Meditation can improve so many aspects of your body from easing chronic pain, relieving stress, improving mood, helping heart health and more.
Like any practice or habit, there is a right way and a wrong way of doing things, and one of the things to consider is the best time to meditate for your and your lifestyle.
We will look at a few different times of the day when meditation can be beneficial to you, and we will even take a look at one time that is best to avoid to keep mind and body in healthy rhythm.
Morning Is the Best Time to Meditate
It is recommended by most that morning is the best time to do your meditation. This sets you up for the day and gives you a format for your body to follow throughout the day.
Before breakfast or after a workout is a great way to set the tone for the entire day.
Mornings can be stressful for some, especially a beginner but it is said that a well routined morning and a disciplined routine can make a huge difference in anyone’s life and life habits.
There have been studies that show our minds are quieter, less chaotic when we first wake up, giving yourself a decent clean slate to work with.
You are also less likely to fall to sleep once you have awoken while you begin your meditation and your mind is exploring its inner peace.
Meditation in the morning provides some clarity when starting the day and a relaxation of the body to help prevent stress in your commute or to focus on the task at hand in the workplace.
If you are meditating in the mornings, it is best to try and do this before any kids wake up or even a significant other who may inadvertently provide you with distractions and take away from your meditation time.
Taking a look at your morning tasks and those around you who are involved will give you the clarity to choose a timeframe of your choosing where you have the time for yourself.
While Morning can be easily defined for many as the beginning of the day, for those who have shift work or work nights, this timeframe may not be morning exactly, but the time of day you wake up and before you begin your day.
It is best to try and schedule this time as you need it. If you are a beginner, even a 5-minute meditation session after waking up can set yourself up for a smoother day.
You will find that once you find it habit forming you will be able to schedule longer times for your mind as needed without any complications and without unbalancing your day.
If you are not a morning person, then this can be difficult to begin to integrate into your daily routine.
There are a few things you can try and do to help transition yourself into more of a morning person.
First off, it is good to get sunlight on yourself as soon as possible upon waking. This helps to release Cortisol which is a hormone that assists in making you feel awake and alert, sort of like a natural cup of coffee.
There is also nothing like a splash of cold water on your face to help you immediately feel more energized and refreshed.
Taking a full shower right away can also wake you right up and get you ready for some mental refreshment.
If you really want to get things moving, exercise first is a great way to get endorphins pumping, and it gives you a decent charge for both your mind and your body.
Easing into meditation after any of these helps your mind to be ready to accept the benefits meditation in the morning has to offer.
A break in the middle of the day is just what is needed to refresh, eat and just get yourself ready for the remainder of the day.
This is a great time to take a little refresher and truly a best time to meditate for those of us who work long days.
Even if you did meditate at the beginning of the day, your lunch break is an excellent time for recharge and not just in food but in serenity as well.
A quick 5-minute meditation can add a renewed focus, release your stress levels and get you back on track for part 2 of the day.
Sitting at a computer or standing for long periods of time can make muscles tense and ready to cramp.
With a little release of the body and an inner strength coming out, it will release the tenseness of your muscles getting you back on track to your task at hand.
Allowing the mind to calm again means it can boost your focus that can increase productivity, creativity and even problem-solving.
A certain clarity and awareness can be achieved that can give you an open-mindedness that may not have been there before and possibly also give a higher tolerance of others which can be very helpful in certain customer oriented situations.
End of the Workday Meditation
Work is done, and now it is time to get on with the rest of your day or evening.
If you give yourself a little ‘you time’ and meditate, it can have a very positive effect on the remainder of your time.
A quick meditation session can help give you that very clear distinction between work and non-work situations.
Many bring work home with them in their minds making their train of thought fuzzy and chaotic.
A quick meditation can be the focus needed so your mind can enjoy the things being done instead of letting worry or work-related issues bog you down.
When you get come, pull out your meditation chair, find a comfortable place away from distractions and forget about your workday for the moment.
Even for beginners, a short session to focus on breathing can help recenter yourself and quash those work-related issues allowing you to reach your full potential for enjoying your personal time.
You don’t want to miss anything crucial by only be half involved in your activities.
Meditate Any Time You Feel the Effects of Stress
Stress can be a very active part of your day and even if you aren’t aware of the impact stress is having on you, it can leave a negative lasting impression on everything you do.
Whenever stress is felt or the feeling of losing control, a quick meditation session, even just some simple breathing steps, can make a significant change on your day and the next steps you choose.
As meditation relaxes the mind, it allows you to find better options for the decisions you make and prevent everyone from making mistakes or making a decision which may end up having a very adverse outcome.
It can sound like a daunting undertaking but much of the time the thought of not having enough time is what is causing the stress and not really not having enough physical time.
With a quick inner look and some breathing techniques, it can give you some relief from that overwhelmed feeling.
Not Recommended – Meditation Before Bedtime
Bedtime is the natural time for our bodies to wind down and fall into a replenishing sleep.
It is good idea to keep meditation relaxing and sleep relaxing as completely separate habits.
There are a lot of different ways to help fall asleep but trying to use meditation techniques is not one you should be practicing for a good night sleep.
Meditation is a way of opening our minds and thoughts and allowing us to focus more on the day.
If you do need to meditate at a later time in the day or closer to your sleeping time, it is recommended to give at least one hour or possibly 2 between a good meditation session and going to bed.
This way the body does not get confused at the different types of relaxing and then try to fall asleep while meditating at various other times of the day.
All of this may sound particularly daunting, and you may be asking yourself how I can fit this into my already hectic schedule?
Meditation does not need to be hours long or even a lot of minutes long either. A 5-minute quiet meditation can make all the difference for your mind and body.
Sometimes the feeling of having no time is stronger than actually having no time, and you will find that a 5-minute meditation break can bring upon yourself a renewed sense of calmness and a focus you may have been missing before.
As with any habit-forming activity, you really need to ask yourself what works best for you and what will you actually do when it comes right down to it?
As we train our bodies and minds to accept the activity of meditation, it is a good idea that you be realistic as to what you will actually allow yourself to do; the best time to meditate in a sense, is the time when you will most be able to do it.
While mornings do seem to be the time of day that is recommended most by professionals in the industry, this may just not be feasible for you and your behavior.
So, it is said that you need to find what is right for your lifestyle. The best form of exercise is the one you will actually do regularly, and so it goes with meditation.