The Everyday, Year After Year Benefits of Transcendental Meditation
6 Benefits of Transcendental Meditation (and How You Can Get Started Today)
Far from the hippy dippy stigma it used to carry, meditation is starting to be viewed as hip—and healthy. And it seems like everyone is catching on and talking about it, from Oprah to Heather Graham to Russell Brand to Dr. Oz. In fact, the American Heart Association recently gave Transcendental Meditation (TM) its stamp of approval, which means you might even hear your doctor talk about it at your next appointment.
Here’s the gist: for 20 minutes, twice a day, you sit quietly with your eyes closed while silently repeating a mantra. The idea is that regular practice of Transcendental Meditation will help you feel less stressed, more focused on the here and now, and more attuned to your body and your mind. Still skeptical? Check out Meditation: The Truth Behind the Trend. Then consider this: Over 350 studies have been conducted on Transcendental Meditation, and the findings are overwhelmingly promising (we touched on some of them in our story Your Body On... Meditation). But for even more benefits, read on about 6 scientifically proven ways that Transcendental Meditation can change your life... and how to get started.
Here, 6 reasons you should start meditating today:
It can amp up your workout
Not only does a regular Transcendental Meditation practice increase energy, improve your focus, and help you sleep sounder every night, it also increases your pain tolerance, says a study in the journalNeuroReport. Higher tolerance for discomfort means higher tolerance for banging out another mile or another set of reps.
Additionally, in a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, researchers compared the brain waves of elite athletes to those of TM meditators and found certain similarities in brain functioning. That’s not to say that meditating can get you a spot on the podium one day, but it can help you to develop traits shared amongst Olympians and other top athletes. In fact, the Seattle Seahawks reportedly practiced meditation in the week leading up to their massive Super Bowl victory this year. Just something to think about!
It can slash your risk for heart disease and stroke
A study published in the journalCirculationfound that practicing Transcendental Meditation can lower blood pressure and your risk for heart attack and stroke. It could also cut your risk for Alzheimer’s Disease by strengthening the communication between different parts of your brain.
It can help you thrive at work
Research shows that regular TM practice improves productivity and creativity. So if you’re struggling to come up with a solution to a tough work dilemma or need a fresh idea to impress your boss, devoting time to meditation each day can certainly help give you that clarity of mind necessary to break through mental barriers.
It can help you lose weight
By decreasing your stress levels, you won’t be as tempted to stress eat—and your body wont produce as much cortisol, which makes it tougher to shed pounds. But Transcendental Meditation also helps mitigate your food cravings, since it helps to balance your mental and physical state. In other words, you’ll be more in tune with your body and what it needs, so you won’t be as tempted to reach for that pint of ice cream. You’ll be better able to differentiate “I’m hungry” from “I’m anxious.”
It can improve your relationships
From your mom to your boss to your partner, TM can help you strengthen your relationships. We touch on this in the story: Meditation: Fight Depression and Stress. But here's more: In one , those who practiced Transcendental Meditation had a significantly higher appreciation for others than those who did not. “By strengthening synaptic connections in the brain, TM helps us to gain patience, be a better listener, and see more value in others and our relationships,” says Rachel Katz, a certified Transcendental Meditation teacher at the in New York City.
It can make you grow younger
Well, it can’t reverse the aging process, but it can help your body function on a level that’s several years younger than your chronological age. Research published in the found that subjects with an average chronological age of 50 years who had been practicing Transcendental Meditation for over 5 years, had a biological age 12 years younger than their chronological age. (Translation: a 55-year-old meditator had the physiology of a 43-year-old.)
Convinced yet? To learn how to practice this awesome meditation, log on to . You’ll need to get trained by a certified teacher (in the same way it was taught thousands of years ago)—and pay a fee (there is a sliding scale so the money should definitely not be your reason for passing).
Video: My experience with Transcendental Meditation and its benefits...
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