There are many factors to consider when wanting to know How Long Does It Take for Meditation to Show Results?
Why?…. Because we are not all the same. The way we practice our meditations, the type of meditation we engage in, and the intensity with which we practice may vary from what others are doing.
However, there are some uniform results that we all seem to achieve regardless of how we meditate.
So, let’s explore what results you can expect by continuing your practice…..
How Long Does It Take For Meditation To Show Results?
Your meditation practice will, undoubtedly, return positive results. However, they may not be immediately obvious to you. And others may likely notice the changes before you do. The time it takes depends on the results we are wanting as well as other factors. These include the point we are starting from, the type of meditations we are doing, and the quality of our meditations. Regardless, some people report feeling less stressed after just one session, and research proves our brains are positively altered within eight weeks of practice.
What results can we expect and how long will it take?
In general, short-term results, including a lighter mood, a calmer more stable mind, an improved ability to focus, mental clarity, lower blood pressure, a reduction in stress, etc. all commonly occur after the first couple of weeks of consistent practice.
You can imagine your practice as being similar to going to the gym to build muscles. They definitely do not appear overnight but do reveal themselves over time with consistent practice.
At first, any new practice is difficult as your body and mind adapt to the new conditions that you impose on them. They may initially be fidgety, rebellious, and looking for any excuse to ‘get out of here!’
However, as you continue to practice regularly, once your body and mind know what you expect of them, they will settle into the routine and even come to enjoy the experience and look forward to it.
This is especially so once the benefits we receive from practicing begin positively impacting our lives. And now we can look forward to the longer-term benefits of sustaining our practice.
Longer-term benefits are harder to ‘pin down’ as to when they will occur. However, research has consistently shown that significant life-changing results can be achieved within eight weeks.
These benefits include enhanced memory and communication skills, improved motivation, greater self-awareness, more compassion, and improved empathy. Practitioners also tend to become more tolerant, more patient, have greater confidence, and improved self-esteem.
With these benefits also comes improved health due to a reduction in anxiety and stress. Our personalities tend to transition so that we become less reactive and more proactive in our choices. And we will generally feel ‘wiser’ and more content with our lives and our place in this world.
How Do We Measure The Results We Achieve From Meditating?
Since our intention for meditating may not be the same as everyone else’s, results will have a different meaning for each of us.
So while our neighbors may meditate to just get a few moments of relaxation by themselves at the end of a busy day, others may be meditating to reach a state of ‘enlightenment.’ The first process can return results within a few moments of deep relaxed breathing, while the second may take successive lifetimes to achieve.
However, how long we meditate isn’t always the best indicator of our progress. This is because we will all apply a different consistency and intensity of focus to our practice, and have ‘other factors’ to consider.
Therefore, measuring results is not as simple as doing a math equation where 2 + 2 always equals 4. I say this because while we are meditating and changing over time, we are also changing other aspects of our lives. We may move cities, change our relationship status, change jobs, have kids, etc.
All these things add up to us not being the same person we were last year or the year before. And how much of the changes are due to your meditation practice and how much would have happened if you didn’t practice meditation is an impossible metric to accurately define.
Why Results Are Not Generally Considered Important For Experienced Meditators?
We are programmed by society to believe that we have to compete for what we want….. that it is the highest achievers who have the best lives. This means that our focus is often on doing something now
for the rewards that it will return us in the future…. i.e. a better job, more money, easier retirement….
However, the focus of meditation is to ‘be more accepting of who we are in the present moment’ and experience THIS MOMENT as it is. This is the reward, here and now. And with that in mind, many meditation teachers will suggest that we shouldn’t even worry about the ’results.’
If we practice consistently over time, we will strengthen our positive aspects and make our lives better in many ways. However, because we are living with ourselves every day, it’s possible we don’t notice the changes in our personalities as easily as someone else who only sees us occasionally.
So, if you are feeling discouraged because you don’t think you are achieving results, maybe ask others for their opinion, or better still, just take a moment to do some self-reflection.
You can reflect on the positive aspects that you have gained, as well as the negative aspects of your personality that may not be prevalent anymore. Are you now less prone to anxiety, stress, anger, fear, doubt, worry, etc….. These are all positive results!
If you practice consistently you will achieve results.
Generally, short-term results including improved sleep, less stress, improved wellbeing, peacefulness, clarity of mind, etc. are noticeable within a couple of weeks.
Significant longer-term results, according to research, occur within eight weeks. They include improved health, improved memory and motivation, confidence, and a better understanding of ‘SELF.’
However, my wish for you is that you will stick with your meditation practice until you find the space where you meditate just for the joy, the peace, and the contentment that it brings you.
Because it’s in this space that life opens up in a whole new way…. It’s the place where we do things for the sheer pleasure of doing them, not for the rewards that they may or may not return to us……
….. After all, life is all about the moments, the journey…… not the results at the end.
5 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take For Meditation To Show Results?”
Unfortunately, at this current time, I am not so self-disciplined as to meditate regularly. As I mentioned to you in a previous comment, I perform an active Shibashi meditation exercise to elevate and balance my life energy and exercise my whole body.
As far as classical meditation is concerned, I occasionally set up a guided meditation on youtube. I am not paying attention to the long-term results, but in the short term, I am certainly much more relaxed, present at the moment, and reassured by all the circumstances.
Almost 20 years ago, I attended one program one year where we performed group meditations. Since I meditated regularly at the time, and in a group, it seems to me that the intensity of the effect was even stronger. Do you have any experiences or thoughts about group meditations?
All the best,
Sometimes it’s hard to get motivated. However, we should never beat ourselves up when this happens…. talk about a double whammy! First, we are not doing the thing that helps us relax, and then we think negatively about ourselves because of it. When I miss a session for whatever reason, I make sure that I don’t turn it into a big deal. It’s just another day in our lives, and life goes on… so what! Just pick it up later in the day or tomorrow… whenever suits!
Years ago, I did some weekly group meditations, as well as vipassana 10-day retreats. And yes, at that time I was aware that if the group had good intentions and were experienced meditators, it was easy to get ‘pulled’ deeper into the experience just because of the wonderful energy being created in the surrounding environment.
However, after 25 plus years of meditating I no longer need to be drawn into a deep state. Mostly, when I want to, I can reach deep states by myself in a wide range of settings, situations, and environments. It’s much easier now because of the years of practice… and the ‘deeply relaxed state’ is closer to my normal waking state now than it was back then. I have slowly been transformed into someone who is peaceful within…. and this is one of the benefits of a sustained long-term practice.
Enjoy the journey,
I have been meddling with meditation and affirmations for some time now and realize that my mind has to be intuned to what I am truly focusing on. The key thing that I notice is that when I keep on affirming for at least 21 days, that is the time frame where I start seeing some positive results.
To be honest, sometimes, life can be stressful because of all the unforeseen things that come along with it.
But at the same time, when I clear my mind with meditation and affirmations, it stands as a guide to a positive life.
Thank you for sharing this and I am also loving the mission that you are on to help people on their journey.
All the very best.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my article. I appreciate it.
Yes, life has a tendency to ‘enjoy’ challenging us at times. And really, this is not a bad or negative thing. Because it is the unknown, the unforeseen, and the difficult aspects that help us grow the most. We become better by going through all of them.
Unfortunately, life would be boring if we were to exist in perpetual happiness…. I know many people will disagree with this, but imagine if you were happy all the time??? You would lose touch with all your other emotions, and very soon you wouldn’t even know you were happy. Why? Because you’d have nothing to compare your state to.
Could you just choose your favorite meal and eat only that, or listen to your favorite song on repeat for the rest of your life???? No, I think we would go crazy real quick!
And our thoughts feelings and emotions are also like that… We need to diversity and the challenges because these things let us know we are alive and that we have choices to make. And even though we may not get it right every time, getting it wrong is not necessarily bad as I already mentioned.
Life is a journey… you are coming to understand yourself and what it is you want to create more of and what you want to create less of…. and your meditations and affirmations are a tool you can use to help you get more of the stuff you want…..
Enjoy the journey, my friend,