Does your mind race when you want to feel calm? Do you feel stressed and want to feel peaceful?
What if I told you that there is a tool you can use to help get lasting calm and peace, starting with only 5 minutes per day? Would you risk 5 minutes per day for two weeks to see if you can start to cultivate that calm?
Meditation may feel a little woo-woo if you’ve never meditated, and the benefits may seem too good to be true. Plus, how would you fit meditating into your already busy schedule? I understand.
When I first heard about meditation, I was skeptical. I thought it was for monks and Buddhists who meditated for hours (or even days?), and I didn’t think meditating was for me.
However, meditation is:
- Requires no special equipment
- Anyone can do it (including children)
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There are many amazing benefits of meditating, and it can be done in any quiet place.
Even if you’ve never meditated, you can start reaping the benefits by devoting a mere 5 minutes per day. Read on for everything you need to know as a beginner about how to practice meditation.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is quite simple. While meditating, you’re learning to calm your thoughts and observe them without judgment. The ultimate goal is to eventually reach a higher level of awareness and calm.
Try to think of meditation as giving yourself a gift of a few minutes of quiet and calm. Time to relax your body and soul.
Bottom line… meditation will have you cultivate a calm mind.
Benefits of Meditating
Why should you even entertain the idea of giving meditation a try?
Here are the 5 science-based benefits of meditation provided by healthline.com.
(For the full list of 12 benefits, each with deeper explanation, read my post, Meditation: What It Is | Why You Should Do It | How To Start.)
- Reduces stress
- Controls anxiety
- Promotes emotional health
- Enhances self-awareness
- Lengthens attention span
Are those benefits of meditating worth 5 minutes of your time each day?
Create a Meditation Practice that Sticks (even if you’re busy)!
Don’t let your busy schedule prevent you from getting the benefits of meditating. What if it only required 5 minutes per day of your time?
Though meditation practitioners suggest a daily 20-minute meditation routine, you can start to build this habit by meditating for 5 minutes each day. If 5 minutes is too much for you, start with 2 minutes. Quantity is not the important thing here.
To help create a daily meditation practice that sticks, try to create a meditation routine. Perhaps you meditate as your coffee is brewing, or just before you change into your pajamas.
If you have a busy schedule, schedule time to meditate! With a little discipline, you’ll grow the positive habit quickly if you commit and follow through.
Like any good habit, taking small steps toward your ultimate goal is the best way to set yourself up for success. It’s a skill that you can practice.
Consistency is the important thing in a good habit of meditation. Meditating on a daily basis is needed in order to get the holistic benefit. It’s better to meditate even 2 minutes per day than to skip days.
Where Should I Meditate?
Pick a space that is quiet and where you’re not likely to get interrupted. It’s best to meditate in the same space each day because it cues your brain that it’s time to calm down and observe your thoughts.
Your meditation space can be:
- A small corner of a room.
- Your living room (if you won’t be disturbed).
- An outside space near trees or a garden.
- The shower is unusual but good place to meditate!
- You car (while parked). Can be during a break at work.
- Or any space that gives you good vibes.
It’s nice to make your meditation space special. Once you try out a few places and decide on the best space for you, decorate it with calming items. You can buy a special rug or mat to put down when you meditate, and a few decor items that give you the feeling of peace and joy.
Here are some best sellers for a meditation space that are available on Amazon. (Click image to view on Amazon.)
Quick Guide: How to Meditate
Step 1: Sit comfortably.
Being comfortable is important. If you’re not comfortable, you’re not going to be likely to make it a life-long habit. If you find yourself uncomfortable after you start your session, it’s okay to adjust yourself to get comfortable.
Your back should be straight because good posture will help your body remain alert and focused.
Start by sitting in a chair or you may prefer to sit on the floor with your legs criss-cross. If you sit on the floor, try an affordable meditation cushion that will support your sitting posture and help you get into the frame of mind to meditate.
It’s best to rest your arms on your thighs, with your hands relaxed and palms facing upward. Keep your back straight and head level. It’s easier to focus if you close your eyes. If keeping your eyes open feels better for you, just be sure to focus off into the distance.
Meditation Cushions (Click image to view on Amazon)
Step 2: Set a timer.
Setting a timer is a good idea so you don’t end up wondering how much time has lapsed. I use the convenient timer feature on my phone but a kitchen timer works just as well. Set the timer for 5 minutes and forget it!
If possible, select a calming sound when time is up. After you get in a relaxed, peaceful state of mind, the last thing you’ll want is a loud, annoying sound signaling time is up! A nice chime or pretty tune won’t rip you away from your good vibes.
Step 3: Focus on your breathing.
Start with a few deep breaths – the type that make your belly expand. This will help you relax and start to calm your thoughts. It also slows your heartbeat.
Allow your attention to focus on your breathing. Notice the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body. Breathing through your nose is optimal. It’s that simple, and anyone can do it.
Here are a few options that you can choose to do, or not:
- Listen to soft, relaxing music.
- Focus on a noise, such as the air conditioner or furnace.
- Envision stress being released from your body.
- Hum a mantra to keep your mind focused.
- Listen to a guided meditation (available in apps, YouTube, or various podcasts).
You’ll find your thoughts wandering. Be kind to yourself – it doesn’t mean you aren’t able to meditate. Acknowledge the thought and then let it go. Let your focus go back to your breathing and relaxing.
Bottom line… there’s no right and wrong way to meditate. Just relax and enjoy the peacefulness.
Ready to Risk 5 Minutes Per Day?
Are you willing to risk a mere 5-minutes risk of your day for two weeks to see if it has what many people call a life-changing effect on your life?
Commit to meditating for 5 minutes per day for two weeks. After two weeks, you’ll either want to increase the time or decide it’s not for you. If you stick with it for all 14 days, I’m pretty sure it’ll become a daily habit you’ll choose to continue.
As you get more comfortable with meditating, you’ll enjoy the feeling of awareness and calm.
Here’s your next challenge: slowly increase the time by a minute or two for a week. Increase it only 3 times per week if you don’t feel ready to increase it all 7 days.
If increasing the time doesn’t work for you, go back to 5 minutes per day. A short time is better than none.
What’s an optimal length of time to meditate? The research I found says it’s a personal choice. If it feels to long, it probably is. My goal is 20 minutes per day, but I’m not consistently there yet.
Just remember, the important thing is that you have a regular, daily meditation routine. Start small, work your way up to what feels right, and enJOY!
Challenges are part of life. It’s what you choose to do with the challenges that moves you forward.
Need help? If growing your calm (releasing stress and overcoming obstacles) and joy is something you need help growing, please reach out to me for support. You find out what it’s like to work with me as you coach.
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