5 minute meditation for quick de-stress

Meditation made Buddha smile -
it's a quick fix de-stress
Following a trip to Nepal and a brief stint in a Buddhist monastery, I've rediscovered the benefits of meditation.

Even if just for 5 minutes, slowing the mental cacaphony has a wonderful effect on my body and nerves and means I face present challenges and life projects with more clarity and focus.

Like the constant humming of the fridge in the background, a noise often ignored, our minds are on the go morning, noon and night and, more often than not, our minds are controlling us, rather than we controlling it.

We are so used to juggling home/work/study/family it's easy for our heads to be full - starting this job and not finishing that.

Who is Mind anyway?
The mind is a useful tool for a human being - but it is not the boss, however much it tries to convince us otherwise. Sure it's full of good ideas, memories, advice and intellect - freely available for use when we please - but the mind is not me and I am not my mind. The mind is not I, the being, the body or the whole, although it is an integral part of the self.

It's true that matter follows energy, so instead of creating a reality carved from a chattering mind - why not create our worlds from the good stuff we focus on.

Getting focused
  • Writing a to do list is one good way of clearing the clutter, a tidy list makes for tidy thinking, but it doesn't stop the mental chatter, although it helps to organise it.
  • Meditating, even if for 5 minutes a day, allows us to recognise the rubbish, the hauntings, the replays and the worries, and concentrate on what's true - moment by moment.
5 minute meditation 
Whether your sitting in traffic, standing at a bus stop or just waking up, this quick fix meditation technique will calm your mind and body and equip you for your day/project/life challenge. It even works in the boardroom while you're zoning out to someone else's chatter.
  • Sit or stand comfortably, however you choose, but in a position you can hold for 5 mins
  • Close your eyes (or gently soften your gaze if closing not an option - you may be at work!)
  • Inhale and exhale, deeply and slowly, through your nose 3 times
  • Visualise the breath in your nostrils, lungs, diaphragm and stomach - then out through your feet
  • Relax as the breath softens your thoughts
  • Place your attention in your nostrils
  • Concentrate on this small, focussed area of the body and breathe
  • Count the breath - in 1, out 2, in 1, out 2, in 1, out 2 and so on - breath normally, don't force anything 
  • Allow thoughts to float by - recognise them as a thought but don't get involved
  • Count the breath - in 1, out 2, in 1, out 2...
  • Ignore your mind - it will wander and try to pull you away
  • Feel your body and mind relax as you focus on breathing
  • Continue counting - notice sounds and distractions - and let them go, don't get involved
  • Enjoy the feeling of calm. If you're angry at your lack of progress, laugh and start again
After a while - see if you can count to 10 without a thought popping up, one breath, one count. It's not as easy as it seems, but it's easy to see why Buddha referred to the Monkey Mind. It swings from one branch to another without stopping to rest!

Meditation isn't always easy and it does take practise but don't give up - the mind will do anything to interrupt - but by observing thoughts rather than participating in them, we gain mastery of the mind. Soon enough, as you take the initial 3 breaths, memories of mediation will kick in and you will access the calm state more readily

Reasons to meditate
These are numerous and include:
  • Alleviate depression 
  • Improving physical health
  • Aiding clarity of focus
  • Study
  • Life changes
  • Upkeep of mental health
  • Accessing higher mind and inspiration
  • Recalling past lives
Whatever your reason - a clear and focussed mind will help you move forward, whereas a cluttered chattering mind will hinder your progress - Good luck!
For more free mediation ideas & techniques, click here