What To Do After Meditation
While many people think that a meditation is over when the music stops, what you do immediately following your practice matters…a lot.
Experienced practitioners know that ending your practice abruptly can actually increase you feeling of stress and irritability, along with physical symptoms like headaches.
On the other hand, taking your time to end a meditation sets you up to expand and reinforce the benefits of your practice.
Having a short post-meditation routine can help you to bring the benefits of your meditation forward with you throughout the day, and help you to maintain that calm, centered state of mind for a little bit longer than you might otherwise would have.
How To End a Meditation
The most important step you can take after a meditation actually revolves what you do at the end of your meditation.
The key is to end your meditation slowly, taking a full minute or more to ease out of the practice.
When you are done meditating, before you open your eyes, take a moment to bring your attention back to your body. Wiggle your fingers and toes slightly, and maybe you might gradually sway slightly from side to side.
Open your eyes in the same way you as if you were calmly waking your body up in the morning. There’s a sensation of gently “stretching”, or “yawning” the body awake.
Coming out of the meditation slowly in this way helps you to stay centered, and not feel bombarded by whatever your next action is.
You may also wish to take this a step further, bringing your hands to your heart, or your palms together, and say a small prayer or gratitude statement, or set an intention for the next part of your day.
Observe How You Feel
The nest-best thing you should do after meditation is to take a few moments to check-in with yourself and observe how you feel.
There is no one right answer on how you should feel after meditation, as that will depend on your experience and the style of meditation you have chosen. Some meditation will energize you and activate your mind and body, while others are designed to help you feel relaxed and peaceful.
Read a Spiritual Quote or Affirmation
Once you are finished with your meditation and have fully returned to the here and now, it can still be helpful to take extra time to reinforce the positive spiritual energy you’ve cultivated within you.
During this time, your subconscious mind is more open and receptive, which makes post-meditation a great time to read a spiritual book, or reinforce positive, uplifting ideas within you.
Again, remember to move slowly. Try reading a single page – or even a single paragraph to reflect on – rather than trying to spur quickly through your next book.
Spiritual growth is about internalizing a few simple ideas, and helping you express them more fully, every day.
Write In Your Journal
Another great option is to use the time immediately after your meditation to write in your journal. it’s a particularly great time to reflect on any insight or clarity you might have receive during your meditation, so you can capture those new ideas while they are fresh in your mind.
One of my favorite strategies is to use an automatic writing technique. To do this, you can use your meditation not just as a time to find center, but also to connect with your Higher Self energy, God, or Spirit Guides, and then use that energy to channel into your writing, through process of asking questions and receiving inspired answers.
Go To Sleep
One of the most common questions new meditators have is whether or not it’s ok to sleep after meditation.
The answer is, most definitely, yes. Many people find meditation to be a great evening activity that helps them to calm down from a busy day, and leave the pressures of work aside.
If you plan to meditate before bed, it’s generally best to sit upright in a comfortable position, rather than lie down in bed to meditate. This creates a mental trigger that separates your meditation time from bed time, so you can stay calm and focused while meditating, and then fall asleep easily when you finish.
One of the best post-meditation activities is to get up and do some gentle exercise, such as yoga or light stretching.
Generally speaking, whether you should exercise before or after meditation is a question of personal preference, so I would recommend experimenting with both approaches to see which one works for you.
Keep in mind, however, that you also need to consider the type of meditation you choose. Some practices can leave you energized – and studies show meditation can help you feel a runner’s high – while many meditation practices will leave you feeling calm, after which you may not feel inspired to exercise.
Last but certainly not least, don’t allow your spiritual practice to end alongside your meditation.
Use your meditation as a way of reminding yourself to stay centered, and then try to come back to that feeling often as you go about your day.
Most importantly, take time to become more mindful of your world by staying fully present in the moment, wherever you are.