Deepak Chopra is an alternative medicine advocate and author who established The Chopra Foundation, which aims to help individuals evolve by increasing awareness through meditation and other consciousness-raising activities. His teachings are based on the theory that human evolution is, in part, due to consciousness and self-awareness. He says that, through our thoughts, humanity evolves. His research indicates that by being conscious and aware of our environment and inner self, we are able to form an inner peace within ourselves and so that we then recognize what we realistically can and cannot control. And one of his biggest points of emphasis is that, through meditation, we are able to decrease physiological harm (such as stress) on our body to improve our overall mental and physical health.
-->Remove stress and replace it with an inner peace
-->Great tool to balance our emotions and deal with physical and psychological distress
During Awakening to Higher Consciousness, a program designed by Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle, you’ll discover how to:
- Raise your level of consciousness to transcend any struggle that arises in your life or in the world – and let that struggle bring you to a greater understanding of who you are and why you’re really here.
- Recognize that your problems (and the problems of the world) aren’t random – they’re present because a larger purpose is trying to unfold through you.
- Raise your level of consciousness – and clearly see that your life is not just a random series of events happening to you, but an intelligent force happening for you.
- Flow with the whole of life – even its struggles and imperfections – so you experience a deep sense of calm (not to mention greater love, joy, peace, and compassion!)
-Chopra believes that consciousness and thoughts lead to reality. Humans have evolved to a high state because of our self-awareness which has led to our ability to grow at rates that are much larger than random genetic mutations. Your thoughts can control your entire state of mind so it is vital to be aware of all thoughts, both positive & negative.
How does this all relate to Mental Health? The answer has a lot to do with how we prevent stress or cope with existing stress. "During prolonged stress, the body is forced to maintain higher levels of these natural chemicals which eventually results in burnout. This is where the term ‘adrenal fatigue’ comes from – the adrenal system literally becomes fatigued from having to operate in overdrive for long periods. How long we can operate under this stress reaction all depends on our tolerance for stress or our ‘stress threshold’."
"[C]hronic stress restricts the blood flow through the body and weakens the immune system which can eventually cause physical dysfunction. These changes happen gradually on a cellular level according to the principles of quantum healing."
A strong correlation has been noted among depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure (hypertension), which is evident by responses from the sympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for fight-or-flight behaviors, which are activated along with the release of hormones/chemicals that help one cope with both internal and external stressors. (ScienceDaily). And the effects of prolonged anxiety, depression, and/or hypertension can result in a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, one of the leading killers of Americans. So stress is adversely affecting our mental health and ends up killing us over time if it is left unaddressed.
Take it from the progressive research available on meditation and better lifestyle habits. You can break the stress cycle with both!
Looking for guided meditations from The Chopra Institute?
Awakening to Higher Consciousness. (2016, October 05). Retrieved February 16, 2017, from http://www.chopra.com/online-courses/awakening-to-higher-consciousness/september-2016#sm.00001ispbfd153ydrhttxljoko4lf
Center For The Advancement Of Health. (2000, March 24). Depression And Anxiety Linked To Hypertension. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 16, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000324094550.htm
Ellis, M. (2015, December 04). Can meditating reduce blood pressure? Retrieved February 16, 2017, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/303545.php
Psychosomatic Illness & Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2017, from http://www.my-holistic-healing.com/psychosomatic-illness.html
Strauss, V. (2015, May 20). Deepak Chopra blasts scientist who criticized his view of evolution. The scientist fires back. Retrieved February 16, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/05/20/deepak-chopra-blasts-scientist-who-criticized-his-view-of-evolution-the-scientist-fires-back/?utm_term=.a084c4e51d6d