I used to sometimes be like the scarecrow in Oz, lamenting “If I only had a brain.” The joke about forgetting your head if it weren’t attached didn’t seem so funny. I wondered if, for most women, this mental deficiency was due to aging, multi-tasking, menopause, stress, or “something in the water?” Is this necessarily the human condition? Actually, yes—and also no—It’s true that we are all using a very small portion of the mental capacity allotted to us at birth, but there is a way to easily access more of it.

In other words, we don’t use our full mental potential. This is unfortunate because everything we think, say and do is a reflection of how much of our mind is developed. There’s an awesome amount of information in this world for our brain to take in—but then, you might ask, how can we develop our brain so it can take in enough of the right information to live life well?

Decades ago, I found out that there was a substantial body of studies published in highly reputable, peer-reviewed scientific journals on a simple, natural, effortless technique called Transcendental Meditation showing that TM does just that—unfold the mind’s full potential. I read up. To save you some time, here’s a summary of what I’ve learned from science over the years:

Under stress or when we’re really tired, our brain tends to bypass its rational executive circuits and we act impulsively and shortsightedly. The TM technique wakes up those circuits and promotes brain wave coherence (more regions of the brain sync up and work together). Greater coherence leads to calmness, intelligence, focus, better decision making and problem solving—you get the picture. Some studies showed a 50% reduction in the brain’s reaction to pain after only five months of the TM practice. The experience of transcending resets the brain’s ground state, restoring neurological balance and clarity of mind.

Don’t take my word for it. Before you forget (:, you can check it out yourself. https://www.tm-women.org/benefits-mind-healthy-brain/

Janet Hoffman is the executive director of the TM program for women professionals in the USA.

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