How Often Should I Meditate?
Whenever you're stressed or anxious, someone around you inevitably mentions meditation. That's because it has become super popular in the western part of the world over the last several decades as a tool to combat stress and anxiety. Though, it has been utilized in eastern cultures and the rest of the world for much longer.
There are no rules about how often you should meditate or how long those meditations should last. At the bare minimum, though, it is best to try to do a little meditation every day for at least five to 10 minutes, especially if you're trying to deal with high levels of stress and anxiety.
But answering the question of how often you should meditate is not the only thing that you have to consider when looking at this topic. In this article, we're going to take a look at why you should even try to meditate so often, while also giving you a few tips to introduce meditation into a busy schedule.
Why Even Meditate At All?
There are so many activities and chores that you have to fit into your everyday life, why would you even want to add another one to the mix? The truth is that all those activities and chores are creating a hectic living environment for you.
This hectic life could lead to your body being perpetually in a fight or flight mode. That can build anxiety and stress, so not taking the time to meditate could lead to mental and physical health problems. As you can see, by not meditating, you're creating a perpetual circle of anxiety that will continually feed itself and worsen your overall health significantly.
So that's the reason why adding meditation to your daily life is such a crucial decision to be made. When it comes to the frequency of meditation, that of course is, as we said in the intro, up to you.
But if you live in a fast-paced world where you are constantly on the go and have to answer to a plethora of people, taking a few minutes a day to meditate and calm your mind can be increasingly beneficial to you and your relationships. This is why understanding how often one should meditate is important.
How Often Should I Meditate?
Before we get into tips for helping you fit your meditational practices into your hectic schedule, we want to really dive deep into the question itself of how often you should meditate. The key thing to remember is that this is a personal choice.
What works for one person will not work for the other. That means that some people might meditate daily, and others might do it whenever they feel they need to. Either way is correct.
However, if you're looking to build consistent mindfulness practices and create balance within your body, most experts suggest you do some sort of meditation daily. This daily meditation doesn't necessarily have to mean sitting down with your legs crossed-type of meditation.
It could be mindfulness eating, which is a form of meditation, or even simple breath work. The key is to instill a meditational practice that allows you to stop, slow down, and acknowledge your thoughts and feelings.
This slowing down, in turn, will allow you to be more present in the moment and be less reactive. That will impact your professional and personal life and help you become a better version of yourself.
Tips For Fitting In Your Meditation In A Busy Schedule
So, how do you fit all of that meditation into your busy schedule? After all, almost every single minute of most people's lives is planned out for them from the time they wake up to the time their head hits the pillow. But if you're dedicated enough to use these tips, you should be able to at least fit in five to 10 minutes of meditation every day.
Set Aside Time
The very first thing you have to do is set aside the time in your schedule for this. This may be challenging if you're always on the go, but even those on the go have certain fixed points in their schedules.
If you have a lunch break or a 15-minute break, you can utilize that time to add a little bit of meditation. If you know that you have 30 minutes on public transportation from work to home, you can fit in your meditation there. The key is setting aside time so that you can create a consistent habit.
Morning or Night
Oftentimes it is easiest to try to get your meditation in at the beginning or at the end of the day, unless, of course, you have a place where you can enjoy some quiet time during your breaks at work. Though, that option may not work for you.
So when you are setting aside time, as we suggested in the tip above, you may want to take a look at what you have available and try to fit that meditation practice in at the beginning of your day or at the end.
Remember that meditation doesn't have to only be the breathing and sitting cross-leg style yoga vision that we all see when we think of meditation. There are a ton of different options that you can use.
One of the easiest is mindfulness eating. By taking the time to eat slowly and methodically, mealtimes can be an easy place to fit into your daily meditation practice.
Be Gentle With Yourself
Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day, and that you can't fit a meditational practice into your daily schedule without a few bumps in the road. There will be times when you might miss a meditational session or not be able to focus completely during a meditation. This is OK, it is a learning process, and it will take time to groom the habits.
Combine Meditative Practices
One size does not fit all when it comes to meditation. In fact, one meditation practice may not be the only option that will work for you. Perhaps you take yoga, and you may want to add your meditational practice to that activity.
Or even when you're at the gym, if you're just running, you can use that time to combine meditative practices to get better results and to be able to fit the needed time into your schedule.
When it comes to adding meditational practices into your daily life, the first question you have to ask yourself is how often should, or can, you meditate. Once you have answered this question, you can then move on to figuring out ways to do this.
One thing is for sure, no matter what type of meditational practice you opt to utilize to build a consistent schedule, you will see huge amounts of benefits. You'll see an improvement in your focus, control over your reactions to situations, and most definitely improved mental, physical, and emotional health.
All of these benefits are because meditation focuses on your breath and being in the present moment. By doing this, you're going to relieve stress and anxiety, and that hectic, busy schedule you've been stressing over will seem like a cakewalk. All of the tools you will gain from this practice will help you live a happier and healthier life.