A common question meditation beginners ask is, What is the best time of day to meditate? An easy answer is that the best time to meditate is the time of the day when you are most likely to do it. The most important thing is to commit to a meditation schedule that fits in with your daily routine.
You’ve probably heard many people say that the best time to meditate is in the early morning. But if you are forcing yourself to wake up at a time that doesn’t suit your body, it will be much harder to establish a regular meditation practice. You need to choose a time that is convenient for you so that you will be more successful in creating a habit of meditation and integrating meditation practice into your daily life.
Why does everyone say early morning is the ideal time to meditate?
In many religions and spiritual practices, the hours before sunrise are considered to be the best part of the day to meditate or pray. When you first wake up, your mind is exceptionally calm and open.
More practically, the morning is a time when you haven’t yet engaged with the busy details of your personal life. You can go straight into a meditation session before you look at your phone, read the news, or check in on social media. Meditation can be a powerful part of your morning routine because a morning meditation can give you a sense of calm that follows you through the entire day.
All of that being said, if you are too tired or busy to meditate in the morning then you won’t receive any of these benefits. It is much better to meditate at a time that works with your daily routine than try to force yourself into waking up early. Simply listen to your body and be true to your personal needs.
What if I prefer an evening meditation?
An evening meditation can be just as powerful as a morning meditation. Meditating at night is a great way to unwind, let go of frustrations from your day, and wind down into a calm state of mind. Evening meditations are also proven to help you fall asleep and have a restful night.
The main challenge with evening meditation is that it can be tempting to skip your meditation session if you’re tired from your workday or if you come home late.
What if I prefer to meditate in the middle of the day?
Many meditation experts, especially from secular wellness traditions like mindfulness meditation, say that it does not matter what part of the day you meditate: a midday meditation is just as beneficial as an evening meditation or a morning meditation.
The main problem with a midday meditation is that it’s easy to skip. Your day is often in full swing, and your commitment to meditate is easy to skip if you’re caught up in work, meals, conversations, or play.
Some yogis and spiritual practitioners also say that with the busy mind of the middle of the day, it’s hard to make a deep spiritual connection to yourself or to the greater universe. But not all of us are seeking a spiritual type of meditation, and if the afternoon is the best time of the day to meditate for you, then that is fine. You will still experience all of the same wellness benefits that come with a mid-day meditation time.
If you feel groggy or lazy during your lunch break or in the middle of your workday, a midday meditation can help you energize and refocus your headspace. It can also be helpful to meditate before lunch if you tend to overeat or eat unhealthy foods during the lunch hour. Because meditating before eating connects you with your body and its needs, creating a space for mindful eating habits. This comes full circle to helping with grogginess since a balanced lunch will increase your energy levels instead of putting you in a “food coma.”
How do I create a regular meditation habit?
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
- If you take on too much at once, you may find yourself overwhelmed and ditch your meditation practice, before you have even scratched the surface. Begin with short meditations of 5, 10, or 15 minutes and use guided meditations or a meditation app to structure your meditation session.
- Build it into your daily routine.
- Find an empty space in your schedule and commit to meditating at that same time every day. Once meditation is ingrained in your daily routine and has become a solid habit, you will no longer need motivation to meditate. Daily meditation will be as simple as brushing your teeth or making your bed.
- Create a quiet space for your meditation session.
- In order to fully enjoy your meditation, try and create a relaxing atmosphere. Dedicate a corner of your house to meditation or find a spot in the park near your office. It can also be nice to have certain personal rituals, such as lighting candles or smelling essential oils. These little rituals can create positive reinforcement for your practice and make meditation feel even more special.
- Remind yourself of why you are meditating and what the benefits of meditation are.
What are the benefits of meditation?
Meditation improves the well-being of your mind and body. Meditation’s health benefits are life-changing, with health benefits that are completely natural and free. So what are the benefits of meditation?
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers stress levels
- Improves mental health
- Better concentration
- Helps with anxiety
- Improves self-esteem
- Helps with depression
- Decreases mind wandering
- Connects you to a higher power
- If you are religious, this might be your idea of God or the spiritual
- For the non-religious, it might be our connection to nature, the universe, humanity, or social justice
- Improves sleep
- Helps you embody your highest self
- Helps you ground in the present
- Improves memory and clarity
To get started with meditation, try our Guided 10-Minute Meditation to Calm the Mind.