You can spare five minutes, can’t you?
“Learn to be calm and you will always be happy” — Paramahansa Yogananda
Every day, it can seem like we are on a never-ending hamster wheel of life, trying to figure out how to squeeze in all the different things we need to do.
There never seems to be enough time in the day to do all the things demanded of us, much less find any time to put our mental clarity and calmness at the forefront.
I admit I have been guilty of being one of those who always talked about not having enough time and bemoaning all the different things I had to do. I read Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning and thought about how impossible it would be for me to do all of those things before I got my day going.
I was already waking up 3 hours before any morning meeting was taking place and doing a consistent 30–60 minutes of writing each morning, along with the same time frame for exercise every day.
When I thought about the concept of squeezing out another 15–30 minutes to try to work in some meditation, there was just no way this would happen.
What I discovered, however, is that often a little bit is better than nothing at all, and if I was willing to start with as little as 5 minutes per day, I could still reap some benefits from it.
This proved to be accurate, and once I implemented this practice, I was amazed at the positive benefits I experienced from it. I suggest everyone give it a try for a few distinct reasons.
It’s easier to start than you think
Meditating for five minutes each morning doesn’t sound like a lot of work, so maybe this reason isn’t needed, but I wanted to make sure I drove this home.
As with almost anything in our lives these days, there are numerous apps that can help in this endeavor to make this nearly automatic for you to implement without having to do any significant amount of work.
Lumosity is cool because it comes with a host of other mental exercises that you can do to increase your mental acuity, but you do have to pay for it ($14.99 per month or $6.95 per month if you pay by the year).
Insight Timer is completely free (at least for now) and includes various types of meditations that run the gambit of what most people would be looking for. The only potential cost will be if you decide to tip the creators of each session, an option you are given at the end of each experience, along with a chance to leave a review.
Download either of these two and see how easy it will be to start.
It helps more than you would realize
When most people think of meditating, they mistakenly believe that the length of time has to be extensive to be effective.
Spending almost any amount of time (perhaps even as little as 60 seconds) being aware of your thoughts and purposely focusing on putting yourself in a place of peace and calmness is helpful.
I chose five minutes because it typically allows me to focus on a theme for that session to center my mind and ensure I am feeding it positive thoughts and energy for that day.
While many people may not be fans of the book The Secret because they feel it slants on the side of being a bit “airy fairy,” the science behind positive thinking and how it affects someone’s mood and feeling of self-competence has been proven.
While some may think it’s a waste of time, there is considerable evidence that setting your day on the right path can yield dividends for your mental and psychological health.
So many people DON’T do it
I have always been a fan of being in the minority of any group.
Millionaires make up 1% of the entire world’s population — a group that many people would like to be in. Take this up a notch to billionaires, and you are looking at 0.0000271846% of the world’s population or 1 in every 3.7 million people.
Being in the minority typically means you are willing to do something that most people aren’t, which in turn means that you will probably reap the benefits of that thing that others won’t.
In relation to meditation, it is currently estimated that approximately only about 14% of the U.S population mediates. This means that in a world in which stress is known to be a silent killer because of all of its negative effects and the competitive landscape becomes more challenging every day, there is a tool that can put one ahead of their competition that so many people are not taking advantage of.
That means you can reap all the positive benefits from daily motivation that others are not. Some of them include improving anxiety levels by 60%, reducing the risk of being hospitalized for coronary disease by 87%, and relieving insomnia symptoms by 75%.
When it seems like we are all looking for something to separate ourselves from the masses and gain a competitive advantage, meditation seems like a straightforward (and long-term very helpful) way to do so.
And even though your mind may try to convince you otherwise by telling you how busy you are, if you’re willing to give it a shot, you’ll be surprised at what five minutes a day can do.