5 Good Minutes to Start Off the New Year: An Interview with Jeff Brantley, M.D.

In December of last year, I interviewed a wonderful mindfulness teacher, Psychiatrist and author, Jeff Brantley, M.D.. Jeff is Founder and Director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program at Duke University’s Center for Integrative Medicine, and author of the popular book Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness & Compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear, & Panic, and co-author, with Wendy Millstine, of his recent hit series Five Good Minutes: 100 Morning Practices To Help You Stay Calm & Focused All Day Long, and Daily Meditations for Calming Your Anxious Mind

In this interview Dr. Brantley gives us some quick tips about how we might be able to take 5 Good Minutes to bring mindfulness into this New Year and calm our anxious minds.

Elisha: What are some of your favorite ways to take 5 Good Minutes each day?

Jeff:  Well, the first thing to recall is that whether we say 5 minutes or 1 minute or 1 day or 5 days, those notions are all just IDEAS about time.

Our life actually is happening in the present moment, which is timeless. So the practice in the 5 good minutes books, while they can be done in 5 minutes of “clock time” are actually invitations to readers to come into the present moment intentionally and consciously more often.

Then, after linking this more conscious “presence” to a particular “intention” (to become more relaxed, for example, or to feel more generous in spirit, or more forgiving, perhaps), the practices in the books ask the reader to act “wholeheartedly.”  Here, wholehearted action simply means actually doing it-the specific “five good minutes” practice-and doing it without attachments to outcome or to being caught up in judgments.

In terms of some of my favorite ways to practice 5 good minutes, I enjoy practicing mindfulness in the changing situations and conditions of daily life.  For example, walking from my office to the car, or waiting for a meeting to begin, or at home with my loved ones or my dog, in each case paying attention on purpose to what is happening with and attitude of acceptance and kindness, allowing things to be as they are, and allowing myself simply to notice.

Another favorite way to practice for me is to work with the “heartful” practices like lovingkindness or forgiveness.  For example, when I become aware of folks around me, especially if they appear in distress, I like to do some silent meditation wishing them well, that they be at peace, or be supported in whatever way they need.

And, when I notice my own inner critics being very harsh on me for something that has happened and I try to practice forgiveness for them and for myself in whatever I did.

Thank you Jeff!

To the readers: What are some ways you can think to take 5 Good Minutes? Please let us know your questions, comments, or stories, your interaction below creats a living wisdom for us all to benefit from?

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com

Comments are closed.