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Editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, Michele Promaulayko, on clearing out the mental garbage
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15 February 2017
When Michele Promaulayko was asked to become the new editor-in-chief of the iconic Cosmopolitan magazine in the fall of 2016, it was hardly a surprise. After all, Promaulayko had been the executive editor of the magazine from 2000 to 2008. Before re-joining Cosmo she had successfully helmed Women's Health and Yahoo Health.
Luckily, Promaulayko was also well prepared to handle the tensions that the glamourous yet inevitably stressful job would bring.
Working in health journalism, Promaulayko had access to the greatest minds in the field of mental and physical well-being. So, it's no surprise that as a spokesperson for an integrated approach to healthy living, Promaulayko is an avid fan of Transcendental Meditation.
''I'm trained in Transcendental Meditation. I'm a huge proponent of it,'' Promaulayko explained in an interview with Coveteur magazine.
Better mental health = higher productivity
One of the essential perks of Transcendental Meditation for Promaulayko is how the practice relieves mental tension.
''It's a brain dump, it's like you're clearing out the garbage. And so the more you do that, the more you feel this, for lack of a better word, serenity and evenness that really is such an incredible tool in anything,'' Promaulayko once described the impact of the practice.
''I could not be this Type A personality that is just 'go-go-go!' all the time and not have there be some fallout to that. Figuring out ways to decompress and destress is just going to give me more of an edge,'' she elaborated in a Lewis Howes podcast.
''[Down time] is critical for me to perform optimally to manage stress, and it's important for me to show the rest of my staff that having that down time is an important thing. I'm a big believer in that.''
Promaulayko has also noticed that the Transcendental Meditation practice boosts her ability to maintain happy and healthy relationships.
''It makes you less reactive—and that's a great thing in most situations. Whether it's work or a relationship situation, or a frustration at the airline counter as I was dealing with on Sunday,'' she explains.
''When I am on a regular meditation practice, it breeds compassion. It makes you think about what you're about to say to someone that split second just before you say it.''
Better choices = healthier bodies
Promaulayko points out that with meditation the ability to stop ourselves from acting in ways that are harmful improves in general.
''That applies to food and other temptations as well!''
''It makes you less reactive, more grounded, you just don't fall prey to impulses as easily.''
Promaulayko explains that stress can otherwise jeopardize our attempts to live healthier lives. She points to anxiety induced binge eating as one of the most evident examples. Hence, TM for her is an all-round wellness tool.
''It's just good on a physiological level. Good for your body, good for your brain.''
''Lowering blood pressure and increasing focus, helping sleep, boosting happiness, it does pretty much everything for you,'' Promaulayko lists the benefits.
Better proof (and feels good!)
For Promaulayko the biggest sales argument for Transcendental Meditation was the rigorous research backing up the effectiveness of the practice.
''The thing about TM is that it is a bit more of a time commitment, because it's 20 minutes in the beginning of the day and 20 minutes at the end of the day. But it's the most studied.
''So me being me and wanting everything to be vetted and bona fide, I turned to that because I knew there was so much science backing it,'' Promaulayko recalls her reasons for choosing TM.
''I never thought I would be a meditator. No way!
''But it just feels good, it's almost like a euphoric feeling! Not that you'd be chasing some high, that would be beside the point. But it just feels good.''
''One of the things I like about it is you can do it pretty much anywhere,'' Promaulayko explains how she manages to fit the practice in her crazy schedule.
Sceptic turned into an evangelist
When Promaulayko was asked what would make her look back at her life 80-years from now, and feel like her mission is complete, she replied: ''I think if meditation became a universally accepted practice, it would have this incredible domino effect on the world.
''I'm the least 'woo-woo' person in the world. I'm not that girl! But I believe in the power of what it can do.
''So I talk a lot about meditation in my book. I've done a bunch of things on Yahoo Health and Women's Health magazine about it. I think the reason I talk so much about it is because I was the biggest sceptic. So for me to have gone from a sceptic to a passionate endorse, says a lot about how deeply I believe in it.
''So maybe demystifying that and getting it to be a more embraced practice would be a worthy goal,'' she sums up.
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See related articles:
∙ The Huffington Post editors learn to counter work stress with Transcendental Meditation
∙ 'Women in the Media Who Meditate' luncheon raises funds to teach TM to at-risk women and children
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