Does meditation help handle stress?
In a word, yes!
Transcendental Meditation brings about a deep inner calm that is both relaxing and revitalising. The unique Transcendental Meditation process actually dissolves the stress and fatigue trapped in the body, promoting happiness, health and clear thinking.
Many hundreds of scientific research studies on TM, conducted at over 200 different institutions, and published in more than 100 scientific journals, widely demonstrate the effectiveness of this simple-to-practice mental technique in reducing the effects of stress.
A typical quote is from the Journal of Clinical Psychology, from as far back as 1989:
“Transcendental Meditation is more than twice as effective for relieving the mental effects of stress as all other meditation and relaxation techniques.”
Just as when you have slept and rested really well the world appears a brighter and more enjoyable place to be, so the uniquely deep rest that TM provides benefits in all areas of life, from reduced stress to better health, clearer thinking, and increased creativity.
If you live in London and want handle stress better by learning TM then look here www.meditationnorthwestlondon.com.
The Benefits of Reduced Stress for the Body
The profound state of rest gained when practising Transcendental Meditation – deeper than sleep – is very good for your body. Two of the commonest reported effects after learning TM are better sleep and improved health.
If you want to learn more about the medical aspects of how TM handles stress, please go to the Ask The Doctors website, which is a mine of information on Transcendental Meditation and common health issues www.doctorsontm.org.
The site explains the different reasons why doctors advise their patients to learn TM to handle their stress, and so reduce their blood pressure, migraine, or insomnia.
In Ask The Doctors you’re free to examine the wider scientific research which clearly shows that many illnesses tend to improve with regular practice of TM.
These stress-related illnesses include:
- High blood pressure
- Hardening of the arteries
- Abuse of alcohol, cigarettes and non-prescription drugs
As we all know, the common link with all these illnesses is stress, and how the individual deals with their stressing particular. Yet there is a simple, non-invasive method of dealing with stress which is well-documented medical evidence to be effective – TM.
Here’s an example: The prestigious American Journal of Hypertension recently published a meta-analysis of nine separate research projects on Transcendental Meditation.
They provided convincing proof that the technique helps lower blood pressure as effectively as medication, ie, daily drug treatment, complete with all its long term side effects and problems.
When looked at in this scientific light, it’s a global tragedy that so many people, especially at white collar and management levels, still seem to cling to the popular illusion that stress is necessary for them to function effectively.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
While it’s true that stressful situations can generate a short term benefit, such as the power of attention or concentration to solve a pressing difficulty, it’s also true that this is short termism in the extreme, and requires repeated boosts of blood pressure-raising doses of stress to work.
The overall medium to long term result is usually a stress-related illness, such as those listed above, many of which are precursors of fatal conditions such as heart attacks, cancer or nervous dementia.
There’s no question that stress is a killer, just like cigarettes and saturated fats. But equally powerfully, TM enables you to handle your stress, and stop illness before it strikes!
It’s also good to know that the benefits of TM for the body are not just limited to the cure and prevention of particular medical conditions. By handling stress, by dissolving stress through Transcendental Meditation, you’re simultaneously enabled to better fulfill your own potential, to help awaken the happier, smarter, better you – the person you deserve to be. You can enjoy all areas of life more by dissolving the stress and tension which cast a shadow over everything you.
The Benefits of Reduced Stress for the Mind
Handling stress through meditation works equally well for the mind as well as the body. A variety of physiological indicators show that TM produces very deep rest, even though it is only practised for 20 minutes at a time.
In other words: short time equals big rest.
This convenient deep rest allows you to recharge and build up the reserves of energy you’ll need to motivate you through the day.
This deep rest also allows other brain processes to take place, processes that a fatigued or tired mind cannot easily do. For example, we all know that a lively well-rested mind is usually smarter, more intelligent, and better at thinking things through.
How these mental processes work is innately interesting, and worth looking at in more detail: The most well known research is that published in Psychosomatic Medicine and the International Journal of Neuroscience which has run many brain tests, all of which show TM produces a high level of EEG coherence.
In other words, the brain waves in the left and right hemispheres of the brain start to work in synchrony.
This brain synchrony is called coherence.
Increased brain coherence has been shown in other studies to correlate to a wide variety of benefits, including:
- Increased fluency of verbal creativity (speak more interestingly)
- Increased efficiency in learning new concepts (learn new things better)
- Higher verbal IQ and decreased neuroticism (smarter, less neurotic communication)
- Increased neurological efficiency as measured by faster recovery of the paired H-reflex (greater resilience of mind, bounce-back ability)
It has also been found that during TM the percentage of the brain used to respond to stimuli increases (greater sensitivity to others).
In other words, if you’re less stressed you can think and communicate more clearly and effectively. In plain language, you become a smarter, more effective person. And this happens because you know how to handle your stress better, by practicing Transcendental Meditation.