short meditation

Short Guided Meditation

Not everyone has the time to spend on a meditation practice. Sometimes, all you can fit in is a short meditation practice of five to ten minutes. Don’t worry, doing that for a bit each day can still have a positive effect on your day. A quick break to slow our breathing can be transformative. Fortunately, this page is packed with short meditations you can practice if you’re in a hurry.

What is a short meditation?

The best mindfulness practice is guided meditation. However, if you’re new to meditation, it’s normal to dive right into a fifteen minute meditation without ever thinking about whether or not you can maintain your focus for that long. Instead, a short meditation practice can be a great way to practice mindful breathing, watching your thoughts pass by without getting attached, and improve your mental health. A short meditation can also be helpful in times where you’re having a panic attack and need to lower your heart rate back down quickly. Or in any time of stress where you realize there just isn’t enough time in a day for yourself. So, if you’ve only got five to ten minutes in a day to focus on your brain, don’t worry, because five minutes of meditation a day can be a great start.

Short meditations to practice

Only have five minutes of time to practice some deep breathing? No problem. Below and within our app you’ll find dozens of short meditations you can practice.

Find more practices like this one in our free guided meditation app Declutter The Mind.

When to start doing short meditations

1. When you feel anxious

When you feel nervous before a big meeting or have a sudden panic attack, you might need some help breathing normally again. Often, during anxiety attacks, we do shallow breathing from the chest. However, deep breathing exercises have you breathing from your stomach, which gets more oxygen into your lungs. So, a quick five to ten-minute meditation can help you regulate your breathing again to help you overcome this sudden surge in panic. A short guided meditation can help give you prompts on your breathing to help you calm your nerves and ease your anxiety.

2. During your lunch break

A short meditation can be practiced during lunch through the exercise of mindful eating. You can play a mindful eating meditation or practice mindfulness through carefully chewing each bite for 30-40 times. Experience all the flavors swirling through your mouth. Notice all the textures of each bite. Re-discover how something tastes by carefully chewing your meal. This is a great exercise to practice when eating alone during your lunch break or at a restaurant. It can also enhance the experience of eating by becoming more aware of what your food tastes like.

3. Before you sleep

A short meditation practice can help you fall asleep to help ease you into your slumber. Sometimes all you need is a deep breath or two for a few moments to help your body relax enough to gently fall asleep. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, meditation can help you gain control when you simply focus on your breath in the present moment. It helps get your body into the natural rhythm you should be in at night. You might notice physical sensations, such as through a quick body scan meditation to ease you into dreamland.

4. When you wake up in the morning

A short mindfulness meditation can be practiced in the morning to help you start your day off right. You can follow along to a five-minute meditation while drinking your coffee. If you want to start the day with positive vibes, a short loving-kindness meditation can be a great way to pour compassion towards yourself and others. All it takes is mindful breathing and a few minutes spent in the present moment.

How to practice a short meditation

1. Take a seated position

Find a comfortable seat on your chair or your couch. Get into a position that allows you to feel relaxed without needing to adjust yourself. If staying seated is difficult for you, you can also lie down during your practice.

2. Open the Declutter The Mind app

Open the Declutter The Mind app to find various five-minute meditations. You can find a short meditation based on what you’re experiencing right now. For instance, if you’re feeling anxious, you might play a five-minute meditation for anxiety. If you need help falling asleep, you could do a five-minute sleep meditation. If you need help focusing, a five-minute focus meditation.

3. Meditate for a few minutes

Using Declutter The Mind, you’ll have a guide prompt you on your breathing and when to catch your thoughts from wandering so you can maximize the meditation experience. You’ll gently take deep breaths in and out, fill your lungs with air, and release, repeatedly.

Why a short meditation is better than nothing

1. It builds a habit

Even a short meditation each day builds a good habit. Most people don’t have the luxury of a spare hour to meditate daily, so a five or ten-minute practice at the time that works best for you on any given day can be a transformative experience in your ability to be mindful and still reap the benefits of meditation over the long-term. Making meditation a habit will help you see changes in your brain’s chemistry. It just takes consistent practice.

2. It helps you relax

A short meditation can quickly reduce the impact of anxiety and other stressors. When we feel anxious, our heart rates climb. Following a short deep breathing exercise is a great way to bring the heart rate back down to help you relax. Often, people meditate before bed to help their bodies relax so they can gently ease into sleep. A guide can remind you to breathe from your belly to help you feel more relaxed as you meditate.

3. Meditation offers numerous benefits

There are countless scientific benefits of meditation, including improved focus, enhanced information processing, positive influences on creativity, prevention of illnesses, such as Alzheimers, and more. A short meditation practiced each day can see many beneficial long-term results.

How to meditate fast

The goal of meditation is not to practice it quickly. You don’t want to rush a meditation. However, you can keep it short. After all, if we feel like we’re rushing the meditation to fit it into our day, we may breathe more rapidly, which causes us to feel more stress and anxiety. Even if you’re short on time, practice meditation slowly. Watch thoughts float through your mind, mentally note it as “thinking” and continue to re-focus on your breath.

The Benefits of Short Meditations

1. Easy to fit into your day

Whether you’re a busy parent, busy with work, or just lack time in your day, a short meditation is easy to fit into your workday. You can complete a meditation in as little as five minutes to help you mindfully breathe. However, if you’re really short on time, you can try a one-minute mindfulness meditation on YouTube to quickly fit it into your day. So, no matter how little time you have, there is a quick and easy way to fit meditation into it. You don’t need to spend 20 minutes to an hour if that doesn’t work with your busy schedule. But it’s always possible to find five minutes in our day for ourselves to breathe a bit.

2. Quick results

Sometimes, all we need is five minutes to breathe deeply to experience the benefits of meditation. Getting oxygen into our lungs can help recharge our batteries. Plus, if you’re experiencing stress in your day, a short meditation can help you lower your high heart rate back down to a healthy rate. All you need to do is bring awareness to your breath and take a few moments away from working on your to do list. In moments, where you’re feeling stressed, you can quickly change your stress levels by doing a short meditation.

3. They can always be extended if needed

A short meditation can always be extended if needed. On those days where a panic attack doesn’t go away after a five minute meditation, you can add another 10 minute or 15 minute practice to help ease your nerves. Once you start seeing the benefits of feeling more relaxed, it’s much easier to continue. Don’t feel guilty on days where a short meditation isn’t enough. Adding another short meditation can help you bring the focus, clarity, and mindfulness back into your life.

4. Help you get into the present moment

A short meditation is all you need to live in the present moment. Often, our mind time travels from past to future. We regret our decisions in the past, which causes us to feel depressed or haunted by our past mistakes. We fear the consequences and the unknown of the future, which gives us anxiety. However, it’s important to take moments to live in the present, where everything is just fine. Working on our minds to better manage scary or unhelpful thoughts only takes a few minutes of practice every day. But with that practice, we can enjoy life again, if we just focus on the present instead of the past or future.

5. Easy to fit into other activities

A short meditation can easily fit into other activities we do throughout the day. If you’re commuting to work on a bus (not driving in a car) you can practice a short meditation before and after work. Alternatively, you can practice a mindful eating exercise during any or all three of your meals. Or you can practice a mindful walking exercise during a walk in your neighborhood.

6. Great for beginners

A short meditation is a great choice for beginners learning how to meditate. You can quickly see the benefits of belly breathing or setting an intention such as more peace, the ability to accept things as they are, and a sense of improvement in your week. The process of meditating is relatively easy to do and can easily be done in as little as five minutes. So, if you’re new to meditation or looking to see if it’s right for you, a short meditation can be a great way to test the waters.

Other quick mindfulness practices

1. Recite positive affirmations

Reciting positive affirmations can be a helpful mindfulness practice. Often, our thoughts tend to lean negative. The practice of replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts can alter how we view the world and make us more mindful of our negative thinking. A positive affirmation can also make you feel good about yourself, especially when you start believing these true statements because you’ve said it so much that you’ve grown from it. After a few deep breaths, recite some positive affirmations, such as “I am a happy person who is kind.” To help you improve your mindset about yourself and become the version of yourself you’d be proud to be.

2. Practice deep breathing

A few deep breaths can be transformative, especially if you don’t even have time for a short meditation. Often, when we breathe, we breathe from our chest. However, we’re supposed to breathe from our stomachs. Shallow breathing is mostly chest breathing and it has a range of negative side effects due to inadequate air supply, such as lack of oxygen to the lung. Deep breathing, on the other hand, has an improved diaphragm ability, can help you relax, and better expels carbon dioxide while taking in more oxygen. You can use a guided meditation to help you practice deep breathing, however, you can also practice this on your own when you notice your breathing is too shallow or fast.

3. Show yourself compassion

Replacing negative thoughts with more constructive and helpful happy thoughts can be a great way to show yourself compassion. Often, when we ruminate on negativity, our bodies feel worse. We may shed some tears or feel a surge in rage. However, when we show ourselves compassion, it’s much easier to spread that compassion towards others. Believe it or not, but many people out there are suffering with their own thoughts, life challenges, or other adversity. When you learn how to do self compassion exercises, it becomes easier to spread that compassion to others, and that’s mindful living in practice. So, if you’re looking for something to add to your short meditation, try showing yourself compassion and then spreading that around.

4. Feel the sensations in your body

While you can do a short meditation like a body scan meditation to feel the sensations in your body. You can also try this on your own when you’re short on time. Take a moment in your chair to feel sensations in your body. Do you feel an itch? Maybe notice a throbbing in your head? Or maybe you feel tightness in your stomach? These are some of the common sensations in our body all the time. However, it’s important to be mindful of how our bodies are feeling, so we can know when something is different or wrong. In a way, this is a meditation practice as it gives you something to focus on mindfully. So, short meditation practices like this one can be helpful for becoming aware of changes in your physical body.

5. Sit in silence

If mindfulness meditation is too long to fit into your daily routine today, you can always try to sit in silence for a couple of minutes. As you sit, avoid letting your mind wander. However, when it does, practice mental noting by labeling it “thinking.” Then, return to sitting in silence. The goal in this practice isn’t to be alone with your thoughts but to be present in the moment. So, when you get lost in thought you’re not actually practicing mindfulness techniques. This mindfulness practice can be challenging, but you can use a five-minute meditation timer to start with, unguided to practice this exercise on your own. You can choose a longer meditation timer after mastering the first five minutes. Or if you find this too challenging, you can practice a guided meditation until you get better at letting your thoughts pass as you sit in silence without ruminating on them.

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