Maintain Peace in Chaotic Times With a Simple 5-Minute Meditation

Unless you’ve already developed a strong sense of inner calm, the idea of maintaining a peaceful mindset in the midst of chaos can seem impossible. When you’re bombarded by stressors in your environment, it’s hard not to react emotionally before you have time to think.

: :

While it’s perfectly natural to have emotional reactions to stressors, those reactions can cause harm. Each time you react, your body sends a flood of stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, through your body to put you in ‘fight or flight’ mode.

Over time, your body will develop a habit of responding this way and cause you to become hypervigilant. You’ll become more sensitive to smaller triggers. Soon, your body will start releasing a flood of stress hormones in response to smaller triggers that never bothered you before.

Training your body out of reacting this way is simple, but not easy. You can do it with a simple 5-minute meditation. However, the hard part is committing to the daily practice of meditation for an extended period of time.

Simple 5-minute meditation

Meditation can rewire your reactions to stress

Meditation has a positive physical impact on the body. Meditation also calms the mind. Both of these effects work together to gradually rewire your brain to think and respond to stress differently.

When you train your mind into a calmer state, you’ll react less when presented with stressful triggers. As you meditate more, you’ll reduce the impulse to react negatively. Meditation also has some scientifically-proven health benefits that can reduce the effects of stress.

The mountains pierce the clouds

Research from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health shows that meditation can relieve pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. All of these symptoms can arise from stress.

Put simply, meditation can transform how you respond to stress. Let’s look at how a simple 5-minute meditation can generate this positive impact.

Can meditating for 5 minutes really help?

When you think about meditation, do you picture barefoot monks in saffron robes sitting in caves meditating for years undisturbed? These people do exist. For instance, the Discovery Channel produced a documentary about a 15-year-old yogi from Nepal who did nothing but meditate undisturbed for ten months.

A ten month meditation is impressive! However, you don’t need to meditate for months or years to experience the benefits. You don’t need to sit on fancy cushions, wear a robe, or chant. You just need five minutes to yourself each day and a relatively quiet space. If you don’t have access to a completely silent space for meditating, consider it a challenge to train your mind to ignore the distractions you can’t control.

Meditating for just 5 minutes per day will gradually train your mind and body into automatically generating calm responses and will eventually eliminate your negative, reactive responses.

How to perform a 5-minute meditation

After reading this guide, if you’re still not sure how to get started as a beginner, follow these important steps:

5-minute seated meditation

Seated meditation is the most common type of meditation. To do a 5-minute seated meditation, find a place to sit cross legged on the floor or sit in a chair with back support and put your feet flat on the floor.

Although there are benefits to sitting with your legs in full or half-lotus position, it’s not necessary. If you can do it, great. If not, you’ll be just fine crossing your legs normally.

In a seated position, you can choose to do a guided meditation, meditate on something specific, or meditate to clear your mind. There are unique benefits to each option.

Once you try each type of meditation, you’ll probably have a preference. For example, many people love guided meditations, while a handful of people find them distracting.

Can meditating for 5 minutes really help?

Guided meditations are self-explanatory. You listen to an audio file of somebody speaking who guides you through a meditation. Most people prefer guided meditations because they have a hard time focusing on something self-generated like an image or a mantra. Or, they find it difficult to focus on nothing.

You can find guided meditations that serve varying purposes. There are meditations for wealth, health, abundance, happiness, relationships, and a variety of other goals people may have. Some guided meditations simply walk you through visualizing a relaxing experience.

Some people publish guided meditations for free on YouTube or as paid downloads. Although some paid meditations are great, you don’t need to pay for a guided meditation. Any basic meditation will work, provided you aren’t distracted by the narrator’s voice or the background music.

Meditating on something specific

Meditating on something specific is fairly easy. You just choose something to focus on in your mind, like an image, a word, or a phrase. Some people repeat specific mantras while others simply hold an image in their mind. The best mantra is one that doesn’t use real words so there’s no chance your mind will make associations and wander off into the weeds.

If you find it difficult to visualize and hold an image in your mind for an extended period of time, try drawing the image you want to visualize on an index card or piece of paper. Stare at the image and burn it into your mind. Close your eyes and picture the image. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to visualize after using this trick.

Meditation on something specific

Meditating to clear your mind

While all forms of meditation are beneficial, meditating to clear your mind is the best method around. This is the method where you don’t focus on anything specific, but rather nothing. You allow your thoughts to roll in and roll out like passing clouds without grasping onto anything. You don’t cling to any thoughts or images that pop up in your mind. You simply allow anything that comes up to pass through.

You may not reach the state of having a completely clear mind, but the more you meditate this way, the easier it will be to stay focused and calm in the midst of chaos.

When you train yourself into allowing thoughts and ideas and images to pass, you’ll be able to allow the chaos to pass without reacting. It takes practice, though. A clear mind won’t develop overnight.

5-minute walking meditation

Like all forms of meditation, walking meditation has been medically proven to improve health. Some of the benefits include relief from depression, improved balance, and lower blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes

Walking meditation, originated from Buddhist traditions, has several variations, although the basics are generally the same. Instead of focusing on your breath, as you would in a seated meditation, you concentrate your full focus on the sensation of walking.

To perform a walking meditation, find a place where you can walk a decent distance and look straight ahead, fixing your gaze on something static like a tree in the distance or the horizon. Start walking slowly, placing your attention on every sensation you feel in your feet. As you walk, repeat affirmations in your mind or speak them out loud. Make your affirmations simple like “I am home” and “I am free.”

To perform a walking meditation, find a place where you can walk a decent distance and look straight ahead, fixing your gaze on something static like a tree in the distance or the horizon. Start walking slowly, placing your attention on every sensation you feel in your feet. As you walk, repeat affirmations in your mind or speak them out loud. Make your affirmations simple like “I am home” and “I am free.”

Do your walking meditations barefoot if possible

If you can do your walking meditations barefoot on the grass, in the dirt, or in the sand, that will be a huge plus. Walking barefoot has been scientifically proven to improve health and wellbeing.

5-minute meditation lying down

Meditating lying down is more comfortable than sitting up, but it’s easier to fall asleep so it’s better to meditate lying down during the day. Still, meditating lying down can be a great way to get your 5-minute meditation in before bed. Many people who meditate as they fall asleep say it helps them feel more refreshed in the morning. The National Sleep Foundations says that meditating before bed can train your body into falling asleep faster on a regular basis.

To meditate lying down, get comfortable on your back with your head and neck supported. Cover up with a blanket until you feel relaxed and warm. Keep your arms at your sides, close your eyes, and breathe deeply to calm your body. Focus on your breath until you’re completely relaxed.

If you’re doing a guided meditation, use earphones for the best experience. If you’re not using a guided meditation, you can play relaxing music in the background if it helps you focus. If that’s distracting, meditate in silence.

Girl meditates seeing off the sunset

Meditating to achieve a peaceful mind is all about focus

You’re wise to use meditation to develop a peaceful mind that will keep you calm in the midst of chaos. It really doesn’t matter what kind of 5-minute meditation you choose. The key to successful meditation is maintaining your focus.

You can focus on nothing, an image, a word, a mantra, your breath, background music, or the sound of birds outside. All that matters is that you carve out five minutes each day for your meditation practice. If you do that, the day will come when you’ll be exposed to chaos and your mind will be surprisingly calm.