Keep Your Brain From Shrinking

Meditation is good for you. I’m sure you have heard about that. But did you know that meditation can keep your brain from shrinking? If you thought that meditation is only for “yogis” or people who have nothing better to do, consider more recent research to realize that meditation is a very sound investment of your time that boosts your life and business. A few minutes a day is all it takes.

Studies have proven that regular meditation can

  • Reduce your anxiety,
  • Lower your blood pressure,
  • Improve cognitive function, and
  • Even slow down the process of aging.

“Mediation is a vital way to purify and quiet the mind, thus rejuvenating the body”

Deepak Chopra

It turns out, meditation actually alters the brain – in a good way. In her book “Unplug – A Simple Guide To Meditation” Suse Yalof Schwartz refers to two studies by Harvard neurologist Sara Lazar.

The frontal cortex normally shrinks as we get older, but Lazar’s studies showed that this doesn’t happen with meditators. It revealed that 50-year old meditators had as much gray matter as 25-year-olds who didn’t meditate.

Suse Yalof Schwartz in her book ” Unplug – A Simple Guide To Meditation

Gray matter is in the frontal cortex, the part of the brain that handles memory and decision-making. It suggests that meditation can help fight Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other dreadful diseases that often come with age. More research is needed on that. Check out the TedX talk by Sara Lazar.

How Can You Find Time to Meditate? How Can You Do It Simply?

How can you find the time to meditate? And how can you do it in a simple way? It is actually easy.

Meditation has five simple steps.

  1. Find a point of focus (your breath or an object like a flower or something else you like)
  2. Reach a point where you’re not focused on anything at all
  3. Experience a period of time where you are free of any thoughts and have a sensation of peace (can be a second or minutes to hours)
  4. When a thought enters and interrupts the peace: Acknowledge the thought, let it pass and bring your attention back to your first point of focus
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for the duration of time you have set for your meditation.

You can do mediation for a few minutes and reap many of the benefits we have talked about above.

How To Get Started

How to get started? How to convince yourself that you want to make mediation a regular practice?

As with most (all?!) things getting started is the hardest.

I realize: Sometimes when we could benefit the most from meditation, our ability to carve out even a few minutes seems to be the lowest.

Here’s something you can do very quickly (also from Suze Schwartz’ book):

  1. Take seven slow breaths, inhaling and exhaling through the nose
  2. Take seven slower breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth
  3. Take seven very slow breaths, inhaling and exhaling through the mouth

Can you find time to take 21 conscious breaths? If you can close your eyes while doing it. If you can’t do it, just take the 21 breaths.

You might find it easier to do a guided mediation. That is a great alternative to meditating on your own. They come in different lengths.

“A most useful approach to meditation practice is to consider it the most important activity of each day. Schedule it as you would an extremely important appointment, and unfailingly keep your appointment with the infinite”

Roy Eugene Davis, American spiritual teacher, and author, e.g., “Seven lessons for conscious living”

TINY Steps Taken Consistently Are UNSTOPPABLE!

Remember, tiny steps taken consistently are unstoppable. I invite you to start small and work on making it a regular practice. Set a reminder on your phone.

By the way, I am learning with you on this.

I’m Curious

  • What is your experience with meditation?
  • What, if anything, does this Brilliance Nugget inspire you to do?


  1. Mike Daniels on at

    Stephie, Thank you so much for writing this. I’ve been wanting to do meditation for sometime now, years actually! Your article has pushed me over the edge. I’m starting tomorrow! Thank you for a great read!

    • Stephie Althouse on at

      Hi Mike! That is so awesome! I am working on carving out just a bit of time on an ongoing basis to do it. Writing this Brilliance Nugget (which involved me researching more about it) convinced me that meditation is an absolutely awesome investment of time.

  2. Lori on at

    Thanks,Stephie, I have been doing this for nearly 10 years, and when for some reason I am traveling and can’t START the day this way, I find myself at loose ends, irritated, anxious until I am able to find my way to a small quiet place.

    • Stephie Althouse on at

      That is a terrific practice, Lori! Good for you!

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