Take Five for Well-Being

Article By: Devin O'Brien, M.A.

Sudden change and a new normal can take a toll on us (mentally and physically). Take 5 minutes a day to center yourself, get into the present moment, and find calm. Meditation is a simple (yet effective) way to do just that. Try the steps below and find the mental state that allows you to be the best version of yourself (even in difficult times). At O'Brien, we can take your meditation a step further by providing you and your organization with cozy products such as blankets, sweatshirts, and even mugs. Contact us for more information!

Get Started – Find yourself a quiet place and have a seat (a comfy chair, a plush cushion, a cozy place to have a seat). Cross your legs and sit upright (straight but not tense). Place your hands on your legs and let them fall naturally to your sides. Close your eyes.

Tip – getting up early is an easy way to have your pick of location when in a shared household.

Just Breathe – Take a deep first breath and feel the expansion of your chest and lungs. Now let go of the tension, release and, feel the warmness of the air as it leaves your body. Keep breathing (naturally) and be present (aware) of each cycle of breath (in and out).

 

Man under blue sky breathing

 

Tip – It can help to think of your breathing as waves gently crashing onto a sunny beach. Your exhale is the wave coming in, and your inhale the water retreating to the ocean.

Let Go - Try not to think (of anything). The goal is a clear and present mind. We’re just paying attention to our breathe. Thoughts will enter your mind; let them pass and use your breathe to stay focused.

Tip – Don’t pass judgement on your thoughts (or yourself for having them). It’s going to happen, but you can consciously let them go (let them pass) if we focus on breathing alone. There is time to worry later (we’re using this time to relax!)

Person holding yoga position

 

Take Five – Five minutes can provide immediate benefits. Ten minutes can almost be euphoric (so do what you can with the time you make available for yourself).

Tip – Daily meditation is recommended and will provide the most benefits. No one is perfect, however, so do what you can when you can (at home, at the office, in your car, etc.). Set a timer and step away for a few minutes.

 

We have busy lives, but we can surely afford five minutes to take care of ourselves. We take care of our homes, cars, and other valuables; why not take care of the most important part of you (your mind). A clear and present mind can have significant benefits, so give this a try and hopefully it serves as a catalyst for well-being in your life. Enjoy!

 

Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

1. Reduce anxiety, depression, and psychological distress

2. Increase emotion regulation and self-control

3. Improve academic and job performance

4. Reduce burnout symptoms

5. Enhanced mental health and functioning