5-minute meditations are a great way to introduce yourself to meditation. If you are an active person, then taking 5 minutes from your day is helpful to practice the art of sitting still. When making the choice to meditate and process your thoughts for 5 minutes, it is important to consider whether you want to introduce this into your morning routine or your night routine.
Are 5 minute meditations beneficial?
Studies have shown that meditating for 5 minutes can
- Improve your focus
- Increase self-compassion
- Increase your mood
- Improve your quality of sleep
If you are intending to introduce meditation into your daily routine, then practicing them for 5 minutes is a good way to get you into the habit. This can then lead to more in depth and longer sessions. It creates good practice for becoming comfortable in silence and creates a nice transition into those longer sessions.
If you are pressed for time, then a 5-minute meditation session can be a great way to relieve your stress. Research shows that meditating for only 5 minutes a day is long enough to
- Clear your mind
- Boost brain function
- Reduce stress
- Improve mood
The disadvantages to a 5-minute meditation
There are various methods of meditation and some take longer than others. If you are keen to try a particular method of meditation, then 5 minutes may not be enough time. 5-minute meditations are often guided or unguided, but it is possible to find routines that adapt other techniques.
How to meditate for 5 minutes
Meditating for 5 minutes may sound difficult, but start by finding a space where you are comfortable. Ideally, your environment should be relatively quiet.
Focus on your breathing - When using this within your routine, it is important to understand that this is not the practice of changing your breathing. Instead, it allows you to become aware of your breathing. By focusing on your breath, it slows down your breathing pattern which makes you feel more relaxed. Start by following your breathing in through your nostrils and exhaling through your mouth.
Allow the acknowledgement of thoughts- whilst the intention is to focus on your breathing, it is important to acknowledge that you are going to have thoughts that enter your mind which are not related to your breathing. Distraction is normal throughout this process, but once you find yourself having these thoughts, you should bring yourself back to focus on your breathing.
Processing each of your senses - if you are finding it difficult to focus on your breathing, an alternative is to spend one minute on your senses and activate each of them. For instance, go through some of your senses and acknowledge one of each, such as
- What can I smell?
- What can I hear?
- What can I feel?
- What can I taste?
This can also help you to establish a state of awareness.
Adapting your environment
If you are incorporating a 5-minute meditation into a busy schedule then it may be difficult to find the right environment. If you find yourself needing to meditate in an environment that is particularly loud, then using earplugs or noise canceling headphones are particularly useful to block out any distracting noises. Additionally, if you find that you prefer guided meditations, using headphones can make it easier to do such meditations throughout the day. Environments where bright lights are distracting can cause meditation to become counterproductive.
Natural environments, such as gardens, can be a great place to meditate. If you find a natural space without surrounding distractions, the fresh air can be a great stimulus for meditation. Spaces where there are natural sounds, such as waterfalls, birds chirping and rivers, make perfect spaces due to the calming, gentle sounds.
These environments are not always accessible for a 5-minute meditation. If you try to find a space that meets the ideal requirements, you are more likely to feel the benefits of a 5-minute meditation. Using this same space to meditate each day can enhance the benefits of your session as the mind recognizes your space as a relaxing environment. However, this does not mean that you cannot adapt your environment from time to time and experience 5-minute meditation in different spaces and places.