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When Are the Best Times to Meditate?

21 May

Question:

Belleruth,

First, I have to say I don't know where I'd be without your Panic Attacks CD - LOVE IT.   I have 3 quick questions for you..

1. Should I not meditate before/after I eat? I try to leave an hour in between the two.

2. I've read meditating twice a day is best, is there a certain length of time for each session that's best as well?

3. Have you ever heard of gagging as a symptom of stress/anxiety? (literally gagging, not just a choking feeling.. I've had this problem since January '11.)

Thank you so much,

Cora Lee

Answer:

Dear Cora Lee,
I know there are purists who would answer you otherwise, but I’d caution against being too exacting or rigid about the 'rules'.  My first “rule” would be to meditate when you can - if the only time in the day you have is right before or after eating, do it then.  If all you have is 10 minutes, then take that time.  Something is always better than nothing, and perfection can be the enemy of getting things done.

However, if it helps you stick to a program to have more definitive rules and regs than this, then by all means legislate more rules for yourself – twice a day for a minimum of 20 minutes per session, preferably upon waking up and falling asleep would be a very effective regimen, for instance.  You know your personality and what best motivates you to follow a program – use that information to your best advantage!

Generally speaking, however, for most people, 20 minutes, once a day, 5 days a week for 8 weeks is an excellent way to start with some guided imagery or meditation.

As for the gagging, yes, this happens for some people with extreme upset, distress or anxiety – usually it’s a holdover from childhood.  Some kids cry so hard they throw up.  I would need to know more particulars to answer more fully, however. Stick with your self-calming, self-regulating practices and hopefully this will have an effect on this, too.

If you want faster remediation, you may want to seek counseling for this.  And one of the acupoint tapping techniques may help as well, such as EFT or the Mary Sise TFT video could be really useful for reversing this.  

All best wishes,
Belleruth

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award