For some, the best time to meditate is a sunrise session, while others make room for mindfulness before bed. No matter when you do it, meditation is one of the healthiest things you can do for your mind and body. It may help decrease depression, anxiety, stress and pain, reduce inflammation, improve the immune response and promote healthier aging.
There's no magical hour when meditating is most beneficial. Yep, the best time to meditate is whenever you actually do it. Everyone's schedules, preferences and needs are different, so, logically, the best time of day to meditate will differ depending on you. The key is finding a time that does work and then sticking to it. In other words, while timing isn't terribly important, consistency is. Keeping a consistent time for meditation makes it more likely it will become part of your daily routine.
Find the right time to Meditate, you might need to explore meditating at different hours to see which time slot feels best for you.
1. Meditating in the Morning
Meditating first thing sets the groundwork for the day. "For many people, it is easier to create time in the morning before the day gets going and different activities, distractions and possibilities arise that were not expected, but if you're not a morning person, or your child wakes up super early crying and demanding your attention, then maybe this is not the best time for you.
2. Meditating at Midday
Midday might be the perfect time to practice being present and push the pause button for a few minutes of mindful meditation. This provides an opportunity to clear the stress from the morning and create a clear space for the rest of the day. However, this largely depends on your work environment. "Unexpected lunch meetings, for example, may disrupt this plan, or you may find yourself answering one more email, one more phone call, and find the lunch hour has quickly vanished, along with your meditation time.
3. Meditating at Night
Meditating at night can be a great way to clear the mind and body of the stress of the day for a better night's sleep. Meditating lying down for at least a few minutes every night before falling asleep by simply tuning into your body, thoughts and emotions, and noticing and acknowledging what is there until you drift off to sleep.
But, once again, unexpected situations may pop up and nix your nighttime meditation plans. You might find yourself too tired to meditate after staying up late to finish a project, hanging out with friends or tending to a child.
4. Meditating When You're Stressed or Anxious
What about meditating when you feel stressed, anxious or frustrated? Because, let's be honest, we all encounter moments like this each day. "Often people will use meditation to deal with a stressful trigger or issue that arises, which is, of course, totally fine. However, "if you do not create time on a regular basis for meditation, it will become one of the many intentions most of us set that never actually materialize — right up there with exercising every day," she says.
What's more, meditating to mellow a bad mood misses the point of practicing mindfulness. The goal of meditation is not to get rid of emotions and thoughts, but rather to be curious about them. Using meditation to vanquish uncomfortable emotions is just another form of resistance to the experience and will often lead to increased tenseness and frustration, making us think, 'It's not working. All this to say, meditating to manage in-the-moment stressors should not be a substitute for a regular practice. Always aim to sit for a daily session (no matter your mood) and use those impromptu mood-motivated meditations to complement your regular mindfulness routine.
How to Make Meditation a Daily Practice, no matter what time of day you dedicate to meditating, here are some tips to help you make it a habit and stick to your daily practice:
1. Set a Realistic Goal; If you can only commit to a few minutes of mindfulness, that's OK.