Some say just as you wake up to start your day the right way. Others might say just before you sleep to ensure you get a sound rest.
Is there really a best time to practice meditation? Or is this purely based on each individual’s preferences? In this post, we’ll be breaking down the best times for meditation as recommended by some industry experts and how these can fit into your lifestyle.
In the morning, when you wake up
The most recommended practice by industry experts and those who regularly practice meditation. Practising meditation as a start to your day comes with many benefits, both physical and mental.
The mind is both fresh and quiet when we first wake up which makes it a lot easier especially for beginners to really concentrate on the practice without distractions or even dozing off. Trungram Gyalwa, an expert on meditation, explains in his blog that:
“If we do a short practice first thing in the morning, we’re likely to succeed in meditating on a regular basis. And the positive benefits from that morning meditation will stay with us throughout the day.”
For beginners, Laura Maciuika, EdD, a clinical psychologist and author of Conscious Calm, suggests that we instead start off with breathing exercises with slower, deeper breaths, even for just five minutes each morning. Meditation can be daunting for beginners and such breathing exercises can ease us into a regular routine.
Whenever you’re stressed out
This one seems like a no brainer. Meditation helps us not just to focus on ourselves, but to also take a step back and take a breather from all of life’s stressful situations. It will in turn, help us deal with situations in a more productive and beneficial way.
For those of us who might not have the time or patience to go through an entire ten minute guided session, taking two or three minutes for some mindful breathing exercises would help reduce stress and allow us to feel less overwhelmed.
Just before you go to bed
Calm down your mind and being more mindful of yourself, seems like a great recipe for a good night’s rest doesn’t it?
Well, you might want to scale back on bedtime meditation if you currently practice it or plan to integrate it into your schedule.
The practice of meditation involves your brain being more ‘mindful’ which is counterintuitive to being relaxed before going to bed. Should you wish to practice meditation in the evening, Laura Maciuika advises to leave at least an hour between meditation and sleep so that those two things stay separate in your mind and body.
Instead, a good bedtime routine would be to instead put away your devices and minimize screen time, or listen to some soothing soundscapes that would help prepare and relax your mind for a good night’s sleep.
The bottom line
Turns out, it actually is a mix of combining scientific research and your own preferences in finding out the best meditation time for yourself. There isn’t a defined perfect time to do it but in each person’s schedule and personal needs, there will be a perfect window of opportunity to slot in a few minutes of meditation.
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