Jun. 1. 2018
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

If you read about my morning routine, you know that meditation is a big part of the way I start my day. Transcendental meditation (TM) is a form of meditation I love to practice because it helps me quiet my mind and takes me deep into a state of relaxation.

So how does TM actually work, and how do its benefits differ from mindfulness meditation? Today, I’m sharing all about what TM is and how it’s helped me feel more centered and grounded to tackle stressful situations and why meditation can be an important tool to use for your health.

What Is Transcendental Meditation?

The power of transcendental meditation comes from repeating a mantra or meaningless word that’s assigned to you by a certified TM instructor. So if you struggle with what you should think about or not think about when you meditate, TM solves that problem with mantras. I love using mantras because their power is beyond just words; they help us release self-doubt and immediately shift negativity into positivity. This shift in thinking is literally a miracle, as Gabrielle Bernstein puts it.

With TM, you’ll meditate on your chosen mantra for 20 minutes twice a day. You’re likely thinking 20 minutes is a long time! But when you put this self-care practice into place, you’ll realize that it’s worth taking that time out of your schedule to decompress and dive into a state of calm alertness. To help you get into a TM routine, you’ll need to train with a certified TM teacher, who will assign your mantra to you and teach you how to use it, in person and take an introductory workshop.

What Makes Transcendental Meditation Different?

With mindful meditation, you’re focusing on being present in the moment and having an awareness of your thoughts and the way your body feels. This form of meditation can be extremely helpful as well, but it does involve some level of controlling your mind. On the other hand, TM’s use of mantras makes meditation effortless and simple and turns your focus within. Looking within allows you to reach a state of calm, a state of transcendence.

The Health Benefits of Transcendental Meditation

TM has been shown to reduce stress and tension while improving cognitive function. Proponents of TM also claim that it can also help relieve depression and anxiety and help with insomnia, ADHD, and addiction.  For me, practicing TM every morning helps me overcome negative emotions and reframe challenges and hardships as an opportunity to learn and become a stronger person. It also helps me embrace failure and imperfections. We aren’t meant to lead perfect lives!

The moments of trial and difficulty allow you to live with more grace and gratitude. I get emails and comments on social media from you guys every day about your struggles with body image and food, mental health, relationships, business, career. And it’s been great being able to share that I go through the same challenges, too.

I personally practice transcendental meditation by lighting a candle and burning some sage and wood incense. They help clear the air around me and helps my body and mind reset. After 20 minutes of TM, I usually follow it up with some reading. Some of my all-time favorite books are The Power of Now, 40 Rules of Love, and Rising Strong. I’ll read parts of these books over and over again to help remind myself to trust the universe.

Additional Reading:

Guide to Manifesting What You Want and Need

Managing Stress So You Can Find Balance and Feel Amazing

10 Tips for Getting Centered and Staying Grounded

Learn to Manage Stress and Chill Like a Pro

Let’s Hear It!

Do you practice transcendental meditation? If so, what do you love most about it? What other types of meditation and visualization practices do you follow to help relieve stress? How has meditation helped improve your quality of life and the way you respond to stressful situations? Share them with the NS community below or post on Instagram with #nutritionstripped.

xx McKel