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Meditation,  Mindfulness

How Long To Meditate – Get The Best Results From Your Meditation Time

You’re ready to start meditating, but you’re wondering how long to meditate. Is 5 minutes enough, or do you need an hour? Should a beginner meditate less?

A Buddhist Monk sitting on a mountain with a view of the landscape.

New To Meditation?

If you’re just beginning a meditation practice, it’s normal to have lots of questions about meditation.  You might find yourself asking: When is the best time of day to meditate?  How long should I meditate?, How long is the average meditation?, or even How much meditation is enough?.

It’s normal to want to make sure you’re meditating correctly in order to achieve the best results and benefits from your meditation time.  Don’t worry, I’ll cover all the basics to help guide you in creating your own meditation practice.

In addition to my thoughts on the best amount of time to meditate, I’ll give you a few tips to get started meditating if you’re a beginner, and how to incorporate meditation into your daily routine!

I am not a doctor or medical care provider and therefore cannot give medical advice.  Consult with your doctor before changing or modifying any health treatments. This information is not meant to replace professional medical advice.

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How Long Should You Meditate?

Spoiler alert: there is no perfect amount of time to meditate.  Meditation is a personal practice and it is different for everyone.  The best thing you can do is experiment with your meditation practice and find what works best for you.

The amount of time you feel comfortable sitting and meditating may change over time, so it’s important to be patient with yourself and try different lengths of time. 

Pay attention to your body, it will give you the answers you need.  If it feels too long, then it probably is.  If it doesn’t feel long enough, give yourself some more meditation time.

It may feel frustrating at times to not know the “right” answer.  Trust me, I’m very type-A, ducks in a row type of person, and I would love for there to be a magic answer, but there isn’t.  But that is actually part of what makes meditating so wonderful.

A man sitting on a mountain at sunset during meditation time.

How Long To Meditate

Instead of thinking of it as a challenge that there is no perfect amount of time to meditate, think of it as a gift.  Since there’s no correct length of time, there’s no way you can be wrong in what you try!

If you’re just starting out with meditation I recommend trying a 5 minute meditation.  Some people say 5-10 minutes, and if you feel comfortable with a 10 minute meditation, I encourage you to go for it!  

I found when I first started meditating, 10 minutes of meditation was too long for me to sit still.  Sitting for 5 minutes seemed much more doable.  If five minutes seems like too much time, try a 2 or 3 minute meditation.  

Let me ask you a question: How many minutes are in a day?  …I’ll save you the mental math – there are 1440 in a day.  If you practice meditation 5 minutes of those 1440, it’s only 1/288th of your day.  You are worth taking that time for you, and your mental health.

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The Best Way To Get Started Is Just To Start

When you’re first starting, it’s not so important how long you meditate, but that you meditate at all!  Getting started is the big victory!  Any time spent meditating is better than no time at all.

Think about it this way – even if you only meditate for 5 minutes every day for a week, that’s over a half an hour of meditation by the end of the week.  That equals 35 full minutes of mindfulness, and you only have to spend 5 minutes a day.

Don’t worry so much if you’re doing it correctly – just give it a try.  You will learn more about how meditating fits into your life and your routine the more you do it.  

Hourglass with sand draining down, and a person inside on top of the sand.

Too Busy To Sit Still?

Let’s face it, everyone is so busy, and there never seem to be enough hours in the day.  However, now that you know adding meditation to your life can take as little as 2 minutes a day – I think everyone has time to squeeze in a little mindfulness.

This is also the part where I have a bit of tough love to offer you.  We make time for what we believe is important.  Once you start prioritizing your own self care and meditation practice, it will become easier and easier to fit in the time.

We all have busy schedules, but going into your busy schedule with a busy mind doesn’t help anyone.  Having the ability to quiet your mind will make tackling your busy schedule so much easier.  Time constraints are inevitable, but your mindset about them can be flexible.

Woman practicing how long to meditate on the beach looking out over the ocean.

Making Meditation Part Of A Daily Routine

Sometimes people ask if it’s better to meditate for a short time every day, or for a long time all at once.  In my experience, if you do meditation daily, it is the most effective.  When it comes to meditating, it’s not so much whether you spend 5 minutes per day, or 30 minutes per day- it’s the per day part that makes a difference.  

Making meditation part of a habit is a great way to keep it as a consistent part of your life. I would suggest, when starting out, pick a certain amount of time (maybe 5 or 10 minutes) and do it every day for a week. 

It might even help to do it at the same time every day, to cement it as a routine.  We love creating routine, and for good reason.  Northwestern Medicine asserts that we are creatures of habit, and that “routines offer a way to promote health and wellness through structure and organization”.

We, as people, love routines.  Whether it’s following a Sunday night routine to set up the entire week for success or whether it’s a daily morning routine to enhance productivity, when we follow routine, we thrive.

After a week, reevaluate your practice and your meditation routine.  Do you like the amount of time you’re meditating?  Do you want to meditate for longer?  Are you meditating for too long?

There’s no way for me to answer those questions for you.  The only way to get answers is to do an honest reflection of your own practice.  Ask yourself if you need to adjust the time you’re spending meditating.   Trust yourself – if you’re being honest with yourself, you’ll know what to do.

Meditation stones stacked in front of the ocean.

Practice Makes Better

In college, I had a voice teacher who would always say “practice makes better” instead of “practice makes perfect”.  I used to roll my eyes at the phrase when she said it. 

Being a perfectionist who wanted to do everything correctly, I had a hard time replacing “perfect” with “better”.  However, now that I’ve been on my own mindfulness journey for some time, I’m coming to realize that sometimes better is more valuable than perfect.

I encourage you to remember this during your mindfulness meditation journey.  Meditation is like anything else, the more time you put towards it, the things that are challenging about it will become easier, and the more you’ll gain from it.  

A woman meditating at the base of a waterfall, knowing how long to meditate.

Results and Benefits of Meditation

You may be going into meditation looking for results, but I’ll warn you that beginning a meditation journey isn’t a quick fix.  You won’t see overnight results. 

You have to put in the time to see results from meditation.  Taking time out of your life to meditate may seem daunting, but I’ll honestly say- there’s nothing more valuable to invest your time in than investing in yourself.  

Even when you do see results, I’ll let you know from my personal experience, that the results you get from meditation are rarely what you anticipate they’ll be.  And that is one of the most wonderful gifts of meditation.

In meditation you have to sit with only yourself, your mind and your breath.  We so often distract ourselves with stimulation from outside sources, that rarely observe just ourselves.  This observation will teach you so much, not just about mindfulness in general, but also about yourself.

This journey can be difficult sometimes, but it is always rewarding.  Treat yourself with love and kindness, and be patient and gentle with yourself.  

A Buddha meditation statue photographed with lights and bokeh in the background.

Ways To Meditate For Beginners

There are many ways to get started in meditation.  You can listen sit by yourself and focus on your breathing, listen to a guided meditation, meditate with crystals, or even join a group meditation.  

Just remember, it doesn’t matter how your start your meditation, it just matters that you start!  I’m here to support you in your mindfulness quest.  You can do it!  

Two women in a guided meditation session.

Guided Meditation

One of the most easy ways to meditate if you have no idea where to begin is with guided meditation.  You sit in a comfortable position and the guided meditation verbally walks you through a how-to session.

There are sessions of varying lengths, focusing on a wide range of different topics.  You can find a meditation for practically anything; productivity, boosting your mood, manifesting abundance, and more!

There are lots of free guided meditation videos on youtube, and there are also apps that you can download to your smartphone.  Having meditation at your fingertips is easier than it’s ever been.

A person meditating with crystals, holding a Lemurian Quartz.

Meditating With Crystals

Meditating with crystals is one of my favorite ways to meditate.   Choose your favorite crystal, hold it in your left hand, and let yourself feel the energy of the crystal flowing through your body as you meditate.  

I recommend starting with a crystal with a gentle, soothing, energy like Rose Quartz or Moonstone.  If you want a crystal that is action driven check out Bloodstone or Carnelian. 

Each crystal has different healing properties, so you can pick one due to its healing qualities, or you can just choose whichever calls to you!

Chakra meditation is another effective way to meditate with crystals.  There are 7 Chakras that are energy centers in your body.  They can become blocked, obstructing the flow of energy through your body.  Focusing on a certain chakra with meditation is a great way to unblock it.  

If you are meditating with a crystal, and it begins to feel stale, and like there isn’t much energy flowing through it, you can try smudging your crystals, which is a way to cleanse them.

A group meditation at a yoga retreat, 4 women sitting crosslegged.

Group Meditation

If you’re still unsure of how to meditate you can look up group meditations in your area.  They’re pretty self explanatory – you go to a location and meet up with a group of like-minded people to mediate together.  

These group meditations are also a form of guided meditations, but you do them with other people, and not by yourself, which can be comforting.

Pin How Long To Meditate For Later

A woman meditating on a waterfall with a text overlay reading how long to meditate to get the most out of your meditation time.

Do you have any thoughts on how long to meditate?  Please leave them in the comments, I’d love to hear what you have to say, and to answer any additional questions.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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