Transcendental Meditation counteracts record stress levels found in school students according to a new study published by the Journal of Instructional Psychology.
The study found that Transcendental Meditation significantly reduced psychological distress in at-risk racial and ethnic minority public school students. The reduction was 36 % over four months compared to controls. The study also noted statistically significant reductions in trait anxiety and symptoms of depression.
My research at the worksite some years ago found a 58% reduction in self-reported stress symptoms, using a standardised questionnaire. So this new finding does not surprise me a bit.
South African policy makers would do well to take note of these findings. The study suggests Transcendental Meditation has great benefits for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Over 80% of the study sample were from ‘ethnic and racial minorities’, which in the USA equates with poorer backgrounds.
In South Africa, the poorer sector of the population is the majority and is in fact a major focus of government policy. Our recent National Planning Commission reports that literacy and numeracy in SA grades 3 and 6 rates no less than 139th in the world. We have BIG problems!
So it is riveting to read that a study published earlier this year in the journal ‘Education’ showed improved maths and English results among low-performing middle school students (mostly Black and Hispanic) who learned Transcendental Meditation.
In South Africa improvement of English and maths skills is currently the main focus of the Ministry of Basic Education.
So what are we waiting for? More scientific validation or more celebrity endorsements?
Those South African teachers who have had the good fortune to work with TM in schools have seen it all before. Within about a week of starting the implementation of “quiet time” in a school, violence and bullying subsides, student behaviour improves, teachers find learners to be more alert and receptive – its a transition to heaven from hell.
So one more time: WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?
Transcendental Meditation reduces stress. Stress hinders learning. Leave a comment below – please, oh please we’d love to hear from you.