Beat stress with transcendental meditation

New research shows that transcendental meditation significantly reduces levels of psychological distress among students.

The survey, based on students from 106 secondary schools comprising 87 percent racial and ethnic minorities, showed a 36 percent lowering in overall stress levels, besides easing anxiety and depressive symptoms.

The percentage of students in University of California at Irvine survey reporting good or above-average emotional health dropped from 55.3 percent in 2009 to 51.9 percent in 2010. This marks the lowest level within the past 25 years, the Journal of Instructional Psychology reports.

Charles Elder, who conducted the survey and is also an investigator at Kaiser Permanente Centre for Health Research, said: “It is vital that we start addressing the high levels of emotional stress being reported by high school and college students.”

“Decreased stress can have a positive impact on mental health and can also reduce the risk for hypertension, obesity and diabetes-major risk factors for heart disease,” explained Elder, according to a Maharishi University statement.

“These new findings on reduced stress, along with the recent research on academic achievement gains, hold tremendous promise for public education,” said Sanford Nidich, principal investigator and professor of education at Maharishi University of Management.

Introduced in India in mid-1950s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, transcendental meditation is a form of mantra meditation.

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