I’ve done many posts on the benefits of meditation, and I find that I am continually recommending it to friends and acquaintances who say they are experiencing stress. I like meditative practices for a variety of reasons. They tend to help with body pain (that mind-body component), as well as relaxation and stress relief. Recently my friend told me that she feels so stressed planning her wedding that she’s having trouble sleeping or even just slowing down her brain. So of course I recommended trying some simple meditations. She said she didn’t have time. Neither do I, but I try to squeeze in 5 minutes as often as possible. 5 minutes can just calm your body and mind down. Ideally the goal is to work up to longer and longer times, but since meditation is actually quite difficult, starting simple is the best way to do it.
Guided meditations can start at the 5 minute mark, but are most frequently found at the 10 minute or longer mark. However, the reminders to let your thoughts go are helpful. Unguided, on the other hand, can be as long as you’d like, making 5 minutes seem reasonable. The downside is the reminders are up to you.
Spike is a pro at unguided meditations.
Body scans often start at the shorter, 5 minute mark, though I find they are more helpful as they near 10 minutes. Very easy to fit into a busy schedule thought.
Progressive muscle relaxation and autogenic training, both of which are excellent for body pain, tend to start at the 10 minute mark. A little more time needed to dedicate to these but the mindfulness exercises they provide are excellent.
Even if it’s hard to fit this into your busy life, I recommend trying to whenever you can, especially if you are suffering from stress, anxiety, or physical illness. If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel the positive effects immediately.