Meditation practice offers an important, quiet break from the stress of daily life. Sometimes our work schedule, home life, and peace of mind are not all on the same wavelength. This is natural and happens to everyone, but finding the best time to meditate can help us make sure that our stress does not limit us throughout the day.
Setting aside a few minutes every day to find a quiet place and feel the relaxing benefits of meditation is a great way to nourish your mind and reinvigorate your body. However, if the reason we meditate is to ease the stress of a busy schedule, how can we find a good time to set work aside?
This guide will help you find when is the best time to meditate and free your mind!
Why Do People Meditate?
People who practice meditation often talk about the benefits of the practice, but just what are those benefits? When we set time aside to be with ourselves and clear our minds, we are reminded that the only things we truly have control over are our actions and our reactions.
One helpful way to understand meditation is to picture yourself drawing something with your eyes closed. Let’s say it’s a house. If you shut your eyes and begin to draw the house, you will start to worry that your lines are not straight, or the proportions are not even.
When we think our picture is not turning out the way it should, we may overcorrect and mess up the drawing even more.
Our negative reactions to the daily stress of home or work life are similar to these overcorrections, and meditating is when we take the time to set the pencil down and step away for a bit.
When we return, we are reminded of the bigger picture and can resume drawing with fewer fears that things won’t turn out right.
Many feel that they are not doing the right things on a day-to-day basis, but meditation reassures us that our worries and fears only exist within the mind. When we see that racing thoughts only exist within our minds, we are free to go about the day without feeling like our anxieties are more important than our actions.
Studies into whether or not meditation can help with high blood pressure or certain psychological disorders is currently being done.
Harvard researchers are curious to see if meditation can provide similar relief for depression as talk therapy or antidepressant medication. So, the next time you meditate, think of it as Harvard research!
How Often Should I Meditate?
Meditating may make you feel focused enough to tackle the day, but it can also give a quick midday boost or help you fall asleep.
When it comes to meditation, it is best to find a time that works best for your schedule, rather than make drastic changes to your life just to get a session in. Meditation practice is all about getting you more comfortable with stressful situations, not giving you one more daily item to worry about.
Whenever you find the best time of day to meditate, try to set a routine around that schedule each day. If you stick to a set consistent time, this would be an ideal frequency.
However, if you can only manage 20 minutes on your lunch break, you may want some more meditation practice than just once per day.
To answer the question of how often you should meditate, listen to your own body. If you finish meditating and still feel frustrated or anxious, consider practicing multiple times a day. Those new to meditation may find it easier to have more meaningful sessions at earlier times of the day.
Multiple, quick bursts of meditating are a common practice for some people, but this is a skill that can take time to develop. When first starting out, aim for a daily routine in the comfort of your own home.
If your sessions become stressed or rushed, maybe other times of day, other locations, or shorter meditations would work better.
What is the Best Time to Meditate?
Generally, most people find that early morning meditation is the best time of day to practice. When we wake up first thing in the morning, we have an entire day ahead of us that might throw countless different situations at us. Getting our mind and body ready for whatever the next 12 or so hours have in store for us is relatively easier in the quiet hours of the early morning.
Morning sessions are a good routine for some people, but it may not be the best time for others.
For those who are consistently busy throughout the day, meditating in the evening before sleep can help you to get a relaxed night’s rest.
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Meditating in the afternoon, perhaps during or after a lunch break, is also a good option for those who cannot practice in the early morning.
How Long Should I Meditate?
When finding the best time of day to meditate, you need to think about your own schedule. Similarly, how much time you need for meditation is different for everyone.
If you practice midday, for example, you might not have very much time to spare. Generally, 10-30 minutes is the suggested duration.
When first starting out, it may be a good idea to set a timer. If your sessions are first thing in the morning, you might initially feel groggy and a timer could keep your thoughts from wondering whether you’ve “had enough” meditation.
However, feel free to meditate for as long or as little as you need.
Once you’ve done a few sessions and are more familiar with the way your thoughts drift, you will develop a sense of when it is time to end the meditation.
An hour-long session could be just as effective for one person as 10 minutes is for someone else.
We all have our own minds to deal with, so go at your own pace and meditate until you’re ready to move onto the next part of your day.
How to Meditate in the Morning or at Night
When it comes down to its core, meditation is doing nothing. That may seem like the easiest thing in the world to do, but we humans love filling every day with work or entertainment.
“Doing nothing” refers to our minds, not our bodies, and this is why it is not considered meditation when we read or watch television.
You’ll notice that your mind will wildly search for something to grasp onto when it is not stimulated. We do nothing when we meditate so that we can focus on one breath at a time, going in and out. Pay attention to when your thoughts start to drift or race, and pull yourself back to a state of stillness if they do.
Whatever the best time to meditate is for you will determine the type of session you practice. Whether your meditation is early in the day or just before sleep, mindfulness can help you get ready for the day or wind down from it!
Meditate In The Morning
Morning meditation is an excellent way to prepare yourself for the distractions of the approaching day before they arrive. Many times, we’d rather just stay in bed and “practice meditation” by going back to sleep.
Though, when we start our days by practicing mental clarity, we let ourselves see things such as work and errands as more than just chores to worry about.
Of course, you probably already know what your day is going to look like. So, when you take the time to meditate before work, try to get all of the expectations you have for the day out of your head. This is the main difference between meditating in the morning and at night; early meditation is all about preparing the mind, and late-at-night meditation is more about decompressing.
Meditate At Night
Evening meditations can help you get a fuller, deeper sleep. Over the course of a day, dozens of things could happen that might make someone feel anxious.
When we carry these anxious thoughts into our sleep-cycle, we increase the chance of restless slumber or even nightmares.
This is why many people find that the best time to meditate is in the evening. It gives us the chance to accept that whatever has happened that day has already happened.
Meditation lets us step outside of the thoughts that have been racing through our heads and center ourselves before heading to bed.
One good way to get yourself in the proper headspace for meditation is to read a book before your session. This will stimulate your mind, but it offers a good transitionary period between work and rest. Many people achieve the same effect with television, but a book forces the reader to be active rather than passive.
Another good reason to cut down on screen time before meditation is because of the blue light that our phones, televisions, and laptops give off. Extended exposure to blue light can damage the retinas and disrupt evening meditations.
How To Increase Focus During Meditation
We understand that remaining focused during meditation is key. You must stay in the present, without focusing on the future or past. Many people who are just starting out find it difficult to capture and harness this moment of clarity for their benefit. Maybe stress and anxiety are an issue.
Here are three tips on how to help increase your focus during meditation.
Raisins are an amazing source of boron. According to studies, boron helps to increase brain function in several areas, including memory and attention.
If you find yourself zoning out and drifting away during meditation, try eating half a cup of raisins an hour beforehand.
Distracting sounds like the neighbor leaving for work or the mailman dropping off bills can take you out of focus. All of a sudden, instead of being in the moment, you are thinking about heading to work, or wondering about what the mailman left you.
Try wearing earplugs to drown out audible distractions!
Try CBD or CBG During Meditation
Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabigerol (CBG) are both cannabinoids that work within your endocannabinoid system (ECS). Your ECS is integral in regulating many phycological functions such as mood, anxiety, and stress.
CBD and CBG interact with your ECS to promote overall functionality. An ECS that is functioning optimally will work to keep the body in a state of homeostasis, which is complete balance. That sounds like the perfect state to be in for meditation!
Final Thoughts – When is the Best Time to Meditate?
Daily meditation is one of the most soul-nourishing activities we can do, and all we need is ourselves. Sticking to a routine is the most important part of this practice. Whether it be in the morning, afternoon, or evening, try meditating at the least stressful times of your day when first starting out.
Whenever you find the time to meditate, try to forget about the worries of life for a little while. When we’re sitting (or standing) there, breathing calmly and keeping track of our wandering minds, the only thing that matters is presence.
This is what we mean when we say “mindfulness,” and meditation is one of the best ways to help you deal with stressful situations and find peace of mind.