The Ideal Frequency of Meditation for Maximum Benefits

It’s important to clarify from the onset: Meditate as frequently as suits your preference and aligns well with your routine.

Setting up a realistic meditation schedule is crucial, emphasizes Paige Allia, an RYT 500 registered yoga and meditation instructor. Being pragmatic with our schedules ensures we stick to the plan, otherwise, we might abandon the practice altogether.

If you’re seeking a tangible goal, meditation teacher Paul Harrison reveals that most meditation research is based on daily practices of twenty-minute sessions lasting six to eight weeks. However, unavoidable interruptions shouldn’t induce guilt.

These 20 minutes don’t necessarily have to be allocated to seated meditation. Allia sometimes introduces novices to other forms of meditation like walking or coloring, to make the habit easier to adopt daily.

Can Excessive Meditation be Problematic?

Physically, meditation carries minimal risk with long-term practice. Allia does note that some Tibetan monks have been known to meditate excessively while fasting until they become animated mummies, and eventually succumb.

If meditation starts interfering with your day-to-day obligations, consider moderating your routine. Coincidentally, a study found that meditation side effects are more probable in people who practiced for over 20 minutes.

Reported issues included anxiety, depersonalization, stomachaches, headaches, and dizziness.

What’s the Optimal Duration for Each Meditation Session?

“To achieve the maximum benefits from meditation, aim for 20 minutes per day,” recommends Harrison. While there’s no harm in lengthier sessions, neither is there extra benefit in attempting marathon meditations.

Avoid imposing longer sessions for the sake of benefits if a 20-minute routine integrates better with your schedule. If your availability permits, feel free to go for longer durations. Rely on your intuition, more than research, to discern if an additional ten minutes aids in enhancing your mental health.

Don’t be dissuaded if 20 minutes of meditation sounds impractical. Like any other habit, consistency of practice matters. Starting with smaller sessions is completely acceptable.

“Even a fleeting moment, or a mere minute, can initiate a positive shift in your mood,” assures Allia. She debunksthe common image of a meditator always sitting cross-legged. Meditation can take myriad forms, and could be as simple as inhaling and exhaling deeply thrice while buckling your child into the car seat or seeking some quietude while ambling through a forest.

For a structured, guided approach, BODi Sound Meditation videos employ singing bowls and similar instruments producing calming notes to help alleviate stress. Each video lasts between five to twenty-five minutes, barring the video designed for promoting better sleep.

Is a Wandering Mind During Meditation Cause for Concern?

If your thoughts stray 10 minutes into your 20-minute guided meditation, rest assured that this tendency is perfectly normal. Concentration issues are not indicative of the ideal meditation duration.

Whenever extraneous thoughts infiltrate your meditation session, refocus by returning to the essence of your meditation. This could be the resonation of meditation singing bowls, the sensation and rhythm of your breath, or a selected mantra.

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