Five Minutes a Day

I'm a firm believer in the Five Minutes a Day Plan. 

I hear it, I read it, I know it - the well researched benefits of meditation, the positive effects of deep breathing, the pay-off of intentionally setting aside time to be still.  But knowing it and incorporating it can be two totally different things! 

My Recipe for Getting the Ball Rolling

It helps me to keep in mind some of the specific ways this is of benefit:

Meditation:

  • The brain and body undergo structural changes that promote relaxation
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves the immune system
  • It relaxes the amygdala - so emotional stability improves
  • Reduces stress and increases happiness & concentration
  • Decreases loneliness and increases compassion
  • Increases self-awareness and slows down reactivity

Breathing:

  • Calms the nervous system
  • Reduces tension and anxiety
  • Releases endorphins, body's natural pain-killers
  • Increase in oxygen provides energy
  • Can be an instant and quick "re-set"

How Do I Fit it All in?

The days are stacked full of to do's.  We are supposed to exercise, eat well, get enough sleep, work, and all the other life obligations.  So just the act of trying to fit it into our busy days can in and of itself feel stressful.  It feels like one more thing on my list or I literally can't see where to fit it in.

Just Five Minutes, Really?

So my remedy for that is to just promise yourself 5 minutes every day.  While you may read that 20 minutes a day is necessary for benefits - I think setting a daily practice is the first step and what's most important now.  And I have to say if I just have to find or schedule 5 minutes, that feels doable - both in terms of fitting it into the day, as well as combatting the resistance to sitting still!  Doing it every day makes all the difference - you will reap benefits by sticking with that plan.  And once you've got that down, you may be so inclined to gradually creep up the minutes that you carve out for yourself.

Resources

Here are a few sites I like regarding the benefits of meditation:

Huffington Post Article

Emma Sappala Article

Art of Living Article

Here is a site I like that demonstrates a few simple breathing exercises - my favorite is the 4-7-8 exercise:

Andrew Weil Site Article

 

If you would like to explore these ideas further, feel free to contact me at 503.224.6559 or submit a contact form.