Transcendental Meditation is different to that of normal meditation, in that instead of focusing on your breathing it uses what is known as a Sanskrit word.
A Sanskrit word is essentially a mantra – a phrase or a word that you repeat in your head. The idea of a mantra is that it calms the mind through the sound of repetition.
Who practices Transcendental Meditation?
The practice was originally made famous in the sixties by The Beatles, who became huge fans after meeting founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Since then it has developed a huge following of both celebrities and non-celebrities.
What are the benefits?
Reported benefits include the following:
- increased feeling of calmness
- increase in rationality
- improved concentration
- improved sleep
- stress reduction
- greater sense of overall well-being.
What does the research say?
So does it really work? Well according to much research, yes, it does. Recent research from Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry has revealed that meditation can actually trigger neurological changes.
After regular meditation for a few months, it was found that the parts of the brain associated with worry switched off.
Clinical trials have also suggested that as a stand alone treatment meditation can prevent a relapse of depression.
Other studies have shown that meditation seems to increase the size of your hippocampus – the part of the brain associated with memory and learning.
What if I don’t have time?
If you visit a Transcendental Meditation centre then it is likely you will be provided with tips on how to meditate when you are pushed for time. On average, it is recommended that you meditate for around 20 minutes in the morning and evening, but if you don’t have time for this then luckily you can meditate on the go!
Visit the Transcendental Meditation website to find out what’s going on in your area. Alternatively, if meditation doesn’t sound like it’s for you, there are plenty of other relaxation options out there. Browse our Therapy Topics section for more information.
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