Last weekend’s talk by Deepak Chopra at my nutrition school conference left me with some important insights for achieving a healthier and happier life. His advice:
1. Every day, do something that gives you the opportunity to experience your strengths.
Find a place in your work to express and use your talents. Focusing on your strengths makes your daily experience positive leading to greater happiness. If you are in a job where you are unable to use your strengths- question your need to stay there.
2. Eat. Breathe. Sleep. Meditate. Love.
Make time in your day for all of these. They should be the most important priorities of your day. They allow your body to thrive.
3. Don’t spend money that you don’t have to buy things that you don’t need to impress people that you don’t like.
Do not be controlled by stuff. Stuff distracts you from being in the present moment. Financial worries sap happiness. Currently, shopping is the primary method Americans use for achieving pleasure. Sex is only number 3.
4. Happiness emotions are contagious.
Get happy, and make others happy. Spread small kindnesses.
5. If you are not present in your life now, the future will come and you won’t be present for it.
The only moment you have is now. The future is not yet here. Focus your mind on the present so you don’t miss out on the life that’s happening.
6. Multi-tasking gets worse with practice.
Trying to do multiple things at once is ineffective and nothing gets done well. Keep your attention on one. thing. at. a. time.
7. Your genes are not deterministic. Only 5% of of disease-related gene mutations are unstoppable.
Almost all genetic diseases are preventable with lifestyle changes. Lifestyle choices have the greatest impact on the development of chronic disease. Focus on healthy eating, sleep, movement, and relationships.
Photo: Ecuador, 2008