The beauty of meditation is that it can be practiced at any time of any day. But depending on your specific goals and needs, the benefits of guided meditation can be more profound during different times of the day.
This is part two of a four-part series covering the advantages of practicing meditation at different times throughout the day and week. Last time, we covered meditation in the morning, and today we’ll be talking about why mid-day mindfulness can be so rewarding. 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.
Walk the Meditation Bridge
You’re halfway through another day and the stresses are piling up. The morning was full of unforeseen issues and surprise deadlines at work, one of the kids got sick and the check engine light went on during your commute. Even if all these things didn’t happen at once, it only takes a little annoying nudge off your desired daily path for you to feel anxiety bubble up.
And that’s to say nothing of the impending afternoon! You’re caught smack dab in the eye of a day storm, knowing that your brief lunch break is a smokescreen of calmness before the next wall hits.
We can’t control our days to make them any less crazy. But we can do something to give us peace with that fact while setting us up to be more productive, creative and compassionate this very afternoon and beyond.
We can meditate right in the middle of the day.
Snap Into It
Every little thing that takes our attention away from the here and now and requires us to share brain space with other tasks is a distraction. Multi-tasking is a myth, and the more we have on our plate, the less we’ll be able to focus on any of it.
Meditation teaches that everything you need is right there within you. By concentrating solely on your breath and the way your body feels second to second, you’re able to let go of your mounting to-do list for a moment.
Yes, you’ll still get to emails and appointments as the day goes on, but regular meditation practice helps you compartmentalize them so you can approach every task as it is, not with additional pressures placed upon it. You’re not escaping the day – you’re actually facing it head on from a completely new and healthy perspective.
Move In a Different Way
Our physicality is tied with our mental state. Sitting for hours in a bad posture puts strain on muscles and tension on our thoughts, and there’s often no way around working at a computer or being immobile for long stretches at a time at an office or in the car.
The benefits of meditation for the mind are well-documented, but don’t forget about the restorative power the practice has for the body as well. Centering yourself and focusing on your breath naturally softens your muscles and makes you more mindful of your body’s positions.
Practice meditation enough and your body will naturally find its relaxed state, which can be extremely beneficial for your creativity and work performance.
Plus, simply getting out of the office and into a guided meditation class can be enough of a stark (and welcome) change that you’ll feel refreshed and chilled out just by giving yourself new stimuli.
Make It Count
A solid, half-hour meditation session is the sweet spot for giving your mind what it needs to take on the stresses of the day. That’s plenty of time to make into a routine and still be able to eat a healthy lunch.
Because meditation is so mutually beneficial for you and your employer, do your best to really stick to a schedule. Stealing a minute here and there to perform some simple breathing exercises on your own has a temporary calming effect, but the afterglow of a patient, focused mental workout will last much longer. Once you’ve built up your mental fitness, you won’t have as great a need to “get away” for micro-moments.
The middle of the day can be a perfect opportunity to train your mind to be more aware and more in tune with your body. Prepare for what the rest of the day will bring while letting go of what’s already happened by learning the tools and techniques of mid-day meditation.