A Natural, Effortless Way To Deeply Relax
Quieting the mind is an effective way to relieve issues associated with eating disorders such as negative thoughts and anxiety.
Transcendental Meditation (TM) has long been a popular meditative, mind-quieting method. Since TM is not a philosophy there is nothing practitioners must believe in, no lifestyle changes are necessary, and TM is effective.
You do not even have to believe TM works for it to be effective. It operates on the principle that our mind is naturally drawn to its own tranquil depths, just as a disbeliever in gravity is naturally drawn by gravity to the earth.
Effortless Process, Big Benefits
TM’s great appeal is that it allows a natural, effortless phenomenon to occur. Our mind or attention is irresistibly drawn to things that are pleasurable, interesting, and satisfying. So, when we turn our awareness inward using TM, the mind automatically settles to the pleasure and satisfaction of its deeper tranquility.
Aside from the bliss of calming our thoughts, TM provides several benefits including:
- decreased tension throughout the day
- improved blood pressure
- lower stress hormone (cortisol) levels
- lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular illness
- strengthened communication between areas of the brain.
- anxiety and depression symptom relief
- longer, more restful sleep
- improved memory and learning capability
Research shows that TM lets our body rest and relax as well or better than a good night’s sleep.
Learning and Practicing TM
TM is practiced as you sit comfortably with your eyes closed; there are no posture rules. The meditation does not use mental manipulation or suggestions, and it does not involve concentration, observation, or focused attention. It does utilize mantras - a positive sound or word - that is “spoken” silently to quiet our habitual thinking.
However, quieting the mind can open us to feelings, insecurities, and a sense of vulnerability often masked by our busy, thinking mind. If you are in treatment for an eating disorder or other illness, talk to your health care professionals about starting any type of meditative practice.
Traditionally, TM is taught one on one, teacher to student. The instructor is responsible for giving the student a mantra, one applicable to the student's needs, and to teach the proper use of it. To locate a teacher, Google “transcendental meditation teachers” in your locality, or go to tm.org and use their teacher locater.
Source: Transcendental Meditation
Photo credit: Vinoth Chandar / flickr