After starting my own personal training business and the added stress that goes along with growing up and work I started to dabble in prayer and meditation. Being less than consistent. About 6 months ago I found transcendental meditation. I can say that Transcendental Meditation has been the easiest and most effective form of meditation for me that I have found.
What is Transcendental Meditation?
Transcendental Meditation or (TM) is a form of mantra meditation. A mantra is a word or sounds repeated out loud or in thought during meditation. They are often Hindu or Buddhist words/phrases or made up sounds with a positive connotation. TM is meant to be practiced twice a day for 20 minutes a time. Transcendental Meditation was introduced by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918–2008) in India in the 1950s. Through a series of tours across the globe, Maharishi taught tens of thousands of people this form of meditation. Through the 1960’s and 70’s, the movement expanded becoming popular among celebrities in the United States. By 2000s Transcendental Meditation had grown into an organization which now includes educational programs, health products, and other related services.
What sets Transcendental Meditation apart from the rest? TM’s positive benefits are backed by science. More than 200 independent universities and institutions worldwide have studied TM in the past 40 years.
Proven Benefits of Transcendental Meditation
- stress relief
- higher work efficiency
- better school performance
- healthy blood pressure
- lower risk of heart disease
- Quitting smoking
- alcohol treatment
- hyperactivity (ADHD) treatment
- healthy relationships
- improved intelligence
I began meditating around 3 years ago. It was at the beginning of my personal training career. The stress of starting up my own business was weighing on me so I began exploring different ways to manage. A co-worker put me on to meditation. I started off taking 20 minutes a day to focus on my breathing in a quiet place. Pretty simple. I went about meditating this way for about 3 months but struggled. I could not shut my mind off. At times I would feel myself zone out and attain peace but those moments were far and few between. It wasn’t long till my new hobby faded.
Sometime later, for a reason, I can’t remember I started it back up again. This time with a different approach. Very similar to my first attempt but now I would say to myself “I am”. I would say “I” as I breathed in and “am” as I breathed out. This technique worked much better for me. Saying something to myself helped me take the focus off my own thoughts and into the mundane task of repeating this simple phrase.
When Things Turned a Corner!
For the first time, I found myself almost falling asleep. I would watch my mind wander. I would think things that didn’t make sense but while not quite paying attention. Like a kid in the back of the class not paying attention but overhearing what’s said. At the end of these 20-minute sessions, I felt great. I was noticeably calmer. It was what I had been looking for. I continued this form of meditation for about a year. I wasn’t completely consistent but never missed more than a couple days at a time.
About 6 months ago I came across an article in my Facebook feed about Transcendental Meditation. It caught my interest. I began doing my own research. I liked the idea of repeating a longer phrase that had no meaning. Something that flowed together nicely with a positive connotation. I tried it out. It worked much better than my previous method. In my earlier stages of meditating, I needed complete silence. When I started the “I am” method I was able to meditate if there was a little back round noise. Now with Transcendental Meditation, I am able to find peace with a greater amount going on around me. It makes it easier to be consistent.
The benefits of meditation for me have been measurable. Meditation gives me a different kind of relief. Fitness has always been my go-to method to take my mind of stress but this is effective in a different way. My stress level is down considerably. I can see it. I stopped biting my nails. I’ve been biting my nails my whole life and believed I would never get over it. My sleep is better. I have more trust that in the future everything will work out for me. I could not be a bigger advocate for meditation. Maybe its Transcendental Meditation, maybe it’s not. Whatever you have to do to completely slow down your mind and find peace at least once a day I’m for. If it worked for me I believe it could work for anyone.
Eleanor Hooper – Relationship Therapist & Founder of The Makaranda Method
It is an inspiration to see people being healthy and doing what they love! Check her out at The Makaranda Method!