5 Meditations You Can Do In Under 5 Minutes
Meditation seems hard. I know I struggle with making it a regular practice because I think I'm not doing it well, and I can seem to sit still.
But in actuality, I'm doing it right.
If I'm sitting down meditating, and I'm noticing that my mind is wandering off again, that in itself is success. Because I've brought my attention back to my breathing again and started over. To be good at it, you just need to keep at it and do the work.
So to help build a habitual practice, I tend to take even five minutes at a time to sit still and meditate. I've found it to be calming during the day, and it boosts my confidence that I'm on track. It makes it easier to come back to the mat again.
Look, a 60-minute or even 20-minute meditation session is not always practical in our hectic lives. But if we make time for five minutes here and there to focus and be present, we'll reap the benefits, including:
- an appreciation of your ability to control your thoughts which, in turn, helps reduce stress.
- increased clarity over time, which leads to efficiencies.
- increased calm and confidence during the day, which leads to lasting inner peace
- daily mindfulness that allows you to see more of the small joys in life
Here are five 5-minute meditations to try:
1. The Box Breathing Technique
This is from the singer, Jewel, who teaches useful meditation techniques (she demonstrates this one here).
Breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breathe out for a count of four, hold for a count of four. Imagine breathing a box shape.
2. Mantra Meditation
There are many mantras you can choose - ancient or modern - to use during a meditation to keep you focused. Here are a couple I like:
“Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.” – Laura Silva
“I change my thoughts, I change my world.” – Norman Vincent Peale
With a mantra, you can chant the sounds out loud or internally. When you chant the mantra internally, the “inner sound” becomes the object of attention for your meditation. When you chant it out loud, the sound of the mantra becomes the focus of your attention.
3. The Counting Technique
The HeadSpace App is a great tool to learn and practice meditation, and they use the counting technique to focus on your breathing. Simply count your breaths in and out: breathe in (1), breathe out (2), breathe in (3), breathe out (4) and so on to 10. Then count back down again.
4. Moving Meditation
This is a nice one that might be more interesting to keep your attention some days.
- Stand in mountain pose: feet firmly on the ground hip width apart, hand by your side, palms facing outwards.
- As you inhale move your arms outward to your sides and up until your palms meet above your head.
- Exhale and bring them down in the same pattern, or exhale and bring them down in a prayer in front of your chest.
- Repeat 5 times.
Close your eyes and picture yourself floating in the water in the ocean, looking out at the horizon. Imagine that your breath controls the tide, and every breath in pulls you towards the horizon, while every breath out pushes you towards to the shore. Feel the gentle rocking sensation of the waves. Let the calm wash over you.
The ability to meditate is a muscle and it takes daily practice for this muscle to grow. You need to practice it daily for optimal health, just as you do any other exercise. But the benefits are so worth it - even with just 5 minutes a day.