Wellness: Benefits Of Meditation
What Is TM?
It is practiced for twenty minutes twice daily while sitting comfortably with closed eyes. During the meditation, the mind settles to quieter and quieter levels of thought and even beyond thought to a natural state of inner silence. The mind rests in a silent reservoir of intelligence, energy, and creativity: the source of conscious thought. While the mind is functioning in this more refined manner, the body correspondingly settles to a state of deep rest. Published research shows that during this experience, the brain functions with significantly greater coherence and metabolism is quieted. One feels a profound physical relaxation and yet the mind remains restfully alert.
The Transcendental Meditation program is unique among techniques of meditation, distinguished by its simple practice and profound immediate and lifelong results. It is not a religion or philosophy and involves no change in lifestyle. It is easy to learn and enjoyable to practice, requiring no effort, concentration or special skills. Anyone can learn it—even children. It is by far the most researched, verified and universally applicable program for self-development.
Benefits Of TM
The Mind–Intelligence, Creativity, Focus
Daily practice of the TM technique provides repeated experience of more profound, coherent levels of thought, unfolding the mind’s inner potential, and awakening the brain’s latent resources. Published scientific research shows that this technique uniquely enlivens the function of the prefrontal cortex, often called the “CEO” of the brain, allowing for more organized thought and better decision-making. Furthermore, research has shown that the daily experience of this state of restful alertness leads to increased creativity, improved learning ability, higher IQ, higher moral reasoning, and more efficient brain functioning.
The Body–Decreased Stress, Optimal Health
The mind and body are intimately correlated in their functioning. During the Transcendental Meditation practice, the mind settles down to more restful states of experience. As this happens, the metabolic rate slows. The result is a deep relaxation that reduces stress hormones, fatigue, and physical imbalances—the root causes of disease–and increases energy and stamina. Experienced twice a day, this deep rest leads to a wide array of health benefits including normalized blood pressure, reduced atherosclerosis, decreased insomnia, fewer tumors, greater resiliency, and overall longevity.
The Heart–Improved Function, Lower Risk Of Disease
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, heart disease is the number one cause of death among women in the United States. Cardiovascular disease causes the death of more women than the other top four causes of fatality combined. Sixty-four percent of women who die from heart attacks have no previous symptoms. While many factors, such as diet, physical activity, and genetics contribute to the onset of heart disease in women, stress plays a significant role.
According to the American Psychological Association’s 2008 Stress in America survey, women report experiencing high levels of stress—and 33% of women report an average stress level of at least 8 on a 10-point scale.
Research has shown that chronic stress contributes to the development and progression of atherosclerosis. The effects of chronic stress are mediated by stress hormones such as cortisol and by the sympathetic nervous system, which releases adrenaline and noradrenalin.
Research on the Transcendental Meditation program has shown that it decreases most of the major risk factors for atherosclerosis —psychological stress, high blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol, oxidized lipids, and insulin resistance. At the level of neurohormones, there are reductions in stress hormones and sympathetic nervous system disorders. The neuroendocrine and cardiovascular changes are likely the result of greater orderliness and balance in the central nervous system.
Besides reduction in cardiovascular risk factors, research has shown reductions in narrowing of the arteries (regression of atherosclerosis), reduced hypertrophy of the heart (left ventricular hypertrophy), and reductions in mortality from heart disease and other causes. Practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique leads to greater heart health.
Age–Reduced Biological Age
Physicians list many physical and mental symptoms that we may experience as we grow older. You may already be personally familiar with some of these. They include: decreased memory, vitality, stamina, learning ability, intelligence, cardiovascular efficiency, and visual acuity, along with increased insomnia, serum cholesterol concentration, depression, need for medical attention, behavioral rigidity, and blood pressure. Around the world, scientific research has shown that the profound benefits of the TM technique reverse the trends of aging. Reduced stress and fatigue, both mentally and physically, translate into a more youthful and vital state of health and well-being.
Work–Better Job Performance
Women who can think clearly, remain focused under pressure, and perform efficiently at work have an edge over people who cannot. Both personal experience and worldwide published research conducted in business and industry show that the Transcendental Meditation technique gives us broader comprehension along with the ability to focus sharply. Improved conceptual thinking, greater orderliness of thinking, and successful decision-making result from the enhanced performance of the brain during the TM technique. Increased energy, faster recovery from stress and reduced absenteeism are also results of regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique.
The basis for ideal relationships is the capacity to give. We can only give from what we have. By dissolving stress and broadening our awareness, The Transcendental Meditation technique provides the foundation for more nourishing relationships, allowing us to give more appreciation and love to family and friends.
In the book Science of Being and Art of Living, Maharishi writes, “Really good social behavior between people will only be possible when their awareness is broadened, when they are able to see the whole situation, to understand each other more thoroughly, to be aware of each other’s need and attempt to fulfill that need. This naturally necessitates a fully developed consciousness, a right sense of judgment, and all the qualities that only a strong and clear mind possesses.”
During TM practice, a decrease in stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol leads to reduced fatigue and stress in life. Scientific research verifies that people who practice the Transcendental Meditation technique experience less anger, less anxiety, and less depression. They naturally express greater tolerance and patience, harmony, and happiness. After a long day of work, women find that twenty minutes of this meditation revitalizes their inner lives. Spontaneously they create more harmonious relationships and enjoy life in increasing waves of fulfillment.