Now day by day meditation is becoming popular among young people as it can control our body and mental health as well. It is a natural way to give peace to your heart.
A latest research has reported that transcendental meditation program led to a significant reduction in stress and trauma symptoms among male inmates, suggesting the technique may be an effective treatment for prisoners, veterans, and other individuals at high risk of post-traumatic stress.
What is meditation?
The word ‘meditation’ refers to a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in it.
Further the word meditation mention to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity.
Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs. Meditation often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind in some way. Meditation is often used to clear the mind and ease many health concerns, such as high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. It may be done sitting, or in an active way—for instance, Buddhist monks involve awareness in their day-to-day activities as a form of mind-training. Prayer beads or other ritual objects are commonly used during meditation in order to keep track of or remind the practitioner about some aspect of that training.
The new study on transcendental meditation
The leader of the research Dr. Randi Nidich, director of the Center for Social and Emotional Health at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA,and team publish their findings in “The Permanente Journal”.
As stated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, around 6 in 10 men and 5 in 10 women in the U.S. will experience trauma at some point in their lives, defined as witnessing or experiencing a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.
Such events may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for many people. The symptoms include flashbacks of the traumatic event, nightmares, severe anxiety, stress, depression,and social avoidance.
The researchers found that around 7-8 percent of the U.S. population will develop PTSD at some point in their lives. The condition is more common among certain groups, such as military personnel and prisoners, who are more highly exposed to traumatic events.
Dr. Nidich and the research team set out to investigate whether transcendental meditation which is a form of meditation that aims to put the body and mind into a state of rest and may be effective for alleviating symptoms of trauma in prisoners.
The transcendental meditation reduced trauma symptoms
The study included 181 male prisoners from the Oregon State Correctional Institution and Oregon State Penitentiary, who were considered to be at moderate to high risk of trauma symptoms.
Subjects were randomized to either a transcendental meditation group - involving two20-minute meditation sessions twice daily - or a non-meditating control group for 4 months. All men continued with their standard care.
Of the prisoners in the transcendental meditation group, 88 percent completed the five-session introduction course, while more than 80 percent completed the regular daily meditation sessions over the entire 4-month study period.
At the beginning and end of the study, all subjects were assessed for symptoms of trauma and stress using the Trauma Symptoms Checklist and the Perceived Stress Scale.
Compared with the control group, men who practiced transcendental meditation for 4 months experienced a 47 percent reduction in trauma symptoms - including anxiety, depression, and sleep problems - as well as a reduction in perceived stress.
The researchers say their results support previous studies that have observed a link between transcendental meditation and improved mental health in prisoners.
The ways transcendental meditation reduces stress, trauma symptoms
For the Explanation, how transcendental meditation appears to relieve stress and symptoms of trauma, Dr. Nidich points to previous studies that have shown the technique reduces heightened activity in the sympathetic nervous system (SNS)and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
These regions are associated with the "flight or fight response" - a psychological reaction to a traumatic event, which prepares the body to either tackle or flee a perceived threat.
"These kinds of changes from an overly aroused style of functioning to a more healthy,stable condition of physiological functioning may help explain how TM[transcendental meditation] practice reduces trauma symptoms," says Dr.Nidich.
"Brain imaging studies and other psychophysiological research has shown that TM meditative less reactivity to stressful stimuli, further indicating a more stable and balanced style of functioning."
All-inclusive,the scientists team believes that their results add to the increasing evidence that transcendental meditation may benefit prisoners and other individuals at high risk of psychological issues after trauma.
"These findings, along with previous published research on veterans, active military personnel, international refugees, and other at-risk populations provide support for the value of the transcendental meditation program as an alternative treatment for post-traumatic stress," Dr. Randi Nidich.
For the hectic pace and demands of modern life,many people feel stressed and over-worked. It often feels like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Our stress and tiredness make us unhappy, impatient and frustrated. It can even affect our health. We are often so busy we feel there is no time to stop and meditate! But meditation actually gives you more time by making your mind calmer and more focused. A simple ten or fifteen minute breathing meditation as explained below can help you to overcome your stress and find some inner peace and balance.
Furthermore meditation can help us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive,from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Overcoming negative minds and cultivating constructive thoughts is the purpose of the transforming meditations found in the Buddhist tradition. This is a profound spiritual practice you can enjoy throughout the day, not just while seated in meditation.