Woman meditating in the living room

How Short Meditation Sessions Can Benefit You?

If you’re like most people, the word “meditation” conjures an image of a monk sitting cross-legged and motionless for great lengths of time. And that’s one major reason why many people shy away from the practice.

Yet, turning inwards in meditation doesn’t have to be lengthy to be effective. In fact, a 5-minute meditation session can offer significant physical, emotional, and mental health benefits over time.

Indeed, meditating for longer periods can foster a deeper level of self-awareness and increase your sense of inner stillness and bliss. Still, mini-meditation sessions are great for beginners, busy people, and anyone who simply doesn’t love the idea of extended sessions.

Are Short Meditation Sessions Effective?

Here’s a common misconception about meditation: do it for a long period (in one sitting) if you want to get the most out of the practice. But this isn’t true at all.

Though longer meditation sessions do have their role when used in spiritual or complementary healing practices, longer isn’t necessarily better when it comes to meditation. The intensity of your focus creates the benefits you get from meditation, not merely the number of minutes or hours you spend sitting in silence.

A short but focused meditation session is more effective and beneficial than a longer, less-focused one filled with wandering thoughts and worries. In other words, mindfulness is more about the quality of the experience rather than the quantity of time spent.

If you enjoy the pursuit of meditating for extended periods, you can gradually increase the duration of your meditation practice. But don’t wait until you have an entire hour before you commit to the practice.

Short Sessions Are a Great Way to Get Into Meditation

asian man practicing meditation

Unless you are an advanced meditation practitioner, most people will not be comfortable sitting in meditation for 60 minutes.

Of course, people can spend 120 minutes or more doing other things (like binge-watching their favorite TV series), but spending half that time focusing on breathing is quite challenging for many.

That’s not too surprising, considering that people’s attention spans have been on a sharp decline in recent times.

Still, you don’t have to give up on meditation if you simply don’t have the patience to sit in silence for extended periods. Simple 5-minute meditations can be powerful, effective, and can fit easily into your busy schedule.

It’s a lot easier to fit a mini-meditation practice into your day, no matter how busy you are, and you’ll eventually form the habit if you do it consistently.

Here are a few tips to help you develop a regular meditation routine:

Pick a Time That Works for You

One of the wonderful things about mini-meditation is that it can be done anytime throughout the day, as often as you’d like.

Many people can fit a 5 to 10-minute meditation into their morning routine. If that’s you, check out our guide to morning meditation. You can also practice a mini-meditation session on your lunch break, before a stressful meeting, before dinner, or before bedtime. This practice can work with you and your schedule.

Find a Quiet Space to Meditate

Meditation doesn’t require a temple or yoga studio to practice in. Your cubicle, office, car, or bedroom will do ― just pick a space where you won’t be disturbed for the duration of your meditation.

Using candles, ambient lights, crystals, and other spiritual elements to enhance the practice is great, but don’t worry about these at the start of your meditation journey. First, focus on creating a solid meditation routine before looking for ways to enhance the experience. 

Pair Up the Practice With an Already Established Routine

The easiest way to develop a habit is to “attach” it to something you already do on autopilot. This way, you’re not worried about developing the self-discipline to create a new routine; instead, you’re leveraging an established routine and adding a new practice to it.

For example, complete a 5-minute meditation session before brushing your teeth in the morning. Meditate in the car right after dropping the kids off at school. Do a quick meditation after working out.

Pairing a short meditation practice with these established routines or schedules makes it a lot easier to be consistent with your practice.

Focus on the Experience

Lastly, remember that the time it takes to form a habit varies between people, as research shows. For this reason, focus more on the quality of each meditative experience rather than how long it takes to get used to the practice.

What Are the Benefits of Short Meditation Sessions?

Woman meditating on a couch

Many people these days have heard about the benefits of meditation. But it may seem as if longer meditations provide more benefits than short sessions.

The good news is that short meditation sessions offer surprisingly powerful benefits for the mind and body (besides helping you cultivate the habit of meditating on a regular basis).

Here are some specific examples of how 5-minute meditations can benefit your mind and body:

Short Meditation Sessions Can Improve Overall Productivity

With mainstream media and social media constantly grappling for your attention, maintaining focus and concentration can be difficult in today’s world.

However, making time to center yourself and refocus your attention in meditation can help you stay focused on what’s important in life. And by increasing your ability to focus on the tasks at hand and maintain your concentration for considerable chunks of time, meditation can make you more productive in your daily life.

Meditation can also help you stay calm under external pressure, allowing you to take things one step at a time, even when you are experiencing pressure from your work, family, or school.

All it takes is carving out a few minutes to do a quick meditation practice when dealing with tight deadlines or overwhelming schedules. While this might seem insignificant, it can increase your chances of getting into the flow state, where you feel totally clear, energized, and focused.

Practicing frequent, short meditation sessions can boost your creativity, enhance your productivity, and help your day flow with ease.

5 to 10 Minutes of Meditation Can Help You Sleep Better

Meditation can improve your sleep quality, whether or not you have insomnia. And if you have a hard time falling or staying asleep, you might want to include a short meditation session in your bedtime routine.

People who struggle with sleep problems tend to experience problems with daytime functioning, like being easily frustrated, difficulty concentrating, and constant fatigue.

Meditating regularly before bedtime can help you feel more rested and refreshed in the morning. For an enhanced bedtime meditation practice, you can try listening to soothing night sounds.

A Few Minutes of Meditation Can Reduce Stress

Stress is typically your body’s way of responding to something you perceive as a threat or challenge. The stress response releases hormones that prepare your body to take action to protect you from the threat.

While this can be helpful in times of urgency, exposing yourself to continuous stress isn’t good. Before long, constant stress can cause anxiety and depression. And if you don’t do anything to correct the problem, it can lead to a weak immune system and other serious health problems.

Try meditating for a few minutes the next time you feel tense, worried, or anxious. Meditation can help you reduce the stress response in your body and boost your immune system.

Spending time focusing on taking deep breaths and calming your thoughts can slow down your heart rate, relax your body, and increase inner peace.

Short Sessions Can Improve Your Mood

As you’re probably aware, stress makes you easily agitated and moody. It may feel like you’re losing control and you’re overwhelmed.

However, once you take steps to reduce your stress level, your mood improves quite easily. Just a few minutes of meditation can bring about this positive change.

Here’s why:

Meditation helps you refocus your mind, shifting your attention from past worries and future fears to something soothing and calming in the present. Doing this for as little as five minutes can help you stay centered and grounded.

Bringing your attention back into the present moment helps you feel peace, balance, and a sense of calm that benefits your physical health and emotional well-being.

It Keeps You in Touch With Yourself

If you’re looking to grow as a person, cultivating self-awareness is a crucial first step. If you’re unaware of your thoughts and feelings, you can easily become victim to self-destructive beliefs that limit your growth and healing.

Meditation, even for short durations, can enhance self-awareness, helping you to stay in constant touch with the thought processes and emotions driving your beliefs and behavior. This increases your ability to manage your thoughts and feelings and resolve limiting beliefs that might be holding you back.

Final Thoughts

Don’t discount a few minutes of meditative focus; even 5-minute meditation sessions can significantly change your life in powerful ways if you are consistent. The more often you practice, the more you’ll see the results.

And if you’re easily distracted, try using meditation music to help you stay focused and in the moment.


  • Gia Snyder

    Gia is a yoga & meditation teacher, spiritual teacher, energy healer, and musician. She has a Bachelor's degree from San Diego State University in Kinesiology with a minor in Psychology. She also studied at YogaWell Institute and received a Hatha Yoga Teacher Certification. Visit LinkedIn page.

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