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The Damaging Effects of Psychological Stress

The unique state of restful alertness gained during the TSM technique promotes health by reducing activation of the sympathetic nervous system - which, in turn, dilates the blood vessels and reduces stress hormones, such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol.

Research has shown that psychological stress increases activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. This increased activation releases adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol, which lead to faster heart rate, increased cardiac output, and narrower arteries. These changes, in turn, create increased blood pressure. Activation of these systems also accelerates the progress of atherosclerosis and can lead to acute plaque rupture, which results in ischemia of the heart (angina) and coronary heart disease and stroke.

The twice-daily practice of the TSM technique reduces activation of the sympathetic nervous system—which, in turn, dilates the blood vessels and reduces stress hormones, such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol, and provides stress relief. This technique provides reliable stress relief by reducing high blood pressure and constriction of blood vessels, reducing the use of antihypertensive medication and lowering health care costs.

TSM produces the physiological opposite of the fight-or-flight stress response. As the TSM meditator gets increasingly accustomed to that calm state, it is predictable that the fear will gradually fade away.

TSM settles the mind and body which results in the reduction of stress. Many doctors are increasingly prescribing TSM as an effective stress management tool. Because practicing TSM results in people feeling more calm in stressful situtions, many report feeling much less anxious in seemingly stressful situations. With continued practice of TSM, you can become less and less anxious, developing a stable inner quietness than can be a buffer against otherwise stressful experiences.

Medical doctors tell us that over twenty percent of Americans have an anxiety disorder. Stress arises when a person has trouble coping with the demands placed on them. When unable to cope, the resultant anxiety leads people to self-medicate in various ways: food, TV, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and coffee are common examples. However, these methods are a short-sighted and maladaptive attempt to reduce the stresses in life, because they do not help one function any better; indeed, they worsen an individual's adaptive efficiency with time. So we get into a vicious cycle of stress, where the less we are able to cope, the more we self-medicate, which worsens our ability to cope, and causes us to again self-medicate.

The daily practice of TSM cuts short this vicious cycle of stress. When practicing TSM, a person sits comfortably in a chair for 20 minutes twice a day, closes the eyes, begins the process, and experiences the mind becoming increasingly quiet, calm and relaxed. As the mind settles down it comes to the source of the thinking process, awareness itself. In this state of restful alertness the body is deeply rested and the mind is fully alert. The deep physiological rest dissolves stress. As a result of the mind being calmer, people report that they feel less stress and pressure at home and work.

The experience of restful alertness is pleasant and comfortable, and this allows you to continue to sit quietly for twenty minutes twice a day. When practiced regularly, this program dissolves stress cumulatively, and with time, you experience less and less stress and nervousness. As a natural result of this lessening of stress, the mind settles down when you're meditating and you don't feel the need to get up and move around. The direct experience of stillness and peace takes care of those feelings of restlessness.

The TSM technique prevents disease, improves health, and promotes longevity. With continued practice, anxiety plays less and less a role in a person's life.