Dr. Deepak Chopra on Routine, Meditation & Mindfulness
- Pioneer of mindfulness Deepak Chopra recently opened up about his morning routine, which involves meditation, breath work, and a few cups of coffee.
- Chopra is a firm believer that how you spend your morning “sets the tone” for the rest of the day.
- In a previous conversation with SurvivorNet, Chopra discussed the health benefits of checking in with your body, practicing mindfulness techniques, and, perhaps most importantly, learning to address stressors.
- “You perceive stress emotionally or you imagine a super stressful, threatening situation, it doesn’t matter. It will create the same biological responses,” Chopra explained. Learning to manage stressors can help in a myriad of ways.
Chopra’s morning involves meditation, yoga, and a few cups of coffee.Read More
How Can Mindfulness Lead to a Happier Life?
Staying active, keeping stress under control, and eating healthy all fall under the umbrella of integrative medicine, which involves adjusting lifestyle factors for optimal health.
“It emphasizes lifestyle behavior, like diet, stress management, nutrition, and it also blends the best of conventional medicine and complementary therapies,” Dr. Brian Berman, Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, told SurvivorNet in a previous conversation about integrative medicine.
“It’s not about throwing the baby out with the bathwater,” he added. “It very much believes in the power of conventional medicine, but it’s trying to bring in other evidence-based approaches, and to optimize people’s health and well-being.”
Chopra’s Meditative Practices
Chopra previously sat down with SurvivorNet to share some insight on how he guides mindfulness beginners.
Dr. Chopra said his personal journey started by learning about himself, and asking himself a series of questions.
“Are you changing the experience with the body, changing the experience of the mind, changing experience with emotions?” Dr. Chopra asked. “Are you aware all this change is happening? Have you ever been intimate with your own self? Do you even know who you are other than your name and your story? So it’s time to ask yourself, who am I?”
Chopra started his journey of mindfulness at the age of six, when his grandfather passed away suddenly. That experience made him want to experience life and understand the meaning of existence, which prompted him to attend medical school.
“If we can combine our actions in the world with reflective self inquiry, love and compassion, and a state of secure, stable, ornamental, peaceful being without the addictions that humans have, then we can begin our journey of healing,” Dr. Chopra explained.
Learning to Manage Stress
One of the fundamentals that Chopra discussed was learning to get stress under control.
“Stress is nothing other than the perception of threats,” Dr. Chopra said. “Whether it’s real or imagined doesn’t matter.
“You perceive stress emotionally or you imagine a super stressful, threatening situation, it doesn’t matter. It will create the same biological responses, compromising your immune system to basically offset its fine tuning and also increasing inflammation … so to the degree that you can manage your lifestyle, it’s good news for a lot of people,” he added.
In addition to meditation, mindfulness can also be practiced by simply answering questions your body might be asking. In order to address anxiety, experts say a person must identify what questions their body is asking and where in the body the stress is coming from.
In his work, Dr. Chopra not only practices mindfulness for himself, but takes into account how others are feeling and what they are doing.
In a recent documentary, The Mindfulness Movement, he and his collaborators follow the lives of people who have experienced hardships ranging from chronic illnesses to addiction who have been actively practicing mindfulness.
“In my mind, I think being comes first, healing comes second, thinking and reflecting comes third, and doing comes last,” Dr. Chopra said.
“But in our societies it’s the opposite, doing, doing, doing without thinking, So I said, why not let’s listen to the doers as well. It’s an experiment. If it works I’ll continue to do it and if it doesn’t, I’ll abandon it.”
Contributing: SurvivorNet Staff