Far from the hippy dippy stigma it used to carry, meditation is starting to be viewed as hip—and healthy. And it seems like everyone is catching on and talking about it. The American Heart Association recently gave Transcendental Meditation (TM) its stamp of approval, which means you might even hear your doctor talk about it at your next appointment.
Here’s the gist: for 20 minutes, twice a day, you sit quietly with your eyes closed while silently repeating a mantra. The idea is that regular practice of Transcendental Meditation will help you feel less stressed, more focused on the here and now, and more attuned to your body and your mind. Then consider this: Over 350 studies have been conducted on Transcendental Meditation, and the findings are overwhelmingly promising.
But for even more benefits, read on about 6 scientifically proven ways that Transcendental Meditation can change your life and how to get started.
1. It can amp up your workout
Not only does a regular Transcendental Meditation practice increase energy, improve your focus, and help you sleep sounder every night, it also increases your pain tolerance, says a study in the journal NeuroReport. Higher tolerance for discomfort means higher tolerance for banging out another mile or another set of reps.
Additionally, in a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, researchers compared the brain waves of elite athletes to those of TM meditators and found certain similarities in brain functioning.