When it comes to meditation and mental health, we know one thing. Put simply: it works. Meditation is an effective and accessible way to impact your mental health in a positive way. But many fail to start, or to continue, because they’ve got the same question: “How long do I need to do this thing for?” We’ve got answers!
The benefits of meditation
Meditation has picked up in popularity for a reason — it comes with a list of benefits that apply long after you’ve finished your session. To name just a few:
- Reduce stress
- Manage anxiety
- Create a deeper connection to self
- Get a better sense of emotions
- Lengthen and sharpen attention span
- Improve sleep quality
- Reduce blood pressure
Meditation is well worth the time and effort it takes. And once you get into the rhythm, it can quickly become a positive everyday habit.
How long should you meditate for
So, how long should you meditate for to feel the positive effects? The short answer is, it depends. If you’ve never meditated before, just getting into the habit is much more important than how long you sit in silence. The goal is to build it into your daily routine — from there, you can play with length. Whether you practice for 1 minute or 1 hour, the choice is up to you. We recommend starting with just 5 minutes a day and slowly building up at a pace that’s comfortable. From there, challenge yourself to lengthen by a few minutes at a time and see what happens! It’s all about finding your personal sweet spot.
As for when you’ll start to feel the benefits — short term benefits can kick in instantly, and will only improve with time.
How to support your meditation practice
As meditation has entered mainstream culture, we’re now lucky that we now have multiple ways to support our practice. Choose the one that’s right for you!
There are a ton of apps on the market to help you get started with meditation, and build it into your daily routine. Here are a few of our favourites:
- Headspace: From short meditations and full courses, to soundscapes to help you fall (and stay!) asleep, Headspace has something for everyone. You can even select SOS meditations for when you’re feeling particularly anxious and need a remedy in a pinch.
- Calm: Known for partnering with celebrities and influencers, Calm offers masterclasses to help you perfect your meditation craft. They’ve also got Sleep Stories — bedtime stories for adults to help you catch those Zzz’s.
- 10% Happier: Learn to meditate with the world’s mindfulness experts. This one is great for beginners who want to get a feel for meditation and ease into a practice.
While apps are great and available at your fingertips, nothing beats the personalized attention of a mental health professional. Wellin5’s team of registered clinical counsellors can help you start and maintain your meditation practice. Connect with a qualified counsellor who meets your specific needs in as little as 48 hours. Start now.