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What is World Meditation Day & How Can You Celebrate It?

May 09 2024 5 min read

When the world around you seems hectic and constantly working at 100%, it’s sometimes not a priority to step back and appreciate the here and now. 

World Meditation Day offers an opportune moment to pause, reflect and connect with a worldwide community dedicated to the pursuit of inner peace. 

In this Fitness First guide, we’ll explore what it means to celebrate World Meditation Day, when it occurs and why it’s so important.

When is World Meditation Day?

World Meditation Day (WMD) is celebrated on the same date every year: 21st May. In 2024, WMD will fall on a Tuesday, and it’s the perfect time to relax and reconnect with yourself. 

For most of us, switching off isn’t the easiest thing — especially if you’ve had a busy day. But, after a long week or a tough training session, one of our meditation classes can be the key to taking some time for yourself and finding inner peace. 

What is meditation?

The practice of meditation is thousands of years old — in fact, the first documented use of meditation dates back to around 1500 BCE in India!

Meditation can take on many different forms, but there are two main types: concentrative and mindfulness. 

  • Concentrative meditation — This involves focusing on a particular object, thought or activity to achieve mental clarity whilst tuning out everything else around you. Essentially, you use whatever you focus on to reach a higher state of being. 
  • Mindfulness meditation — Mindfulness can target different mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. It also includes the practice of mindful-based stress reduction and mindful-based cognitive therapy to help tackle these issues. Overall, mindfulness aims for you to become aware of and involved in the present moment, making yourself open, aware and accepting of what’s going on around you. 

It takes time to become comfortable with your mind, and it’s important to remember meditation isn’t about becoming a new person. It’s all about training in awareness and developing a healthy sense of perspective about yourself and the world around you. 

Why is World Meditation Day important?

Celebrated to raise awareness about the benefits of meditation, it encourages people everywhere to take a moment to pause, breathe and reflect inward. 

1. Promoting mental health awareness

World Meditation Day shines a spotlight on the importance of mental health and well-being, and we can all be guilty of not prioritising ourselves. 

By emphasising meditation, this important day helps to promote effective, accessible ways to manage stress and foster emotional resilience. 

2. Encouraging a global pause

World Meditation Day acts as a collective moment of pause where people from all walks of life and different parts of the world can unite in a shared experience of reflection. It’s a reminder in our busy lives that taking time out for meditation can be rejuvenating and deeply beneficial for oneself. 

3. Demystifying meditation

Despite its ever-growing popularity, mediation can still seem inaccessible or a mystery to many. 

WMD aims to encourage, promote and inform the practice by highlighting different techniques and showing that anyone can practice meditation! 

4. Fostering commuting and connection

World Meditation Day fosters a sense of global community and connection through shared experiences and practices. 

It reminds us that, despite our diverse backgrounds, we all share common human experiences and emotions, like stress and a search for inner peace. Join a sense of community at Fitness First, where you can experience one of our Meditation classes at any of our gyms nationwide. 

What are the benefits of meditation?

Meditation offers a wonderful array of benefits that can enrich the life you lead. Here’s why regular meditation can be a game-changer:

  • Stress reduction — One of the most celebrated benefits of meditation is its ability to reduce stress. Meditating gives your mind a break from the chaos of daily life, whether juggling work-life balance or unwinding after a busy day at the office. This can help lead to a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol and promote a state of relaxation.
  • Enhanced emotional healthOne out of every two people in the world will develop a mental health disorder in their lifetime. And while meditation can’t prevent this, regular practice can lead to an improved self-image and a more positive outlook on life. Think of it as giving your emotions a good cleanse, allowing you to let go of negativity and embrace a happier, more balanced mood. 
  • Increased attention span — Focused attention meditation involves concentrating on a single point of reference, such as your breathing or mantra. This practice can help improve the strength and endurance of your attention and help you stay focused in today’s world full of distractions. 
  • Improved sleep — Meditation can contribute to a better night's sleep by fostering an overall sense of calmness. It helps quiet the mind and body by reducing the stream of continuous thoughts that often invade our minds when it’s time for bed. Techniques like guided meditation or progressive muscle relaxation can prepare you for a restful sleep. 

When should you meditate?

Deciding when to mediate can be just as important as the practice itself, as the timing can influence how easily you can relax and integrate mediation into your daily routine. Essentially, you should meditate at a time that’s best for you; however, here’s a detailed look at the different times to mediate and their unique benefits:

1. Early morning

Mornings can be a popular time for meditation because it kick-starts your day with a sense of peace and intention. 

Meditating early, especially before breakfast, helps set the tone for how you want the rest of your day to proceed. Essentially, it’s a moment of quiet before the bustle of our daily lives begins, which can help increase focus and maintain a calm demeanour throughout the day. 

2. Midday or lunch

Midday or lunchtime meditation can be a great way to break up your day, especially if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed from the morning. This can help serve as a reset button, helping you recharge your mental batteries and return to your afternoon tasks with a renewed sense of energy and a clearer mind. 

3. Evening

Evening meditation is ideal for winding down and processing the day's events, allowing you to let go of any stress and negativity that may have built up. 

Meditation at this time of day can also be extremely beneficial for those who struggle with insomnia, as an evening session can aid in transitioning your body and mind into a restful state. 

4. Anytime you feel overwhelmed

Ultimately, the best time to meditate is really any time you feel overwhelmed or disconnected. Some people may be surprised to know that mediation can be a quick fix that helps manage sudden bouts of stress or when you need to calm your mind — even just a few minutes can make a big difference!

Tips for choosing when to meditate

To seamlessly integrate meditation into your life, here are some of our top tips for what to consider when you want to meditate.

1. Consider your rhythm

Everyone has different energy peaks and troughs throughout the day. Some people are morning people, finding it easier to focus and be calm in the early hours, while others may find their stride later in the day.

Make sure to consider when you’re most likely to be relaxed, and try meditating during these times. 

2. Experiment with different times

If you’re not sure about the best time for you and your body, experiment by meditating at different times of the day. Track how you feel before and after each session and make a decision based on this. This can help determine when you receive the most benefit from your meditation practice.

3. Prioritise a quiet environment

If you can’t make it to one of our Fitness First Meditation Classes, choose a time when you’re least likely to be distributed — whether this is after you’ve logged off for work or when the kids have gone to bed. 

The quieter it is, the easier you’ll find it to relax and focus. 

4. Listen to your body

Pay attention to the needs of your body. If you feel overwhelmed or excessively stressed at certain times, this might be the perfect moment to pause and meditate. 

Learning to listen to your body's natural cues for meditation can make the practice all that more effective and rewarding. 

5. Consider group mediation

At Fitness First, our Mind and Body Meditation Class is well and truly worth it. You’ll be meditating with a room of like-minded people and guided through each session by one of our expert trainers. 

While it involves hardly any physical exertion, this low-impact exercise can be one of the most difficult-to-master classes on the Fitness First timetable.  

Get your meditation right with Fitness First 

World Meditation Day is more than just a day: it’s a movement towards a more mindful, peaceful and healthier world. It offers a gentle reminder of the power of taking a moment to simply breathe and be present.

Discover more about all things fitness and nutrition today with our Inside Track Blog, or why not book your first class today? Find a gym near you now, whether you’re looking for a gym in London or further afield or book a club visit

World Meditation Day is more than just a day: it’s a movement towards a more mindful, peaceful and healthier world.