Friday, April 18, 2014

The Mental Workout (Unit 4)

     Just as we have to work out our body to build physical fitness...our minds need a workout to increase mental fitness too.  And as with any other type of training this requires practice, practice, and more practice.  A mental workout can be achieved through acts such as contemplative practice, consciously engaging in loving-kindness and nurturing the subtle mind. Dacher (2006) describes that the concept of a mental workout is not rest and relaxation, but to progressively work on developing our mind's healing capabilities.

     Mental workouts have been proven through research and various studies to "transform the mind by reducing disturbing emotions that cause anger, hatred, fear, worry, confusion, and doubt while enhancing positive emotions such as patience, lowing-kindness, openness, acceptance, and happiness" (Dacher, 2006, pp. 63).  In this sense, mental training promotes well-being by enhancing the individual's resistance to mental distress and physical disease.  

     One way I have practiced working out my mind is through an iPhone app called "Mental Workout".  The app has several different programs for mindfulness meditation, freedom from stress, and good night (there is also one called up in smoke which I do not use since I am not a smoker).  The mindfulness meditation program is my provides several guided meditations, varying in length, that I can follow anytime and anywhere.  I also enjoy the freedom from stress program which provides a bunch of tools to instantly relieve stress such as breathing exercises, music therapy, and other ideas.

Dacher, E. (2006). Integral health: The path to human flourishing.  Laguna Beach, 
     CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.

Mental Workout Inc. (2014). Mental Workout (version 1.0.54) [mobile software 
     application]. Downloaded from

1 comment:

  1. Megan, Thanks for the info on the iPhone app! I will try it out! I think that mental health is a great way to help fight disease. It is unfortunate that the prevalence of mental health issues in the US are so numbered. I personally know someone who fights with mental health issues daily and it is a process that seems to have no end at times. I will also forward this app to her as well! Great post I think you have a positive outlook on the meditation process.