The Proven Positive Effects of Meditation on Mental Health

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“In recent worldwide survey data that the WHO collected, 70.4% of the respondents reported experiencing trauma, and many of these individuals may have PTSD as a result”

Some good news in the field of mental health: a recent study involving a cohort of young students suffering with depression and PTSD, has indicated that when patients with mental health issues spend time on transcendental meditation, they can miraculously reverse, or weaken their symptoms.

A number of research trails have demonstrated that practicing meditation can have a substantial, positive effect on the way we react to stress, and our general mental health. Moreover, research that has been conducted in the past, has demonstrated that different forms of meditation can even boost our emotional intelligence. Further, since the turn of the century, curiosity into meditation’s potential to be used as a means to deal with a number of mental health symptoms, has shot up. And now, this new cohort research implies that one field of meditation, namely, transcendental meditation, can be employed to successfully reduce depression, and curb PTSD .

The study’s researchers, who come from diverse parts of the world include: South Africa’s Johannesburg’s Maharishi Institute; and Northfield, VT’s Norwich University. The former have conducted trials with students from the University of Johannesburg and the Maharishi Institute, and each one of them have been diagnosed with depression or PTSD. The students complained of various symptoms such as: being in a state of hyper-vigilance, a feeling of fear or anxiety, flashbacks of traumatic occurrences, and nightmares. And a number of them suffered with drug and alcohol misuse, violent outbursts, states of anger, and emotional numbness. 

The Results

Psychological Reports, the medical journal, published the latest findings showing that: “participants who started practicing transcendental meditation, which incorporates mantras and chanting to generate serenity, saw notable improvements in their symptoms. [However], symptoms recede after 3.5 months [1]. The research was conducted for 3.5 month period, and every participant was not only diagnosed with PTSD by a professional, they also achieved 44 or more on their assessment for PTSD symptoms, thus signifying that PTSD is extremely likely.

When the study was concluded, the majority of transcendental meditation group subjects’ results indicated that: “their symptoms had altogether receded. [Moreover], these participants also reported improvements in their depression symptoms” [1]. The control group which did not meditate or have any form of treatment, showed no amelioration. This is excellent news, as meditation is a holistic self-administered therapy, which unlike medication, has no side effects, is completely free, and can be done any time, any where – particularly at trying times.

Michael Dillbeck, the study author from Fairfield, IA’s Maharishi University’s Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy, stated that: “Our study shows that after 3 months of meditation, [the meditation] group, on average, was out of PTSD. It offers a way for others to effectively deal with this problem”.

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