Night or Day—Finding the Best Time for Meditation Practice
If you are reading this, you’re most probably asking yourself the inevitable question ‘What is the best time of day to meditate?’ The answers you’re most likely to get are: ‘Now is as good time as any’ or ‘Whenever you feel like it’. Meaning that there’s no wrong time.
Meditation is a natural remedy against stress, anxiety and various health issues, and it has no side-effects whatsoever. It may help you increase productivity and efficiency, become more focused and present throughout the day and even sleep better. Sometimes even a 5-minute meditation can make a big difference.
You need to figure out when it’s best to meditate for you personally. It will also help to be consistent and make a habit out of your daily practice. Try different times of day first, to see what works and what doesn’t.
As soon as the day breaks
You need to choose a quiet time for a meditation practice. And it’s believed that the most quiet you can get is before everybody’s up. This way you’re undisturbed by outside noise and other people’s energy fields.
Morning meditation is beautiful in many ways.
First, it sets you in the right mood for the rest of the day and second - it has you focused on the present moment right from the start.
Regular 10 or 20-minute morning meditations are a game-changing experience. It might not be easy to fit them into the morning schedule, but not impossible. You can try setting your alarm to get up 10 minutes earlier than usual. Or, if it’s your case, you can refrain from scrolling through Instagram pics or reading newsfeed at breakfast.
During your morning meditation scan your entire body from head to toes, pay attention to your breath and learn to stay present, away from your wondering thoughts and worries. Focus on everything you’re grateful for in life and you’ll see – it’s an amazing way to kickstart the day.
Commuting to and from work
Sometimes you may want to use earplugs just to avoid listening to gossip, outbursts or phone conversations of complete strangers. Well, meditation is a great way to abstract one’s mind from the useless information until it becomes nothing but a buzzing background noise.
It’s one of the best times of day to get more centered, instead of getting all washed up and concerned about this meeting or that deadline before you even get to work.
If you’re not behind the wheel, close your eyes and try a short meditation on the train, subway, bus or tram.
And depending on a destination, you will either get ready for a productive and dynamic workday or leave all the worries of the day on that commute. Once you get used to incorporating brief meditations into your daily trips, rush hour on the subway won’t seem that awful.
If you’re driving, park in a quiet place and take 5 or 10 minutes to meditate while sitting in your car. And on your way home, take a detour and stop at a quiet spot, maybe a little away from a fast-paced city center, and meditate all your tension away.
In the midst of a hectic day
Midday is also a good time to meditate and here’s why. An intense meeting or even an unpleasant kitchen conversation with your co-worker can all have a negative impact on us. We can end up obsessing over it all day long and, before you know it, we’ll feel like squeezed lemons, both physically and mentally.
So, in case you have trouble concentrating or someone keeps pushing your buttons at work, look at meditation as a first-aid kit. It will help you find focus and decompress throughout the day.
Mindful breathing comes in handy whenever you need to de-stress for a little while. There are many techniques you can master, 4-7-8 being one of the most effective ones.
The 4-7-8 breath is a quick and effective anti-stress solution. Inhale to a count of 4, hold your breath while counting to 7 and exhale to a count of 8. You can repeat this exercise as many times as you want, but no more than 4 cycles at one time. What is so great about it is that you can do it right at your desk. But in case you feel like everybody’s starring, take a 5-minute break for a mini-meditation.
Right before bed
This might be the best time for meditation, if all you need is to let go of the busy day and unwind. Sure, you are likely to be exhausted after an overwhelming day at work, but the feeling of fatigue should not stand in the way of your meditation practice. Just on the contrary – it might be the optimal time.
The reason is that before you embark on your mindful journey, you need to relax. And feeling tired means you are already there.
The more relaxed you are, the easier it is to focus. The more focused you are, the more productive your practice will be.
Of course, if you are already tired, there is always a possibility you may fall asleep. And if you do so, it’s no biggie. This would only mean you are completely relaxed. And it’s a good sign. You may wake up and go back to your meditation or just set off to the land of nod and get better quality rest from the sleep you get.
When practiced regularly, not only can meditation calm the body and mind when you’re tensed and upset but actually stop the stress before it strikes. In similar fashion, meditation helps you have more control over your emotions and feelings and make you a more confident and content person.
And now take a deep breath and enjoy the process.