People new to meditation often wonder: “How long should I meditate?” It’s something that everyone asks themselves when they’re just starting out with this sort of thing.
A lot of people have a lot of different answers when it comes to exactly how long to meditate.
Some say 20 minutes is the optimal time. Others suggest 13 minutes. The most standard answer is definitely that 10 minutes of daily meditation would suffice.
Like many important questions, the answer isn’t exactly that simple.
When Is the Best Time to Meditate?
The thing about meditation is that it’s a very personal and subjective activity. There isn’t any hard math that could tell you how long you should meditate to start seeing good results.
Everyone’s situation, perspective, and energies are not just different, but entirely unique. This means what works for one person might not work for another.
For instance, someone could feel comfortable meditating for 20 minutes while others would find this length exhausting.
On the other hand, there are those who could meditate for as long as 45 minutes a day and come out of it feeling rejuvenated.
How long should you meditate for it to be effective?
An important thing to remember about meditation is that it should feel relaxing. Your goal is to become more in tune with yourself, clear your mind, and revitalize your energy.
So, if you start suddenly feeling exhausted or frustrated after just five or 10 minutes of meditating, that’s already a sign that you should stop. If you’re unable to concentrate, don’t force the issue.
Take a deep breath.
If you can’t find your center, try to meditate at a better time.
When exactly you should meditate honestly depends a lot on your personal schedule.
Some people find mornings the best time to meditate. It helps them feel as though they’re beginning their day with the right attitude. Others would choose nighttime, just before bed so they can relax and have a good night’s sleep.
You can also meditate in the middle of the day.
This may sound a little counterintuitive to some people, but believe me, it can work.
How long should you meditate to clear your mind?
You can clear your mind by meditating as little as even ten seconds. Sometimes a small pause is all you need.
If you’re constantly in a high-stress environment, it makes sense to want to realign yourself with positive energy that can keep you going throughout the day.
The trick, of course, is to find a place where you can really focus and meditate effectively.
How Frequently Should You Meditate?
Another question that goes hand in hand with “How long should I meditate?” is “How often should I meditate?”
What are you supposed to feel when meditating?
Again, there are no hard and fast rules for this. Some people can meditate every day with regularity regardless of the duration. Various research materials suggest that daily meditation is the most effective.
But, everyone knows that reality can sometimes throw a curveball your way. You might have an emergency or you might just not succeed in meditating on certain days.
The point is, you’re bound to miss a day or two of meditating.
This isn’t entirely bad. It can get a bit frustrating, sure, but always keep in mind that meditation should encourage you to be kind to yourself.
It’s about taking a break from the stresses of life. If you’re unable to meditate daily, again, don’t force the issue. Doing it intermittently doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not doing it right. In fact, meditation is more about quality than quantity.
If you meditate daily but feel like it’s a chore, then you’re not really performing any quality meditation.
On the other hand, even if you don’t meditate every day but find joy and calm during the instances that you can, then you’re more likely to feel reinvigorated and ready for new challenges.
What Makes Quality Meditation?
One factor that people tend to forget when it comes to meditation is how much you actually enjoy doing it.
There isn’t really any point in meditating if you come out of it feeling tired or as though you’ve finished a difficult task.
Activities meant to energize your spirit and promote serenity should do just that — not the opposite.
No matter how long or short, or how frequently you meditate, you’re unlikely to experience wholeness in your mind, body, and spirit when you don’t find meditation enjoyable.
Is it worth meditating for 5 minutes?
Absolutely it is. How much you enjoy meditation is actually a good indicator of how long and how frequently you should meditate.
When you stop feeling fulfilled or there are more times that you feel frustrated, then you might want to rethink your approach.
You might be putting too much pressure on yourself to accomplish a set of meditation goals that don’t align with your schedule or your energies on certain days.
For you to achieve quality meditation, the duration, frequency, and your enjoyment of this activity should all come together in a way that elevates your well-being.
Listen to Your Mind, Body, and Spirit
So, to go back to the question in the beginning: “How long should I meditate?”
You should meditate for as long as you feel comfortable doing so. When it starts to feel frustrating, stop. After all, all humans need a break — even from an activity that’s meant to be a respite from the challenges of daily life.
There’s no perfect formula for the right way to meditate, but you can always keep this simple equation in mind: duration + frequency + enjoyment = quality meditation.
What are you supposed to feel when meditating?
Commit to meditating as long and as frequently as you can, but don’t neglect yourself either.
Meditation is all about balance so listen equally to your mind, body, and spirit.