3 Daily Simple Meditation That Takes Less Than 5 Minutes – For Stress Relief

Being mindful is about knowing what’s going on inside oneself. By looking inward, you are able to identify the thoughts and feelings that are happening within you at the moment.

Whether they are positive, negative, or neutral, you can start by just observing them, and giving them no further thoughts.

You can later choose to allow the thoughts to stay or let them go.

Depending on how much time you have in a day, here are the quick and simple 3 meditation practices you can choose to do at any time of the day.

The 1-minute meditation

This is a quick exercise where you practice breathing and keeping your mind still for 1 minute. There will be 2 central points in this practice: your breaths (inner component), and a timer on your clock or phone (outer component).

Having two central points is a very effective way to keep your mind from wandering and keeping the thoughts from arising. The reason for this is, your mind will be busy keeping track of these two components rather than one and that makes it harder for the mind to go off track.

Here is the process:

  • Begin by sitting in a upright position on a chair where you feel comfortable. Have a timer by your side and set it for 1 minute.
  • Start directing your attention to the breaths currently going in and out your whole body, from the nose through your lungs, down to your belly button, and back up.
  • Keep your eyes gently looking down and halfway opened.
  • If your mind wanders away, glance at the timer to get your mind’s focus on the current time running on the timer.
  • After your mind settles on this central point, move your focus back to the breaths going in and out in your body. Once your mind is refocused on the breaths, you can glance away from the timer. Gently keep them in the half-opened state as before.
  • You can look back at the time on the timer and refocus to the breaths whenever your mind wanders away.

After 1 minute ends, release your mind and go back to whatever activity you were doing previously.

This exercise is very quick and easy to do. Because the time commitment is short, there’s not much room for your mind to get away too far. It’s a great intermediate step to get you into the next level of meditation.

Do this as often as you wish during the day to build up your concentration level and gradually you will be able to meditate for a much longer period.

The 2-minute meditation

If you have one more minute to spend, here is a 3-step meditation exercise that takes about 2 minutes in total for you to practice mindfulness.

Take any moment in your day to stop and listen to what’s going on inside your body. Here are the steps:

1. Breathing

Start by taking 1-2 deep breaths. Deep breaths naturally slows your mind and body down and prepares you for the next step of self awareness.

2. Observing

In this step, you want to check on the different parts in the body and the mind:

  • Body: Do you have any pains? Is there any part of the body that feels uncomfortable?
  • Feelings: How are you feeling? Are you happy or sad? Are you experiencing any stress or nervousness at the moment?
  • Thoughts: What are the thoughts currently going in your mind? You can be specific like “I’m thinking that I need to buy plane tickets for the family trip”, or you can just identify them as topics such as “I’m thinking about work”.

This overall check should take less than a minute to do.

The key is you don’t need to give these questions and answers any thoughts.

Just acknowledge the answers, then move on.

3. Keeping still

In this third step, you will try to hold your mind blank for a minute.

You will be only watching your breadth going in and out. No thoughts arising, just be in a state of total focus on the breadth.

This step is similar to steps described in the previous “1-minute meditation” section.

Here is the process.

  • Begin by sitting in a upright position on a chair where you feel comfortable. Have a timer by your side and set it for 1 minute.
  • Start directing your attention to the breaths currently going in and out your whole body, from the nose through your lungs, down to your belly button, and back up.
  • Keep your eyes gently looking down and halfway opened.
  • If your mind wanders away, glance at the timer to get your mind’s focus on the current time running on the timer.
  • After your mind settles on this central point, move your focus back to the breaths going in and out in your body. Once your mind is refocused on the breaths, you don’t need to look at the timer anymore. Gently keep them in the half-opened state as before.
  • You can look back at the time on the timer and refocus to the breaths whenever your mind wanders away.

Once a minute is done, release your mind and relax, and resume your previous activity as usual.

This process can immediately bring your mind to a calm state. The 3 simple steps aims at resetting your mind to a fresh start so it becomes clean and clear at any time in your day.

It’s a great way for you to get mentally recharged!

Have more time? The 3-5 minute meditation

If you can spend a couple of more minutes to deepen the effect of meditation, here is add one more step you can add to the previous 3 steps of the “2-minute meditation” section.¬†This step will give you a profound change in your mood.

It can help you calm down at any moment you feel stressed or nervous, and the effect stay longer with you throughout the day.

In the “2-minute meditation” section, after step number 2 (“Observing”), add this additional step before going to step 3 (“Keeping still”). This is the retrospect step where you assess the thoughts and feelings in your body after “observing” (recognizing) them.

This step cleanses out negative thoughts, affirms the goodness in you and helps you reach a clear state of mind.

Here is the 4-step meditation practice:

1. Breathing

Start by taking 1-2 deep breaths. Deep breaths naturally slows your mind and body down and prepares you for the next step of self awareness.

2. Observing

In this step, you want to check on the different parts in the body and the mind:

  • Body: Do you have any pains? Is there any part of the body that feels uncomfortable?
  • Feelings: How are you feeling? Are you happy or sad? Are you experiencing any stress or nervousness at the moment?
  • Thoughts: What are the thoughts currently going in your mind? You can be specific like “I’m thinking that I need to buy plane tickets for the family trip”, or you can just identify them as topics such as “I’m thinking about work”.

This overall check should take less than a minute to do.

The key is you don’t need to give these questions and answers any thoughts.

Just acknowledge the answers, then move on.

3. Choosing actions

In the previous step (“Observing”), you have acknowledged all the mental and physical feelings and thoughts that you experiencing.

In this step, you will categorize them in order to gain a better understanding of the essence of this current experience.

Recognize them as “Positive”, “Negative”, or “Neither negative or positive (neutral)”. Another way is you can also choose to label the thoughts as “Good”, “Bad”, or “Neutral”.

  • “Good” thoughts are thoughts that are beneficial to you, or the people around you, such as thoughts of joys, inspiration, motivation, thoughts about helping others or being a better self.

If these thoughts are currently in your mind, say to them “I like you, and I want you to grow”

  • “Bad” thoughts are the ones that have negative impacts on you, such as doubts, anger, worries, sadness, disappointment.

With these thoughts, imagine they are a person, your “Angry Joe”, at the moment. You can also imagine them as a thing, an “object”.

Now say to them “I’m letting you go”.

Spike up your imagination and visualize the image of “them” (the object, the thoughts) actually leaving the door and going way from your head.

  • Neutral thoughts: These are thoughts that don’t really make you sad or happy. They simply are the knowledge and ideas that your brain is transmitting to the outside world.

Examples of these thoughts are when you are writing a book, or creating the slides for a presentation. They are simple just the products of your brain. For these thoughts or activities, you don’t need to take any actions because you will resume them after you finish the meditation session.

4. Keeping still

Here is the process:

  • Begin by sitting in a upright position on a chair where you feel comfortable. Have a timer by your side and set it for 1 minute.
  • Start directing your attention to the breaths currently going in and out your whole body, from the nose through your lungs, down to your belly button, and back up.
  • Keep your eyes gently looking down and halfway opened.
  • If your mind wanders away, glance at the timer to get your mind’s focus on the current time running on the timer.
  • After your mind settles on this central point, move your focus back to the breaths going in and out in your body. Once your mind is refocused on the breaths, you don’t need to look at the timer anymore. Gently keep them in the half-opened state as before.
  • You can look back at the time on the timer and refocus to the breaths whenever your mind wanders away.

Once a minute is done, release your mind and relax, and resume your previous activity as usual.

How to organize thoughts?

There are a different kind of neutral thoughts that can cloud your mind and consume your mental energy. The examples of these thoughts are:

  • Thoughts about planning: for e.g, how you want to organize the next birthday party
  • Thoughts about chores: such as putting away the patio chairs before the rain comes, picking your kids up from school, writing a report at work, etc, ….

For these thoughts, get them out of your head by writing them down in a small “to-do’s” notebook or in an organizing app on the phone.

The purpose of writing down the tasks is to find a place to “park” the thoughts, aka, to keep the thoughts somewhere where you can access them later.

It’s important to get them out of your head so they no longer drain your mental energy.

After this step, you can continue to step 3, “Keeping Still” as described in the previous section of the “2 minute meditation”.

Acting on the thoughts is a great way for you to revert any stress, anxiety and irritability to a more stable and calm state of emotions. It also increases the listening ability of the mind to you, and your ability to keep it in the direction that’s beneficial to you.

Keeping mindfulness a habit

In this frantic world, whenever you start to feel sad, anxious or irritable, remember to go back to these 3 meditations so you can free yourself from a bad mood and control your reactions to these emotions.

Also, don’t be afraid to do these exercises multiple times in a day. The more frequently you set a check on your mind and wellbeing, the more awareness you will have of your own feelings and emotions.

And the better you can harness them, the more joy and peace you will get in life.

 

 

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