When to meditate properly? Is there an ideal time for meditate?
In truth, the answer depends on what you hope to get out of it. So if there is no single best time for meditation, how do you decide when should i meditate?
Research has shown that meditation has many mental and physical health benefits. Daily meditation practice is ideal for reaping these rewards. In addition, brief mini-meditations can be done as needed throughout the day whenever you want to calm your mind and relax your body.
Two experts – Laura Maciuika, EdD, clinical psychologist and Stacey Shipman, MEd, stress management specialist – share their advice about when good time for meditation and when not to. They agreed that the best time of day to meditate varies from person to person, depending on schedule and needs. But below are their recommendations for some good times to consider.
The first thing to understand is that it’s a good idea to pick a time and stick with it. When you practice at the same time each day, you’ll start to form a meditation habit, so that after a while you’ll find yourself just doing your meditation without needing to think about it too much.
First thing in the morning as morning meditation routine
Recommended for: daily meditation practice. Your routine first thing in the morning sets the tone for the entire day. Before breakfast is generally a good time to meditate. But for beginners, especially folks who are feeling stressed out, meditating at all can be daunting. In that case, I recommend simply putting your attention on slower, deeper breathing—even for just five minutes—early in the day before getting busy with anything.
First thing in the morning (at what ever time you wake up) is a really great time to meditate because:
- Your mind is often more fresh and uncluttered without the tasks, worries and decisions that often fill our minds at other times of the day.
- You get the day off to a good start, and set yourself up for a better day.
- You get it done first thing, so you’re less likely to forget about it or put it off.
One winter’s day I realised that the rising sun lands on your body and bathes you in warm light as you meditate. All quite sensible on a chilly morning! Give it a try sometime, it’s a deliciously sensuous way to meditate! But you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to meditate in the morning.
Whenever you’re stressed
Recommended for as-needed mini-meditation. Throughout the day, it’s helpful to meditate for a few minutes whenever you feel overwhelmed or pressed for time. Meditation can help you settle your mind, feel more relaxed, and think clearly about an appropriate next step or action. It sounds counterintuitive and you can say:
“I don’t have time to meditate, I have so much to do!”…
But it’s often the thought of having too much to do rather than actually having too much to do that can create the stress.
If stress has you anxious, tense and worried, consider trying mini-meditation. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace.
Anyone can practice meditation. It’s simple and inexpensive, and it doesn’t require any special equipment.
And you can practice meditation wherever you are — whether you’re out for a walk, riding the bus, waiting at the doctor’s office or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting.
On your lunch hour
Recommended for daily meditation practice or as-needed mini-meditation. Of all the ways to use your lunch break to set yourself up for a great afternoon, the most important might be, well, actually taking a break.
If you begin to pair your meditation with lunch, pretty soon, you’ll think of meditation when you eat lunch, and it will become a trigger for you. Find a quiet nook in or around the office and carve out a slice of your lunchtime to sit in stillness to make it a habit.
A midday meditation break has a number of potential benefits. It’s an effective way to de-stress after a long meeting or difficult conversation. It can relax tight muscles caused by sitting slumped over a computer. By breaking your normal cycle of thinking, it can also boost focus, creativity, and productivity. Plus, it can be a great awareness building tool, allowing you to be more open-minded and accepting of others.
End of your workday
Recommended for daily meditation practice. Finally, as the day comes to an end and you start your commute home, try to do little meditation practice. For at least 10 minutes of the commute, turn off your phone, shut off the radio, and simply be. Let go of any thoughts that arise. Attend to your breath. Doing so will allow you to let go of the stresses of the day so you can return home and be fully present with your family.
For some people, meditating at the end of the workday is the perfect way to create a natural boundary between work and the rest of life. For beginners or people who find meditation intimidating, using the breath to re-center then can work really well. It’s the intention to create a clear boundary that’s powerful. What you don’t want is to allow work thoughts to run into the evening so that you’re neither still at work nor really fully at home. You can miss out on life that way!
Right before bedtime
Avoid meditating too close to bedtime so that doesn’t become confused with relaxing into sleep. In meditation, we’re practicing the opposite—falling more fully awake. Usually, it’s best to have an hour between meditation and sleep so that those two things stay clearly separate in your awareness, your body, and your habits.
If you made it this far, I want to thank you for reading my words. You clearly have an interest in meditation and I honestly believe it is one of most beautiful gifts we can give ourselves and others. Here some tools to help you on this journey: