Two Minutes of Calm

Posted by Amy Wallace Amy Wallace on .

If you're struggling to focus on a particular task or you're finding it difficult to switch from one project to another then taking a break is a good way to get yourself back on track. Taking your mind off you work isn't easy though, so trying a quick session of meditation might be just what you need to help you refocus.

Meditation has been shown to increase creativity, improve memory, and reduce stress, all of which would definitely be positives in the workplace. 

It's difficult to build up any new habit and meditation is certainly a challenging one. Sitting still for even 5 or 10 minutes can seem impossible at first, and it's not an easy feat to maintain calm and mindfulness when thoughts pop into your head all the time.

But with such amazing benefits to your productivity and general health and wellbeing, it's worth trying it out, and you have to start somewhere. In recognition of the difficulties of starting new habits, Leo Babauta suggests starting as small as possible with any habit, even starting with just two minutes at a time. 

Those two minutes of reading or pushups or meditation won't suddenly transform your life, but the fact that you can stick to something every day, even for just 2 minutes, can be revolutionary in its own right.

Leo has written a short post (which should take you less than two minutes to read) advocating for the benefits of taking just two minutes out of your workday to meditate. Using this two-minute idea, he suggests experiencing the benefits of meditation and creating a base upon which you can build.

He writes that:

it’s extremely simple: take two minutes out of your extremely busy day (cat videos) to sit still and focus on your breath. Just keep the gentle fingertip of your attention on your breath as it comes into your body, and then goes out. When your mind wanders, take note of that, but then gently come back to the breath.

That’s it. No mantra, no emptying the mind, no perfect lotus position, no meditation hall or guru (bald Leo Babauta). Just pay attention to your breath. No need to push thoughts away, just come back.

This might not seem like the key to a better and more productive day at work but if meditation can help even just with reducing any stress you feel on a day-to-day basis, then it's most definitely worth a try. And if you start with just 2 minutes a day, all you have to give up is watching one video or doing one online quiz to start growing your meditation habit today.

Have you been meditating for a while? Do you find there a real benefits to taking a moment out of your day to focus on mindfulness? We'd love to hear about your experiences, so say hi in the comments below or by email. You can also follow us on Twitter!

Photo Credit: Mattias