Choosing the Best Time to Meditate and Sticking To It!
Choosing the Best Time to Meditate and Sticking To It!
Yes, there is a best time to meditate, but we’ll get into that in a minute. What you need to know about meditating is that you need to make it your own. So, we are going to look at more than just the best time for your practise. Before you can decide the best time for you, you have to sort out a few details. And, this is definitely not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.
Establish a Routine
This may seem backwards but before we even talk about choosing your best time to meditate, I believe you need to establish a routine around it. Huh? Well, what I mean is to get your head around how important a routine practice is when it comes to meditation. So, no, we aren’t actually setting up a routine before deciding on the when, silly! What we are doing is placing emphasis on the importance of the routine before we go deeper into the meditation.
There’s little point figuring out that you are in the best frame of mind first thing in the morning and then finding every excuse in the book why you didn’t get around to it and ended up doing it midday instead. Be upfront and honest with yourself and then show up for what will give you the most benefit in your routine. If you know you’re a morning person, set up a routine that takes advantage of that. If you prefer to unwind at the end of a long day and meditation benefits you the most then, well that’s a good time for you!
State of Mind
While there might be a ‘best’ time to Meditate (both for you and for people in general) what is more important than the chosen time is your mindset and approach to your meditation practise. Yes, establishing a routine is super important and beneficial to you and your overall wellbeing, but if you aren’t in the right headspace it’s going to be a waste of time anyway!
So, commit to your routine (I repeat). But, check yourself before you meditate. If you feel like you are just not in the right place then either take a moment to realign with your purpose for meditating before you begin, or give it a miss for today. The last thing you want is to try and force your meditation practise to ‘fix’ an irritable mind. Meditation is about allowing, and you need to be in the best possible frame of mind to do that.
Again, the best time to meditate is important but so is making sure you are not disturbed or distracted. I highly recommend choosing a meditation space that is yours and there are clear boundaries around ‘no disturbances’ while you are in this space. Your family will quickly learn to respect this boundary because they will see the impact of your meditation practise on both you and on them! It also teaches them to respect you and your boundaries. Setting boundaries is super healthy, so don’t be afraid of them.
This needs to become a sacred time for you. Meditating is a powerful form of self-love and it will give back to you so much more than you can imagine. So, take this time seriously. I like to switch the lights off and meditate in the dark because for me even the light through closed eyes is a distraction. You might be someone who isn’t as sensitive, but you’ll know what works best for you.
What do you Want out of it?
I think a lot of us start out meditating without a clear understanding of what it’s all about, what the benefits are, and basically how to go about doing it in the first place. So, for me it is important to ask yourself what you are wanting to get out of your practice. Is it to calm your nervous system? To find a sense of inner peace? To connect with your higher self?
Knowing why you are showing up for your meditation is so important because it will help you to connect with your practice better. These moments that you spend in meditation are a beautiful commitment to yourself and your spiritual path, so honour that.
Best time to Meditate – For You!
Ok, so we’re finally getting to the best time to meditate. As I’ve mentioned before, you need to figure out what works for YOU. Yes, there is excellent advice available that is sound, and science backed but because we are all different, the starting point is always to figure out what works with your: personality, mental and physical capacity, level of experience in meditation etc. There really is no right way, there is only your way. With that said, here are my suggestions that may help you to find the best time to meditate for you.
It’s simple, keep to first thing or last thing. So, first thing in the morning or last thing at night. And this is for one reason and one reason only. Your brain is on go-slow. We could talk brainwaves, alpha, theta and delta and all that stuff but we’re simple folk here so I’m going to leave that to the scientists. In layman’s terms, your brain is more susceptible to your meditation practice when it isn’t all wired and fired during the peak hours of the day. This is called the Beta brainwave state (how do you like my technical jargon?) and it is when our brains are the most actively focused on our daily tasks and activities. Therefore, not the most optimal time to meditate! Basically, you want to avoid those Beta brainwaves.
Sound too Simple?
Well, that’s kind of the beauty of meditation and definitely the way I’d like to keep it. Meditation is simple. We are the ones that make it complicated. Meditation, to me, is the act of returning to ourselves. Allowing ourselves to be still for long enough to remember who we are at our core. For this we need a calm environment and a calm mind.
To get the most out of our meditation we need to be able to move from our Beta brainwaves that we use for our daily problem solving to those deeper levels of relaxion that we get from being in alpha or theta brainwave states. This takes a lot of practice and commitment, and it requires taking advantage of the best time to meditate when you are naturally closer to those levels than you would be when your day is in full swing.
Find your Rhythm
I’m going to sound like a stuck record here, but the most important thing about meditation is finding what works for you! There are guided meditations, chanting meditations, sleep meditations, walking meditations. You name it! And, you may love them all or only one style! Try a few different kinds and keep trying them until you find what works. I personally love listening to music meditations or body scan meditations but there are so many I mix it up a bit sometimes.
I always feel like I need to say to people, don’t be scared off if you feel like you are struggling with your meditation. It really does take time and all you need to do is keep sitting with the stillness and remind yourself that you are showing up for yourself. Sooner or later you will have a day where you realize nothing from the outside ‘got in’ and messed with your sense of peace and you will feel the power in that moment. Wishing you so much joy in your meditation journey!
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