Finding the Best Time to Meditate
Meditation is certainly something many people are interested in but just don’t know where to start. Especially when first learning to meditate, one of the pieces of the puzzle is that we can’t seem to find the right time to meditate. You can really meditate at any point during your day, and the truth is that you need to find for yourself what the best time is to meditate. We all have different schedules, preferences, and bodies. What works for one person may not work for another.
Depending on your personal experience, the best time to meditate may be:
- Early in the morning
- Before going to bed at night
- When you have a break in the middle of the day
- At a regular time every day
It may be best to investigate for yourself what works and what doesn’t. Try meditating at different times during your day and seeing what sticks as the most effective time to meditate.
In the Morning
Sitting in the morning is one of my personal favorite practices, as it allows us to get our days started right. When we meditate in the morning, we set the foundation of mindfulness and awareness for the rest of our day. A quick morning meditation can really lay the groundwork for a better day overall.
Try sitting immediately upon awakening. If you can meditate before looking at your phone, getting started with work, or getting the mind going, you may be able to settle into your practice more easily. You may also benefit from doing the opposite and handling your stuff in the morning before sitting so you don’t worry about it the whole time while sitting. You can find what works for you, and remember that the mind will always think; we cannot find the perfect meditation time and expect it to make our meditation practice magically perfect!
Meditating at night is another great way to go. You can try sitting before going to sleep at night or even meditating in bed. Meditation can help us sleep better at night, relax the mind, and settle into a peaceful night of rest. A recent study found that mindfulness meditation may help with chronic insomnia. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you may want to try practicing at night before going to sleep.
Many people have a nighttime ritual already, and this makes it a great time to meditate. We can take our current bedtime ritual and add in a period of meditation. Whether you watch television, read, or take a shower at night, you can find some time to incorporate some meditation practice. Sit and practice before getting in bed, while in bed, or do a walking meditation to get some energy out before resting.
What Time Feels Right?
This practice was introduced to me by a teacher at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society in Santa Monica. Instead of picking one time as the best time for us to meditate, we can adopt a more “go with the flow” attitude. If you have a moment during your day where you feel like meditating, do it right then and there! Sit for however long you want or are able, and don’t let the opportunity pass.
One of the issues we face, especially when new to meditation, is that we don’t always want to actually meditate. We like it in theory, but it’s much harder in practice. We may even be familiar with different forms of prayer and meditation, but not quite sure how we can go about putting them into action. This practice of meditating when we feel like it can help us to practice in those moments that we actually have some curiosity or interest. We can fuel our practice with this desire to meditate and not force ourselves to meditate when we don’t want to.
Finding a Consistent Time
On the other hand, it can be helpful to build a routine and find a consistent time. Studies have shown that consistency is key in building habits. When we sit regularly at the same time during the day, we are training the mind to settle during that period. Eventually, we will find ourselves accustomed to meditating at that time. We can see this with our habit of brushing our teeth before going to bed or doing the dishes after eating a meal. Although we may not always love doing these things, they become habit and we don’t really question them.
If you’re having trouble with the other times to meditate, try sticking with this idea. Pick a time, and set the intention to meditate every day for two weeks at that time. It doesn’t need to be a 45 minute meditation. You can sit for just a few minutes at whatever time you want. As you sit every day at that time, you will begin to build a habit around it.
My Favorite Time to Meditate
Personally, I think the best times to meditate for me are immediately in the morning and after dinner. These are two times in which I’m able to block out some time and space to meditate. In the morning, I like to meditate before doing anything else at all. This keeps my mind from getting started into work mode. At night, I like to meditate before it gets too late, as I have a tendency to fall asleep if it’s too late at night.
About the Author
This post was written by a staff writer at Addiction Rehab Blog!
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