When Is The Best Time To Meditate?

Do you want to become a regular meditator but don't know the ideal time of day for your practice?

As long as you can spare a few minutes a day, you can maintain a daily meditation habit.

You'll need to attach your practice to a daily trigger to cue you to meditate.

A trigger is an established habit like brushing your teeth in the morning or changing clothes at the end of the work day.

But how do you decide on a good time to meditate that fits with your trigger and your current routines?

Meditation during different times of the day have different benefits.

Let's take a look so you can discover what works best for you.

Read moreWhen Is The Best Time To Meditate?

39 Of The Most Uplifting Meditation Quotes

Every day you read about something that's supposed to change your life.

A new diet.

A revolutionary exercise program.

A killer productivity tool.

As soon as you adopt this latest new thing, another one comes along that undermines the one you're focused on.

You're doing it wrong. It's outdated. The research was faulty. And you're left frustrated and wondering what information you can trust.

Fortunately, there's one positive habit that has stood the test of time — not just for a few years but for millenniums.

Read more39 Of The Most Uplifting Meditation Quotes

15 Of The Best Guided Meditation Videos

I have always found meditation to be the most effective method of stress relief.

It's great because you can practice it anywhere, anyone can do it, and it doesn't involve prescription drugs with possibly unpleasant side effects.

While I love to meditate on my own, I have found that guided meditation videos are a great way to let go and relax into my meditation time.

Like most meditators, I find it difficult to keep my mind from wandering when I am meditating on my own.

When I use guided meditation videos, I can remain more attentive and engaged, while completely focusing on the words and sounds from the video.

Video meditation has given me the tools that I need to achieve a deeper state of relaxation and strengthen my meditation skills for the times when I'm not using guided meditation.

Here are 15 of the best guided meditation videos that I've found to be effective and transformative.

Read more15 Of The Best Guided Meditation Videos

The 10 Best Meditation Practices To Overcome Anxiety And Bask in Inner Peace

Does it feel like we're living in the age of anxiety?

It seems our lives are more demanding, stressful, and distracting than ever before.

The constant barrage of information flooding our digital devices, coupled with our on-going responsibilities and obligations as professionals, parents, and students can wreak havoc on our peace of mind.

Are you feeling it in your own life?

Do you ever wish there was a button you could push to escape the madness and find your center?

One of the best things you can do to improve your mental health and reclaim inner peace is to practice meditation.

Read moreThe 10 Best Meditation Practices To Overcome Anxiety And Bask in Inner Peace

14 Best Meditation Books For A Mindful Life

The Best Meditation Books

What if you could lower your blood pressure, give your immune system a much-needed boost, and reduce the stress you constantly feel, without taking medication?

And what if you could lower your anxiety level, boost your self-confidence, and improve your focus and memory without going to a doctor or a series of doctors to identify the cause?

Impossible, you say? No way you yell? Au contraire mon frère.

There is a great way to pull yourself out of the blues, relieve your pain, and manage your emotions naturally. And you don’t need to do anything but be present in the moment.

Being present in the moment might sound easy, but our distracted and busy minds make it much harder than it appears. Trying to wrangle in your thoughts so you can find peace in the here and now is like trying to tame fleas.

One of the best ways to tame your thoughts is through the regular practice of meditation. Meditation not only allows you to enjoy presence while you are meditating, but it also strengthens your ability to be present in your daily life.

Meditation is so powerful, it literally changes your brain.

Read more14 Best Meditation Books For A Mindful Life

The Mind-Blowing Power Of Visualization Meditation

What do star soccer player Carli Lloyd, actor Jim Carey, Media Mogul Oprah Winfrey, gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn and award-winning TV and movie star Will Smith have in common?

Well, the commonality between these successful people has many names. Some people call it “the power of positive thinking.”

Other people like to say these people have an incredible sense of focus, or they pray to get the results they expect.

However you want to describe the abilities, these people are able to reach new heights, achieve incredible things, and bask in celebrity status.

But even though these and thousands of other people seem superhuman in their achievements, they are still like all of us in many ways.

What they regularly practice that other people neglect is something called inner visualization.

Inner visualization is not some selective gift that only a few people have in their DNA.

Visualizing how you will react to certain experiences or what outcome you want in any endeavor is something we all can do.

The power to clearly and mindfully envision what we want is a habit that we can and should practice every day.

We tend to focus on the physical parts of our abilities and neglect the power of mental imagery because we don’t believe it can impact the experiences in our lives. We don't understand how it can enhance our physical efforts.

As I explain in my book, 10-Minute Mindfulness (with co-author Steve Scott), visualization is an incredibly powerful tool with so many benefits.

It can be used in daily life to relieve stress and performance anxiety, enhance preparation, and add more power to your physical and mental efforts.

Visualization has been shown to impact motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory, priming your brain for success in whatever you want to accomplish.

Simply the act of visualizing, which requires mindfulness, focus, and creativity, frees the mind from mental chatter and negativity.

By using visualization, you create strong neural pathways in your brain, just as if you had actually performed what you visualize. Because the brain tells the muscles how to move, these neural pathways result in more precise, stronger movements, enhancing your actual efforts.

What Is A Visualization Meditation?

We all visualize on a daily basis. We visualize what route we’ll take to go to work in the morning, and what meal we’ll eat that night.

Maybe we visualize what our kids are doing in school, and what we will look like when we hit retirement age.

But intentional visualization with a specific outcome in mind can be a meditative experience. You can use the framework of a basic meditation to create the proper state of mind for effective mental imagery.

monk meditating visualization meditation

How to Practice a Visualization Meditation

To begin, you want to engage in a basic meditation to relax, clear your mind, and become more receptive to the outcomes you are imagining.

Find a quiet space where you won't be interrupted. Sit on a meditation cushion or a chair with your hands resting loosely in your lap.

Close your eyes, and take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Then begin breathing normally, paying attention to each inhalation and exhalation.

Related: 101 Positive Affirmations To Practice Daily

Simply follow your breathing for a few minutes, redirecting back to your breathing every time your mind wanders.

Once you feel relaxed and less distracted by your thoughts, you can begin the visualization process. Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Define your goal or outcome. Before you visualize what you want, define your goal or desired outcome. It needs to be specific, detailed, and achievable. 
  2. Define the actions for achievement. Visualize all of the specific actions you'll take to achieve your goal. You may want to determine these steps before you begin your meditation so you know exactly what you want to visualize yourself doing.
  3. Prepare yourself. Mentally picture a blank slate. From that blank slate, begin your visualization. If other thoughts arise, gently turn your attention back to your visualization, just as you did with your breathing.
  4. Begin with the outcome. As you visualize, picture yourself reaching the goal first. Visualize it as if it were a movie, and you are the lead character. Picture exactly what you are doing, how you look, who is around you, where you are, and how you feel. Get as specific and detailed as possible.
  5. Visualize the actions. After you visualize reaching your goal, mentally rehearse the details of each action you need to take to make it happen. If your goal has many mental steps and actions involved in making it happen (like finding a new job), then visualize successfully completing the actions required for the day. Allow yourself to be immersed in these mental pictures, as though you are actually experiencing what you visualize.
  6. Go back to the outcome. To end the visualization meditation, see yourself reaching the desired goal once again. Notice how you feel having accomplished this goal in your mind’s eye. Take a few deep breaths and open your eyes to end your meditation.

What Are The Tangible Benefits Visualization Meditation?

The best way to describe the tangible benefits of visual meditation is to do it first and then allow yourself to feel the results.

As with any new habit, it will take practice before you become skilled at it. It can take several visualization sessions for your mind to accept the subconscious messages you are reinforcing.

When you set aside judgments and limiting beliefs while visually meditating, you go to a place within your mind that has no concept of time or physical restrictions.

woman facing ocean while meditating visualization meditation

Read Related: 10 Practical Steps To Inner Peace

This mental freedom and clarity empower your goals and intentions. It strengthens the neural pathways involved in actually achieving your goal, even when you aren't physically taking the actions involved.

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Visualization Is A Tool 

It’s not easy to put your faith in something you don’t see, and don’t fully understand how it can help you achieve what you want. It’s not easy to rely on the mind alone when the mortgage is due, and your job is not going to be part of the new corporate merger.

Of course, visualization alone can't magically make things happen. Visualization is a tool to strengthen your resolve and motivation to succeed.

Related: 14 Of The Best Meditation Books For A Mindful Life

If you allow yourself the freedom to let your mind picture exactly what you want and how to get it, you can quickly enter the place where all things appear to you, before they physically appear.

You can find that place with patience, relaxation, positive thinking, and the belief that you are more than what you appear to be.

Here’s the good news. Once you tune into the non-physical channel that gives you a broad spectrum of peace and understanding, plus the energy to achieve what you want, you never lose it.

You find new ways to use your inner gift of visual meditation. You become the version of that confident self that lives a somewhat ordinary life in an extraordinary way.

How To Practice A Centering Meditation To Overcome Overwhelm

Yesterday my head spun off, whirling away in a maelstrom of mental exhaustion and overwhelm.

It had had enough of my internal angst, so it disengaged and rolled into the corner in protest. It's now patiently waiting for me to place it back on my shoulders and treat it more kindly. Give it some breathing room. Stop tormenting it.

Of course my head is still attached, but it certainly felt like it was spinning off. It felt like all of the coils and springs had popped out like a cartoon character who has finally reached the end of its tether.

After a stressful weekend driving through a snowstorm, dealing with some family drama, and replaying my worries and frustrations over and over in my mind, my mental state was scattered and frazzled to say the least.

Do you ever feel this way?

Like you are a bit unhinged and your mind is careening off in a million different directions?

Worry and overwhelm can cause this. So can stress and multitasking and trying to do too much in too little time.

If you have a big or important decision to make with no clear direction, your brain can operate on overdrive, making you feel so confused and unsettled you want to hide under a rock, praying it all goes away.

Sometimes your head spins off for no discernible reason. You just lose focus or lose your way. You don't feel settled or complete. You've lost your center.

What can you do during these times except to wait it out and allow your head to sit in the corner until it feels better? How can you expunge the stressful, overwhelming emotions and regain your composure, peace of mind, and equanimity?

One of the strategies I've used with remarkable success is meditation — a centering meditation to be more specific.

By now you've heard about all of the benefits (mental, emotional, and physical) of meditation. It is such a valuable mental tool that it is being taught in schools, used in the military, and even practiced in the halls of Capitol Hill (seriously). You can only imagine the head-spinning that goes on in these institutions!

Meditation is becoming more and more accepted as a proven technique for managing stress, and a centering meditation is a special kind of meditation that involves visualization and breathing.

So what is a centering meditation?

Read moreHow To Practice A Centering Meditation To Overcome Overwhelm

13 Of The Best Meditation Apps For 2020

If you live in the same busy world as the rest of us, you often spend your days multitasking and doing a million things while never actually getting anything accomplished.

During your rush to accomplish all those necessary tasks, you probably find yourself losing your connection with the present moment, missing out on fully experiencing what you’re doing and how you’re feeling.

Mindfulness is the practice of intentionally focusing on the present moment and accepting it for what it is without judgment.

The ability to shift your focus away from your controlling thoughts and toward awareness of the present in a non-reactive way is the key to mindfulness.

You don't think about your experiences as being positive or negative; instead, you observe and experience them objectively.

Mindfulness meditation is like any other new habit — it takes practice. It can take years of meditating to reach any level of real mastery. But even as a beginner, you will enjoy many benefits from a meditation practice.

Fortunately, there are some great digital tools that can help shorten the learning curve and improve your success with meditation.

We've done the research and put together a list of resources that can help you live in the present moment.

Read more13 Of The Best Meditation Apps For 2020