So what’s the best time to meditate?
In this guide, you’ll discover the optimal time of day to meditate to unlock more inner peace, and get the most out of your session!
Plus we’ll cover the worst time of day to meditate too (and you really need to avoid this!).
Keep reading to find out more…
Table of Contents
Best Time To Meditate
Because many deem meditation beneficial, many presume that it’s always a good time to engage in.
However, there’s always a time and a place for everything.
Sometimes, it’s not a matter of doing things just to do them but doing them at the right time.
Meditating during the following times (and avoiding the last one of the list) can help ensure you reap the most benefits from your practice.
In The Morning
Rise and shine!
How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?
Do you already feel overwhelmed the second your alarm goes off?
Are you already anxious about the long day that’s ahead of you?
Do you feel nauseated just thinking about seeing your boss first thing in the morning?
If you answered yes, then meditating in the morning shortly after you wake up might be beneficial in alleviating that early morning negativity.
As a result of meditating in the morning, you may find that you’re less stressed on the drive to work.
You may also discover that when at work, getting through your usual tasks isn’t as stressful and doesn’t appear as demanding.
In the long run, one may find themselves more productive and happy to be at work or engaging in whatever daily tasks they have scheduled that day.
That said, if mornings aren’t your thing, a good ole session of morning meditation might just change that!
If you wish to engage in meditation in the morning time, this morning meditation guide may help get you started.
- May cut into your time to get ready in the morning, especially if you already have very limited time
- Some people may find themselves too groggy to thoroughly engage in and enjoy a short session of meditation.
- Morning meditation may interfere with some people’s alertness with morning tasks like driving to work.
- Set your alarm 15 to 30 minutes earlier than usual.
- Drink a glass of cold water, or splash your face with cold water prior to meditating to help wake yourself up a little.
- After meditating, give yourself some time to “wake up” if you find yourself too relaxed afterward. For instance, go on a walk.
On Your Lunch Break
Some employees find themselves scrambling on their lunch break – this may be the best time to meditate.
Those with short, 30-minute breaks, for instance, might have barely enough time to get and consume their lunch.
However, as for others, they find themselves bored on their lunch break if they still have a lot of time left after eating.
Rather than sitting around playing games on your phone or scrolling through social media, why not try meditating during your break?
According to the Mindworks website, meditating while at work can help you alleviate work-related stress and remind you to stay within the present.
After all, meditation can help improve your concentration, memory, cognitive clarity, and creativity.
That said, daily lunch meditation sessions can not only help you be better at your job and stay less stressed but also help you love your job more.
Additionally, those who meditate on their lunch break may be more likely to get a raise or promotion at work considering their productivity is greater.
So, meditating during your lunch break can be a great way to pass the time as well as provide benefits for your work and general life.
- Short lunch breaks = less time to engage in a deep session of meditation
- Your meditation session might cut into your time for eating lunch, especially if you have very short lunch breaks.
- Some people might feel too tired after meditation, which may affect their ability to stay alert during work.
- Download a guided meditation app. These apps usually feature shorter (~1 to 3 minute) guided sessions for those in a hurry.
- For peace and quiet, meditate during a peaceful walk or in your vehicle.
- Bring your own lunch to work instead of picking up lunch from a restaurant to give you more meditation time during your lunch break.
After You Finish Work
Coming home from work, you’re likely to feel stressed, frustrated, and tense.
This may be especially true if you have a particularly stressful job or work excessive hours.
In response, you may lash out at your spouse, pay less attention to your kids, and simply want nothing to do with anything household-related.
So, to combat that stress or anger you feel after a long day at work, you might hop on the couch with a salty bag of potato chips.
Rather than destressing in unhealthy ways, a session of meditation can help you naturally unwind after work.
Meditating can help melt away those negative emotions you feel, whether it be because of your mean boss or because of your hefty workload.
Additionally, meditating post-work can bring your brain back to equilibrium, especially when you feel frazzled and forgetful.
In turn, meditating may help you not only have a great, more productive rest of the day but also have a healthier interaction with your family.
- May induce a sleepy state in those who already feel fatigued after work
- Some people may find little to no time after work to engage in a session of meditation if they have other things planned.
- If meditating after work is too tiresome for you, couple your meditation session with physical exercise.
- Invite your spouse, if applicable, to meditate after work with you. Both being benefitted, your relationship may strengthen over time.
- Remember: just because you typically go home right after work doesn’t mean your post-work meditation session has to occur at home.
When You’re Feeling Stressed
Let’s face it, we all experience stress at virtually all stages of our lives.
However, some of us deal with it more frequently than others. We also experience different levels of stress and may exhibit different symptoms.
We also have different reasons for our stress: finances, family problems, personal difficulties, you name it.
No matter how often you get stressed, why you experience it, and how frequently you go through it, meditation may help.
According to Mindworks, meditation aids stress by giving you time and space to decide which demands of your life are most important.
After all, we often find ourselves worrying and getting physically sick over trivial problems of the past and irrational insecurities of the future.
When you meditate whenever you feel the early signs of stress come on, you’ll quickly find yourself in a less-stimulated, calmer headspace.
With lower stress levels, you can gain a plethora of benefits from better memory to greater happiness.
And, of course, because stress can be so detrimental to our health, you can gain physical health benefits, or a reduced chance of such, as well.
- In severe cases of stress, one might find that meditation doesn’t help or may even make things worse.
- Some of the times you feel stressed (e.g., in the middle of work), you may not be able to meditate.
- Learn to take note of when you tend to get the most stressed. Then, meditate before you get to that point of stress.
- One type of meditation doesn’t help you alleviate stress? Try another.
- Not able to meditate at all times of the day? Try discrete mindfulness techniques or breathing exercises.
Not all of us work well with strict schedules and to-do lists.
So maybe the best time to meditate is the one that suits your lifestyle…
In fact, some of us like to engage in activities and daily rituals spontaneously.
This may be especially true for those of us who already have busy schedules with little free time to do the things that we want.
Sometimes we have to squeeze miscellaneous tasks somewhere in our schedule. Often, however, we don’t know where that “somewhere” will be.
So, if you’re more impulsive and on-the-spot when it comes to planning your day, the good news is, meditating on demand may be good for you.
Meditating whenever you feel like is beneficial in that you can be more flexible with your meditation practice and the rest of your schedule.
Many also enjoy not being “tied down” by meditation as they don’t have to engage in it at a certain time of day.
Additionally, when you meditate on demand, you’re less likely to burn out as, chances are, you’ll choose times to meditate when you really want to.
- Without a set schedule, you may find yourself frequently forgetting to meditate.
- You might end up making your meditation sessions too variant in time, frequency, etc. Thus, you might not gain the most benefits.
- When you meditate only when you feel like it, you may be less obligated to do it regularly, seeing it as fun rather than as a task.
- Meditate during various times of day to discover which times suit your practice best.
- Write a memo or keep a reminder somewhere where you’ll see it to ensure you remember to follow through with meditation each day.
- If you find yourself becoming too lenient with your meditation practice, attempt to set a stricter schedule.
Worst Time To Meditate?
Meditation is usually always safe and effective to partake in, that is, unless you’re driving or operating machinery.
However, there are still times where engaging in meditation may not be the best time for some people.
Due to our busy schedules, we might only find time to meditate right before bed.
Others of us may not be busy, but rather, prefer to meditate after we get the bigger, more important things out of the way during the day.
The good news is, there are many great ways to meditate before bed.
However, as much as it might make sense to engage in a relaxing practice like meditation right before hitting the hay, for others, it may not.
For instance, meditating before bed makes some people more alert. In turn, they may experience trouble falling and/or staying asleep.
As a result of the latter con, some meditators may find themselves more groggy the next day and less cognitively in-tune with their surroundings.
Additionally, some might discover that they can’t concentrate on meditation before bed when they’re too tired.
Although meditation is quite peaceful, there’s still a level of alertness and awareness that encompasses it.
That said, meditating prior to bed isn’t always a great idea in all cases.
However, for some people, there are still advantages to meditating before going to bed.
- Often easier for people to remember to engage in meditation prior to going to sleep
- Some may find that meditating before bed is easier as the day is done, and their to-do list is finished.
- Typically fits into people’s busy schedules more
- Quicker time falling asleep
- Longer, deeper sleep
- Ideal for some people with insomnia
- To test whether or not meditating before bed helps or hinders your sleep, try meditating when you don’t have to be up early the next day.
- Keep a journal or digital app tracking how long you’ve slept, both with and without meditating before bed. Compare the results.
- Experiment with different types of meditation. Some people may find that certain types of meditation are more or less stimulating for them.
- Couple your meditation session with music to see if it worsens or aids your length and quality of sleep.
- Instead of meditating minutes before bed, try to meditate a half-hour to a few hours before bed. See what time frame works best for you.
How To Fit Meditation Into Your Schedule
- Wake up earlier, or go to sleep a little later to make more room in your schedule for meditation.
- Set up digital alerts on your phone, computer, or other devices.
- Place a sticky note somewhere where you’ll see it as a meditation reminder.
- Keep a calendar or planner where you can schedule the days and times you plan to meditate.
- Replace mindless time (e.g., watching television or lying on the couch doing nothing) with meditation.
- Integrate meditation with another daily activity you already engage in (e.g., an evening dog walk or exercise routine).
- Break up your daily meditation into five one-minute sessions throughout the day.
- Wear a piece of jewelry with a common meditation symbol or phrase. This can help remind you to squeeze in a session of meditation.
- Still too busy? Take a look at your schedule. Eliminate, put off, or speed up the tasks that may be less important to make more time.