Meditation is great for your overall health, but it can take a lot of discipline to really incorporate the practice into your daily routine. If you're currently trying to make mindfulness a daily habit in your own life, whether it be for greater clarity of mind, or simply to find a sense of calm in a hectic work week, you're probably trying to figure out how and when to do it in a way that works best for you. A great way to start is to simply figure out if it's better to meditate in the morning or at night, or if your best bet is to simply get down with your zen self at any point throughout the day when you need a little chill time.
Well, while any form of meditation, at any time of day, is likely better than no meditation at all, there is a suggested way to get the most out of the practice. Spiritual teacher Biet Simkin tells Elite Daily that meditating when you first wake up is the best way to go.
"Surely it’s better to meditate in the morning," she explains. "It creates a feeling for the rest of your day and inserts a pause where ease and clarity can come in."
By meditating in the morning, Simkin tells Elite Daily, you'll be able to direct your energy in a way that helps you best conquer your day with a confident ease.
Basically, Simkin explains, this mindful time you give yourself in the morning can help invite focus and creativity into your day. This really sets you up to start things on the right foot, and allows you to make more mindful, conscious choices about how you're spending your time and energy.
As for meditating in the evening, it's not like you shouldn't ever do it, but according to Simkin, it's not the ideal time for the practice.
"Evening isn’t the best time for meditation," she tells Elite Daily, "but it is a great time for other spiritual practices, like visioning, dancing, and reading spiritual texts."
For the skeptics in the house, you might need a little more convincing as to why you should wake up extra early just to sit in silence and focus on your breathing.
Rest assured, there have been more than a few studies over the years that have demonstrated the huge range of benefits of meditation and mindfulness, including stress reduction, increased happiness, boosted immunity, improved productivity, and you know, the small fact that meditation can literally change the makeup of your brain.
If your goal is to find something that'll help you focus more throughout the day, a 2010 study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition showed that practicing meditation, even for as little as four days, can help reduce both anxiety and feelings of fatigue. Moreover, the participants in this research also showed an improved ability to pay attention to various tasks — again, after only four days of meditation. That's pretty wild, right?
Now, if that isn't enough to make you set your alarm a few minutes early tomorrow morning, I just don't know what is. And remember, you can always use guided meditations online to help kickstart the habit if you're having trouble getting off the ground.
Overall, regardless of what time of day you choose to meditate, what Simkin really wants you to know is that the practice can be an excellent way to get to know yourself.
The benefits of meditation aren't about reaching enlightenment or guru status. As Simkin says in the above video for Lululemon, the structure of meditation and yoga helped transform her life, and put her on the path to becoming a spiritual teacher.
"No one needs you to be enlightened," Simkin says, "so don't pretend to be enlightened. Just be yourself, and figure out who that is. That's it. If you can figure that out, you're like, a billionaire."