Oregon, can increase the efficiency of neural pathways and improve one’s mood.  The researchers at the University of Oregon conducted their experiment with IBMT (integrative body-mind training AKA mindfulness meditation).  They studied the participants for 4 weeks and found that the participants had a noticeably improved mood along with improved neural pathways.

Essentially, you won’t sweat the small stuff with meditation.  You’ll be happier and more at peace because you aren’t worrying about things outside of your control.  By meditating daily you’ll have a “direct perception into your own thoughts,” according to The Meditation Initiative.  And like the studies show, you can even improve brain function.  So scroll back up and start your five-minute meditation session now.

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