In today's busy day and age, many of us have no time to put aside for improving our mental health. More often than not, achieving mental stability fails to become a priority and we brush it aside to pursue more tangible improvement.
However, it's important to remember that having the right mindset causes change that, while subtle, truly makes all the difference.
Meditation is one incredibly effective way to improve your mental health. It allows you to feel less stressed out and more capable of taking on challenges. You may find that it's easier than you think to open up some time in your life for this incredibly beneficial practice.
Wondering when to meditate? Here are some suggestions as to when you can effortlessly blend meditation into your daily life.
1) Once you wake up
Let's be honest. How many of us spend 20 minutes lying in bed only half-awake after the alarm has rung several times? Well, there are better ways to wake up.
Once that alarm rings, get yourself out of bed and onto that yoga mat to begin a meditation session. This way, you aren't actually using more time to meditate — you're just using your time more efficiently. This is a natural way to fully wake up, adjust to the new day and start it with calm collectedness.
What's even better is if you take this outside, maybe onto your lawn. This way, the morning air will make you feel more refreshed and ready.
2) During your lunch break
Work can be stressful,. Your lunch break is not only a great time to recharge with food, rest and a walk, but also with meditation!
It's easy to get sidetracked during this time by problems you're invested in solving, and your short lunch break might just be spent thinking about work, ultimately not having been a break at all.
Forcing yourself to spend a few minutes meditating will clear your mind and allow you to step away from the problems. Often, this will lead to an ability to see the issues in a new light, leading to better solutions and seeing the bigger picture.
Meditating halfway into your workday will renew your productivity and spirit.
3) When coming across conflict
Sometimes when you're in the middle of a heated conversation or argument that isn't going anywhere, all you really need is to separate yourself from the source of conflict and take a break.
Next time you find yourself arguing, no longer with the goal of problem-solving, step away from the confrontation. Find a quiet space where you feel comfortable and meditate. Even a few minutes will make a difference.
It might be hard to calm down, but it's important that you find peace of mind. This will allow you to view the issue with less emotional stress and a restored sense of the root of the problem.
4) Including your family and friends
Who says meditation has to be done alone? Including your kids, significant other or friends can often make the experience more enjoyable. While it is admittedly hard to calm children down to the point where they sit still quietly, you can make it into a competition to see who can meditate the longest.
The next time you get together with your friends, take a few minutes to meditate together first. This will set the tone of your day and will make for a better experience for everyone. Adding this social element to meditation will help make it feel more normalized as a daily habit.
5) Right before bedtime
Clearing your mind at the end of a hard day is also a great way to preface a good night's sleep. More often than not, we find ourselves tossing and turning about stressful work events, chores that have yet to be completed and more. Learn to leave all that behind and keep it out of the bed by meditating before you sleep.
The best part is, our bodies naturally take 10-20 minutes to adjust once we get in bed before we can fall asleep. This means that the time you're taking to meditate contributes to that process of adjustment, so you aren't increasing the amount of time you'll spend awake.
Rather, you'll get in bed and be asleep sooner than you would have without meditating. Talk about a great way to precede the sweet dreams.
How Meditation Can Boost Your Brainpower. Lifehack. Retrieved June 6th, 2015
Four Good Times of Day to Meditate (And One to Avoid). Psychology Today. Retrieved June 6th, 2015
Reviewed June 11, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith