Meditation has become a popular activity in the Western world, however many people still attach an incorrect stigma. They imagine the bearded man in the mountains, unmoving for days at a time. This stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth; in fact, meditation can be incorporated into your daily life from as little as five minutes a day. While a single practice doesn’t require much, frequency is important. When you’re deciding how often should you meditate, more is better but it’s also not that simple.
In this article, we’ll explore the question “how often should you meditate?” and we’ll also take a closer look at what you can expect to gain from frequent meditation and how it can bring benefits to your life.
Why meditate often?
For many people, meditation allows them to spend a few moments alone, away from the stresses and strains of the world. In this modern-day and age, it’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race and forget about our personal needs. Meditation is an excellent way to counter this, and just a few minutes can make all the difference.
We mentioned the stereotype of the meditating man, but did you know that you can practice meditation anywhere? Sitting at your desk at work? Not a problem. In your garden? Of course. On the train? Absolutely. If it is that simple, it’s undoubtedly something that we can bring into our lives without much disruption. All you need is good meditation posture and a place where you can be undisturbed for a few minutes.
What do you want to gain from meditating?
It’s super important to be aware of your expectations when beginning your journey with meditation. Before we find out how often you should meditate, we need to look at what you want to gain from it. The purpose of meditation all comes down to want you’re looking to get from it.
For example, you are looking to relieve stress, and in this instance, you may decide to practice when you find yourself in a stressful situation. And this can work well. Taking a few minutes to close the eyes, gather your thoughts, and perform some deep breathing can physically reduce your stress levels. However, if you are looking for something more along the lines of a spiritual awakening, more frequent and intense practice is needed.
Once you have established your personal goals and requirements, you will be easily able to come up with a meditation schedule. That being said, even just a few minutes a day will help you build a solid practice.
Often, people will begin a meditation practice because they think it’s the ‘in’ thing to do or because their friends are doing it, and this can lead to sporadic and ineffective practice.
Meditation is something that should be a very personal and unique experience. How you meditate will not be the same way that I meditate, and we will both gain different things from it. Just because Tina, the yoga guru, suggested a particular technique, that doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. It is vital that when meditating, you engage in a practice that suits you and that you enjoy. It’s meant to be fun! Explore different techniques and try out some guided meditations to find out what lights a fire in you.
How often should you meditate?
There aren’t any rules surrounding how often you should meditate, but as with anything – the more you do it, the better you will become. It may come as a surprise to learn that meditation is a skill, and you need time to cultivate it. This means that if you want to reap the benefits, you should be taking a daily practice.
Of course, there are times when our lives don’t allow for a lengthy practice, and that’s OK. When starting, it is essential not to overwhelm yourself, and this could put you off meditation for good. Try to aim for around 5 or 10 minutes each day, and using a guided practice can ease you into the concept of meditation.
After some time, you can begin to expand your practice, perhaps through lengthening your sessions or more than one meditation each day. For those who are more advanced in the practice, it is not uncommon to spend much more extended periods in a deep meditative state. For example, some people may meditate for hours at a time. If this is something that you aspire to, knowing how to practice meditation daily is even more critical.
Now that we have established that a daily practice will work best, we need to discover why this is. Imagine an athlete training to be in the Olympics, and he’d need to work out every day. If he doesn’t, he will lose strength and stamina and, in short, won’t stand a chance at winning the gold. The same can be said for meditation; doing a little each day will ensure that you stay secure in your abilities. This will allow you to attempt more extended and more complex sessions, but it will also bring about some visible benefits in your day to day life.
How to fit a daily practice into your life
Research has shown that a daily practice can yield a wealth of benefits, and we look into these in a little more detail later on. But with our busy lives, how are we expected to fit in a daily meditation on top of everything else? It may not be as difficult as you might think. The best time to meditate is the time that best works for you.
First things first, you’ve got to want to meditate every day, if you don’t, you won’t. Dedication is an essential part of setting your daily practice. But there are practical things you can do to feel confident that you can meet this commitment.
If you practice yoga and meditation, combining the two activities can make it much easier to fit your practice. Add on your meditation time at the end of your yoga session and begin to notice the benefits.
There are many smartphone apps available that can make daily meditation a cinch with a daily meditation app. These apps present users with a vast range of guided meditations, soundscapes, and timers so that they not only give you easy access to meditating and provide you with the essential tools to get started. Try our app, Declutter The Mind!
For those who are especially busy, including meditation at either end of the day can make it a lot more simple to follow a routine. It is entirely possible to practice meditation from the comfort of your bed, so why not try slotting in a session before you’ve slipped from under the covers or before drifting off at night?
We all have to eat, and one great way of making sure that your daily practice doesn’t slip is to meditate at mealtimes. It’s your choice whether you do it before or after eating, but this is a sure-fire way of remembering to do it. Even practicing while eating is possible with mindful eating.
Above all, don’t chastise yourself too harshly if you miss a day. Meditation should be an enjoyable activity and not a chore. Everyone is different, and it may take some experimentation before you figure out how it best fits into your daily schedule.
What are the benefits of meditating more often?
Meditation is becoming more widely understood and, as a result, is even being suggested by doctors for patients who suffer from mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Many studies have proven it can be of use for these issues, plus many other scientific benefits of meditation.
Developing a daily meditation practice can bring many benefits to your life, and whether you manage 5 minutes or 5 hours a day, it is sure to be a productive activity.
Helps control behavior
You may also notice increased feelings of happiness and kindness towards others. This mindful practice can invoke general positivity, which is reflected in your actions.
Some suggestions for performing meditation daily can help in the prevention of memory loss as we age.
Improves your ability to focus and increase your attention span
You will become much more self-aware by practicing meditation each day, allowing you to know yourself better.
Helps regulate emotional health
Meditation will improve your sleep quality, leaving you feeling more rested.
One of the significant advantages of meditation is that you need no previous experience to get started, nor do you need any equipment. You can practice anywhere and at any time of the day, making meditation accessible to everyone.
Start meditating more often
To get the most out of your meditation practice, you should be aiming to meditate at least once a day. This doesn’t need to be a lengthy or detailed practice, studies have shown that as little as five minutes each day can be beneficial.
Before thinking about how often you should meditate, it is also essential to understand what you wish to take from your practice. This will enable you to build a more tailored meditation schedule that is unique to you. Above all – enjoy!