Do you want to become a regular meditator but don’t know the ideal time of day for your practice?
As long as you can spare a few minutes a day, you can maintain a daily meditation habit.
You’ll need to attach your practice to a daily trigger to cue you to meditate.
A trigger is an established habit like brushing your teeth in the morning or changing clothes at the end of the workday.
But how do you decide on a good time to meditate that fits with your trigger and your current routines?
Meditation during different times of the day have different benefits.
Let’s take a look so you can discover what works best for you.
Is it better to have morning meditation or evening meditation?
Regular meditators agree that the best time to meditate varies from one person to the next.
There are benefits to creating a meditation habit at almost every time of day.
The best time for you to meditate is whatever time you’ll commit to and that has a daily trigger.
Creating a regular habit at a consistent time of the day is key to your success with meditation.
However, there are certain times of day that are more popular and have specific benefits.
When Is the Best Time to Meditate?
It’s best to meditate at the same time each day, as it allows you to build a routine to maintain your commitment.
The specific time you choose ultimately comes down to your schedule and personal preferences.
Many people prefer meditating in the morning. What you do as soon as you wake up sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Plus, you’re less likely to have distractions early in the morning than at other times during the day.
This morning time allows you to have a peaceful, distraction-free session (unless you have kids or animals in the house).
Because meditation activates your parasympathetic nervous system, you become deeply relaxed during the process.
But after 20 minutes of meditation, you’ll experience a boost of energy as your endorphins start to release.
This surge of chemicals can lessen your dependence on caffeine to wake you up.
At the same time, meditation calms down your busy mind. It filters out extraneous noise and negative self-talk that can cause agitation and anxiety.
Benefits of meditation practice in the morning:
- The calm of the morning sets the tone for a peaceful practice.
- You’ll start your day off with a calm, positive frame of mind.
- Your need for caffeine to feel alert won’t be as strong.
- You will experience a “flow state” that calms your stress response throughout the day.
- It reduces anxiety and tension before you begin the day.
- Your empty stomach in the morning is beneficial for meditation (a full stomach makes you sleepy).
- If you have a morning bowel movement before meditation, it will relax your concentration even more.
- Morning meditation helps you take a step back to see things more clearly and have a balanced perspective at work.
Meditation During Your Lunch Break
Many people choose to skip their lunch break or eat at their desks, but taking a break in the middle of your day can increase your productivity.
Your lunch break is a great time to practice meditation. Doing so helps you relax, which is especially important if you work in a stressful field.
A midday meditation break relieves emotional stress from workplace demands. It also alleviates physical tension caused by sitting at your computer for hours.
By taking a mental break from the stressors at work, you increase your focus, motivation, and creativity.
Meditating at this time of day also helps you become more self-aware, open-minded, and accepting of your colleagues.
Here are some additional benefits of meditating at lunch:
- Practicing a midday meditation to refocus will increase your productivity in the afternoon.
- You don’t have to wake up early to meditate, and you can save evenings for doing things with your family.
- Meditation clears your head and re-energizes your body for the afternoon ahead.
- A brief meditation can help you feel more inspired for the rest of the day.
Meditation When You Get Home From Work
Some people prefer creating some type of boundary between their work day and their home life.
Meditating after work is a great way to signal the end of work and the beginning of personal and family time.
Afternoons can be stressful and hectic, so you can benefit from taking a short meditation break once you get home to calm down.
This is a great time for beginners to re-center their minds and be more present with a family member.
Doing this prevents work thoughts from running into your home life so you aren’t distracted and stressed.
Meditate Whenever You Feel Stressed
Think about those times in which you feel especially stressed out, whether you’re at home or work.
Rather than surfing the net or drinking your stress away, try to tune into what you’re experiencing in the here and now. Take some deep breaths and observe what’s happening around you without feeling the need to react.
This practice can become second nature, and you can learn to recognize when you need to take a mindful moment to cope with a difficult situation in a productive way.
Avoid Meditation Right Before Bed
Avoid meditating in the time leading up to bedtime. While you may think of meditation as being a relaxing practice, it’s meant to energize you in a calming way.
During meditation, you are both alert and attentive to the present moment. If you fall asleep during meditation, you miss many of the benefits.
It’s best to meditate for an hour before trying to go to sleep so that the two activities can stay entirely separate in your mind, body, and habits.
However, if you perform a primary meditation session at some point during the day, it’s fine to have a mini session at night to keep your practice active.
Just be sure you’re not trying to drift off to sleep, as an important part of meditation is being completely aware.
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No matter what time works best for your meditation habit, stick with it and make sure to practice every day — preferably at the same time each day.
Developing a regular meditation routine allows your body and mind to acclimate to a new behavior. Over time, your practice will turn into a consistent habit.
The numerous benefits of meditation can be felt right away, but your daily efforts are key to experiencing the whole range of these benefits for a lifetime.