The Five-Minute Secret

Since it only takes a moment for your mood to shift, it’s amazing what you can accomplish in just five minutes!

I don’t know about you guys, but lately I am absolutely loaded with things to do! Working my own hours with my writing job means that I consistently have the “I should be working” feeling if I try to do anything else. Having a book to write leaves me with a little voice whispering “Stop neglecting me, I want to play!” Oddly enough, that’s also what my dog keeps saying. In my head.

Then there is hiking to be done, meditation to commit to, a yoga practice to maintain, and my physical health! Not to mention the songs I’m trying to write on guitar and the little garden I’m building up, my dog’s training classes, and this blog! Also, I want to get better at spinning fire poi. Endless loves of my life, these things, and yet sometimes an entire day will pass where all I do is one or two of them. I’ll think of them all, but my actual energy will not be spent on them.

This can lead me to feeling in a rather bad mood. You could easily look at me like I am crazy, since I make my own hours and can, at any point, decide to do my book or guitar or dog play time or anything. Yet it’s hard for me to get out of the funk of “I need to work-work-work” and “I need to only work on my book when I have a whole day to devote to it,” and yada yada yada.

What I realized today is that there is a magic secret to all of this.

Today when I woke up I realized that my moods were getting a bit powerful.  I set my little timer and meditated for five minutes. It was the first time in several months that I had done so. Then, when I brushed my teeth, I stretched more than usual. Pandora was playing Bob Dylan, and I danced. I pretended that I was spinning my fire poi, and tried to make sure that my feet reached every part of the floor at least once.

Then I took little breaks during my work day and recorded some versions of songs I was working on, and found websites that relate to this blog entry so that I could make the links more easily. Never taking more than five minutes to do any of these things.

Turns out, five minutes is a long time; and not only that, but there is a snowball effect when you start indulging in these lovely things!

If you care about how many calories can be burned in five minutes, there is a great chart on this link. You can see that five minutes of anything can burn up some of the calories you’ve eaten, which can feel great if you are looking to do that sort of thing.

For those of us that are avid anti-calorie counters, there are also immense benefits of five minutes of meditation. With such a short period of time, you are not going to be getting as much cumulative benefits as with a longer sit,but you are getting something; and something is better than nothing. You can reverse your stress response. For me, I notice that even after a five minute sit, my body feels more grounded and I am more likely to think before making snap reactions during the day.

Furthermore, there are benefits of five minutes of massage! Of course, it is great for someone else to do the massage; and ideal for it to be longer. But when is the last time you sat in a comfy position and rubbed the back of your head and neck for five minutes? It will help move your lymph, reduce your stress, prevent some trigger points from forming, and make you feel good.

The last thing I’ll discuss here is how great it is to spend five minutes outside. When you see the health benefits of spending five minutes outside, you will realize that it is one of the easiest things to do. I’m willing to bet that plenty of you guys are just like me in that you spend a lot of time doing what you have to do, a bunch of time doing what you want to do, and yet you still feel that there are things that you do not have time for.

I think that the five minute mark is a great one to work with. Anyone has time to put five minutes into a sitting meditation, or into a walk. And then, once you do one of those things that you know you need to do, you will end up doing more; I almost guarantee it!  At least, that is how it worked for me. The five minute snowball miracle.

What are some of the things that you wish you had more time for in your daily life? Are you ever surprised with how much you can accomplish in five minutes? I know I sure am!

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12 thoughts on “The Five-Minute Secret

  1. Oh boy, did I need to read this today! I’ve been falling into the “I really should be working” trap, and your “5-minute secret” is the perfect way out of that trap. Love your blog!

  2. I guess I have hit that phase of life/age where it becomes important to address my own needs throughout the day. I take “sanity walks” at lunch along the river just to be able to deal with my parts of my office job I don’t like, certain people and certain tasks.

    We need balance in everything to get through the day.

    • I completely agree, Anne! It always astounds me how much one little walk with my dog will help me to de-stress and re-connect with the trees and the big world around me. So good that you have those opportunities 🙂

  3. After struggling for way too long on music today, something I’m incredibly glad to be struggling with, I thought about taking a few moments to relax and read your blog. Well, it seems like the 5 minutes it took was just right 😀

    • I am so glad that you did 🙂 I feel like even when we are doing stuff that is awesome and working on our art, a break is always good. You can only have fresh eyes, ears and judgement for so long; and doing something new for a few minutes is a great refresher!

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