In our hyper-stressed, hyper-scheduled culture it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the weight of it all. Turning to meditation can help us steal back calm moments within the chaos. We often assume meditation is only for monks or dedicated yogis but no! Meditation is something that anyone can use to benefit their mind, body, and soul. From stay at home parents to CEOs, mindfulness meditation can easily fit into your Monday grind in five minutes or less.
What is mindfulness meditation?
Mindfulness is the practice of fully attending your mind to the present moment (Which emotions you are experiencing? What is happening inside? What is going on around you?). Mindfulness practice is ultimately allowing yourself to be completely aware and present in a non-judgmental state of mind.
Mindfulness meditation is evidence-based and has been found to produce a number of benefits in an individual’s life. It can reduce your stress levels and your emotional reactivity while also increasing your focus, your working memory, and overall well-being. What's not to love?
Meditation is intimidating, not anymore.
Meditation is great, but I can't sit still. You don’t have to hike up a mountain or sit completely still with your legs crossed for hours at a time to meditate. There are many forms of meditation, and they can be quick and easy to slip into your crazy schedule! Meditation doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. A great way to get started is to try a guided breathing meditation that you can do anytime or anywhere. Try out this 5-minute breathing meditation that we use here at Clarity.
5 Minute Breathing Meditation
- Inhale slowly to the count of four (count slowly; to the pace of one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, etc.). The belly should rise and become round like a beach ball. Counting out your breaths can also help focus your thoughts. So whenever you catch your mind wandering, simply return your focus to counting and your breath.
- Pause and hold the air in your lungs for 4 seconds.
- Exhale slowly to the count of five. Belly button pulls in toward your spine.
- Repeat for at least 2 minutes.
- On your own, repeat 5-10 minutes. The most common mistake is breathing too fast. Time each step in your head and count slowly as you do so.
The times used for each step are only suggestions and can be lengthened or decreased. Only lengthen the time if it feels natural to do so but also only decrease the time if you feel discomfort.
Deep breathing triggers our relaxation response. In opposition to the much more talked about fight-or-flight stress response is the relaxation response. You should begin to feel breathing becomes deeper and slower, and the symptoms of anxiety improve. If it isn’t working, slow down and breathe or call us we can organize a therapist to help on your journey to mindfulness.