Meditation is a practice that has existed for centuries but has recently increased in popularity due to its many scientifically-backed benefits. This ancient practice has been proven to increase neuroplasticity, improve sleep, reduce chronic pain symptoms, boost focus and memory, decrease blood pressure, improve overall well-being and so much more. Those who meditate regularly tend to experience increased feelings of self-love, wellness and happiness as well as decreased symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety.
Even a short meditation session of 5 minutes can create profound changes in your daily life. In this blog, we offer several 5-minute meditations and meditation tips for beginners so that you can establish a daily meditation practice.
We have created several 5-minute guided meditations to support your meditation journey. These are great meditations for beginners who don’t know where to start but wish to establish a daily meditation practice. Watch the full video on YouTube or press play on the audio below.
Enjoy these free meditations and continue reading if you are interested in meditation tips for beginners and the benefits of meditation!
Yes, five minutes of meditation is definitely effective and worthwhile! While it may be a tiny piece of your day, it can still create a sense of inner peace, decrease stress, improve mindfulness and more. A longer meditation practice may be necessary to cultivate the more potent benefits of meditation, such as increased neuroplasticity or improved memory; however, this does not diminish the power of a five-minute meditation.
By meditating five minutes a day, you are building a solid foundation for your daily meditation practice. If you begin with the goal of a 30-minute morning meditation, you may become frustrated easily and find excuses to skip. However, there aren’t many excuses for skipping a meditation as short as 5 minutes. Once you have established a daily meditation practice and feel comfortable, then you can increase your meditation time.
Meditation can be a frustrating practice for some, especially with a fixed view of meditation. Many imagine that meditation involves waking up before the sun rises, sitting cross-legged, closing your eyes and immediately emptying your mind. This is just one way to practise; meditation looks different for everyone and there isn’t one correct way to meditate.
1. Go easy on yourself
You may feel frustrated when your thoughts wander and can’t clear your mind. Instead of feeling defeated, congratulate yourself, this is the point of meditation! It is all about noticing how your mind wanders and observing this without judgement.
2. Choose a comfortable position
You don’t need to sit cross-legged to feel the benefits of meditation. What is most important—besides comfort—is that your spine is naturally straight. In spiritual practices maintaining a straight spine is important so that energy can flow unobstructed throughout the body but it also has the scientific function of promoting focus and alertness. Here are 8 meditation postures that you can try.
3. Use habit stacking
Habit stacking is the practice of pairing a new habit with a current habit. For example, after brushing your teeth (current habit), meditating for five minutes (new habit). This is a powerful method because the current habit is already ingrained in your brain and therefore makes it easier to stick to the new behaviour.
4. Use guided meditations or meditation music
If meditating in silence is difficult—which is completely normal, as our lives are filled with seemingly endless noise—try using guided meditations (like the ones above) or meditation music. This can help increase your focus and motivation.
5. Create a quiet and safe space for your meditation practice
To enhance your meditation experience, consider creating a peaceful meditation space. This can be a quiet corner of your house, a special meditation room, a serene spot in nature or anywhere else you feel safe and peaceful. You can also light candles or use essential oils to further enhance the calming environment. These simple yet meaningful practices can help reinforce your meditation practice and make the experience even more enjoyable.
6. Focus on consistency
Instead of worrying about the number of minutes of meditation, focus on consistency. Some ways to create a daily routine are to practise at the same time of day, choose a sustainable amount of time and remind yourself of the benefits of meditation.
While meditation began as a spiritual practice for reaching enlightenment, nowadays many are using it as a secular practice to improve mental health and boost overall well-being. Meditation is a powerful tool for improving mental health by providing ways of regulating emotions, seeing new perspectives, managing anxiety, letting go and promoting stress relief. Meditation also improves overall well-being by improving sleep, increasing focus, allowing you to embrace the present moment, improving happiness and providing inner peace.
Scientists continue to be astounded by the profound effects of this ‘simple’ practice. The list below presents the mental and physical health benefits of meditation from recent empirical research.
Looking for other ways to practise mindfulness that doesn’t involve traditional meditation? Here are some suggestions for mindfulness activities that can help you cultivate self-love, inner peace, focus and positive energy!
If you’re interested in learning more about meditation and how it influences the brain, check out our upcoming event: How Meditation Changes the Brain.
Geshe Tenzin Namdak, Vanessa Zuisei Goddard and distinguished contemplative neuroscientists Dr. Juan Santoyo and Dr. Ekaterina Denkova, will guide you through the various ways that meditation influences the brain, enhances our focus, allows us to release ingrained patterns and promotes collective well-being.
We look forward to sharing this powerful learning experience with you on July 8th during the next Science Day V, an event available also in Italian thanks to the partnership with Lama Tzong Khapa Institute.