By now you probably already know that meditation can be done at any time any day. But just because it can, doesn’t mean it should. There are some specific times you’ll want to abstain from doing it. As beneficial as meditation is.
Meditation takes concentration and focus, but one of the main benefits of the practice is its ability to extend your focus over the long term. However, if while meditating, you aren’t seeing any progress, you’re less likely to see any reasons to continue the practice.
The more focused you are, the easier the meditation is gonna be, and the more you’re gonna be drawn to it.
Now, when it comes to meditation after having a meal, is it something you should do? Practicing mindful meditation after eating will be something you want to abstain from. And I’ll go into the reasons why below.
What Happens If You Meditate After Eating?
Meditation changes the subconscious mind. When we digest food, the subconscious participates in the process of digestion.
By meditating at this point, the experience will feel like less, because your subconscious isn’t fully there. Mindful meditation requires your mind and body to be there. The more separated they are, the more unsynchronized they are, the less effect the meditation will have.
If you meditate right after eating, you are likely to find your energy slowly depleting and you feeling more tired.
You may confuse this tiredness with meditation, but it’s just tiredness, and thus, you fool yourself into thinking you’re meditating, when in reality, you’re having a hard time retaining the focus needed for meditation to begin with.
This tiredness will lead to boredom, and the more your mind sees meditation as something boring, especially if it doesn’t bring any benefits because you aren’t meditating in the first place, you are more likely to give up early. What’s the point of sitting there, doing nothing, if you can’t retain your focus and your mind goes to different directions?
Meditation is supposed to be an enjoyable experience that gives a deep sense of peace and makes you feel like something is happening rather than just feeling tired. Feeling tired is a feeling you’re already acquainted with and nothing new to the mind, therefore, it’s recommended to stay away from meditation right after eating.
The practice is about giving yourself a break and coming back stronger, with an overall improved quality of life by improved focus, problem-solving, and a hard-to-put in words peace.
Meditation is getting rid of the burden of anxiety, or at least, reducing it significantly to the point where it doesn’t become a hindrance, and same with any other emotion that is related. But you’re not doing yourself any favors if you were to meditate after eating, since you’re not giving yourself the break you need.
Mindful Eating vs. Meditation After Eating
Your subconscious multitasking can have counterintuitive effects. However, that’s not to say you can’t do what I call the surface level meditation after eating, and that’s as simple as continuing to retain your focus on the present moment.
Technically, that would be considered meditation, but it’s not the kind of life-changing meditation that takes you to the next level. There’s something called mindful eating that consists of being in the present as you eat and not letting your mind wander.
That’s not what I’m telling you to stay away from while you eat. You can train your mind to be attentive and focused on your surroundings and present throughout the entire day, and that’s the goal.
But there’s a clear distinction between surface level meditation and deep levels of meditation. But in this case, when I talk about meditation after eating, I talk about deep meditation that does require your focus.
Letting It Happen
A mind filled with thoughts defeats the purpose of meditation, and the more resistance you find while doing meditation, the more you should let go. Rather than seeing meditation as a deliberate action you do, you want to make it a shift to something you allow to happen.
Of course, you’d have to get into the habit since meditation isn’t likely to magically come to you without you doing anything. You’ll often be met with resistance from the mind if you try to meditate after eating.
It’s something you can try doing and compare it with doing it on an empty stomach, and you’ll see enough of a substantial difference to see by yourself why meditation after eating is something you want to postpone for later.
Meditation requires energy to do if you want to be fully immersed in the experience, that is, in this case, focus is the currency. The more scattered this focus is, the less effective the meditation will be.
How Long Should You Wait After You Eat Before Meditating?
If possible, at the very least, you’ll want to wait one hour after you eat before you meditate. It’s preferable that you wait three to four hours for the full digestion to take place, but waiting one hour is much better than doing it right away.
Sometimes the reason to stay away from meditation right after eating it’s as obvious as feeling full. Sometimes that’s what you can’t help but focus on, because your fouc is in this case being dictated by what you’re feeling.
And as much as you try to feel something completely different than what’s happening in the present moment, it’s not gonna be possible. Now, you may not notice any effects on a conscious level but you will on a subconscious.
The mind is not strong enough to stand a battle against the subconscious. A major purpose of meditation is rewiring that subconscious mind, since many of your day to day behaviors can be linked to your subconscious mind.
The less meditation feels like a fight for you, and the more you allow it to happen, once you start it and enter that flow state, the more of an effect the practice will have for you.
Simply put, meditating right after eating can make the practice pointless for you, and legitimately make you feel like you’re wasting time. The same can’t be said once the process of digestion is over. And if you’ve already eaten, waiting four hours would be the best time to start meditating. Your subconscious will thank you for this.
Ideally, the absolute best time to meditate will always be when your stomach is completely empty. That’s when your focus will be at its peak and it’s something you can and could use to the benefit of the meditation practice, especially if you want to maximize the life-changing effects of deep mindfulness meditation.