People tend to have a number of questions about meditation when they first start their practice. One of the main ones is how often they should meditate.
There is no one right answer to this question, but there are a number of suggestions for those new to the practice that can help them begin and sustain regular meditation and gain the many benefits.
Some people overdo their first sessions and spend hours trying to meditate. They think they need to live like a monk in a cave starving themselves as they sit on their cushion. They get headaches, and think that every meditation session needs to be an hour long. They can’t sustain their efforts, and then they give up.
Five Minutes Is Fine
The truth is that rather than worrying about how often you should meditate… five minutes of meditation done anywhere is enough to start with. A quiet place is best, but you can do it at the beach or on a park bench if you wish. A simple breathing meditation, focusing on counting your breaths up to ten with no mental distractions, will be more than enough to start you off. You’ll be amazed at how hard it can be to even count to two without being distracted, but keep up the good work.
Pick the Right Time/s for You
Since you can have a good meditation in only five minutes each day when you are starting out, there is really no reason you can’t start meditating every day, once a day. Most people prefer the mornings because it is easier to quieten the mind. It can also get them ready to face another busy day in a good frame of mind.
Some people like to meditate in the evening before bed, but they can get distracted playing over in their head things that happened during that day.
An ideal schedule would be five minutes in the morning and five at night for a starting meditator. The true secret is not how long, but how consistent you are. You can add time gradually as you get better at looking within and calming the mind so you can focus on personal transformation. The main thing is to try every day.
What the Research Shows
There are numerous studies recommending anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes per day, four or five times a week, to every day for about four to six months to see real results. “What results?” you might ask. They include better sleep, less pain, improved focus and concentration, less stress, and so on.
One promising study showed that 10 minutes a day for 16 weeks resulted in significant improvements in brain function through better mental focus.
Five minutes per day and night has also been suggested as effective mini-breaks in your day for calm and stillness.
What Should You Meditate About?
Once you have mastered the breath meditation up to ten, you have a number of choices. You can use guided meditations such as those in apps or recorded online. You can think of an important topic, such as the nature of human life or karma. You can also use visualizations like a calm lake to relieve your stress. Use a meditation journal to track your work and any results you experience.
There are lots of suggestions as to what the best meditation schedule is and how often your should meditate if you wish to achieve the fastest results. However, the truth is that the best meditation schedule is the one you will actually stick to. Making the commitment and following through without your mind and body rebelling, but happy to be meditating, will yield the best results to help you transform your life.
Are you ready to make personal and spiritual changes in your life? Consider a one on one private session with Moira or a reading to free yourself from limitations and open yourself up to greater possibilities? Click here to open the door.
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