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Transcendental Meditation Instrumental in Reducing Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19: Says Experts

Perhaps Stress & Anxiety prodded Sushant Singh Rajput to incorporate Transcendental Meditation in his daily to do list

August 2020: Simply put, Meditation is to the mind what physical exercise is to the body. Meditation is a mental exercise that involves relaxation, focus, and awareness. While Transcendental Meditation (TM) refers to a specific form of silent, mantra meditation. The benefits of TM are — reduction of stress and anxiety; improved sleep; a greater sense of clarity and productivity and many more. However, the latest Instagram post of Shweta Singh Kirti, sister of Sushant Singh Rajput about his plans and ahead that included the adherence of Transcendental Meditation, has triggered a debate about the significance of TM in the lives of people who are living under stress.

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a technique for experiencing deeper levels of our own awareness and promoting a state of balanced development. The late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi derived TM from the ancient Vedic tradition of India. During COVID-19 times due to lockdown restrictions, people were in anxiety and stress. However, if reports are to be believed even 15-20 minutes of TM twice a day can alleviate underlying stress and fear.

“Transcendental Meditation is the simplest yet most effective form of meditation, which is practised for 20 minutes in the morning and the evening. There are more than 700 scientific research studies on TM conducted in over 30 countries proving its effects on all areas of life. A recent study funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), USA, revealed that people who practice TM regularly have a 50% less chance of a heart attack”, said Ram Shrivastava, Certified Transcendental Meditation Teacher, Maharishi Ayurveda.

Transcendental Meditation practice is arguably the most researched meditation technique. It has resulted in more than 300 peer-reviewed, independently verified articles published in topmost academic journals like the American Journal of Physiology, Scientific American, Lancet, Journal of Counselling Psychology, International Journal of Neuroscience, British Journal of Educational Psychology, and Journal of Conflict Resolution.

“Earlier reports when Sushant Singh Rajput committed suicide brought to light that he was in mental pressure during COVID-19 and added so many things in his to-do list to bring down the pressure and to bounce back to normalcy. Perhaps knowing the characteristics of TM that helps stay calm under pressure, reboot and re-energize lives, and helps stay happier, he added TM in his list. But unfortunately, he couldn’t practice that. Had he been practised, he might not commit suicide because as TM works wonders in filtering out the impurities and redefining the new dimensions of hope and mental peace”, Said, Dr Chandrakant S Pandav, Former HoD Dept. of Community Medicine, AIIMS & President, ICCIDD.

Meditation, both TM and other forms, is generally safe and may improve a person’s quality of life. When meditating, the ordinary thinking process is “transcended.” It’s replaced by a state of pure consciousness. In this state, the meditator achieves perfect stillness, rest, stability, order, and a complete absence of mental boundaries. TM does not require any strenuous effort. Nor does it require concentration, or contemplation. Instead, students are told to breathe normally and not focus on anything, just repeat a mantra. In COVID-19 times when everyone was locked under certain restrictions, those who practised TM, got relaxed.

Benefits of Transcendental Meditation (TM)

·         Increased intelligence – TM improves the practitioner’s cognitive and intellectual abilities

·         Benefits for students – TM raises school performance

·         Work efficiency – TM reduces the stress levels and better decision making

·         Creativity & problem-solving – TM leads to higher brain integration

·         Personal relationships – TM practice brings significant improvement in professional and personal relationships

·         Marital relations – TM helps in attaining greater marital satisfaction

·         Life expectancy – TM helps in cutting down cardiovascular disease, thereby increasing life-expectancy

·         Brain coherence – TM leads to increasing efficient brain activity

·         Good sleep – TM helps in sound sleep

·         Distress & coping – TM decreased psychological distress, increased coping in people

·         Glowing skin – TM helps in making beautiful skin and radiantly beautiful looks

·         Stress and anxiety relief – TM helps excessively stressful flight-or-fight responses by our body, leading naturally to a calmer life

·         Heart diseases and ailments – Improved functional capacity for patients with various heart conditions/heart failure. Risk of heart disease cut by 30%; mortality from stroke decreases by 48%

·         Immune system – Regular TM practise strengthens the body’s ability to resist disease by boosting immune cells fighting against viruses, bacteria and toxins

·         Depression & burnout – An interesting study with teachers confirmed that meditation significantly decreases work-related stress, burnout states, and various depressive symptoms

·         Trait anxiety – According to the meta-analysis, anxiety disorders (panic attacks, anger, tenseness) are ‘rapidly and substantially’ reduced in the first few weeks of meditation practice

·         ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) – TM practice relieves at least five different hyperactivity symptoms (including lack of focus, sleeping problems, depression) 

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