The results of extensive research, including research on the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi, have been published in over 160 peer-reviewed scientific journals and edited books, including some leading scientific journals. The research into the effects of meditation studies have shown that they provide physiological, psychological and spiritual benefits. Some studies even suggest that you will live longer if you practice meditation.
Meditation is the conscious and intentional quieting of the mind and its thoughts. It has been practiced by Buddhists, yogis, monks, mystics and lay students of meditation. Practitioners have said for centuries that meditation improves health and well-being. Now scientists are trying to prove it.
As reported in “Psychosomatic Medicine and Behavioral Medicine,” a study of health insurance statistics of 2,000 meditators over a 5-year period found that people who practice meditation had less than half the hospitalization rates and 50 percent fewer doctor visits than comparable non-meditators. According to “Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly” and “International Journal of the Addictions,” meditation produces a larger reduction in tobacco, alcohol and drug use than standard substance abuse treatments. Studies reported in “Anxiety, Stress and Coping International Journal” have also shown that managers and employees who regularly practiced meditation displayed more relaxed physiological functioning, greater reduction in anxiety and reduced tension on the job when compared to control subjects in the same company.
More Physiological Benefits
Meditation, by decreasing the metabolic rate and heart rate, creates a state of deep rest and regeneration. Research has also shown that stress hormones such as cortisol are reduced, as is blood pressure in hypertensive people (Hormones and Behavior, 1978, “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,” 1989). Studies of college students who regularly practiced meditation indicate improvements in performance and significant increases in intelligences (“International Journal of Psychophysiology,” 2008).
Self-actualization, or realizing more of your potential, is one of the effects of meditation studies. A study in the “Journal of Psychology” found that meditation participants develop improved self concept in comparison to before learning meditation. In “Neuroreport 2005,” researchers determined that meditation also improves memory, increases emotional stability and feelings of contentment, and decreases depression, anxiety, irritability and mood swings. Sensory experience is enhanced by meditation.
Contemporary brain studies allow a view into the spiritual effects of meditation studies. The research indicates that meditation can improve some of the higher mind capacities such as compassion and empathy.(“PLoS ONE” online journal, 2008). Practitioners report that they experience greater inner peace, become more patient and tolerant, and better understand their own purpose in the world.