Thursday, May 5, 2011

The 5 Minute Meditation: an efficient stress management tool

Practice 5-Minute Meditation

Meditation has many wonderful benefits.  However, many people don’t try meditation because they believe it’s difficult to practice, or only effective with regular, lengthy sessions. Not true! You can
receive the biggest gains from meditation with frequent practice, and just 5 minutes of meditation actually can bring quick stress relief. So if you only have 5 minutes for meditation, here’s how to make them count:

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 5 Minutes!

Here's How:
Set a timer for 5 minutes, so you can relax and not worry about staying in meditation for ‘too long’,
missing appointments.

Sit on a chair, close your eyes and relax. Take a few deep breaths from your diaphragm and release
the tension in your body.

Clear your mind of thoughts. Rather than focusing on ‘thinking of nothing’, focus on counting your
breaths, starting from 1 to 10 and then start over and over again.  When thoughts enter your mind, gently acknowledge them and let them go, returning your focus to counting your breaths again.

Continue this for 5 minutes, and return to your day feeling more relaxed and refreshed. Try this
meditation regularly, and you should feel less stressed overall.

Be sure you’re in a comfortable position; little nagging discomforts like scratchy clothes or
an awkward sitting position can be a distraction from meditation.

Don’t get too focused on whether or not you’re ‘doing it right’. (This can actually make meditation
more stressful!) Thoughts may often enter your head, but the process of redirecting your focus to counting your breaths is where the benefit comes from.

Playing relaxing music through earphones (if you're at work) can enhance your practice. It is not
necessary, but it can add to your experience if you can incorporate it.

Meditation has been used for both short-term calming (it can reverse your stress response pretty
quickly) and long-term resilience (regular practice can help you become less reactive to stress!), so frequent meditation is a wonderful and effective
stress management tool.

For best results, try to fit in longer meditation sessions (like 20 minutes or more) a few times per
week. Then, you will be more practiced with meditation in general, and these 5 minute sessions will have more of an impact when you need them!

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