Best Time to Meditate?

Best time to meditate. Image shows wall clock with no numbers

Best time to meditate?

What’s the best time to meditate? If you know me, you know what I’m going to say: NOW!

But the second best time is whenever you will do it and the best meditation is the one you actually do!

There is no “right way” or “right time.” 3AM or 3PM or noon on a Tuesday. The myths and misconceptions surrounding meditation only frustrate and confuse people. When I teach meditation, I aim to demystify it by keeping it simple.

And why should people carve time out to meditate? Why bother? Study after study confirms the physical and emotional benefits of meditation. It builds concentration and promotes a calm body and mind, lowers blood pressure, improve focus, and fosters the ability to withstand stress.

Here are a few tips to take time out to meditate and build a regular meditation practice:

1. Tie Meditation to a Daily Activity: Use an activity you already do every day. For example, most people brush their teeth. When you’re standing over the sink, feel the toothbrush in your hand. Notice the sensation of it moving across your teeth. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your teeth.

2. Drop the Judgment: If you choose to do formal meditation practice, notice self-critical thoughts. Nearly everyone thinks, “I’m not doing this right.” If you are doing your best, that’s enough. Set a timer and do your best to sit still until the timer goes off. If you lapse into daydreaming, notice that and gently, gently, gently, bring your mind back to the present moment.

3. Make it Work for You: If you can’t sit still, meditate while walking. Notice the sway of your body as you walk across the room. If you’re a runner, sense how it feels each time your left foot hits the ground or count your breaths during the first five minutes of the run. Bored in the checkout line? Examine where in your body you “feel” boredom. There’s no need to go to the monastery. Your life is grist for the meditation mill.

4. Find Support: Whether it’s a teacher, an in-person meditation group, or an online class, find others who are meditating. Ride the group energy. Ask questions. Compare experience. Learn from the people who have gone before.

Make Every Move a Meditation by mindfulness coach Nita Sweeney is available through Amazon, Mango Media, or wherever fine books are sold.