How Much Meditation Is Appropriate For You?

It’s a valid question. In this instance we’re talking about how much meditation you can afford to do every day and how often.

A good rule of thumb is to start with 15 minutes, increase to 50 minutes or more as your body adapts to it, and decrease. And, yes, the benefits of meditation can last for a very, very long time. It’s a great tool for self-growth, happiness, and clarity. Meditation can also improve your health, and the study of mindfulness – the science of being in your body and observing it – has shown that people who meditate have more calm in their brains and lower blood pressure, and these health benefits can last a very long time.

When your anxiety gets out of hand, the most common cause is something called the amygdala-med nucleus system . You can learn more about the science of brain health here.

As you might guess it’s the part of your brain that gets activated by things like your fear of the dark and things like the presence of spiders in the room. It starts to tell your body to get ready for a fight or flight response, and then you start panicking and you do things like get nervous and jump in a car, and you become more emotionally driven.

In the short term, your amygdala-med nuclei system is very likely to be activated (or less likely to be activated) as your body fights with your prefrontal cortex , aka the “middle brain”.

However, when it comes to long-term mental health, your brain’s ability to adapt to anxiety and depression is tied to what the amygdala-med nuclei system is able to process. When it’s busy processing fear-movies and the feelings that happen because of them, that’s when the problems start happening. You probably know of examples that we all can relate to:

In the movie The Departed when James Bond is in the bar where the bad guys used to hang out and he starts getting nervous because the girl is attractive and sexy and he’s worried he’ll look like a pathetic loser later.

In The Shawshank Redemption after Andy is shot from a man, and then tells the cop Andy was in on it, who shoots Andy again. Andy is in a panic state as he’s being treated by an old man, where he thinks he’s bleeding. Andy gets arrested for murder.

In The Matrix when Neo is locked with Morpheus and tells him he thinks the whole Matrix is fake. Morpheus tells him to take their pills and that he’ll be on his way. Neo takes them, Neo suddenly sees nothing but red. When Neo wakes up he realizes Morpheus was telling the truth.

In the end of The Matrix Neo decides to save the world by giving up on the pills and telling Agent Smith that his life didn’t matter – it was Smith who had to decide whether he wanted to save the world or his family and he had to kill or be killed. Once Neo realizes this, he can start to trust Smith and stop the Matrix from feeding off his paranoia.

So, that’s why we recommend starting small, increasing your meditation to a reasonable hour each day , lowering your alarm clock to help get rid of stress and the anxiety, and then increasing your practice to increase mental clarity.

If you start out really feeling anxious you can take a break to breathe and relax. And it may help to focus your mind on something outside of your mind (like nature, meditation or the light of the day) for some of your meditation practice.

What You Should Know About Meditation

1) You must listen to your body. We often get so busy with our minds, and our thoughts, the body falls behind and begins to play second fiddle when it comes to meditation.