Meditation may be all the rage for better mental clarity and well-being, but for some people, it can feel like just another thing to add to their already busy days. The last thing you want is for meditation to become a stressful to-do to squeeze into your schedule! 

The good news is you really don’t have to meditate all that long to see the benefits. Just five minutes a day can do the trick. 

What is Meditation?

Meditation is kind of like exercise for your brain, which often involves sitting quietly and observing your breath, thoughts, and the world around you. It’s not just about zenning out—it’s actually more about learning to focus your mind, tune into your emotions, and redirect your thoughts.

This brain training has been scientifically shown to have numerous health benefits, including reduced stress, better sleep, improved emotional health (including reduced anxiety and depression), enhanced memory, and more kindness towards ourselves and others.

How Much Meditation is Enough?

Meditation masters who devote their lives to the practice can meditate for hours a day, but don’t be dissuaded if you don’t have the time or can’t imagine sitting still for that long. Research has shown that even just 5 minutes of meditation is enough to see the incredible benefits. It’s better to build a regular practice that works for you than not meditate at all. 

Create Your Own Meditation Practice!

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Guided 5 Minute Meditations

Wondering how to meditate for 5 minutes? The following guided practices are a great place to start depending on your goal!

5 Minute Breathing Meditation

Breath is the base of all meditation—even just taking a few deep, mindful inhales and exhales can help you start to see the benefits. This quick exercise (led by none other than Queer Eye’s Johnathan Van Ness) will help you connect with your breath in order to connect with yourself.

5 Minute Morning Meditation

This energizing practice is a great morning meditation (5 minutes long). You’ll envision energy moving through your body in a way that wakes you up “way better than coffee” according to teacher Joseph Drumheller

5 Minute Meditation for Sleep

On the flip side, use this deep relaxation meditation to bring yourself down at the end of the day. Don’t be surprised if you drift off before it’s done!

Person sitting cross-legged in front of a small, round wooden board. On the board is a small stack of river stones, two lit candles (one green; one orange), a tiny air plant in a mini glass terrarium, and a dark bottle with scent sticks coming out of the top.
Meditating doesn't have to be a big production. Gather a few peaceful items and create your own relaxing environment wherever you are. Photo by Shashi Chaturvedula on Unsplash

5 Minute Meditation for Anxiety

Called “the integration meditation,” this style is great for dealing with disruptive emotions, like anxiety. In just 5 minutes of meditation, you’ll mentally hold the disruptive emotion and the opposite of that emotion before bringing them together to calm you down.

5 Minute Meditation for Stress

Just need a quick stress-buster? This 5 minute reset will help you shed the energy you don’t need and focus on how you do want to feel—perfect for cultivating calm when you’re feeling frazzled.

5 Minute Mindfulness Meditation

You don’t always have to be sitting to meditate! This 5 minute walking meditation allows you to practice mindfulness while getting in a little exercise. 

5 Minute Gratitude Meditation

Having a gratitude practice can improve your happiness and positivity. With just 5 minutes of meditation centered around gratitude—combined with a 5 minute journaling practice—you’ll find what’s good in all areas of your life. (Note: The guided meditation starts at minute 6:50.) 

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Written By

Erin Greenawald

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