Take 5, Breathe and Be Happy: Easy Meditation


Ludlow & Okemo from GMFR

“I’ve got a peaceful, easy feeling…”

Here’s how we ‘Take 5’ at Green Mountain to enhance it.

We had the most beautiful snowstorm here in Vermont the other day.  I think we got nine inches of fresh, fluffy powder. It was a beautiful, quintessential Vermont scene.

That next day in our Mindfulness 101 class, we sat fireside and relished in the beauty of the snow covered Okemo Mountain with our “Take 5” breathing practice, a rendition of a practice from Glen Schneider’s book Ten Breaths to Happiness. 

Pausing To Fully Enjoy The Moment

When we take a moment to PAUSE in the stunning scenery around us, or a beautiful piece of music, or perhaps the kindness of the words someone said to us, we’re allowing ourselves to fully enjoy that moment instead of rushing past it.

“There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ‘em, but all that’s gonna matter is the little dash between ‘em.” ~ Kevin Welch

Our ‘Take 5’ practice is the living that life is about. It’s the dash. Life can often consume us in busy-ness, the harried day-to-day, perhaps that chaos, the stresses, or maybe the daily grind and we find ourselves just trying to get through it. But when we take a moment and remember to PAUSE and “Take 5”, we’re living.

Taking 5 Helps Us To Change Our Neuropathways

Not only that, we’re also actually beginning the process of changing our brains. Yes, that’s right; the hot topic of neuroplasticity comes into play here. When we have a positive emotional experience, a practice like this enhances and deepens the experience.

As part of our class, we make ‘Take 5’ meditation beads to remind us to PAUSE.   beaded necklaces
According to Schneider, the research in neuroscience has shown that it only takes 30 seconds for a new neural pathway to take root.  30 seconds…that’s it! That’s about the time it takes to take 5 breaths.

And each time we ‘Take 5’ we engrain this new neural pathway and begin to develop a pattern of happiness that will eventually become a habit…a deeply nourishing one at that. There’s good science behind breathing for relaxation.

So the next time you have a peaceful, easy feeling, PAUSE, enjoy it for a brief moment, let the pathway take root and really live.

8 responses to “Take 5, Breathe and Be Happy: Easy Meditation”

  1. Thank you for this wonderful reminder!

  2. Barbara says:

    Barbara 1955 –Wow!!! I have never even thought about this but I do find this very interesting and will begin to try it. “Taking 5″……This is truly amazing..
    Thank You very much for this “insight”….

  3. Nan A Canter says:

    Nan:Shiri I got so much out of that class and all my work with you. On my way home now and being very mindful of the Hudson River flowing next to me. Thanks…. Got my beads!

  4. Peg says:

    Thank you. I needed this. Got my beads.

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About the Author

Shiri Macri, MA, LCMHC

Since 2004, Shiri’s approach as a therapist for treating binge and emotional eating is holistic, focusing not only on the presented issue at hand, but also considering overall health. Working in this way, often includes mindfulness based approaches. Now as a trained MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) teacher, Shiri’s love of mindfulness and meditation practices are at the forefront of her blog writings and recordings. Shiri is the Lead Therapist at the Women's Center for Binge & Emotional Eating, affiliated with Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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