The beauty of meditation is that it can be practiced at any time of any day: morning, noon, or night. But depending on your specific goals and needs, the benefits of guided meditation can be more profound during different parts of the day.

This is part one of a four-part series covering meditation’s advantages at different times throughout the day. More important than when is how often when committing to a meditation routine, so we hope you’ll discover your ideal time to make consistent practice part of your schedule.

Waking Up Mindful

We can’t all be the picture of mental clarity and physical alertness the moment our alarm goes off. Some of us just aren’t wired to be “morning people;” these are the folks identifiable by the venti coffee in one hand while the other stifles a yawn.

 There’s a reason we have the phrase “looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed:” the first moments of the day set the tone. The reality of today is that we’re often waking up on the side of the bed where our phone is plugged in, greeted not by gentle rays of sunlight peeking through the blinds, but by a barrage of emails and meeting reminders.

 It can feel like we’re forced to be “on” much sooner than we’d like to be. That our day is already in the hands of others. That we’re tense, stressed and ready to snap at anyone who’s somehow perky at this godforsaken hour (7am!). And yes, we don’t have any control over what the day brings us – but that doesn’t mean it has to get to us.

Put Stressors In Their Place

Practicing meditation is great for combatting the effects of stress, broadly. How that can manifest itself in your life is a matter of identifying what causes you anxiety and when. Do you dread your morning commute? Is your job stifling your creativity? Do you find that you don’t eat well throughout the day? That you never have enough time?

Morning Relaxation

Taking as little as twenty-five minutes in the morning to set your mind right can open up your perspective and help you see what really matters. You have plenty of time for meditation, trust us. The world will still be there when you’re done, only now you’ll have the tools to take it on.

Focus Is For Breakfast

Think of all the ways an increase in concentration, focus and clarity could make you happier and more stress-free throughout your day. Meditation is a boon for creativity and work performance because it helps you filter out task-unrelated thoughts (subconsciously, too!).

By being mindful of only what’s right in front of you, you have nothing in the past to dwell on or future to dread. When something unexpected enters your present moment, you’ll be solutions-oriented, not paralyzed by fear. That’s why meditation is designed for all the time spent not meditating – training your brain to understand that a relaxed state exists and is easily achievable gives it a place to go when the day threatens to overwhelm.

Kick The Caffeine

Did you know that caffeine actually exaggerates stress throughout the day? By replacing your morning coffee run with a dedicated meditation session, you’re feeding your brain feel-good chemicals without worrying about the crash later. Yes, meditation takes place with your eyes closed – but don’t confuse it with going back to sleep. Being led through a session is a mental workout, and the more reps you do, the stronger your mind will be.

When you change your default setting to mindful and aware, your whole day changes. Meditation removes the burden of feeling like we’re out of control and quiets our negative thoughts. We eat better, perform better, have better conversations, sleep better and live better when we’re free of anxiety.

Why would you want to wait until later to start feeling great?