Practical Meditation Part 1: The Purpose and Benefits of Meditating

You know very well that you must do cardio to burn fat, reduce stress, improve blood circulation, and keep your heart healthy. You also know you must do strength training to build muscle that reduces fat, improves joint movements, and provides general strength. But have you ever considered that you must also exercise your mind?

Due to an increase in yoga popularity, the concept of meditation has become increasingly popular. People typically think of meditation as a way to relieve stress, feel calm and peaceful, and center themselves. Though this is accurate, meditation has a few more benefits that tend to be overlooked.

Meditation is a workout for the brain.

Just as weight training gradually strengthens your muscles, meditating gradually strengthens your brain. However, this does not mean that meditation literally builds and strengthens brain muscle. Your brain is an organ mostly composed of fat. When you meditate, you focus on your breath, which contains oxygen that your brain desperately needs to function properly. When you breathe during mediation, you take deep, long breaths at a consistent pace. These deep, long breaths provide mass quantities of delicious oxygen to your brain that is used to rebuild cells, clean out toxins, and communicate effectively with the rest of the body. This rebuilding session actually strengthens your brain and allows it to work better. Just as your body continues to burn fat hours after a weight training session, your mind continues to work better hours after a meditation session.

Meditation is a workout for the mind.

Your brain is an fatty organ that serves as the command center for your body. However, your mind is your consciousness – your awareness, perception, thoughts, and feelings. It is essentially the mechanism for how you experience life. Your mind has a subconscious component, which plays in the background without you noticing. Your subconscious is tucked deeper in your mind than your immediate thoughts and feelings. The most tangible manifestation of your subconscious occurs when you dream while sleeping. However, your subconscious plays a huge role (often a negative role) when you are awake; yet it can be difficult to access without practice. Your subconscious harbors thoughts and feelings that dictate your perception. In order to remove negative thoughts and feelings from your mind, you need to intentionally silence your consciousness so that your mind can access your subconscious thoughts and feelings (which is very different from dreaming). Meditation focuses your consciousness so that you can rebuild and clean your subconscious so that it works better. When your subconscious works better, you are happier, healthier, and live a more fulfilled life.

Meditation is a workout routine.

You know that exercising once per month will not keep your body in good shape. You may feel great after that one workout, but you surely will not build endurance or strength over the long-term. Instead, you must develop the habit of exercising regularly throughout each week and incorporating physical activity in your daily life. Likewise, meditating once per month will not keep your mind in good shape. You may feel great after a 10-minute meditation session, but it is the habit of meditating regularly that will build and sustain a healthy mind. You must incorporate meditation into your health routine. This does not mean you must tack on an extra hour for meditation each day. It is much more simple and low-maintenance than that. Instead, you must dedicate 10 minutes a couple times each week – just 10 minutes! That is all. Surely you can find 10 minutes in one of the seven days to workout your brain and mind. Start there. When you reliably meditate one day each week for 10 minutes, then you can add another day. Just as you must gradually increase weight to build strength and distance to gain endurance, you must gradually increase meditations to strengthen your brain and mind.


Read this article a few times in order to fully digest it. Contemplate the analogies and determine whether mediation makes sense to you. If the concept of meditation does not make sense, do not worry. Oftentimes with abstract concepts, we must experience and practice them in order to fully understand. But do not discount meditation. Typically, we dismiss something new simply because we do not understand it, not because it is inherently unreasonable. Take some time to think about meditation and consider the benefits it can bring to your life.

(photo credit: crdotx via photopin cc)


  1. Megan Stroh says:

    Great info, thanks for sharing Rachael! I like the statement “your subconscious harbors thoughts and feelings that dictate your perception”. So true!

    • Rachael says:

      Sure is, Megan! That is why we must work on our minds in order to create positive change in our lives. Thanks for contributing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.