Worksite Stress Reduction Through the Transcendental Meditation Program
by: Richard Broome, Ph.D., David W. Orme-Johnson, Ph.D. Jane Schmidt-Wilk, Ph.D.
A prospective experiment on stress reduction using the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) was conducted at a South African firm with 80 employees. Psychological stress decreased significantly over 5.5 months for the TM group (p<.0002) with 73% of the decrease in the first two weeks; for the PMR group (p<.03); and for on-site controls at 5.5 months (p<.034). Six weeks of TM practice produced greater reductions in psychological stress than six weeks of PMR (p<.034). Off-site active controls who received business skills training showed non-significant decreases; posttest stress levels were higher than for on-site groups (p<.04). Blood pressure decreased at 5.5 months by 3 mm Hg systolic (p<.05) and diastolic (p<.04) for the TM groups but not significantly in PMR or on-site controls. Subjective reports and changes in company climate generally supported the results, which are discussed in terms of the theory of collective consciousness from Maharishi Vedic Science.
Citation: Broome, R., Orme-Johnson, D. W., & Schmidt-Wilk. J. (2005). Worksite stress reduction through the Transcendental Meditation program. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 17(1), 235–276.
So there you have it. What happened was that a company that had done my Thinking Skills workshop a long time ago, wanted to take the next step. I suggested that because they were very stressed, and that because they could do with some improvements in creativity, they consider learning Transcendental Meditation. They agreed, and we ran a wonderful experiment for 80 employees.
The results were amazing. Not only did the stress levels come down, as predicted, but a number of really interesting changes happened at a macroscopic level.
The company improved its market share, and it grew more rapidly. The interesting thing was that the turning point in growth rate happened at the same time as the TM intervention. I think it is more then a coincidence. And I was able to find eight companies around the world which had similar experiences. In every case where a substantial number of people in the company learned Transcendental Meditation, they were improvements in across the board company variables. This we did not predict in the original research design, so it does not form part of the abstract you’ve read above. Nevertheless, any company contemplating learning Transcendental Meditation would do well to read the research and prepare themselves for some very exciting positive changes.