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Best Time To Meditate – 6 Options For Effective Meditation 2023
Most people experience stress and anxiety on occasion in their lives. Stress puts a demand on your brain and body, while anxiety gives you a feeling of unease, worry, or fear and may be caused by stress. While being stressed and anxious may help you overcome dangerous situations or challenges, if you’re constantly stressed or anxious, it may cause health problems.
Aside from medical treatments such as anti-anxiety drugs and taking online therapy sessions, some lifestyle changes can help someone reduce their stress and anxiety by talking to a friend, eating a balanced and healthy diet, and meditating, to name a few.
Out of the methods to help reduce stress, meditation is one of the simplest and fastest ways. To maximize the benefits of meditation, you may ask yourself, when is truly the best time of the day to meditate?
6 Best Time For Meditation
- Morning meditation
- During your lunch break
- After work
- After exercising
- When overwhelmed or stressed
- Before bed
6 Best Time Of Day To Meditate
The best time to meditate depends on your objectives regarding meditation and your lifestyle. The array of benefits that meditation provides, from concentration to helping you sleep better, correlates with how long you meditate.
While the best time to meditate varies from person to person, here are some typical times people meditate:
Yogis believe the best time to meditate is during the “ambrosial hours.” The ambrosial hours are two and a half hours before sunrise when the sun is at a 60° angle to the Earth. They believe this is when there is a unique stillness, and you can connect to the universe’s energy without interruption.
Some interpret this as meditating according to your natural circadian rhythm, meaning meditating as soon as your body wakes. Right after waking up from a long sleep is considered by many to be the best time to meditate because the mind is rested, fresh, and quiet.
It can set a productive and calm tone to your day before all the craziness and urgencies ensue. Starting in the early hours can set your day towards happiness, well-being, and gratitude for the blessings you’ve received in your life.
Those who begin meditating may find it challenging to find time to meditate in the morning because they’re used to getting up and starting their day. To ease yourself into this morning routine, try just taking a few conscious breaths and continuing with awareness of your breath and quiet space for as long as you comfortably can.
During Your Lunch Break
Midday meditation or lunchtime meditation can help you in reducing stress from the hustle and bustle of the early part of your day. It also helps your muscles relax from being in front of the computer or busy schedule for several hours.
Giving yourself a few minutes to unplug and giving yourself a break from your everyday “work” cycle of thinking can increase your productivity, creativity, and well-being. It can also increase mindfulness and awareness, helping you be more accepting and open-minded of others. Meditating at lunch hour can be done as needed or as a daily habit.
Others find meditating after work or evening meditation beneficial, especially when their jobs are mentally or physically demanding. Meditating after work helps you release the stress you’ve built up in your body during the workday and acts as a boundary between your workday and your personal life throws.
Creating that boundary lets you fully participate in events happening in your personal life without having thoughts about work distracting you from enjoying the present moment and taking it all in. Meditation after work can be done as part of your daily routine.
Your mind is clearer, and your muscles have expended energy after exercise, making this one of the best times to meditate. It is easier to sit still and focus on breathing when your body doesn’t have a lot of excess energy.
Meditating after working out reduces cortisol levels in your body which increases when you exercise. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone and prepares your body for a fight or flight situation. Meditating after exercise also reduces chronic pain and speeds up recovery from the exercise.
When Overwhelmed Or Stressed
People feel overwhelmed or stressed out by tuning out the events happening around them – looking for an escape. They may do this with drugs or alcohol, eating, or watching TV. Instead of tuning out what is causing you stress, it’s more beneficial to meditate and tune in to awareness and mindfulness of the situation.
One way to meditate, called mindfulness meditation, puts you in the meditation practice regularly of observing what’s going on with the present without reacting to it. It’s being aware of your present feelings and thoughts. With meditation practice, mindfulness helps you stay composed and at peace no matter what is going on around you.
Even just a few minutes of meditation can help clear the stress you’re feeling and bring you inner peace. It can help you gain a new perspective on your current stressful situation and build skills that will help you manage your stress. As you become better at meditating, you will be able to do it anywhere whenever you’re in a high-stress situation. All it takes is practice.
The time right before bed is when most people unwind – the workday is done, chores are done, the dog has been walked, and the kids are off to bed. The end of the day is the time when your surroundings are peaceful and quiet. If you’re able to stay focused, fully awake, and remain alert before going to bed, it may be the perfect time for you to meditate. Meditating before bed reminds you that sometimes the best thing to do is to let things be.
Some may have trouble sleeping because of the stress they carry, even when they’re in bed. Meditating before going to sleep helps you quiet your mind and body, increase your inner peace and help you be calmer. It improves your relaxation response and gives you more control of your autonomic nervous system, making it less easy to be woken up, and giving you longer, more restful sleep, as well as giving enhanced memory. Other effects meditation can have on your body that improve sleep include:
- Activating the parts of the brain that control sleep quality
- Increases serotonin and the sleep hormone melatonin
- Decreases your blood pressure
- Reduces your heart rate
Along with meditation, it is also essential to practice good sleep hygiene: avoiding heavy meals and caffeine before bed, following a regular sleep schedule, keeping your room quiet, cool, and dark, and turning off all electronics.
Regardless of when you meditate, you will still reap many positive benefits and restore calm and inner peace from the act itself, even if meditation is only for a few minutes. No matter what time of the day it is done, the meditation journey improves your emotional and mental health. What is important is that you develop a schedule that works for you, and you’re able to commit to that specific time of the day and make it part of your daily meditation.
Meditation helps you discover and improve focus, resilience, and inner strength. With everyone’s days being so busy most of the time, it’s not easy to find time to sit and perform this activity. Your commitment to sitting is why it’s essential to find the best time to meditate, depending on your lifestyle.
+ 6 sources
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- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (2016). Meditation: In Depth. [online] NCCIH. Available at: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation-in-depth.
- Shannahoff-Khalsa, D. (2012). Meditation: The Science and the Art. [online] ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288174508_Meditation_The_Science_and_the_Art.
- NCCIH. (2022). Meditation and Mindfulness: What You Need To Know. [online] Available at: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation-and-mindfulness-what-you-need-to-know.
- Bahrke, M.S. and Morgan, W.H. (1978). Anxiety reduction following exercise and meditation. [online] 2(4), pp.323–333. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/bf01172650.
- Divya Kanchibhotla, Sheel Galada Parekh, Prateek Harsora and Kulkarni, S. (2021). Improvements in Sleep Quality and Duration Following a Meditation Retreat: an Open-Trial Pilot Study. [online] doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s41782-021-00162-4.
- Norris, C.J., Creem, D., Hendler, R. and Kober, H. (2018). Brief Mindfulness Meditation Improves Attention in Novices: Evidence From ERPs and Moderation by Neuroticism. [online] 12. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00315.