5 Minutes A Day To Change Your Life!
It’s never been Easier
I am just like you. My mind doesn’t turn off.
My internal amusement park has more attractions than Disney World, yet it’s not always quite as fun.
With so many ways to distract ourselves, at times it seems impossible to shut it down.
And sometimes, it is. But that doesn’t mean we can’t rein it in.
We have way more control than we let ourselves believe.
When I first began to practice meditation, I was in the beginning of my divorce process and I knew I had to do whatever I could to stay emotionally balanced.
With the nonstop worrisome thoughts of what to do next, I was determined to slow down my high-speed thought train of fear and discomfort.
I tried every tactic I came across.
Between meditation challenges with guided imagery, mantras, chanting, and total silence, I was determined to find my niche.
Yet no matter what I tried, I could not find one that attained the “Off” button for my thoughts. They just kept going…
After several weeks of getting up early to attempt to meditate, I began to notice a change in my practice.
The initial dread of failure began to dwindle.
Despite the constant questioning of whether the practice was helping, I found myself eagerly anticipating the experience each day.
I began to look forward to sitting alone with myself, with my thoughts, still.
Changing Thought Processes for the Better
The more I practiced, the less I began to judge my process.
My thoughts still flowed, but I stopped demanding that they go away.
I gave them permission to come in and out while I continued my practice of sitting still.
I began to notice that at the end of each experience, I felt calm, clear, and at peace.
Was it possible this was meditation after all?
And so my Stillness Practice was born.
The practice of sitting still each day and allowing my body and mind to let go.
Letting go meant acknowledging my thoughts, noticing my thought patterns, and seeing my concerns for what they really were.
When I let my thoughts be noticed, it gave me the opportunity to address them more actively.
Because worrisome thoughts can create an anxious or depressed brain chemistry, I end my practice by noting what I’m grateful for.
This changes brain chemistry to a flood of positive emotions.
Plus, it ends meditation on a high note, encouraging me to continue the practice—and to want to continue!
Sometimes I will address my thoughts by journaling them afterwards.
This helps me find a solution or just respect that trusting the process will allow my fears to dissipate.
Noticing my thoughts has let me learn more about myself and how I can tweak what doesn’t work well for me.
It also honors the many effective patterns I’ve created.
Creating Your Stillness Practice
On Day 1, every one of my clients who is welcomed into my private practice for professional counseling receives the same homework assignment: Begin a Stillness Practice.
Practice sitting still each day for five minutes.
Set the timer on your phone and be still.
End the five minutes by listing at least three things you are grateful for.
Do the process again the next day.
The reaction is consistently one of two possibilities. “I can’t possibly sit still for five minutes a day!” or, “Ok, I think I can do that.”
This gives me an indicator of how much the person is motivated to change and how ingrained their thought patterns are.
Five minutes a day to care for yourself is not a lot to ask for, unless you tell yourself it is.
The outcome is also steadily the same.
Those who practice sitting still for five minutes a day notice the improvement in their mood, their ability to calm themselves and gain an understanding of what it is they think about the most, and what they want to work on.
It’s simple and effective. And… it feels good.
Setting aside five minutes a day to put yourself first, to connect with yourself, and to allow yourself to feel peace is a small prescription to achieve big results.
And who knows?
Maybe you will become the next Meditation Guru. All you have to do is start.
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