Transcendental meditation (TM) has followed a similar path to yoga in recent years, stepping out of relative obscurity to become a global wellness trend. Many public figures from Wall Street and Hollywood have helped spread the word, so much so that TM is now practiced by millions worldwide.
But what is TM?
It involves repeating a meaningless mantra for 20 minutes two times a day. Various benefits have been attributed to it, including reducing stress and anxiety, regulating blood pressure, and lowering the likelihood of getting heart attacks and strokes. These effects allow practitioners to improve how they handle their lives, including personal finances.
How TM helps in managing finances
So to give you a greater understanding of how transcendental meditation can help you manage money, read on below…
1. It helps you handle your emotions
For Wall Street regulars Andrew Ross Sorkin and Ken Gunsberger, transcendental meditation helps regulate emotions, allowing them to make sound business decisions.
Sorkin is a journalist specialising in finance and trading, which he describes as a ‘mental game’. He stated that TM gives him an edge because it allows him to stay level-headed even when getting caught up in the chaos of the finance industry. For him, the inability to control emotions is one of the reasons why people commit errors when investing in the stock market. By keeping emotions in check, investors can make sound decisions.
Gunsberger, meanwhile, is a senior financial adviser who admitted that their fast-paced business environment negatively affects many of his peers. Plunging stocks and other similar circumstances can take a toll on their mindset and productivity. He said that TM enables them to continue doing their jobs instead of feeling despair at work.
In a real-world scenario, TM can help you not only at work, but also in determining where to allocate resources. Situations can range from something as simple as stress shopping or impulse buying, to something more complicated as poor investment choices.
2. It helps you achieve clarity of mind
As a related effect to managing emotions, TM helps you focus better and think through your situation more clearly. The practice helps you remain calm under pressure and resilient to the effects of stress.
Wealth manager and philanthropist Mark Axelowitz told the Observer that transcendental meditation helped him achieve clarity of mind, allowing him to make better decisions in terms of his personal and professional life.
3. It promotes creativity
Practitioners have also credited TM for enhancing their creativity.
Hedge fund veteran Didier Phitoussi said that transcendental meditation helped him think of new ways to make money, which is critical in the industry he’s worked in for over two decades. He admitted that prior to practicing TM, he experienced a slump where he was unable to come up with business ideas. Turning to meditation helped re-energise his mind, allowing him to think of new moneymaking schemes.
From a savings point-of-view, this benefit of TM will allow you to come up with new ways to channel your finances so that you will be able to save more money.
4. It helps put things into perspective
A previous Oval Money article talked about the importance of identifying priorities, which is where you could base your finance-related decisions. TM helps practitioners improve their ability to determine their goals and motivations and have better judgement. In effect, you are less likely to splurge on non-essentials in favour of more important things.
Billionaire Ray Dalio cites TM for being “the single biggest influence” in his life, saying that the practice helped him put things into perspective. He revealed that TM not only helped him make money – it contributed in making his hedge fund company, Bridgewater Associates, the largest in the world, which was valued for at least $160 billion last year.
Also, Dalio exclaimed that TM aided him in improving his personal relationships. Quality time with loved ones remains priceless for him.
How TM has helped the stars
In addition to business professionals, many celebrities have gone on record about how TM has helped them manage their career and finances. One known proponent of the practice is actress Heather Graham, who admitted in interviews that TM has helped her manage anxiety. She said that her daily meditation, which she started doing in the '90s, keeps her centred and less prone to reacting to stressful situations.
As a result, it allows her to juggle her different projects. In addition to Graham’s new partnership with gaming website Foxy Bingo, the actress also recently wrapped up Half Magic, a film which she wrote, directed, and starred in. Ultimately, her ability to effectively handle multiple responsibilities at a time allowed her to manage her finances and increase her net worth over the years.
Another long-term devotee of TM is Clint Eastwood, who has been practicing for over 4 decades. Like Graham, it helps him multi-task, not just in terms of handling his acting and directing career, but also his business ventures. He owns a hotel and a golf club, and says that his multiple commitments can stress him out, but TM allows him to manage the condition well.
It’s the same case with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, who stated that TM helps her achieve stillness despite the ‘daily craziness’ in her surroundings. Besides doing wonders for her on-screen career, she credits the practice for helping her manage her multimedia empire. She even introduced TM to her employees at Harpo Productions, which was found to be effective for improving everyone's efficiency. At the same time, it also allows executives, including Oprah, to have a better appreciation of their staff. This helps boost employees' morale, further enhancing their productivity.