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Deepak Chopra: 5 keys to stress relief

Posted on May 05 2014

by: Dr. Deepak Chopra, guest blogger Hundreds of yoga and meditation practitioners from around the world will gather at the Seduction of Spirit weeklong retreat in Toronto this summer. The global meditation event of the year harnesses the power of intention, resulting in positive transformation from the inside out. Participants will benefit from increased joy and well-being in their lives, and the whole world will see a shift as we come together to meditate for global peace. Do you remember the last time you were so absorbed in a suspenseful movie or novel that the rest of the world dropped away? For most of us, it’s even easier to get caught up in our own stories, interpretations, and emotions – becoming so identified with a mood that it completely colors our worldview. Consider this common scenario: You’re at work when your manager abruptly asks to see you immediately in her office. If you react with fear or anger, the thoughts in your mind create stress in your body. Your heart beats faster, your blood pressure rises, your breath becomes shallow, your adrenalin surges, and you produce higher levels of cortisol. Your ancient fight-or-flight response is gearing up, but no woolly mammoths are roaming through the office – “just” thoughts convincing you that your survival is at stake. While your thoughts may seem wispy in comparison with a hungry, 10-ton predator, they clearly have immense power. Something happens that violates your sense of how things should be, and your body gears up to fight or flee the perceived danger. Numerous studies show that when we live in a chronic state of fight-or-flight, we’re more likely to experience physical and emotional illness, including heart disease, autoimmune disorders, cancer, insomnia, migraines, panic attacks and depression.

Deepak Chopra: Choices that relieve stress

Fortunately, there are many valuable practices that can help you let go of stress and cultivate a mind-body state that promotes peace and balance. 1. Meditate Meditation gives you access to the inner silence and calm that lies beneath the mind’s noisy internal dialogue. Meditation allows you to experience profound relaxation that dissolves fatigue and long-standing stresses. Studies have found that a daily meditation practice can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decrease anxiety and depression, and reverse the biological markers of aging. The Chopra Center offers many free meditation resources here. deepak chopra, chopra stress relief, stress relief seminars, well-being 2.  Take a music break Every sound has a physiological effect, offering a powerful tool for stress relief. When you listen to a beautiful song or soothing ocean waves, your body produces chemicals that help you feel calm and joyful. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, experiment with sound therapy. You may find yourself calmed by classical pieces, jazz or nature sounds. Many people also find great stress relief in running or dancing to high-energy music such as rock and roll. Moving and releasing energy in this way helps move you out of your head and into your body, allowing you to feel strong and grounded. 3.  Use calming oils The essential oils from certain herbs and flowers have been traditionally used in Ayurveda to calm an overactive system. Fragrances that are warm, sweet, and heavy are most useful. Sandalwood, patchouli, lavender and vanilla tend to be relaxing; experiment to find what works for you. 4.  Find balance through yoga A regular practice of yoga balances the mind-body physiology, including the nervous system, endocrine system (responsible for the production of stress-relieving hormones) and digestion. Like meditation, yoga helps you experience a state of body-centered restful awareness that releases the grip of stressful thought patterns, allowing you to return to your natural state of balance and well-being. 5.  Enjoy a good belly laugh Laughter is a powerful mind-body experience that reduces the production of stress hormones and boosts the immune system. Laughter can also decrease anxiety and depression – so give yourself permission to have a good laugh at least once a day. About Seduction of Spirit: Seduction of Spirit is a rare opportunity to step away from the constant demands on our attention – the emails, text messages, phone calls, meetings, errands, and conferences – and dive into the stillness and silence that flows beneath life’s chaotic surface. This beautiful retreat is about slowing down and tuning into the peace of present moment awareness. In a supportive group of like-minded individuals, Deepak Chopra and other Chopra Center master educators will guide you in Primordial Sound Meditation, Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, visualizations, creative activities, and discussions that will help you move from constriction to expansion, from fear to love, and from heaviness to happiness. For more information on the retreat and ticket sales please visit chopra.com/seduction-of-spirit/august-2014.

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