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Is Transcendental Meditation a Racket?

You may have heard about transcendental meditation, but are wondering if this form of meditation is indeed a way to relax and de-stress — or if it’s more of a racket. Learning more about this type of relaxation technique will help you decide for yourself if transcendental meditation is really worth your while.

What is Transcendental Meditation?

A type of meditation designed to help you de-stress, relax and become more self-aware, transcendental meditation involves using sound, or mantra. A mantra is a specific sound you make with your voice while meditating, assigned to you by a meditation instructor. It’s a meaningless sound you can make while sitting in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. If you’re in a meditation class with other students (and you’re all making mantra sounds), it won’t necessarily be a quiet environment.

Does It Work?

Transcendental meditation can help many people become calm and relaxed during the stresses of day-to-day living. A study published in 2015 in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine says transcendental meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, and that healthcare workers exposed to transcendental meditation showed improvements in mood and quality of life. Another 2014 study published in The Permanente Journal found that transcendental mediation helps reduce employee burnout, stress, and depression.

Is it Nosy?

Because transcendental meditation does use sound to help you relax and focus, it can get to be a noisy atmosphere — especially when you’re in a class with lots of other people. But the noise level really depends on the class you’re in, and how loud the people near you are being. If noise bothers you, transcendental meditation may not be something you enjoy. If this is the case for you, it might not be the best choice for de-stressing and relaxation.

Is Transcendental Meditation Right for Me?

You don’t have to make sounds when meditating, so if the noise of transcendental meditation is getting to you try forms of silent — meditation or meditate by yourself (steer clear of group transcendental meditation classes). But if you’ve never tried transcendental meditation it may be worth a shot, especially because studies show it can positively affect your health and mental well-being.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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