How to Improve Your Mental State Through Just 5 Minutes of Meditation
5 Minute Meditation Script:
“I am going to meditate for just five minutes right now.”
You sit down on your couch with your legs crossed and close your eyes. You take a deep breath and then exhale slowly through pursed lips.
You focus on relaxing all the muscles in your body. You breathe deeply and try not to think about anything at all.
After a few moments you feel yourself drifting off into a peaceful state of mind.
You begin to wonder what exactly is happening inside your head when you are doing this? Is it really possible to calm yourself so much that you lose track of time? Are there any real physical effects from such a practice? Can anyone do it too? What if they don’t like the results or even get sick afterwards?
These questions may seem silly but they are actually very important ones.
The Benefits of Meditation
If you have ever tried to meditate before, you probably experienced some sort of negative side effect. Maybe it was headaches, nausea or other unpleasant symptoms.
If these things happened, chances are that you didn’t enjoy yourself at all and stopped immediately because it felt uncomfortable.
However, if those same feelings happen while meditating then why would you stop? It seems a little silly if you think about it because it’s the same thing, right?
In reality, meditation is an amazing tool that can help you in all areas of your life. It allows you to relax, focus and get rid of those pesky negative thoughts that you don’t want hanging around in your head. Even if you just had the worst day ever, you can clear your mind and find peace with just a few minutes of meditation. It really is a gift and something that everyone can benefit from.
So, if you haven’t tried meditation yet then what are you waiting for?
It’s free, it’s healthy and it really can make a difference in how you feel every single day. Just take a few minutes out of your day and see how much better you feel. Chances are very good that you will want to continue.
Benefits of 5 minute meditation
The number one question I get about meditation is whether you can meditate for 1 minute or 5 minutes. The answer is yes, you can meditate for any length of time.
Some people will tell you that you need to meditate every day for at least half an hour to see results. This isn’t true at all and is really a misuse of the word “results”.
Seeing results from meditation takes weeks and months of consistent practice. You also need to have a specific goal in mind in order to achieve those results.
If you just want to relax then five minutes will work just fine, but if you want to give yourself the best chance at overcoming chronic pain, depression, anxiety and stress then you will need to practice longer than that.
Ten minutes is considered the bare minimum for developing and retaining real benefits from meditation. However, the more you practice the faster you will see results.
Some people start seeing major results after just a few weeks of daily practice.
The nice thing about meditation is that you can’t overdo it. You can sit for hours every day if you want to and it won’t hurt you at all.
It may even give you very nice results.
Where to Meditate
One of the first questions people ask when they start meditating is where is the best place to do it. You will get different answers from different people and sometimes the advice can be a little hard to follow.
For example, one popular piece of advice you will run into a lot is to find a quiet place to relax. If you live in the country this isn’t a problem, but for those of us that live in the city this can be somewhat more difficult.
Another common tip you will hear is to go somewhere that is completely dark so that you aren’t distracted by light. This can be difficult if you have children and need to get them to sleep because they will not be happy if their bedroom light is off.
If you do live in the country where there is no light pollution then by all means close your curtains or blinds and turn off any night lights you may have.
The best place to meditate is the place where you will actually do it. Make yourself as comfortable as possible and do what you need to do in order to clear your mind.
How to Meditate
Sit in a comfortable position, either in a chair or on the floor. Make any adjustments so that you won’t fall asleep.
Focus on your breathing and clear any thoughts from your mind. If you find your mind wandering then gently bring it back to focusing on your breath. You can close your eyes or leave them open.
That’s really all there is to it. Yes, it is really that easy.
Just take it slow and easy and don’t worry about it. Everyone has a hard time concentrating the first few times they try to meditate. Don’t compare yourself to others and you will do just fine.
If you really want to enhance your experience and results with meditation then there are some tools that can help you, but none of them are necessary. The first that you should look into is brainwave entrainment.
Entrainment has been used for hundreds of years by monks and other meditators to help them achieve states of consciousness quicker and with better focus.
Brainwave entrainment uses sound to cause your brainwaves to mimic the sound you are listening to. Theta is the best brainwave pattern for deep relaxation and meditation while Delta is the best for sleeping.
Alpha is the pattern you naturally fall into when you are very relaxed. Beta is your normal waking state of consciousness. Typically, you want to stay away from Theta when you first start out because it is very easy to fall asleep and then you will just wake up and have to go through the whole process again.
If you want to take meditation more seriously then I recommend using a technique called breath counting. This is a simple technique that requires you to focus on your breathing and to count each breath.
For every inhale you would count “one” in your head and for every exhale you would count “two”. Each set should consist of ten breaths. Once you reach the number ten, then you start again at one. This practice will help keep your mind from wandering because every time it does you will lose track and have to start again at one.
Most people find that this practice is very boring, and it can be, but the more you do it the easier it gets and the more benefits you will see. You will also find that as you progress with meditation, you will need to do it for less time because your focus will improve.
If you are really committed to this path then there are some tools that can help you with your meditation practice. The first one is an essential oil and candle burner.
There are several scents that help promote relaxation and meditation. Look for things like lavender, vanilla, chamomile, and sandalwood. Cinnamon can also be used, but use it sparingly as it can be a skin irritant.
Light the candle and let the scent fill the room. Make sure you do this at least twenty minutes before you start meditating because you want the room to be filled with the scent before you sit down.
Light the candle when you are ready to start and then sit somewhere you can stare at the flame. Make sure you aren’t sitting too close though because you don’t want to burn yourself.
The next tool is an essential oil diffuser, which uses water and several drops of essential oils to fill the room with scent. The best kinds let you set the strength of scent so if you find one that has a low setting, use it.
Turn it on when you start your meditation and make sure you are in a place with no wind or other factors that might change the strength of the scent.
The last tool is called an energy watch. This is a simple watch with an attachment that you wear on your wrist that has several small fans and shoots small puffs of air at various intervals.
This is another method of helping with anxiety and nerves. Most people who get them find that they don’t use them for their intended purpose, but just wear it as a watch. You can find these at most electronic stores.
The main point of all these tools is to remain vigilant about your state of mind. Anytime you feel worried, scared, or anxious bring one of these tools out and focus on it for a bit.
They are just tools to help you, meditation is the practice that allows you to use them.
The more you practice the easier your life will become. Always remember that.
Well I hope this information helps you in some way. Have a beautiful day.
Editor: Jayne Fuqeust
Note: This post is part of National Meditation Month, hosted by A Daily Moment Of Bliss.
Sources & references used in this article:
Brief mindfulness meditation improves mental state attribution and empathizing by LBG Tan, BCY Lo, CN Macrae – PLoS One, 2014 – journals.plos.org
Debiasing the mind through meditation: Mindfulness and the sunk-cost bias by AC Hafenbrack, Z Kinias… – Psychological …, 2014 – journals.sagepub.com
“I felt like a new person.” The effects of mindfulness meditation on older adults with chronic pain: qualitative narrative analysis of diary entries by NE Morone, CS Lynch, CM Greco, HA Tindle… – The Journal of …, 2008 – Elsevier
Mindfulness and meditation. by D Goleman, RJ Davidson – 2017 – Penguin