06/28/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Stressing Out? Shut Up And Meditate!

Confession: One night I was busy doing my bills and folding my laundry while watching a TV special about transsexuals -- and I found one thought -- and one thought only -- went racing through my mind:

Where do these people find the time to go for such extensive operations?

I barely have time to pay my bills and get new vacuum cleaner bags - let alone new sexual organs.

It seems I always have a list of 20 things to do -- with only time to do 10 -- and somehow always wind up squooshing in doing 30.

Plus there's an extra problem created from this already existing time scarcity issue -- the extra stress.

And then there was my year from hell -- the year I had extra unexpected stress on top of my already expected stress -- which I detail in my new book The Bounce Back Book.

During this year in particular I recognized how I desperately needed to find a way to find time to de-stress - without taking away too much time from my already loaded up stressful schedule.

Thankfully necessity is the mama of invention. I did. I researched everything there was to know about resiliency psychology and relaxation methodology - and came up with a technique called "5 minute Re-Charging Sessions" which I now input into my day.

I write more about this technique in The Bounce Back Book. But to save you some of that blessed time, here's some of what I recommend right here, right now...

My belief: "It's easier to be a saint for five minutes than a saint for two hours."

What I mean by this: Too many folks create overwhelmingly huge Action Steps -- like going to the gym for 2 hours. If you turn these steps into "whelmingly" small Action Steps -- you increase your odds of actually wanting to do them -- even for helpful little bits -- creating tiny bits of time which can shift your daily energy into a far more positive place.

There's a famous Japanese principle -- called "Kaizen" -- which celebrates the joy of doing small tasks -- which over time add up to the joy of experiencing large life changes.

Which reminds me of a good Woody Allen quip.

Woody says he believes there's life on other planets -- and they're far ahead of us technologically. Not because they're light-years ahead, but because they're five minutes ahead. If we all just had those extra five minutes we could accomplish so much more!

The good news: We all DO have those extra five minutes to do something -- even a difficult, laborious, dreaded something -- like working out (just do five minutes of push up or sit ups) -- and/or meditating.

Personally, I'm a big fan of meditation. It can work as well as medication to calm weary nerves. In fact, new research on meditation shows even adding a simple 5 minute meditation regularly into your schedule can literally rewire your brain for happiness -- by revving up your left prefrontal cortex, a part of your brain that's associated with happy moods.

My favorite 5 Minute Re-Charging Session: For five blessed minutes take the damn time to close your eyes, breathe three seconds in, hold for three seconds, then breathe out through your nose for six seconds. Become aware of your breath on your nostrils. Once in rhythm, think: "Exhaling out negativity. Inhaling in solutions" Or "Exhaling out the past. Inhaling in new beginnings."

So next time you're stressing out about how you're going to squeeze in so many action items into your day, my advice quite simply is to take five minutes of time...and SHUT UP AND MEDITATE!

Karen Salmansohn is a best selling author with over 1 million books sold including The Bounce Back Book. You can also take 5 Minute Re-Charging Session to head over to and sign up for her FREE BE HAPPY DAMMIT newsletter.