Calm your mind and build mental strength with this five-minute breath workout

This short session can reduce stress, develop resilience, and boost your wellbeing when you're tight on time

Man in scarf and jacket stood outside looking peaceful and calm with eyes closed
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On a busy day it can be hard to find time to look after yourself, but it doesn't take long to practice some mindfulness. This five minute breathing routine will help you reconnect with your body and refresh your mind, and it could even reduce your stress levels.

You don’t need to know how to meditate to get started, as the short session is led by Eve Lewis Prieto, director of meditation at Headspace. It's designed to help you focus on yourself, bringing your awareness to the present moment. 

During the session, you'll concentrate on your breath and allow thoughts to come and go without focusing on them. You don't need any equipment for the session, just a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for a few moments. 

Watch Headspace’s five-minute meditation for self-care

Meditation is a great self-care tool; it can reduce stress and anxiety, but it can also lower your heart rate. Practice it regularly and you'll build mental strength. This means that when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or having a tough day, you’ll have the tools you need to manage these feelings. 

If this is your first time meditating, you might find it hard to focus, which is perfectly normal. When you notice that you’re distracted, simply bring your attention back to your breath. Remember, just as you need to exercise frequently to build muscle, practicing these techniques will help you develop your meditative skills.

But if you've tried all the meditation tips for beginners and found that sitting down to meditate isn’t right for you, that’s okay. Yoga is often called moving meditation because it helps you connect with your body, but through poses and stretches alongside breathing techniques.

If that sounds more like your kind of thing, then try these yoga stretches for beginners. These help ease you into the practice, allowing you to flow between poses and still your mind.  

Looking a new mat for your practice? Our guide to the best yoga mats can help

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.

In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.