Taking Five Will Change Your Life
For a long time, I believed that meditation and taking moments of silence throughout the day were for hippies and new agers. Not that there’s anything wrong with either group, I just didn’t see how meditation or small breaks for silence fit into my life as I don’t fit into either group.
This January, I started to make it a point to take five minutes per day to just breathe. Not necessarily meditate or focus my thoughts anywhere, but just to be still and relax. Within days I began to feel calmer in most cases and less anxious. I’ve kept that habit throughout this year. I do five minutes in the morning and five whenever I feel that I’m in a situation that is stressful or I realize that I need a breather.
Taking time to be still is important for our mental and emotional health: it gives us a space to cool down, to relax, and to think things through instead of reacting from a place of emotion.
That practice is at the heart of my daily ritual and I wanted to spend some time today talking about how to develop the habit.
Choose Your Time
The morning: always a good time to start the practice. What you do in the first hour of the day dictates the tone for the rest of your day. I choose to do this a little after I wake up so I’m conscious enough to practice but it still makes that one hour cut.
Before you walk into work: Work can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s good to go in with a clear head and as little stress as possible.
On breaks: let the tension out by practicing deep breathing and allowing yourself stillness.
At night: being calm and free of emotional buildup is important to getting a good night’s sleep.
Choose Your Method
Meditation: count your breaths or follow along with a guided meditation. I usually follow along with youtube, although the apps can be good as well.
Visualization: in this case, I’m encouraging you to not think so much of attracting anything. I’m encouraging thinking of your happy place and imagining you are there.
Think through your day: set up the most important tasks and imagine walking though your day while remaining peaceful.
Just relax and breathe: Some of my times include just sitting there allowing my mind to go completely blank. I relax and ease everything away. I’m not focused on my breathe. It gives me a small time out to just practice the silence of everything.
Repeat as Necessary
This is a practice that can be mixed and matched with methods and can be repeated multiple times throughout the day. Use the techniques whenever you find that you need some space and peace throughout your day. Once might not be enough (I know for me it isn’t!). By taking five, we are creating a space to relax that is able to be returned to multiple times throughout the day.
Try taking at least five every day for the next 30 days. Does anything change in your life? Are you calmer, more at peace or just happier and more content? Document any changes you see in your life and refer back to it.
Silence is important for maintaining inner peace, calm and a solid state of mind.
Things and events throughout the day will always aim to knock us off our a-game on a daily basis.
Taking five minutes of silence will get us back into the right frame of mind (or at least breathing, which will allow us to get ourselves back in the right frame of mind). If we allow it to, this simple practice will change the landscape of our entire day.