Much of what I will write in this post will be based on my personal experience and what I have gleaned from other people who spoken about it and shared their own experiences. Take it with a grain of salt.

Paraphrasing Naval Ravikant: All meditation techniques are concentration techniques. There are four different states that our minds exist in. The first one is free association. This can be seeing a dog and being reminded of a dog that you used to have, or you pass someone and they remind you of someone you used to know, or you see a crow fly by and it reminds you of some random fact you know about crows. It's pretty unbounded and can be anything. After free association is contemplation. Contemplation is directing your mind to thinking about one topic. This is also somewhat broad. Scientists are essentially in contemplation when thinking about some topic. It could also be an author trying to think about ideas related to their novel or whatever piece they are writing about. After contemplation is concentration, which is directing your mind and attention to one thing. This could be solving some difficult mathematical problem, driving intensely on a curve, or anything that fully grips your attention. The last state beyond concentration is meditation. This is when whatever you were concentrated on or your focal point gets dropped and there really is just nothing.

Meditation truly is a remarkable habit to cultivate. When I do it, I'm a better person. I'm more focused, more disciplined, more relaxed, and at peace. The more I do it, the better my brain is. Reading the book Altered Traits has helped me understand some of the innumerable benefits of meditation from a scientific lens. One line that stuck with me from it is that meditation is like exercise for your brain.

To quote Peter Attia:

Exercise might be the most potent “drug” we have for extending the quality and perhaps quantity of our years of life.

Much like exercise, meditation's benefits are endless. They make their way into mental and emotional realms. It helps my brain by training it's concentration, calming my mind, and helps me work through much of the baggage that gets accumulated throughout every day life. By sitting down and meditating, I slowly remove all that gunk.

Here are some palpable benefits that I experience when meditating consistently:

  1. Easier to focus
  2. More relaxed
  3. Peaceful state of mind
  4. Less reactive
  5. Better emotional health
  6. Less impulsive
  7. Better able to control cravings
  8. Better sleep
  9. Better communication with yourself and your wife and relationships.
  10. Insight
  11. Better creativity
  12. Better problem solving
  13. Improved learning
  14. Less mind wandering
  15. More present
  16. More aware
  17. Helps get rid of, if not cure, anhedonia
  18. More appreciation for the simple things.
  19. Better relationship with yourself
  20. Gives you time to get to know yourself
  21. Easier to read, goes back to easier to focus
  22. More acceptance

Personally, I don't see a downside to cultivating this habit. It’s a rare thing to come across something that is so net positive, costs nothing, and makes me a better human being. When I find something like that, it’s worth practicing more of it and preserving it. It’s worth being grateful for and appreciating the privilege of being able to meditate.