By Your Headspace Mindfulness & Meditation Experts
Five minutes can feel like a small amount of time, but the truth is, it is enough to complete a 5-minute meditation and set the tone for your day. We live in a world where constant busyness and distractions are the norm. You can counteract that by taking a break with a 5-minute guided meditation, which provides an opportunity to reduce stress, increase focus and productivity, and improve mindfulness — enabling us to be more fully present throughout the rest of our activities.
It's really important to take five minutes as a short break for yourself during the day to pause and just let go of everything. Let's try this meditation to reconnect with awareness and to feel present. When we do that, we tend to feel a little calmer in the mind, and we're able to then carry that calmness and mindfulness into whatever we're doing.
Choosing to implement a 5-minute guided meditation into your daily routine is a great way to familiarize yourself with the simple act of sitting in stillness in the midst of your day-to-day responsibilities. Choosing to spend five minutes with your thought processes and breath can be as beneficial as choosing to go for a 5-minute walk, jog or sprint. In fact, meditation has been called a push-up for the brain because of its ability to improve cognitive control and strengthen the brain’s fiber connections.
Incorporating a 5-minute mindfulness meditation practice into your morning routine, lunch break, free time at the office, or pre-bedtime wind-down session can become a strong practice in and of itself, as well as a precursor to doing longer meditations such as 10 minutes or even 20 minutes.
Five minutes spent practicing a guided meditation, unguided meditation or visualization imagery is proven to improve focus, self-compassion, mood, immune function and quality of sleep. In fact, a 2018 study at the University of Surrey shows that the brains of meditators are less affected by negative feedback due to the altered levels of dopamine in the brain, because of regular meditation.
For those who are just starting their meditation journey, five minutes is a perfect amount of time to become comfortable in quietude and learn more about yourself. You might even find that after incorporating five minutes per day, you’d want to slowly increase your practice time as the weeks, months and years go by. However, you will always know that when time constraints arise, five minutes is all you really need.
For most of us, each moment in the day is in demand, with dozens of people to answer to and numerous mobile notifications going off at any moment. We can choose to spend five minutes of “free time” scrolling our Instagram feeds on our mobile phones, putting energy into other people, or choose to intentionally replenish ourselves and rest our minds.
If you’re unsure the best time of day to incorporate this practice, consider adding it into your nighttime routine to start. There are loads of benefits to building a nighttime routine — just as with a morning routine! — because setting yourself up for quality sleep and a restful night is the key to a healthy mind and body. Regular meditation at any time of day has been shown to help with sleep health. You can also try the brand new Sleep by Headspace, which helps to create the perfect conditions for healthy, restful sleep.
Consider taking five minutes for yourself today, allowing yourself to meditate, breathe, visualize and begin experiencing the health benefits. And, if you don’t have five minutes to spare today, try this 1-minute meditation you can do anywhere.
There are loads of reasons we might feel like skipping our mindfulness meditation practice, the biggest is usually that we may find it difficult to set aside time in our busy schedules. When we become aware that just five minutes per day is enough to ease anxiety and improve our mood and focus, it makes it even more doable to create a morning meditation practice. Between the 5-minute guided meditations that Headspace offers and the unguided style you can practice entirely on your own, there are numerous ways to fit meditation into everyone’s day.
After you’ve tried a few 5-minute meditations, establishing a daily meditation practice can help you to begin unlocking even more benefits. For example, Headspace reduces stress in 10 days, and 4 weeks of Headspace improves focus by 14%. What’s more, 10 days of Headspace increases positive feelings by 16%! The Headspace app offers 1-minute, 3-minute, 10-minute, and 20-minute meditations, which use a guided visualization technique in order to achieve a sense of ease and joy within the body.
Headspace’s most straightforward exercises — including a 10-day beginner’s course on the essentials of meditation and mindfulness — are available for free and are an ideal way to start building the foundation for a life-changing daily meditation practice.
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