Travis said the data from the non-meditating control group showed the detrimental effects of college life on the students. "The control group had lower Brain Integration Scale scores, indicating their brain functioning was more fragmentedwhich can lead to more scattered and disorganized thinking and planning. The controls also showed an increase in sympathetic reactivity and sleepiness, which can correspond to greater anxiety, worry and irritability" he said.
In contrast, Transcendental Meditation practice appeared to buffer the effects of high stress.
"From pretest to posttest, Brain Integration Scale scores increased significantly, indicating greater breadth of planning, thinking, and perception of the environment. The sympathetic reactivity and sleepiness decreased among the TM group, which corresponds to greater emotional balance and wakefulness.
"These statistically significant results among college students suggest that the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique could be of substantial value for anyone facing an intense and challenging learning/working environment." Travis said.
Patricia Spurio, one of the students in the TM control group, was carrying a full credit load, had a part-time internship, and helped organize a large rally on campus. "For me the greatest benefit was being able to have these two 20-minute periods of meditation. I could feel my whole body releasing the stress of the day. When done, I felt rested and ready for more activity. TM helped me get through it all in a more healthy and balanced way."
ABOUT THE STUDY
1. Higher Brain Integration Scale includes three brain measures:
|Contact: Ken Chawkin|
Maharishi University of Management