There is little dispute over the benefits of meditation — from reducing stress, controlling anxiety and restoring emotional balance; to improving sleep, managing pain and even fighting addictions — even in medical science, it’s an accepted aid in bettering health and wellbeing.
However, many find meditation difficult, arguing that they can’t ‘focus on one thing’ for more than a few minutes. Most often, this focus is on the inhale and exhale of the breath or a repeated mantra of some kind. They simply don’t have the time or the mental discipline… or, so they say.
Well, now there’s no excuse.
Here’s a 5-minute meditation hack for even the most undisciplined, time-challenged workaholic.
To understand how it works, first we need to understand the goal of meditation — which is to bring you back to the present moment. It’s the only moment in which you actually exist, free of ego’s judgements and expectations. When we focus on the past, we are prone to feelings of depression, sadness, regret and guilt. When we focus on the future, we bring on feelings of anxiety, worry, stress and concern. Meditation creates a refuge in the present space, bringing peace, tranquility and connection with the soul and spirit.
So, here’s what you can do when you don’t have the time or discipline to ‘focus on the breath’ or chant ‘om’ for half an hour.
- Find a place where you won’t be interrupted. This doesn’t mean you have to be in a nature reserve or sitting at the base of a waterfall. It simply means you might want to turn off your phone, walk outside of the office, or chain the kids to a rack in the cellar. Whatever works.
- Identify your primary sensory receiver. Human beings learn from and respond to their environment using three main senses — visual (things we see), auditory (things we hear) and kinaesthetic (things we touch and feel). However, we tend to have a primary sense which we use the most. And here’s a tip. When in conversation, do you tend to say, I ‘see’ what you’re saying? I ‘hear’ what you’re saying? Or, I ‘feel’ what you’re saying? This will give you some insight into identifying your primary sensory receiver.
- Choose one of your non-primary senses. If you’re a visual person, you might focus on what you hear or feel. If you’re auditory, you might focus on what you feel or see. And if you’re kinaesthetic, focus on what you can see or hear.
- Now, remain still and focus on receiving through your chosen sense. When something enters your awareness, acknowledge it, let it go and wait for the next. And although you’re not focussing on your breath, remember to breath slowly and deeply.
- Do this for roughly 5 minutes or as long as you’re enjoying the moment.
Now, how do you feel?
This method can be helpful over traditional types of meditation because it offers the mind some variety while anchored in the present moment, resisting the urge to wander looking for something new. It’s also a useful technique for people who are triggered by ‘breathing’ exercises, such as those who have suffered asphyxiation traumas or panic attacks.
So, how did you go?
Did it work for you?
Please add a comment below.