Living in the age of the Internet, with smart phones, social media and Netflix, it can be hard to find a moment to switch off. And even when you do, are you ever really “switched off”? For a lot of people, taking a moment to meditate is about finding the right time of day, the right place, and the least amount of access to technology.
Melissa Eisler of Mindful Minutes makes various cases for the best times to meditate, from the morning right through to the evening. Her compelling reasons for morning being the best time, also point towards simplicity:
“Nothing can get in the way of that meditation if I refrain from checking my phone, email, or getting involved with any other activity before sitting.”
Morning time can be most effective if you’re naturally a morning person, but if you’re not, Eisler has some helpful tips for you too – like keeping the blinds open to wake up to the sunrise and splashing hot (or cold) water on your face.
However, if morning activities really are not your thing, then meditating in the morning is unlikely to work for you. Eisler also mentions evenings and using meditation as a transition period between work and home life:
“Think of post-work meditation like a reset button to create some separation from your different roles in life.”
Headspace.com has a different take on choosing the best times to meditate however, and that involves changing your perspective slightly about what meditation is for. Instead of seeing it as a tool to fix or relax the mind, think of it as a way to reduce stress in the long term, as something to be done regularly and consistently. The prevention, not the cure.
“Meditation can help us focus more and be calm and productive, meaning that the experience of work is not hectic.”
Thus, whether you meditate for ten minutes in the morning, afternoon or at night, if you’re doing it consistently and it is a part of your regular schedule, then it has the potential to make a positive difference in your life.
Linda Wasmer Andrews writes for Psychology Today and asked two experts what they thought the best times of the day were for meditation. As per many opinions, morning and the end of the workday were recommended. However, they noted that the best time to avoid meditating, was too close to bedtime. Laura Maciuika, Clinical Psychologist, advises that doing it at that time can confuse meditation with relaxing into sleep.
“In meditation, we’re practicing the opposite – falling more fully awake”.
The general consensus from health professionals, long time practisers of meditation, and even apps dedicated to meditation, is that it is best practised when alert, awake, and with a regularly scheduled time made for it. Like anything that we want to get results out of, the time and space is not as important as consistency and dedication to the task, in order to see our desired results.