When's The Best Time To Practice?
Each week here on the Headspace blog we feature some of Andy's responses to questions he has been sent by members of the Headspace community about their meditation practice.
Here he answers a question from a Headspacer about when is the best time for them to sit down for their daily practice.
Mornings in work for me are relatively quiet with more opportunities for me to find ten minutes for meditation. They are also the time of day when I am most relaxed. Afternoons are hectic and stressful. Would you recommend meditation in the morning where I am already somewhat relaxed or would the afternoon be better as it's the time of day when you could argue I'd benefit the most from taking a meditation break?
Well, there’s several ways to look at this. The great thing about your morning schedule is that you have time to do it. So, regardless of any factors, I would make this a regular fixture in the diary. Once the afternoon comes along and it gets very hectic, then any number of things can come along and bump it off the to-do list. So, the morning is best.
But there are some other factors to consider too. Meditation is very often seen as a way of somehow fixing the mind when it gets very busy, or calming the body when it gets stressed. But I think the potential of meditation is far greater than this. Why wait until we are feeling stressed to do meditation? Meditation, when done on a regular basis, actually helps to reduce and prevent stress, meaning we don’t even get to that point of needing to treat it.
Similarly, meditation can help us to focus more, to be calm and productive, meaning that the experience of work is not so hectic. Instead, it becomes about doing one thing after the next, present moment, followed by present moment. Sometimes we have to do this quickly, sometimes slowly, but the perspective of being present transforms life entirely. And hey, if you do find yourself stressing out in the afternoon, maybe take a look at Headspace SOS on the app. You may well find that having already done 10 minutes in the morning, just 2 or 3 minutes like this will really make a difference.
Do you have a question you'd like to ask Andy about any aspect of your meditation practice? Simply visit the Andy's Answers section of our community forum where you'll find instructions on sending your question in, as well as all the questions he has answered to date.
We also recommend you check out our FAQ section, which is full of helpful tips and insights to ease you along your Headspace Journey.
Finally, if you are heading away this summer please read our Mindful Traveller blog and listen to the holiday podcast Andy has recorded here. If you know anyone going away please share it with them.