Monday, October 17, 2016.
Meditation wasn’t always a recommended path to health and success.
People are more likely to hear this suggestion from their friends, coworkers and trusted media outlets, however, as alternative medicine has taken on an increasingly accepted role in wellness.
Deepak Chopra, medical doctor turned new-age thought leader, has played a key role in this shift.
Rather, his many books, international lectures and work with celebrities have done so.
Author of more than 80 books, including numerous bestsellers, and founder of The Chopra Foundation, Chopra is regularly sought out by A-list actors and leading news outlets alike for advice.
“For thousands of followers around the world, the key to happiness could be in (Chopra’s) mind, body, spirit movement,” said CNN correspondent Sara Sidner in a piece on Chopra.
With Chopra advocating that answers to people’s health and happiness can be found internally, new age practices are becoming a regular part of people’s daily lives.
Below are just a few examples.
According to Chopra, meditating often can result in numerous health benefits, including stress relief, improved sleep and lower blood pressure. He suggests a simple approach, like sitting in a chair and chanting, “I am. I am. I am,” according to a recent presentation on “Dr. Oz.”
“The real purpose of meditation is actually to tune in,” he stated on the show.
Someone else has helped to popularize this practice: Oprah Winfrey.
Lauding Chopra’s meditation techniques, Winfrey insists she meditates daily, and has partnered with Chopra on launching 10 meditation programs.
The latest even promises to help with weight loss.
"This meditation will help us recognize what we are really hungry for," Winfrey stated in a news release.
Chopra has made mindfulness, or the art of being present, the subject of multiple books.
He recently described mindfulness to Business Insider as a "conscious, unattached, nonjudgmental awareness" that can be used to achieve "more insight and intuition and creativity.”
Sound vague? Anderson Cooper and Sharon Stone both tout that practicing mindfulness has impacted their lives and careers.
Chopra recommends achieving mindfulness through steps like stopping to ask yourself if you’re aware, and asking yourself why you are reacting a certain way.
“People have to be interested (in mindfulness),” Chopra stated. “You can show them the tools, but it’s up to them to use the tools and have a more fulfilling life.”
Many have embraced Chopra’s philosophy of mind-body balance. This idea of comprehensive wellbeing is based on the connection between “the mind, the body and the environment in which we live,” according to Chopra’s website.
Indicating that certain thoughts and choices can promote illness, Chopra recommends a variety of practices to achieve balance.
These include: eating a nutritious diet, exercising, cultivating loving relationships and laughing daily.
“Laughter is an elegant mind-body phenomenon that reduces the production of stress hormones and boosts the immune system,” Chopra’s website states.
He further recommends positive mental practices, like not judging others.
Not for Everyone
There are some who question aspects of Chopra’s advice, and the impacts of alternative medicine.
Some might even find his suggestions unhelpful.
Before making that choice, though, they might want to close their eyes, meditate, and focus on advice from Chopra’s website: “Know what you value most, and hold it close to you.”
Deepak Chopra will discuss improving overall health and wellbeing during “Deepak Chopra: The Future of Wellbeing” on Friday, October 28 at The Smith Center. For tickets or more information, visit: http://www.thesmithcenter.com/event/deepakchoprathefutureofwellbeing/.
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