How are you using your free time to get you to where you want to be? Many people meditate to boost their mental health. We are going to be talking about how long to meditate each day to see the best results.
Adulting is exhausting. I know how it feels to be utterly drained after a long day of work. All too often, the last thing on your mind is to practice self-care. You’re more likely to be laser-focused on getting some food in your belly and maybe catching up with a friend before going to bed. I feel like I barely have time to call my parents, let alone meditate.
I know what you’re thinking, “How long do I need to meditate each day?? I’m not sure about a daily commitment.”
I used to think the same way. Hear me out, though.
I started by meditating every other Friday. That turned into weekly. Weekly turned into a couple of times during the week and now I feel super off if I don’t do it every day.
Daily meditation has truly benefited my life in more ways than I can count. And when you rely on a program like Yoga Download, which has a catalog of mindfulness and meditation sessions you can easily follow along, it is so easy to do every day. Let’s learn more!
To start off, I’m going to be discussing five benefits of meditation with you. But trust me, there are plenty more.
Benefits of Meditation
Do you want to learn how to achieve a work-life balance? Do you want to learn how to become the best version of yourself?
My answer to both questions is yeah, duh.
These were the exact reasons why I incorporated a meditation practice into my daily routine. But now, I want you to focus on your why. Maybe these five benefits will help you decide why you want to meditate each day!
1. Reduce stress levels
Unfortunately, there will always be something thrown our way that brings stress. It’s unavoidable, but we can control how we react and what we do to cope. Practicing meditation is scientifically proven to reduce stress levels.
2. Control anxiety
If you experience anxiety, meditation can help you too. People who meditate regularly tend to have a better outlook on life. They’re also able to ride the ups and downs of their anxiety.
3. Improve mental health
Regardless of what mental health challenges you face and where you are on your healing journey, meditation helps you find peace of mind. It can help get rid of negative intrusive thoughts and control excessive mental chatter.
4. Improve sleep patterns
Who doesn’t want to sleep throughout the night? Sometimes I wake up multiple times throughout the night. Eight hours of straight rest is but a dream.
Meditating before bed is a game-changer for those who suffer from insomnia or simply have difficulty sleeping soundly.
5. Decrease blood pressure
People can have high blood pressure for multiple reasons. Unfortunately, this condition can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and other health issues.
Of course, you shouldn’t replace medication with meditation. However, meditation aids in relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function and blood vessel tension.
Types of Meditation Practices
Meditation doesn’t have a one size fits all plan. It is essential that you find the type of meditation practice that works for you.
I personally like to engage in different forms of meditation to switch up my routine. Doing the same thing every day can get pretty boring. You want to engage in a meditation practice that you actually enjoy doing.
In reality, there are as many ways to meditate as there are people in the world. We’re each unique and so is our practice!
Here are some of my favorite forms of meditation.
This is the kind of meditation you can do while brushing your teeth. Pay attention to your thoughts that pass in your mind. Don’t judge the thoughts or engage. Just observe the patterns. This practice allows you to become more aware of the thoughts you have.
This simply means pray. Pray to whatever higher power you believe in. You can burn incense or candles while meditating to better focus on the prayer.
Focus on an object in your room. Or focus on your breath. Focus on the birds singing, music playing, or a candle burning.
For 15-20 minutes give your undivided attention to something around you or within you. It’s okay if your mind wanders, just refocus.
This is a great practice for those of you who want to improve your breathing techniques. It’s also great for people who are used to multitasking and want to calm their minds.
Movement meditation includes anything that gets your body moving.
I enjoy running, gardening, cooking, and baking. All of these activities can be meditative However, my go-to movement meditation is yoga.
Yoga is something that I do daily. It’s my secret to my peaceful spirit.
If you have never practiced yoga before, try a guided meditation. This is when you go to a class and someone guides you on the movements you should be doing. Some things are just easier to learn with an actual teacher. We don’t have to teach ourselves everything!
In the era of COVID-19, if you don’t feel like leaving the house (like myself) check out Yoga Download. This site has been a lifesaver. It’s like bringing the yoga class into your living room. The best part about this site is that it has a bunch of new yoga classes uploaded each and every day, so you never run out! I love that all classes are downloadable so you can watch these videos anywhere and however many times you would like.
This is the most widely known type of meditation. This is when you chant mantras repeatedly to become more alert and in tune with your environment.
In Hindu and Buddhist practices, people chant the syllable “Om.” ”Om” is a universal sound that unifies everything. What you decide to chant is up to you. Try complimenting yourself. You can also state affirmations starting with “I am.”
How Long to Meditate Each Day
How long you meditate each day is really up to you.
Doing it for as little as 15 minutes a day will still help you achieve the benefits that I listed above. My meditation sessions used to be 5-10 minutes when I was just starting. That’s how long I could stay focused. Once my mind started to wander, it was a wrap. I wasn’t aware that your mind wandering was apart of the mediation practice.
Once your mind starts to wander, don’t give up. Give yourself time to refocus.
When I started to meditate more often, I practiced yoga for 30 minutes a day. I looked at it as my meditation time and my workout! Instead of just physical exercise, it’s also mental exercise.
Doing a movement meditation helps you to stay focused longer. If you’re doing a still or silent practice, I think 15 minutes is the ideal time period to meditate each day.
The length of time you choose to meditate will only amplify the benefits in your life. Once you feel more comfortable with meditating regularly, I started doing it for a longer period of time. Believe it or not, I’m doing two hours a day now!
Ultimately, how long to meditate each day is up to you. Daily meditation is most definitely a commitment—a commitment to do what’s best for you each and every day. It’s also a form of self-love.
To become the best version of yourself, you must already believe that you are that person. This means letting go of excuses that you have created for yourself in order to prolong your success. Fit this practice into your daily routine the best way you can. Your mental health will thank you.
Remember that Yoga Download is a great resource for online yoga classes and guided meditations. I encourage you to give it a try! Using Yoga Download has made it easier for me to learn new techniques and remain present in my practices.