The five-minute meditation trick every nurse needs to know

Thinkstock / Fuse
Thinkstock / Fuse

Scrubs welcomes our latest contributor, Tracy Martins, who will give nurses pointers on getting in shape over the course of the Wellness Challenge. If you don’t know Tracy, maybe you’ve heard of the television show he works on…The Biggest Loser!

Nurses, I know you are busy people, but I have a saying in my studio: “Everyone should meditate 20 minutes a day. If you don’t have 20 minutes for meditation, then you need to meditate for an hour!”

What people need to take into consideration is that meditation will help you burn the highest percentage of calories while at rest. It’s something so simple, yet something that is so very hard to do. Above and beyond the caloric benefits, it will also help with body awareness, self-awareness, regulation of your emotions and regulation of your attention.

People function better with rest and meditation. Starting a mindful practice is easy to do; you just set a time out to do it. In the very beginning, just put aside five minutes, any time of the day, in a place that you think you might not be disturbed. While the supply closet on your busy unit is probably not the best pick, you can always find a spot somewhere. For years, I had a corporate job at the health club, and I would use my office, close the door and sit for five minutes alone in the room practicing breathing.

Once you’ve found that place, one of the best ways to completely quiet your mind is to close your eyes and imagine a gentle stream. Take each thought that occupies your mind and slowly place it in the stream. That stream is there for you and your thoughts and nothing else. Every time a thought invades your mind, just place it in the stream.

Everyone has quiet in their mind; it’s buried beneath the thousands of thoughts per day. Place those thoughts into the stream you have created in your mind and bring your attention to your breathing. Slow your inhale down, slow your exhale down and think only about your breathing. As soon as you find yourself thinking about a patient, that tiff you had with the resident this morning or how sore your feet are, place that thought your stream.

Try it for five minutes today and 10 minutes tomorrow. Don’t worry if a task (or many tasks) bother your quiet; just use your stream.

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