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The best time of day to meditate

by Andy Puddicombe

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Hi Andy — Mornings are relatively quiet for me with more opportunities to find 10 minutes for meditation. It is also the time of day when I’m most relaxed. Afternoons are hectic and stressful.

Would you recommend meditation in the morning when I am already somewhat relaxed? Or would the afternoon be better as it’s the time of day when you could argue that I’d benefit most from taking a meditation break?

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Well, there are several ways to look at this. The great thing about your morning schedule is that you have time to meditate. So, regardless of any factors, I would make this a regular fixture in your calendar. Once the afternoon comes along and it gets hectic, 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 often seen as a way of “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? When done on a regular basis, meditation actually helps reduce and prevent stress, meaning we don’t even get to the point of needing to treat it.

Similarly, meditation can help us focus more and 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, take a look at the SOS session. You might find that—having already done 10 minutes in the morning—just two or three minutes later in the day can really make a difference.

Warm wishes,
Andy

Andy Puddicombe

Andy Puddicombe is a meditation and mindfulness expert. An accomplished presenter and writer, Andy is the voice of all things Headspace. In his early twenties, midway through a university degree in Sports Science, Andy made the unexpected decision to travel to the Himalayas to study meditation instead. It was the beginning of a ten-year journey which took him around the world, culminating with ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India. His transition back to lay life in 2004 was no less extraordinary. Training briefly at Moscow State Circus, he returned to London where he completed a degree in Circus Arts with the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, whilst drawing up the early plans for what was later to become Headspace.

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