When you are starting, it’s crucial to adopt meditation as a habit, but for that, your mind has to see it favorably.
Considering beginners can make or break their habits, depending on how consistent they are, is it right to assume that a mere 5-minute meditation is enough?
In general, I don’t recommend meditating any less than 10 to 20 minutes, as it’s a great baseline.
It’s what will over time help you reach an immersive experience, which is what many strive for in meditation.
But if for whatever reason, you don’t have 10 or 20 minutes to spare for meditation, and you just want to get your feet wet, 5-minute meditations might work for you.
I’ve personally never seen good results with just 5 minutes of meditation, which is why I recommend longer experiences, but some somehow manage to reap the rewards of a five-minute practice.
And if you’re one of them, props to you. But I don’t recommend you stay stuck with such short sessions, as you may become complacent.
Meditation can be psychologically taxing if you’re trying to get it right and struggle with dullness, trying to be present all the time.
Our minds constantly seek some form of stimulation, but at least 5 minutes of meditation can be a great way to build towards longer meditations.
Yet again if you’re able to push past 5 minutes, even if you’re starting, please do. Because there’s also the risk of 5 minutes not doing anything noticeable for you, or the change you expect with meditation might happen slower.
Do The Amount You Can Focus
Be it five minutes, seven minutes, twelve minutes… well, that will be up to you. It’s less about how long you can meditate vs. how disciplined you can be with the practice.
At least when you are starting because you don’t want to be stuck with five-minute meditations forever. Unless you somehow find that it works for you and reap the rewards you want with meditation.
For the average individual, I’d recommend against five minutes over the long haul, short meditations are just a means for larger meditations.
But the practice can feel like a big hurdle if you’re not used to it, and five minutes may be all you can do to sustain your focus.
Meditation helps you increase that focus-time threshold, and where you once might’ve started with five minutes, you might wind up being able to do hour-long meditations where the true gold of meditation is often found.
I mean, it’s better to do five minutes of focused meditation than 20 minutes of distracted meditation, and that’s where you have to listen to your intuition to know what the right amount of time is.
Don’t set a timer if you’re just gonna do 5 minutes of meditation, let your intuition and ability to focus decide how long you’re gonna meditate.
You Might Set The Intent To Do 5-Minute Meditations But Manage To Do More
This is why it’s important to abstain from setting a timer because a timer will often bring the urge to check how much is left of the practice, which would defeat the purpose of meditation, to begin with.
What’s beautiful about setting the intent of meditating for just 5-minutes is that you can trick your brain, and once your 5 minutes have passed, you might be able to push more until you disconnect your perception of time and a mere five-minute meditation turns into an hour-long meditation.
Of course, not saying this is likely to happen to a beginner, but it’s a good mindset to have when you are starting meditation. You will usually be able to set the intent of meditating for five minutes and those will turn into 10 or 20.
At that point, you’re overcoming a limit and a threshold you set for yourself. Of course, assuming you don’t become distracted along the way, in that case, just stick to the amount of time you can sustain your focus on the present for. And everyone can more or less keep their focus for 5 to 10 minutes if they really wanted to.
5 Minutes Is a Great Way To Start Your Day
Mornings are often preached as the most optimal time to meditate since you’re the least distracted. Your mind will often be in a semi-conscious state, which you can intercept to do five minutes of meditation, and kickstart your day in a mindful state.
You then want to carry on this mindfulness outside of meditation since 5 minutes of meditation assumes you already have a busy life, or for whatever reason can just focus for 5 minutes.
Either way, you might be able to integrate this mindfulness in everything else you do, and in no time, you’ll condition yourself to meditate for longer than just five minutes.
Unless you are in an extreme rush, I recommend avoiding having a timer whatsoever with meditation. You’ll often end up overdoing it anyway, which in this case, is a good thing.
5 Minutes Is Better Than No Meditation At All
I often discourage meditations that are as short as just five minutes, but even then, they are better than not meditating at all. If you can build consistency through 5-minutes of meditation, you’ll be able to replicate that same discipline in 30-minute meditations.
How you do one thing will often reflect on how you do other things, and even if 5-minutes is minuscule, the discipline factor is there.
Doing such short meditations is very easy, but not doing them is too, and at the very least, with such a short amount of time meditating, the improvements you make, although small, can compound.
So yes, while 5 minutes of meditation is probably at the bottom of the food chain, if you do it consistently, you’re still doing better than most that abandon the practice, to begin with.
At one point, you might end up being so into meditation you won’t want to stop the practice after just 5 minutes and you’ll be pushing your limits to determine where you’re at. It’s a bit like lifting weights, starting small, and building to something bigger.
Even if you’re just going for a minuscule meditation, you still want to do it in the most distraction-free environment.
Especially, in a silent environment, this is so you can be in a better connection with yourself and listen to yourself.
If you’re in a distracting environment while doing the meditation, even if it’s a short one, your mind might start seeing meditation in a negative light and even meditations that are as short as 5-minutes will feel like a chore.
This is something you want to avoid since one of the ideas of a five-minute practice is building a micro commitment so you can build the habit of meditating for longer. You want to make it as easy on yourself as possible.
Stay focused on your breath and those 5-minutes will pass in the blink of an eye. You might benefit from being in a room specifically used for meditation, or you might do it in your own room by closing your eyes and focusing on your breath after waking up.
But I recommend sitting while meditating, since, otherwise, there’s a risk of falling asleep and you want to stay conscious through your meditation session for it to work at all.