People live their lives doing different things every day. With that in mind and when it comes to mediation as well, they often wonder when it is the best time to meditate to generate the best possible results? Some prefer early in the morning, while others prefer to meditate -or have the free time- in the middle of the afternoon or late at night.
However, is there such a thing as the best time to meditate? If we follow the teachings and books of prominent meditation teachers, we will find a ritual for meditation and specific times of the day dedicated to that. On the other hand, meditation can happen at any place, so as to create some quiet space in your head. Sometimes you seek to meditate because you feel anxiety and stress, or you want to deal with a thought that troubles you.
On the other hand, there are parts of the day where our energy is high, and our minds and bodies are in the best possible condition. These can vary depending on each persons’ lifestyle.
The important thing is finding your best time to meditate, which may change over the years.
Why Finding Time To Meditate Is Important
Taking care of our minds should be one of the top priorities in our life. Gaining awareness, calmness, and peace has a profound effect on how we perceive daily situations. It affects our physiology, hormones, and ability to function well.
Nobody wants to be constantly overwhelmed by emotions they cannot control or thoughts that make their heads ache.
For example, allocating 10 or 20 minutes to meditate before going to sleep can help with restful sleep, calming down, and understanding how things went through the day.
Even for a small amount of time, adopting a daily meditation practice only has benefits, and they are shown quickly. Many people who adopted such a practice understood its value when they stopped meditating for a while. The difference was evident.
You can stop right now and think the following. If you don’t even have 10 or 15 minutes to meditate in a day -which is time for yourself- then that tells you something about your day. Maybe that is the time when you want to ponder on “definitely” allocating these 10 minutes to examine why you don’t have time.
Practicing has an immediate effect on you and the people around you. Gradually you can acquire a better understanding of life and things that come and go in life.
The Best Time To Meditate
Meditation helps you understand others and reveals compassion (we all have compassion deep inside us). It thus can be a perfect way to start your day, reevaluate your day in the afternoon, or even close your day by reaping the benefits.
While the general claim is that meditation is more effective when done early in the morning, that is not the norm for many people for many reasons. Either due to their (early) morning engagements (family, other) or others. All that is respected, and you have many choices for when to meditate during a day.
You might also enjoy this book from Dalai Lama “How to see yourself as you really are“.
Meditation will help you at any time of the day, but meditation in the morning is considered the most beneficial for your daily health. You are relaxed, and your body is in good condition after a night’s sleep. The turbulence of the daily tasks hasn’t started yet, so your mind is in relatively good condition.
Benefits Of Morning Meditation
Meditating in the morning has a series of benefits for your daily health. These are:
- You start your day being calm and relaxed
- You have that space in your mind that allows better thoughts and decisions
- Your mind is gently rewired and is more ready to deal with sudden changes
- You feel nicer about life and people
Even if you allocated morning meditation time, you can stop at any time in the middle of the day and give time for that. Sometimes (or many times), a day may have deployed in such a way that you “need” to pause and concentrate your mind. Exciting or overwhelming events may have happened, and you want to save the rest of the day and gain peace and calmness.
You can use your lunch break for meditation by just taking 5 to 15 minutes from it to replenish your energy. After all, it is mental food, and you will experience such in the process.
Meditating at midday is an excellent opportunity to get many, if not all, of the benefits of morning meditation.
Benefits Of Midday Meditation
It is essential to save the rest of the day from ups and downs, right? Many things happen with work, kids, spouses, traffic jams, selling, buying, you name it. Stopping for a few minutes can help you with the following:
- Allocate space in your mind to re-examine the happenings of the day so far
- Meditate upon one specific task that troubles you today and see the case in a clearer way
- Gain back clarity and awareness
- Reveal creative ways to cope with challenges
- Generate new ideas (yes, that happens with calming the mind)
- Understand they “why” for a situation
Afternoon & Evening Meditation
Not every day is the same as the previous one or the next one. Depending on your daily schedule and the things you have to deal with, meditating in the afternoon or the evening may be a profound or a problematic experience for practitioners.
The main reason is usually the exhaustion of the body and the state of your mind. You can easily sit for meditation and get sleepy very fast or drift easier in thoughts.
It is not something to get anyone disappointed. Instead, it shows how you are late in the day, which is information to see and understand. If you are in an excellent condition to meditate, the late evening can be profound. You know, when every other person is asleep, and there are few to almost zero noises, the quietness of late night.
Benefits Of Late Day Meditation
Meditating late in the day has accumulative benefits if you are in good condition. These are:
- You can examine the whole of the day without time limits
- You relax and prepare for a restful sleep by calming the mind and the body
- You can get insights on things happened during the day
- Problems can give birth to their solutions during meditation
- Build more compassion and sympathy for your close ones and for people in general
Tips For Meditating Better
Some things -especially when new to them- need their “rituals” and specific conditions to give back the best when practiced. Meditation is one of them. That is -for example- that it makes it more difficult to meditate with lots of noise.
We have to say that there are many ways to stop and meditate. With this article, we mainly refer to sitting meditation. Sitting doesn’t necessarily mean the traditional sitting posture you have seen. That posture works, and if you can, do sit like that. However, even sitting on a chair helps.
Here are the basic guidelines on making a space that is beneficial for meditation.
- Use the same space for meditation. It is beneficial to have the same area where you can sit quietly for the time you need. That can be at your home or even in the office. It depends on individual circumstances. That is your relaxing spot. Energy builds up at that spot every time you practice.
- Sit (or walk) straight. While Savasana in yoga is lying down meditation, the correct posture is very helpful when sitting down even on a chair. It is best that your spine sits vertical to the ground your legs are kept close -but comfortable- to your body. Read this article on Zazen meditation as it has many helpful experiences and instructions. Keeping your body straight and your head in the right position makes a huge difference on how your mind performs and works.
- It is OK to help your body. If you want to try to sit in a half-lotus posture or with legs crossed, but your legs don’t touch the ground, simply place a pillow under each leg (usually under the side of each knee). Avoid sitting on hard ground. If you sit for long it will get numb. The best is that your body sits higher than the knee level. This keeps the spine straight and you don’t fall back as you relax. Just adjust things to feel comfortable and not in pain. Every body is not the same, so find the best conditions for yours, especially in the beginning. There are even special meditation chairs or zafu’s. A combination of a proper “zafu” and a “zabuton” is usually all you need to sit properly.
- Go slow with meditation practice. It is not something that you can push to happen faster for some reason. Consistency is more important than quantity. Either way, meditating for longer periods of time is something that will come to you naturally when it is the time for that. It is not a race of any kind, nor a competition. You just sit there with you.
- Practice at the same time, every time, if it is doable. Try that to build a habit if you like. It can help you build a schedule and keep it easier. Maybe that is one of the reasons many prefer early morning meditation. It is entirely up to you and of your daily schedule.
- Try walking meditation when you can. Meditation happens any time of the day when you are aware. It is not strictly with sitting. Sitting has its own purpose. You can meditate and find peace and become mindful while walking. Walk (without the need to think of the process of walking) by being aware of your steps, of your breath as you inhale and exhale. Just don’t permit to your mind to drift away. It if does bring it back to what you do and experience. Walking like that in parks or other more serene locations helps a lot. Of course you can practice like that while in a meeting, by focusing and concentrating on what is happening in the meeting without drifitng to tons of thoughts.
- About meditation applications. They can be helpful as they help you to keep a schedule and even guide you with the basics of meditation. It is an easy and structured way to get introduced into meditation. In the long run you will find your own steps.
- Join a meditation class. Find a meditation class and join others who at a specific time of the day, just sit and meditate. This too can be very supportive for you and it is always nice to meet other people with same interests, as long as the whole thing helps you with your meditation practice. It is up to you to judge. As said, it is not a race.
Meditation is a practice. As a practice, it means that you get more benefits as long as you do it. It has such beautiful effects that you recognize the difference in your state a few days after not practicing.
What matters is to practice at the best time of the day that suits you. That may change over the years, but the benefits build up.
We hope you enjoyed this article.
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