It’s only five minutes. You can do it. Just five minutes of your day.
I started meditating in 2017. It was a stressful planting season. Working in corn and soybean sales is no easy job. And I was wearing myself thin. I already worked out, went to bed early, ate a balanced diet and drank water. My sleep habits were OK but can always improve. What else could I possibly work on? That’s when I discovered meditation.
I think I had just finished reading 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris. At first, I was a skeptic myself. But I decided to start with a little goal. 1 minute.
If I could clear my head and mind for one minute each day, that was the start. So, I did that for one week. Easy peasy. I advanced to three-minute sessions. That became more challenging. But, after about a month, I worked myself up to five minutes a day.
Those 5-minute daily meditations changed my life. It was not just a way to clear my mind and open my head space. It empowered me. Here’s how it empowered me and might have a similar effect for you.
- I created a rhythm and routine. Each day, I would wake up at the same time, start with drinking a big glass of water and sitting down to meditate. Some might find it odd I meditate in the morning. However, I found that gave me a clearer vision for the day ahead. Others might enjoy meditating over lunch break or before bed. I like consistency and most humans do well with schedule. Otherwise, just make sure to include it DAILY.
- Improved focus. It might seem weird, but the attempt to clear your mind and focus on absolutely nothing is pretty refreshing. And I realized that by doing it, I was able to focus better on tasks and projects at hand. There are hundreds of thoughts, images, ideas, people, memories and senses that flood our brains. It’s actually quite remarkable if you can clear your mind for a few moments. By practicing meditation, you practice improved focus. And in your day to day life, it will become less likely you will get distracted.
- A method of stress relief. Have you ever felt overwhelmed or in a crisis situation? What did you do to overcome it? You may have heard of people taking deep breaths, counting to 10, etc.? What about spending 5 minutes to close your eyes, level your breathing and focus on NOTHING? It works wonders. Studies also find that practicing daily meditation will lower cortisol and increase mood over time.
These are just three reasons I meditate. Try it out yourself! Once you start the habit, don’t stop. Let your breathing methods grow and improve over time. You can be in complete silence, ambient music, guided meditation video or use the song I do, “Weightless” by Marconi Union. At the end of the day, that’s all we can do. Focus on continued self improvement. For five minutes a day, your personal bliss is worth it.