According to experts, this is the best time to meditate

What is meditation?

Meditation is one of the hottest topics in the health and wellness world today, and for good reason.

In addition to the mental health benefits of meditation, such as reduced stress and anxiety and improved mood, it has been shown to reduce pain, lower blood pressure and improve cognitive performance.

This is all thanks to the way the practice helps you connect with the world around you.

“Meditation is paying attention on purpose with an engaged curiosity,” says psychologist and mindfulness expert Elisha Goldstein, founder of the Mindful Living Collective, an online mindfulness support community. “It’s about being aware and awake to what’s happening in the moment, just waking up to life.”

The process of “awakening” in life gives you the ability to better regulate your body’s reactions to stressful situations, giving you a measure of control over a situation that has spiraled you previously.

Goldstein gives the example of reading the news. Depending on the content, it can send signals to your brain that can make you feel anxious.

This fear can make you snap at your partner, making you feel bad, forcing you to read the news to distract yourself.

“You get stuck on autopilot and fall into an anxious loop, which we find drives an increasing amount of stress, anxiety and depression in our culture,” he explains. “Meditation allows us to be more in control of how we choose to respond to things. So when we get triggered, we can take note of that and realize that we might need some rest at that point. And when we feel this desk, we feel more relaxed and happier.”

Even just 15 minutes of meditation provides some major health benefits. It can reduce pain, help you sleep better and improve your heart health.

Types of Meditation

Meditation comes in several forms, some of which have steps to follow and others not.

“There are more formal practices, such as sitting, moving, breathing, loving-kindness, and gratitude,” says psychologist B. Grace Bullock, author of Mindful relationships. “But personally, my most powerful meditation practice is disconnecting my dog ​​and taking a walk and observing my experience and what’s around me.”

Regardless of the type of meditation you choose, you will reap different benefits depending on the time of day you choose to meditate. Keep reading to find out how meditation can benefit you at all hours of the day.

When you wake up

“I think the morning is a good time to meditate, if you’re able to do that,” Goldstein says. “It prompts your mind to pay attention in a certain way throughout the day, to be more curious, more grounded and more aware of your intentions and how you want to be.”

Indeed, morning meditation helps set the tone for your day. Plus, it may be easier to make exercise a habit if you include it in your morning routine.

“Cup your tea or coffee or something you already do with five minutes of sitting in meditation,” Goldstein suggests. “This makes it easier to remember or easier to do.”

Of course you want to take into account when your body and mind function best.

“I’m a morning person, so it’s easier for me to meditate when I’m awake, alert, and receptive in the morning,” adds Bullock. “I often get inspiration for work or writing or something creative. If I am too tired later in the day and try to sit and meditate, I may fall asleep.”

Night owls can have the opposite problem. If you are sluggish in the morning, you may fall asleep trying to meditate.

And if you’re already having trouble dragging yourself out of bed, you’re less likely to stick to a morning meditation habit than if you set aside time later in the day.

Prostock Studio/Getty Images

When you’re done working

The space to meditate can appear in a transitional moment during your day.

“When you get home from work and before you walk into the house, take a break and ask yourself how you want to be when you go home from work,” Goldstein suggests.

Meditation after work can also be spontaneous, such as when your baby finally falls asleep on your chest.

“There is an opportunity to be present with the connection and sensation,” Goldstein says. “That can be very soothing to your nervous system.”

(Here are some tips for lying down meditation.)

In your spare time

Depending on your schedule and lifestyle, you may not be able to set aside a few minutes each day to meditate at the same time — and that’s okay!

“The most important thing is to create that space for yourself,” Bullock says. “If I have a meeting at 7 in the morning and I can’t meditate that morning, I try to find the space elsewhere.”

Before bedtime

If you’re not a morning person, there are other benefits you can get from meditating before going to bed at night.

“The benefit of meditating before bed is that it can calm the nervous system after a hectic day,” says psychotherapist Marianela Medrano, founder of the Palabra Counseling and Training Center in Stamford, Connecticut. “For example, doing breath-focused meditation, or meditation that uses the breath as an anchor, is an excellent way to wind down from the day.”

Meditation before bed can also be helpful for people who can’t sleep at night.

“I used to struggle deeply with insomnia,” Goldstein says. “I started using a body scan meditation before going to bed, and it completely cured my insomnia.”

To do this type of meditation, focus on every inch of your body and slowly move your attention from one part to another. Goldstein says whether you follow this type of meditation, such as audio-guided meditation, will help relax your mind so your body can fall asleep.

Be consistent with your meditation practice

How long you meditate is not super important. The most important thing is to establish a consistent practice. Pick a time that you stick to.

“Someone who has to leave the house early in the morning and has more time to meditate in the evenings will likely stick to the practice if they do it when time permits,” Medrano says. “Consistency is key, and we’ll probably be consistent with practice if we don’t feel pressured or stressed when we do it.”

Consistent meditation will put you in a better mental space than you were before.

To get started, check out our beginner’s guide to meditation. Or try these meditation tips to make you more aware throughout the day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.