When is the Best Time to Meditate?
When it comes to meditation, there’s much debate about what the optimal time for the practice is. Is it the morning before distractions arise? Or right before bed so you can reflect on the events of the day?
The truth is there’s no right or wrong way to meditate, and no best time to do it. If you can make time in the day to commit to a short meditation, fantastic! If that’s during your 15-minute lunch break, even better! The best time to meditate is when you feel you need it most.
With that being said, there are benefits of meditation at different points of the day. Stay with us as we break down the benefits of meditation in the morning, the middle of the day, when stress arises, after exercise, and before bed.
Morning meditation is great because it allows you to start your day calm and focused before taking on the tasks ahead. It sets a calm tone for the day and allows you to get ahead of anxious thoughts and recognize your worries early on.
Additionally, if you’re looking to build a habit of regular meditation, then morning meditation may be your best bet. Meditating before distractions arise ensures that you do and continue to do the practice over time. Even a few minutes of slow breathing can work wonders in preparing you for the day ahead.
If you find yourself suffering from a bad case of burnout around 3:00 every day, then a midday meditation may be exactly what you need. A lunch break meditation is effective for a few reasons.
For someone working a 9-5, a midday meditation can be a perfect way to unwind after a stressful morning. If you’ve been bombarded with emails, meetings, or obnoxious coworkers in the morning, then a quick lunchtime meditation might be the perfect remedy to take on the afternoon.
Or, if you find yourself fatigued late in the day, a midday meditation is perfect for giving yourself that extra boost you need to finish strong.
Another effective meditation technique is a quick “mini-meditation” when you feel stress beginning to come on. If you feel the symptoms of stress starting to take you over, like sweaty palms and panicked breathing, take a step back and focus on the breath. Doing so will bring your breath back to its normal rhythm and allow you to get ahead of your anxious thoughts.
This can be as simple as stepping outside and just taking a few deep intentional breaths. You don’t necessarily need to close your eyes.
We like to meditate when stress is put on the mind, but what about when stress is put on the body? The physical benefits of meditation are often overlooked but can be just as significant as the mental ones.
Meditating after a hard workout is an effective way for the body to recover. Additionally, with the emphasis that meditation puts on the breath, the practice can additionally improve stamina and endurance.
Meditation additionally activates the orbitofrontal cortex of the brain, the area of the brain responsible for mental refreshment. Since exercise is already an effective way to take our minds off stress, meditation can almost serve as a natural continuation of a workout.
Meditating before bed is a proven way to increase melatonin and make for a better night of sleep. If you struggle with insomnia, meditation is an excellent natural tactic to combat its effects.
Besides that, meditation before bed makes a lot of sense. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the events of the day and gain perspective. Like in the morning, practicing meditation before bed is another effective way to build it up as a habit. If you hold yourself accountable for meditating prior to going to sleep each night, you’re more likely to get into a rhythm of doing it regularly.
For more information on the immense benefits of meditation at various times of the day, check out this infographic from Ness...