I often hear the question, “when is the best time to meditate?” For some people (self-included), a more accurate question might be “how do I find time to meditate?” Busy schedules, craziness at work, family obligations – all this amounts to stress and time constraints. The irony here is that all the hustle and bustle life kicks up is exactly why we should make time, and consider the best time to meditate.
It might be tempting to try to squeeze in meditation in the morning before work, in the evening before bed, or even while cooking dinner. But if you’re not getting the results you want from your meditation routines, it might be time to consider more optimal times to meditate.
Table of Contents
- Why Take Time to Meditate?
- When is the Best Time to Meditate?
- The Best Time to Meditate is When You Need it the Most
- Making the Most of Your Meditation Time
- The Last Word on Prime Times to Meditate
Why Take Time to Meditate?
Meditation, the act of clearing your mind and achieving a state of emotional stillness, is an amazing practice to add to your daily routine. You will notice that the more you meditate, the calmer you are in general. Making time to meditate doesn’t make stress in your life magically disappear.
However, it can help you manage emotional unrest better, enhance your mental awareness, provide clarity, and even aid your physical wellbeing. Here are a few convincing health benefits that come with staying mindful and getting quality meditation time in your daily routine.
Statistics on Meditation
- Psychologists cite that meditation may reduce the risk of being hospitalized for coronary disease by 87%.
- Meditation reduces anxiety levels 60% of the time.
- Guided meditation can reduce the wake time of people with insomnia by 50%, according to mindfulness meditation stats.
- Meditation is known to increase work productivity by 120%.
- According to the US Dept. of Education, school suspensions were reduced by 45% in 2019 thanks to meditation.
- A study from Harvard revealed that transcendental meditation was attributed to memory retention and healthier brain function.
- Research conducted by Massachusets General Hospital revealed that meditation is known to reduce high blood pressure by 64%.
- UCLA did a study that showed business professionals who regularly meditated enjoyed increased neural processing function which allows them to make better decisions quicker and more easily.
How could you resist committing to meditation faced with these staggering statistics about the beneficial side-effects of meditation? Speaking from personal experience, meditation has helped me with my addiction issues, assisted me in my spiritual practices, improved my concentration, boosted my confidence, and worked wonders on my efforts to improve my intuition. In fact, I have meditation to thank for the ongoing growth of this website over the last 16 years.
But when is the best time to meditate? Is there an ideal time to devote to mindfulness? Read on for some things to consider when carving out time for meditation.
When is the Best Time to Meditate?
According to who you talk to, any time is a perfect time to meditate. But is there an ideal opportunity that might make meditation more meaningful? The answer is, yes. While you can practice meditation at any time during the day, there are certain times that might be more effective. Here are some things to ponder about the timing of your meditation sessions.
The Gloaming Hours
This is my personal favorite, and I think it’s the best time to meditate. The gloaming hour is a nifty phrase that simply means the hours of dusk and dawn (also known as twilight time). Twilight is an ideal time to collect yourself and go within. Why? Because the gloaming hours are replete with the potential for wonder, magic, and reflection. It has to do with liminal space, which is a term for “in-between” or transition.
Think about it. Dusk and dawn are neither day nor night. They are neither here, nor there. This time straddles the boundary between evening and morning, which is a delicious time for the mind, body, and spirit to experience relaxation and flexibility.
Furthermore, spiritual practitioners often call this time “the witching hour” because it is a glorious time when the veil between life and so-called death is thought to be the thinnest. Therefore, it’s a magnificent time to connect with the other side of physical life, communicate with the deceased, connect with spirit guides or your animal totems. And in my opinion, the best way to do all these wonderful things is to meditate. That’s why twilight is the best time for meditation because it facilitates deep connections with your inner self as well as positions you in spiritual realms more easily.
Even if you don’t adhere to any spiritual practices, ceremonies, or rituals during the gloaming hour, it’s still an optimal time for meditation because it’s an enchanting “in-between” time that fosters tranquility, peacefulness, and extraordinary opportunities for astral exploration. Gloaming hours (dusk and dawn) occur at different times according to where you live, and what season of the year it is. Check your local sunrise and sunset times to take advantage of this fleeting yet powerful best time to meditate.
First Thing in the Morning
If you don’t want to wake up as early as the sunrise, the next best time to meditate is just whenever you wake up in the morning. Try to awaken a little earlier than necessary so you have a few minutes of quiet before you need to get ready for your day. First thing in the morning is when your mind is most relaxed. The day hasn’t started, problems haven’t begun to encroach, and (ideally) you haven’t checked your phone yet or your social media. It’s a fresh space in time where you can more easily attune with yourself and have a better chance of relaxing into meditation.
Additionally, meditating at the very beginning of the day sets a precedent. It establishes the mood, and a mindful practice first thing in the morning can set the pace and feel for the rest of your day. This is a great time to set intentions during your meditation so you can wrap the rest of your day in a positive affirmation. You can also add meditation to your morning rituals such as journaling, which may allow you to clear any worries that might pop into your mind first thing in the morning.
When I first started meditating, I opted for the morning for all of the aforementioned reasons. Also, I was pretty lazy way back in those days (hence the reason I started meditating in the first place – to gain more energy and work on improving myself). All I had to do was wake up, sit up in bed and start delving into mindfulness. It was easy, and it transformed the whole feel of my entire day.
In the Evening When You are Relaxing
Many people struggle to meditate in the morning for many reasons. Maybe you want to eke out a few more winks of sleep. Or, perhaps you have a family to get prepared for work or school first thing in the morning. If mornings aren’t your scene, then the evening during your nighttime routine is a potential best time for meditation.
You just want to make sure you are relaxed and the house is quiet and free of distractions. If you have a sleep routine where you begin relaxing an hour before bed, that is a good time to fit in your meditation practice. It might help to schedule meditation next to a related activity at night, such as meditating after writing in your journal, or in getting mindful in bed shortly before you go to sleep.
For many folks, nighttime meditation is a chance to cleanse and empty out after a day of feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or inundated with a slew of chores or activities (many of which might prove to be a pain in the tuckus). At the end of the day, the kids are asleep, work is accomplished, the dogs are (hopefully) settled and you finally have a space in time to unplug, chill and delve deeply into the lovely whirlpools of your psyche.
Just remember, it might be tempting to snooze through your nightly meditations. If you think about it, you’ve had a long day, and your mind and body are probably craving rest or sleep. After all, the point of mindful meditation is staying mindful, and you can’t very well do that if you’re nodding off into dreamland. If you find yourself falling to sleep during your pre-bedtime meditation, you might need to consider a different best time for meditation.
Try Mindfulness During Your Lunch Break
I’ve tried this, and to be honest, it saved my sanity when I was working as a bookkeeper at an industrial factory. The work wasn’t hard, but the environment was extremely jarring. It was a filthy facility, deafeningly loud with screaming shredding machines and while I got along fine with the factory workers – the men were woefully lacking workplace etiquette. Ah, memories. But I digress. All this to say, I would sneak out to my car and meditate on my lunch hour. At first, I did this to just escape the chaos. Later, I discovered that meditation was my salvation. It actually got me through the rest of the afternoon (as well as another year of working there before I was able to find another job).
Whether you can relate to a harrowing work environment or not, meditating during your lunch break is an effective way to press the reset button on your mind, body, and mood. It can leave you feeling refreshed and renewed so you can more effectively face the rest of the day. Furthermore, a quick afternoon meditation can alleviate what my BFF calls “computer body”. You know, the crampy, tense conditions your body undergoes when hunched over a computer desk for hours at a time.
The Best Time to Meditate is When You Need it the Most
When you’re stressed to the max, overwhelmed, or experiencing a disturbance in your force – that’s the best time to meditate. To quote my elementary school teacher while she was going over fire drills, it’s time to “stop, drop and roll” into meditation when you’re under fire or pulling your hair out. Don’t believe me? Then go back and review the benefits of meditation I talked about in the bullet list earlier. The best way to put an emotional fire out is to dowse it with quenching meditation time.
After all, what else would you be doing in your moments of high anxiety? Grabbing a bag of Cheetos or cramming chocolate chip cookies in your gob? Smoking? Drinking beer? Maybe that sounds like I’m being harsh, but it’s true. I’m guilty of running for the rocky road ice cream when the poop hits the fan too. Distraction therapy such as eating, drinking, shopping, etc. is not therapy at all. Conversely, meditating in the moment you need it the most when you’re stressed is truly therapeutic.
Making the Most of Your Meditation Time
If you are a beginner at meditation, the prospect of sitting mindfully for a span of time might seem daunting. That’s understandable. Here are a few tips that can help you get more comfortable.
- Try a guided meditation CD. I used to love Wayne Dyer’s Getting in the Gap CD. I also liked the Abraham-Hicks Getting Into the Vortex CDs.
- Put on some of your favorite, relaxing music. Or, you might think about getting a sound machine that plays soothing nature sounds such as rainfall, ocean waves or forest sounds.
- Or, don some noise-canceling headphones if you require utter silence while meditating. While you’re at it, you might want to get a sleeping mask to shut out external light.
- Light your favorite candle, burn incense or do a bit of smudging before you meditate. This can cleanse your area, clear your energy and can facilitate a more meaningful meditation session.
The Last Word on Prime Times to Meditate
Whenever and however you meditate is entirely up to you. Just remember to be compassionate and patient with yourself. If you’re new to meditation you might feel discouraged or maybe wonder if your mindfulness practice is even working. Trust me, it is working, and you will only get benefits from meditation.
Think of sitting in meditation as a vacation where you can indulge yourself to a massage for your mind. This is your time to release, relax, unplug. It’s also your time to improve your health, intuition, confidence, focus and so much more. Hopefully, these tips about the best time to meditate will help you grow in your practice. As always, thanks for reading!
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