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Meditate for five minutes a day to help improve well-being? Join the challenge

A new mini-experiment from Stanford's WELL program challenges individuals to take five minutes out of their day to meditate, with the goal of improving well-being.

Here's the challenge: Try meditating for five minutes every day for one week.

Hosted by Stanford's WELL for Life program, the Mind-Body-Spirit Challenge aims to encourage mediation by offering short guided practices that can be used as a tool to increase well-being.

"Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention," explained Matthew Grason, WELL for Life media and community specialist. “During meditation everyone gets distracted, even the experts. So don’t get discouraged — focus on returning back to the practice.”

The WELL team, along with other Stanford contributors, hosts a series of mini experiments, or challenges, that dig into various areas of well-being such as social connectedness, creativity and exploration, physical activity, diet and more. The challenges also help researchers who are working to understand the concept of well-being, a holistic and inclusive view of an individual's overall health that is larger than just the absence of disease.

"Well-being is complex. We created these challenges as a fun way to open the door into different activities that have the potential to improve a person’s well-being," Grason said.

Registration for this month's challenge is open until March 31.

After registering, participants can fill out short pre-and-post surveys that aim to evaluate how the experience affected their overall well-being. They can also connect with other participants and tap additional resources to help them complete the challenge.

The Mind-Body-Spirit Challenge drew on practices from the "P.E.A.C.E." model, explained Tia Rich, a Well team member who directs the Contemplation by Design program. "When peoples' daily lives include behaviors of 'P.E.A.C.E.' — Pause, Exhale, Attend mindfully, Compassionately connect with themselves and others — they are more able to express P.E.A.C.E. — Pro-sociality, Ethics, Altruism, Compassion and Equanimity," she said.

Next up, WELL will be exploring purpose and meaning — so stay tuned for the challenge.

Photo by Dingzeyu Li

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