5 Minutes can change your WHOLE day
Yes, really. Just 5 minutes! And it's nothing you haven't heard of. In fact I am not the first person to share in the wonderful benefits of ... meditation! Now before you close this article thinking, "I don't have time for this!" hear me out. I am only asking for 5 minutes and then you get to enjoy ALL the benefits of those 5 minutes all day today. This is a simple exercise and all it requires of you is your breath. Which I am certain you have easy access to.
Why meditate? What's all the hype about? Well first lets dive into a little brain science 101. Your nervous system has two heads. One that is pretty reactionary because it's designed to keep you safe in the presence of potential threats. This is called the Sympathetic Nervous System. It's gets all hot and bothered when your body is under threat like being near an oncoming car, or even prolonged states of stress. It also gets excited easily when you're pursuing a goal, it keeps you amped and motivated.
This part of your nervous system burns pretty hot because it's job is to make sure your body is prepared to physically run or fight. Staying here for too long, even if that's not your intention, depletes your body. You might feel exhausted, anxious, frustrated, or on edge.
The other head is a bit...calmer. This is your Parasympathetic Nervous System. And it 'cools' the heat when your Sympathetic Nervous System is causing you to feel totally depleted or anxious. Meditation is one of the simplest and most effective ways to engage your cooling nervous system. It creates space in the mind and space in your day. You will be less reactive and more laid back.
Here we go - 5 minutes is all!
- Find a comfortable spot with little distraction.
- Breath in such a way that your breath in and breath out the same length of time. For example, count one, two three four IN and one, two, three, four OUT.
- At the same time imagine breathing in and out through the area of your heart.
- As you breath evenly through your heart, call to mind a pleasant emotion such as gratitude, kindness, or love. Perhaps bring to mind a happy experience or person you appreciate.
- Continue your focused breathing for 5 minutes and pay attention to the results as you sink deeper into your breath.
How were your 5 minutes? Most times it's not about adding more to your plate. We are always in 'action' mode, on our way to DO something. Take just a snippet of that time with positive intention toward yourself.
The above breathing mediation exercise was taken from, "Buddha's Brain" by Rick Hanson, PhD.