Stress Relief


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD

Stress comes in many forms and varying intensity. Above is a lady who has endured great trauma and was interviewed both before and a week after learning TM in a project organised and funded by the David Lynch Foundation.

It’s a beautiful and inspiring video which should give great hope to anyone with stress problems whatever their source or however long they have been feeling that way.

What is the most effective approach to stress?

There are so many ways it’s hard to know what will work best.

If you search for stress relief on google you’ll find an endless list of candidates that claim to help in one way or another including: Hypnotherapy, Aromatherapy, Head Massage, Body Massage, Counselling, Workouts, Sport, Health Clinics, a holiday in the Lakes, Meditation of all kinds.

All may give some relief in varying degrees.

Some people use more destructive approaches to handle their stressful lives, such as comfort eating, heavy smoking, alcohol or drugs, which is very unfortunate, as these can only make matters worse, creating financial pressure and health problems, increasing stress and depression, and a vicious circle of destruction is set in motion.

People will tell you there is no best way to handle stress, just the way that works best for you, but the objective evidence doesn’t support this view.

The scientific verdict

In 1990 a study* was published which compared 146 different types of meditation and relaxation method all of which had been the subject of one particular commonly used test for trait anxiety.

Using the same test Transcendental Meditation reduced trait anxiety twice as much as its nearest competitor.

Only research published in reputable peer review journals was used in this meta study.

More than stress relief

Of course TM is not just a technique for relief from stress, it has added advantages which benefit the mind, body, relationships and even society at large.

If you are going to spend time doing something to deal with stress, best make it the most effective approach, and even better, find something that has added value.

Transcendental Meditation is entirely natural, has no negative side effects, is completely effortless and pleasant to practise, and it works every time.

A true life experience

Bolton TM teacher, Lewis Walch, tells the story of Janice, who learned to meditate in 2009.

“I taught Transcendental Meditation to Janice, a local NHS administrator, who due to stress and pressure at work had been unable to sleep properly for a couple of years.

“Her GP was very sympathetic and gave her some sleeping pills which she took regularly, but still she found her sleep was not very refreshing, and there were the usual unwanted side effects of grogginess during the day.

“The day after her personal instruction in Transcendental Meditation she returned for the second day of her course after meditating twice on her own at home.”

“I’m gobsmacked”, she said.

“Why?” I asked.

“I’ve just slept for 12 hours,” she replied, “and I haven’t done that in 2 years.”

On the third day of the course she had more to tell.

“When I went into work this morning there was an air of panic.

“I walked into this anxiety ladened atmosphere, which is usually so contagious.

“You can’t help but be sucked into it, and the stress interferes with your ability to think clearly.

“We didn’t have enough beds, and NHS targets mean you need to figure out a solution quickly.

“Working this out under pressure can be a bit of an ordeal for everyone concerned.

“But not today.

“I felt quite calm and clear headed,” she said.

“Sitting down at my desk I took out a sheet of paper and began to make a list of who was where, and proceeded to allocate bed space according to priority, following NHS guidelines for dealing with this kind of scenario.

“I basically did my job, without any feeling of anxiety or stress, and even a smile on my face, relishing the challenge, enjoying the whole process with a sense of satisfaction, with assured confidence in my own ability.

“It was only after a few minutes, when everything was sorted out that I noticed colleagues looking at me curiously.”

Eventually one of them asked, “Have you taken something?”

* Journal of Clinical Psychology, 124 (1990): 177-197.