Do you work out?

By Arden Martin. Originally posted on

Funnily enough, I don't.  This may change some day, but that's besides the point.

If you're wondering whether meditation is worth your time, ask yourself whether or not you exercise, get your teeth cleaned, or wash your hair regularly. If the answer is yes, you must care to some degree about your physical health and well-being. Youth reigns supreme these days and we tend to worry about "letting ourselves go." We want to keep our bodies toned, wrinkle-free, and devoid of gray hairs. I am no exception, although I would like to stress less about aging and this post from one of my favorite blogs is super inspiring... but I digress.  You value your body and want it to feel good because you absolutely deserve it.

Consider the following, though: if your body is your temple, your mind is the altar.  

If we invest in the upkeep of our various body parts, our brains should get top priority too. When we meditate, we give our bodies deep rest and stress is pushed up and out. Furthermore, our brain waves actually change in significant, health-promoting ways. We generate more alpha waves, which are associated with mental clarity and relaxation. We also achieve greater brain wave coherence, which means the waves from different parts of the brain occur in step with one another. Studies show that brain wave coherence is correlated with high levels of intelligence and competence. When the brain waves of top-level managers were compared with those of workers with no leadership responsibilities, the managers showed greater brain wave coherence. The same results occurred when top-level athletes were compared with their less successful competitors. This is no coincidence and I encourage curious readers to check out "Transcendence" by Norman E. Rosenthal.

If you want to feel and perform at 100%, neglecting your mind is not an option. It may not be mainstream to "work out" your brain, but it deserves the same care and attention as the rest of your body. Our superficial society tends to qualify health with aesthetic traits, but anyone who has suffered mentally knows that health goes far beyond strength or appearance.Your body is your instrument, but you need your brain to make music. With that said, two cheesy metaphors are more than enough for one post. I hope these ideas have inspired you to give your mind some love because you deserve it!

CONSIDER THIS: Your brain needs just as much TLC as the rest of your body, if not more. Remember this the next time you get a physical, during which the doctor is most definitely not checking your brain. For now, that remains your responsibility, and meditation makes it easy.