What a year it has been—we haven’t been able to frequent our favourite stores or gym, visit family or friends in person or travel to warm vacation destinations. Many of us can’t or don’t feel safe sending our kids to school, and worst of all some of us have been out of work for a long, long time. The COVID-19 pandemic has held us hostage for months, and, even though the vaccine has arrived in Canada, our situation could get worse before it gets better.
Due to COVID-19, health experts are seeing an “echo pandemic” of mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. It is more important than ever to find a way to manage the stress that causes mood disorders and to maintain our peace of mind through the rest of the pandemic lockdown.
“Stress is at the basis; it is at the foundation of health and unless you deal with that the rest of it absolutely falls apart. And I have seen the benefits of what TM can do for stress.”
—Susanne Steinbaum, MD and Author
A Look at Anxiety
We all experience temporary or “state” anxiety when facing a situation that we perceive as dangerous or precarious. That is a good thing as long as we can return to a peaceful state of mind once the threat is gone. But increasingly, people are experiencing “trait” anxiety, when we feel anxious all the time, every day, and in every situation, whether it is warranted or not. Anxiety runs our lives and clouds our judgement.
Trait anxiety not only affects our mood but our health. Continuous anxiety can cause heart problems, increased blood pressure, rapid breathing, difficulties with digestion, headaches, muscle pain, and fatigue.
It is essential at any time, but especially during times of uncertainty, that we find ways to manage our stress and anxiety and, if possible, to do so without resorting to medication. The Transcendental Meditation technique has been shown to be a very effective tool for managing all forms of stress and anxiety.
“TM has helped me to overcome the darkness that once surrounded me daily. It has given me the hope that I had been looking for. I finally feel peace.”
—Debbie Lawless, RPN, Former Case Manager in Community Mental Health and Addictions
Two significant meta-analyses have been done on the effect TM has on anxiety. A meta-analysis is a statistical process that combines the data of multiple studies and is a powerful statistical tool to measure the efficacy of a treatment modality.
As the red and blue bar chart shows, TM was shown to be more effective than other forms of meditation, biofeedback, and various forms of relaxation.
Another meta-analysis done in 2013 also found that TM is a highly effective alternative treatment for anxiety. This meta-analysis looked at the results of 16 studies measuring the effect of TM on anxiety. The tests looked at 1295 participants with diverse demographic characteristics. All 16 studies showed a significant decrease in anxiety with the greatest decrease in individuals with high trait anxiety.
Significantly, the TM practitioners experienced no adverse side effects as a result of the practice of TM.
TM is taught in a systematic and easily understandable way. We make sure you experience the ease and effectiveness of the program. Once you have learned the technique, you can easily practise it on your own at home. Incorporating such an effective technique for dealing with stress and anxiety into your daily routine makes good sense during these challenging times.
“Each sitting of meditation leaves me feeling both incredibly relaxed and energized at the same time. I wish I’d discovered TM years ago.”
—Kathleen Thomson, Constable [retired], Saanich Police Department