Mini-Meditations and Mantras Are the Quick Calming Hack You Need
Mini-meditations and mantras are trending. Here's how they can help quiet your mind (and calm your climate anxiety).
We’re all dealing with climate anxiety. Our Climate Calm series focuses on ways to alleviate stress and anxiety so you can bring your best self to bettering our planet.
Looking for a way to slow down, fast? While the act of mindfulness centers on calming a chaotic mind in favor of true attention, our ceaseless schedules and the general busyness that defines the modern world can make this simple (and very important) endeavor seem almost impossible. Enter mini-meditations and mantras, one of 2023's most prevalent wellness trends.
Whether staying grounded is on your list of resolutions or you're searching for a quick way to cope with climate anxiety, this bite-sized approach to presence is an ideal place to start.
What Are Mini Meditations?
Mini-meditations and mantras are simply abbreviated versions of the same practices, designed to be implemented whenever you can find the time—which is the basis of the practices' appeal. The tiny exercises can range anywhere from 1-5 minutes (or even less, if a repeated mantra is all you need) the perfect gateway for those intimidated by 10 or more minutes of silence.
"When building new habits, consistency is key," says Julie Geeting, mental health coach and counselor at PALM Health. "It is difficult to say, 'I don’t have time' when we are considering a one-minute or five-minute practice that can improve how we feel."
What Are the Benefits of Mini Meditations and Mantras?
Like all mindfulness practices, mini-meditations and mantras serve to increase your connectivity to both yourself and the world around you.
An increase in mindfulness (aka the act of quiet, non-judgemental attention) helps to deepen our bonds with living beings and the world at large, leading to wellsprings of empathy, understanding, and oneness. All of these factors combine to make one a better steward of the environment, enhancing appreciation of nature and awareness around our daily habits and impact.
Miniaturized mindfulness provides an easy entry point to this essential practice. And aside from their temporal accessibility, mini-meditations can help extend the life of the consciousness you've worked to cultivate.
"Too often, someone may have deep reflection for 20 minutes in the morning, but then carry very little awareness with them throughout the day," says Geeting. "Adding mini presence-building activities throughout the day could help individuals live their everyday lives with a greater perspective."
How to Get Started
Getting started is simple—so long as you prioritize the practice. "Take a few deep abdominal breaths to center yourself, close your eyes, and focus on the word 'love' for about five minutes a day," suggests Geeting. Implement this pause on public transit, between meetings, or right when you wake up (before reaching for your phone).
The best, most immediate, means of grounding, though? Time spent in nature. "This by far is the best mini-break or mini-meditation we can do for our well-being," says Geeting. "Taking in nature can give you an instant sense of connection and presence."
If you're looking to hack your mental health, mini-meditations provide a no-excuses opportunity to dive in—and to reassess your relationship with wellness.
"Ask yourself if you are falling into the trap of feeling stressed out by all the things you feel you must do to work on your stress," says Geeting. "For these individuals, I recommend taking a step back and reflecting on what you truly want, and finding a philosophy of living that will help you get there."
Because when it comes to self-care, it really is all about you.
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