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Brain Cogn. 2018 Aug;125:100-105. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2018.03.011. Epub 2018 Jun 21.

Effect of meditation on psychological distress and brain functioning: A randomized controlled study.

Author information

1
Center for Wellness & Achievement in Education, United States; Center for Brain Consciousness and Cognition, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, IA, United States.
2
Center for Wellness & Achievement in Education, United States. Electronic address: lvalosek@cwae.org.
3
University of California at Santa Cruz (Graduate), United States.
4
San Francisco Unified School District, United States.
5
Center for Wellness & Achievement in Education, United States; Center for Social and Emotional Health, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, IA, United States.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Psychological stability and brain integration are important factors related to physical and mental health and organization effectiveness. This study tested whether a mind-body technique, the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program could increase EEG brain integration and positive affect, and decrease psychological distress in government employees.

METHOD:

Ninety-six central office administrators and staff at the San Francisco Unified School District were randomly assigned to either immediate start of the TM program or to a wait-list control group. At baseline and four-month posttest, participants completed an online version of the Profile of Mood States questionnaire (POMS). In addition, a subset of this population (N = 79) had their EEG recorded at baseline and at four-month posttest to calculate Brain Integration Scale (BIS) scores.

RESULTS:

At posttest, TM participants significantly decreased on the POMS Total Mood Disturbance and anxiety, anger, depression, fatigue, and confusion subscales, and significantly increased in the POMS vigor subscale. TM participants in the EEG-subgroup also significantly increased in BIS scores. Compliance with meditation practice was high (93%).

CONCLUSION:

Findings indicate the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing the TM program to improve brain integration and positive affect and reduce psychological distress in government administrators and staff.

KEYWORDS:

Brain integration; EEG; Meditation; Mood disturbance; Psychological distress; Transcendental meditation

PMID:
29936408
DOI:
10.1016/j.bandc.2018.03.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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