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Reduced Stress and Anxiety

As the mind naturally settles down in Transcendental Meditation, the body settles to a state of deep rest, in many ways deeper than sleep. This unique quality of rest activates the body’s inner healing ability and deep rooted stress and anxiety are naturally released.

Scientists at Stanford University have compared the effects of different meditation techniques on anxiety in the largest comparative meditation analysis to date. 146 different scientific studies were included in the analysis, 35 of which were TM studies.

This analysis showed that most meditation and relaxation techniques have an effect that is hardly better than a placebo (where people are simply asked to sit with their eyes closed). Only Transcendental Meditation appeared to have a significantly better effect (p<.001), on average twice as effective as all other techniques ever researched. Another not insignificant detail was that only in TM the effect increased the longer the technique was practiced. This is the difference between relaxation and real transcendence.

Reference: Journal of clinical Psychology 45(6): 957 – 974, 1989.

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Doctor’s Brooks and Krag answer questions on Transcendental Meditation and anxiety:

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Q: I’m so anxious, what if I can’t sit still enough to meditate?

Dr. Brooks: The experience of restful alertness is pleasant and comfortable, and this allows you to continue to sit quietly for twenty minutes twice a day. When practiced regularly, this program dissolves stress cumulatively, and with time, you experience less and less stress and nervousness. As a natural result of this lessening of stress, the mind settles down when you’re meditating and you don’t feel the need to get up and move around. The direct experience of stillness and peace takes care of those feelings of restlessness.

With continued practice, anxiety plays less and less a role in a person’s life; the individual starts making better decisions about daily activities because he or she is better able to cope with stress. So, with time, a person become increasingly stress free. The nice thing about the TM technique is that even if people are highly anxious they are still able to meditate easily and effortlessly. Unlike other meditation techniques which often involve concentration, TM is a simple, natural technique which does not require any effort.

Q: Won’t forcing myself to sit still and meditate just make me more anxious?

Dr. Krag: Research has found that some types of “relaxation techniques” do, in fact, cause a person with an anxiety disorder to become more anxious. However, the experience of thousands of people with anxiety, over many years, has been that they can learn the Transcendental Meditation technique and reduce their anxiety. With proper guidance from the TM instructor, they are able to feel a sense of calm quite unusual and pleasant for them. If you are capable of thinking a thought, you can learn the Transcendental Meditation technique.

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