Does It Matter When You Meditate?

Lots of people struggle to find time to meditate in their day to day, and while there are many different views on the best time to meditate, in the grand scheme of things, so long as you can build a routine you can stick to, it’s more important than the “when” you meditate. 

But I’ll bring up some reasons as to why you’ll want to choose certain times over others. More specifically, in the mornings. 

Photo by Charanjeet Dhiman on Unsplash

The more we set ourselves up for a thriving day, the more we set ourselves up for a thriving life. At the end of the day, where we head to is usually reflected in the day-by-day choices we make. 

By meditating in the morning, we make ourselves ready for anything the day throws at us, be it good or bad. 

The day is no longer able to get a certain reaction out of us when it otherwise would. This is because having greater control of our emotions gives us better control of ourselves, considering a lot of decisions we take are emotional

You make your intuition more alert with meditation where you find a sweet spot between creativity and logic and are able to make better decisions. 

This is because meditation is almost like taking a natural cup of coffee or doing exercise for the mind, without the addictive side effects. Anything beneficial you get from coffee is something you’re able to produce naturally every day and with more lasting effects. 

And this becomes even more notable with morning meditations where you start your day with clarity and focus, and anything you do becomes of higher quality output. 

Why Meditating In The Morning Is The Best Time

Okay, I realize this is gonna be highly subjective, but I’ll at least share my own experience as to why morning meditations are preferred over meditations later in the day. 

This will resonate with many, and that’s that not meditating in the morning creates this sort of guilty conscience where you can’t enjoy the things you normally would enjoy before you do your meditation, because it’s constantly in your mind, reminding you that it needs to get done, as if something is missing if we don’t meditate. 

This is more common in those that have passed the novice stage of meditation and have cultivated the discipline in their daily life. 

If you are here, congratulations, the only thing you have to do is continue to stick with it as you would do any other routine which at this point is easy. At this point, you’ll also find it’s difficult to ignore the urges to want to meditate, when you almost feel a psychological pain from not doing it. 

If you’ve reached this point, you know for sure meditation has become your new normal. Most don’t get past this stage and you’re one in the top percentiles and you’ve made significant progress compared to the majority of meditators who start and quit.

I compare this to doing school work, I never wanted to do it but it was a discipline. I couldn’t allow myself to enjoy anything else before I was done with that work. 

It’s like something piling onto itself and becoming bigger, but having the option to avoid all that pain altogether by doing it right from the start. 

By meditating in the morning, you get done with one of, if not the most important habits on your to-do list, and the day becomes both more enjoyable and peaceful.

Almost as if you start living a new life where any pleasure and joy you get feels like something you earn and deserve. If you don’t feel like you deserve something, chances are you’re not gonna get the same enjoyment from such a thing. 

Should Everyone Meditate In The Morning?

Not everyone should meditate in the morning because not everyone has the same thinking I just presented. 

But meditating in the morning makes sure you no longer have to think of it throughout the day, bringing you out of a present activity only to think about how you didn’t meditate, which would be contradicting the purpose of meditation since it’s what meditation aims to battle. 

For some, however, meditation makes more sense after they’ve had a long day. After all, meditation is a way to unwind and give your mind and body solid genuine time off. 

However, you get to be conscious throughout the entire vacation and enjoy anything that comes to you, or at the very least, learn to enjoy it or become indifferent, if what you happen to experience is unpleasant. And this is a minor drawback of meditating after work. 

By that time, you’ve already piled up a bunch of thoughts that may skew the meditation practice and you may be presented with thoughts you wouldn’t have otherwise been presented with when your mind was clear, in the morning. 

And while in the sense of expanding the comfort zone it can be beneficial and result in our growth, short-term meditators may not find this appealing and thus, may not be able to build upon the habit. 

Therefore, how we see meditation from the beginning plays a critical role and is a good predictor of if we’re able to build a routine out of it or not. 

The easier we make it for ourselves, the better it’ll be to create consistency. But nothing keeps you from meditating several times a day, but for most, it’s a bit excessive. 

Meditating Before Bed

In contrast to meditating in the morning, there is a benefit to meditating before bed, and that is seeing meditation as an integral part of sleep

Thus, where you might’ve found resistance when meditating throughout the day because you felt so busy, if you integrate it as a natural part before sleep it can almost feel effortless. 

This can result in better sleep and needing less sleep, to begin with. But abstain from having expectations.

A major drawback to this approach is not knowing you meditated as you fell asleep to the meditation, therefore, you may want to meditate in a sitting position before you sleep to make the mindless prone to subconsciously associate the discipline with sleep. 

By the time you’re meditating at this point, you have the chance to observe your thoughts, which may be influenced by what happened during the day and can be useful as a way to strengthen yourself mentally if you’re presented with discomfort. 

Finding What Time Works Best

I usually advocate for following a scientific process when meditating, by testing various approaches on yourself. 

You can try one week of morning meditation and one week where you meditate at random times. You may not be an organized person and you may thrive by meditating “whenever you feel like it” so long as it’s during such day and you build that discipline. 

However, no matter if you’re a beginner or intermediate meditator, I recommend setting a meditation schedule or even downloading an app to keep you on track. 

You may find that schedules are not for you, but the idea is to get acquainted with discipline, something that meditation gives you, to begin with. And by integrating meditation with discipline, it’s a direct way to test it and let the discipline feed itself of that cycle, thus, becoming stronger. 

After all, discipline is like a muscle, but so are focus and patience. Other attributes that help the meditation practice. A sense of accountability and an urge to keep you on track is what many times makes the success of advanced meditators. 

To become an advanced, consistent meditator, you can’t go by what the popular consensus says you should do, instead, you should allow yourself to experiment with yourself and find both a meditation style and time that you’re able to stick with long term. 

That way, it won’t matter what time you meditate. You should be able to do the practice regardless of how you feel with the same ease you’re able to get out of bed to an alarm clock. 

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