The Benefits of Transcendental Meditation
For a woman to land or hold a job and then perform well requires a juggling act of contrasting personal qualities. For example:
- A woman in the workplace creates better relationships when she has a warm demeanor, but at the same time cannot afford to be perceived as lightweight—she has to exhibit a sharp focus, determination, and perseverance.
- A woman who ‘leans in’ might be criticized as too aggressive—while her speech, body language, and action need to reflect energy and stamina, at the same time she needs to be friendly, courteous and calm.
- Women tend to be more susceptible to stress than men, but they have to support an equally demanding schedule and workload without becoming stressed, tired, or ill.
- Because of the increased role of women in previously male-dominated professions, a woman’s performance may be compared to that of her male predecessor’s or associate’s, so a lack of anxiety and good self-esteem are essential to her emotional daily balance.
The Transcendental Meditation (TM) program is an evidence-based approach to maintaining these juggling acts with ease and grace—a portable tool that helps you live your ideals and succeed without losing yourself, your cool, your health, and your mind. I personally learned the TM technique when I was a young woman and it enabled me to secure and sustain the chief position in a New York City non-profit organization for more than three decades. But it wasn’t until I began to compare notes with other women in leadership roles that I saw the unmistakable value this technique has for women who are striving to succeed.
One successful business woman wrote about her benefits from TM practice, “It has given me a way to recharge my creativity, sharpen my focus, boost my energy, calm my nerves, and sustain me. Over the years, I’ve become less an aggressive, hard-edged businesswoman and more a balanced, thoughtful leader.”
Another woman in the C-Suite wrote, “What I really needed was a way to come back into myself, quiet my mind a little bit so that I could focus. TM practice settles me down and helps me be more organized.”
A statement by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, highlighted the potential of women in leadership: Countries with higher levels of gender equality have higher economic growth. Companies with more women on their boards have higher returns. Peace agreements that include women are more successful. Parliaments with more women take up a wider range of issues – including health, education, anti-discrimination, and child support.
In the globally evolving environment in which women in so many countries are offered increasingly greater education and employment opportunities, they need to be playing at the top of their game. They need focus, energy, creativity, stamina, and emotional stability—and they’ll need a simple effective way to dissolve stress and fatigue. Peer-reviewed published research shows that the twice-daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique can accomplish all of that.
Transcendental Meditation is a simple effortless, secular, non-philosophical mechanical technique that provides deep rest and decreases fatigue, stress, depression, and anxiety. It increases energy, intelligence, memory, creativity, and self-concept. It reduces high blood pressure and other serious risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. TM is endorsed by the American Heart Association in the US for its reduction of hypertension.
In the last few years, there have been many media reports on the topic, including:
- Bloomberg Business: “I react to volatile markets much more calmly now”
- CNN: Health: Meditation Benefits Patients with Heart Disease
- Forbes: “To Become Wealthier, Do What You Do Best”
- Financial Times: “Meditate to sharpen your assertive edge”
- Business Insider: Executives Who Swear by Meditation
Published studies on the TM program show benefits relevant to career including:
- improved job performance,
•improved work relationships
•decreased tension on the job
•decreased trait anxiety in executives
•increased psychological calmness in executives
•improved sleep quality and increased energy
•increased contribution of managers to the organization
•decreased stress and improved vitality of managers
•increased intelligence and creativity
All these results of practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique help a woman to perform better and be competitive in the job marketplace. With increased competence, she can enjoy competition, not be intimidated by it.
However, a woman’s confidence may matter as much as her competence, according to a study by Thomson Reuters. The research showed that most U.S. women executives think that men self-promote and network better. Self-doubt might be a reason. Fortunately, published research studies show that TM practice increases self-esteem and self-confidence—women experience an increase in strength of self-concept, enabling them to forge ahead to achieve educational and career goals.
And lastly, some of the most exciting recent research shows that during TM practice different parts of the brain responsible for different functions learn how to communicate with each other. There is also increased blood flow to the pre-frontal cortex, also known for its role in the brain as the CEO.
The plague of stress in most professions can be antiquated: as a certified TM teacher in New York City, my experience is that the TM technique is a simple, elegant and enjoyable way to enable a woman to enjoy success without stress.