In the Buddhist tradition, people use meditation to detach themselves from the source of their trouble. It aims to overcome stirring thoughts in order to see the real substance of the mind. The benefits of meditation practice transcend issues of the mind, however. According to Ting Chen of Buddha Dharma Education Association, yoga and meditation help provide an overall health improvement.
When Is the Best Time to Incorporate Meditation Practice?
While it’s true the human beings are rational creatures, the mind is known to play tricks. It can work against your self-interest. However, the body does not lie. While you can tell yourself that you don’t need sleep, your body will feel incredibly tired. If you don’t pay attention to what your mind actually says, your body will suffer.
It helps to take the time to understand the mind and practice yoga and meditation. If you are not sure when to start your meditation practice, you just have to look out for these signs:
When You are Always Distracted
Distractions can take a great toll on one’s productivity. In a report published by Basex, it has been found that office distractions take an average of 2.1 hours a day. This amounts to 42 hours or 2 days a month. If you want you always get an antsy feeling that prevents you from concentrating, it might be time to meditate.
One of the benefits of meditation is that it offers better stability in the ventral posteromedial cortex (vPMC). The vPMC is responsible for mind-wandering and production of spontaneous thoughts. When the vPMC is controlled, you have better reign on your wild thoughts. Thus, you can reduce the chance of getting distracted.
When You Feel Stressed
You can’t touch or see stress. However, you can feel its effects on the mind and body. The stress hormones, when triggered, can produce well-orchestrated physiological changes. They will quicken your heart rate and breathing. Your muscles go tense, and beads of sweat will begin to appear. In an article published in Harvard Health Publications, it is said that chronic stress often leads to heart problems, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety.
Though you can’t always eradicate the roots of stress, you can minimize its effects by practicing stress-relieving techniques like meditation. Meditation encourages you to focus your attention inwards. This can arouse a state of deep relaxation. Meditation also affects the sympathetic nervous system, which can be responsible for releasing stress hormones.
If you are prone to fits of depression and anxiety, practicing meditation needs to be a must for you. So when is the best time to meditate for anxiety and depression? Experts suggest that you do it first thing in the morning or at the end of your workday.
When You’re Lethargic
It may be common for people to feel tired. However, feeling lethargic all the time is not normal. It might be the cause of a physical or psychological problem. One key reason for persistent fatigue is sleep deprivation or insomnia. Sleep loss is usually the result of an elevation in your cortisol levels.
Cortisol can reduce blood flow in the brain. When there are obstructions in the blood vessels, there’s less oxygen carried to the brain. The less oxygen to the brain, the more fatigue you’ll feel. If you start feeling fatigue, you might want to sit up and focus on your breath. This form of meditation helps increase oxygen on the brain, thus restoring your energy.
When You Experience Creative Block
If you’re an artist, experiencing creative block is one of the worst things that can happen. Luckily, there are ways to overcome it.
A study conducted at Leiden University shows that there are certain meditation techniques that help promote creative thinking. Though uncertain why, the results show that people who meditate perform better in divergent thinking. The study also shows that you don’t have to be an experienced meditator to experience this benefit. The time of meditation also does not matter. If you’re deciding when to meditate morning or evening, you can choose depending on your schedule.
When You Keep Forgetting Things
One of the signs meditation is working is the improvement in your memory. Regular yoga and meditation practice can actually increase gray-matter density found in the hippocampus. This region is important for learning and memory.
A study by a West Virginia University research team also found that meditation has many benefits for adults who suffer from preclinical memory loss. Meditation not only helps reverse perceived memory loss among those with Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) but also improves their mood and sleep. For this reason, a lot of hospitals and healthcare centers starts offering courses in yoga, meditation, and other mind-body practices.
There’s really no perfect time when to meditate and exercise. Just don’t wait for a problem to occur in order to start them. You can reap the benefits of meditation practice as soon as you decide to commit to it. You don’t have to enroll in a formal program. Allotting 10 to 15 minutes every day to the practice will do. The key is consistency.
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