During uncertain times like these, stress levels are heightened with every breaking news story and unanswered question, not to mention there’s a lurking sense of dread from the abyss of uncertainty. One of the scariest parts of the coronavirus outbreak is this element of the unknown, which forces us to dwell on future-based fears. Yahoo Lifestyle sat down with mindfulness expert Deepak Chopra, MD, to share how shifting our focus to the present moment could make all the difference in surviving this pandemic, and ultimately living happier and healthier lives.
Chopra is the founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit research organization, as well as Chopra Global, a modern-day health company at the intersection of science and spirituality. As a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, Chopra explained to Yahoo what mindfulness is and how to begin to practice it. “Mindfulness is the practice of being present to every experience as it happens without judgment,” Chopra says. “All forms of judgment are activities that increase the turbulence of the mind.”
Starting each day with a judgment-free intention allows you to have a quiet mind, leading to a “healing mind.” Chopra goes on to share how being mindful and centered leads to better decision making. Now more than ever, we may find it difficult to settle the anxieties in our minds caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but it seems that being present may be the key to making each day more positive and productive.
Chopra is also the executive producer of The Mindfulness Movement, a documentary that introduces us to people who are working to build a better world by practicing and spreading mindfulness. Each subject reveals their own personal hardships and demonstrates how mindfulness alone changed the trajectory of their lives. Chopra hopes that this message inspires others to learn how to become centered self-healers, assuring that “when enough people change, then the world changes.”
If you’re interested in starting your journey to mindfulness, Chopra and Oprah Winfrey are now offering virtual wellness sessions where you can take part in a free 21-day meditation program online. However, putting mindfulness into action can be as simple as using Chopra’s “STOP formula,” which reminds us to stop, breathe, smile, observe and “proceed consciously with awareness and kindness.”
Video produced by Stacy Jackman
For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.
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