The Power Of 5 Minutes: Simple Strategies To Shift Your LifeNov 13, 2022
The Power Of 5 Minutes: Simple Strategies To Shift Your Life
When it comes to shifting your life, altering your habits, or making any kind of change (physical or mental), these decisions are often met with hesitation, or some sort of resistance. Why? Because as humans, we tend to resist change or fear what feels different. And when it comes to making these types of changes, it feels monumental to start or keep the momentum a few weeks in. So, we naturally push back, create obstacles (sabotaging ourselves), or just refuse to take the first step.
But what if you could start shifting your life with just five minutes each day?
Sure, it sounds crazy, but there is power in five minutes. For example, just five minutes of intentional meditation can reduce stress and five minutes of silence1 is proven to dramatically change how you feel and focus.
So, whether you’re looking to accomplish a big goal, hoping to hit the ‘reset’ button, or just wanting to make small changes in your every day, here are some 5-minute strategies to help you shift your life.
If you’re looking to make a change in your life, first start with the routines. Your routines are the decisions you make every morning, afternoon, and night—conscious or not—that have become so regimented you almost can’t live without them.
For example, if you find yourself hitting snooze every morning, reaching for your phone the moment you open your eyes, or pouring a coffee just to get out of bed… consider making a change.
Rather than falling into non-productive habits—like oversleeping, screen time, or caffeine—take the first five minutes of your morning to get out of bed, stretch, drink some (warm) water and set intentions for the day.
Keep a journal near your bed and record your intentional routines, and complete a nightly recap of the routines you have completed. Great routines are ones that help you feel more grounded, more mindful, or help you create more energy during the day. Here are a few examples:
- Drinking your tea or coffee without any other distractions
- Going for a quick walk outside (without your phone)
- Call your loved one, relative, or friend just to say hi and to check-in
- Brushing your teeth, cleaning your face, putting on face cream, and purely focusing your attention during these things
Working out has so many benefits, but for many of us, the biggest hurdle is getting motivated to make it happen. Whether we blame our lack of time, our distance from the gym, our exhaustion, our workload, or some combination of the above, there are a million and one excuses that can prevent us from getting a good workout in.
But that’s often because we think of working out as an extensive practice—and it doesn’t have to be!
Rather than putting pressure on yourself to head to the gym for an hour, start small with a five-minute workout2. You can go for strength training, barre, or you can also push for speed with your cardio.
Try the arm exercises HERE to see how 5 minutes can truly be a workout! Or do jumping jacks, a sprint, or high knees for 5 minutes, and you’ll feel energized instantly (after you catch your breath!).
5 Minutes Of Yoga
Whether you regularly practice yoga or not, a five-minute yoga routine is a low-pressure way to move your body, improve your flexibility, and meditate through movement.
And one of the best things about yoga is that you don’t have to be an expert to benefit, either. There’s value whether you’re just using the time to slowly stretch or moving in a more vigorous flow.
Plus, with five minutes, there isn’t the overwhelming feeling of getting ‘dressed,’ setting up an elaborate space, or going to a studio —you can just do your moves anywhere you like.
5 Minutes of Meditation
In our fast-paced lives, finding time to meditate seems like just another thing to add to our plates. But again, how much easier and manageable does it feel to just set aside five minutes?
Five-minute meditation trains our brains to be more aware3, and this practice of consciousness is not only beneficial for our focus and attention span, but it also helps us to recenter in the present, calm our nervous system, and feel more at peace.
So, don’t worry about adding a lot of time of this practice when you can get already get great impact with just a few minutes each day. Start small and you can always build in more time as it becomes something more regular in your schedule.
5 Minutes of What You Love
Shifting your habits often looks like adding new practices to your life, but there’s something to be said for leaning into what you enjoy, too. Sometimes you can make the biggest changes in your life by simply adding more of what you love!
While it sometimes feels overwhelming to try to squeeze all the things you care about into your schedule, as you look ahead to your week, where can you add five minutes of your passions, your hobbies, and your loved ones into your life? Giving your loved one(s) undevoted focus for 5 minutes can really give your relationship a whole new level of energy.
These small add-ins can make a huge impact—not only on your mental wellness and attitude—but they can also motivate you as you’re taking small steps towards your personal goals, too.
See here what I love to do for a few minutes that totally lifts my spirits!
Are You Ready To Make A Shift?
Five minutes doesn’t feel like a lot—and that’s the point! While change often feels big and difficult to manage, simply adding five minutes here and there—of workouts, yoga, mindfulness, social activities, etc.—is not only possible, it feels good, too.
So, what (and where) are you going to add these little shifts?
1 - Valeria Sabater (2021) – What 5 minutes of silence can do for your brain. Read more here.
2 - If you like to read about the effects of “micro-workout” you can do so here.
3 - Lam AG, Sterling S, Margines E (2015) Effects of Five-Minute Mindfulness Meditation on Mental Health Care Professionals. J Psychol Clin Psychiatry. Read more here.
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