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Transcendental Meditation may give adolescents 'top-down control' of stress and risky behavior
by Global Good News staff writer
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6 August 2013
School-age children and teenagers are at an especially vulnerable time in their lives. They are prone to take unnecessary risks and be unduly swayed by stress. For this reason, the Quiet Time programme, with the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique, helps children be more thoughtful, creative, and calm.
'Young people go through a period where essentially in their brain they have an accelerator that's fully developed, but a brake that's underdeveloped,' commented an an expert in psychopharmacology from a leading New York medical school, at a recent conference.
As can be expected, this can lead to risk- and novelty-seeking behaviours.
The expert explained the state of modern education as he sees it: 'You have a group of people who are driven for novelty-seeking, risk-taking, and are at high risk of psychiatric illness; you put them in a classroom and these forces present teachers with an unenviable and . . . incredibly difficult challenge.'
But Transcendental Meditation (TM) and the Quiet Time programme may be able to help. 'TM may be something which allows kids and adolescents to have more top-down control, to be able to modify the influence of all of the risky behaviour that is a result of this neural development.'
Studies have backed up this assertion. Transcendental Meditation, known to be a powerful stress-reducing technique, has a positive impact on stress-related disorders, such as ADHD. The inability to control the attention has to do with the underdevelopment or underutilization of the prefrontal cortex, the 'CEO' of the brain, which shuts down under stress. Research has shown that TM, which strengthens the connection between the prefrontal cortex and different areas of the brain, likewise reduces ADHD symptoms among students.
In addition to reducing stress-related disorders, Transcendental Meditation also increases the coherent functioning of the brain. In fact, in 12 weeks of daily practice children showed a marked and visible increase in brain coherence. This coherence offers a compelling explanation, beyond simple stress reduction, for the improvement of grades and test scores in meditating students.
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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