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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

5 Ways to Train a Calmer Mind in 5 Minutes

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Nov 27th 2013

Sometimes in life we don’t have much time to slow down and be present. It’s as if our culture has trained us into the delusion that somehow slowing things down is a bad thing. The reality is we all need rest and in order to choose that we all need to learn how to be present. The present moment, as you may know, is the only places where we can make choices. Here are a list of 5-Minute practices to train your brain in presence and rest. 

When we’re present, we’re training the brain to dial down the chatter and go into a more restful state. Here are five ways to bring this into your daily life: 

  1. Go Outside, Lie Down and Just Listen – This is potentially the most underrated practice. It takes very little effort, to go outside, find someplace to sit or lie down and just listen. Open up to sounds as if for the first time, it may be one of the most restorative things you do in a day. 

  2. Stay Inside, Lie Down and Do a Body Scan – Another favorite is again to lie down. We like lying down. You can do this inside or outside, grab your phone and do a 5-minute body scan. What a gift to connect to this body that does so much for you day in and day out. 

  3. Go on a 5-Minute Mindful Walk – We all have to walk, it’s good for us. Go outside for 5-minutes, walk slightly slower than usual and practice 5 X 5. This is where you go through each of your five senses and name five things that you notice. Be aware that it took you awhile to learn how to walk and here you may be doing it effortlessly. If you don’t have use of your legs, be aware of the gift of all the other senses that are there. 

  4. Listen to Someone for 5-Minutes – It turns out we are not islands. People are social animals that need connection. We often feel best when listened to and understood. Set the intention with a friend or partner to simply listen to them without interruption. Pay attention to their facial expression, tone of voice and the words they’re saying. Afterwards see if you can sum up what they’ve said and notice if you got it right. 

  5. Be Aware of It All – It’s sometimes a bit more difficult to just settle into being aware of everything and still feeling grounded. But it’s a worthwhile practice that we can all learn to get better and better at. Try this Sky of Awareness practice and see what you notice. 

You can use your mind to change your brain. Bring a sense of playfulness as you experiment with these five ways to cultivate a more restful mind. 

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below .Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from. 

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

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