Americans are experiencing three pandemics right now, according to wellness expert and best-selling author Deepak Chopra.
The first is the Covid-19 pandemic and loss of life associated with the virus, he said. The second is the concurrent financial crisis hitting people across the country.
“The third pandemic is anxiety and stress and fear of death,” said Chopra, founder of The Chopra Foundation.
It’s no surprise that Americans are stressed out. Millions have lost their jobs in the coronavirus-induced recession and are struggling financially. In fact, around 64% of adults are calling their finances a “significant source of stress” in their lives during the crisis, according to the American Psychological Association.
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Yet that stress and anxiety can be harmful not only to your mental health, but your physical wellness, as well.
“If you have stress in you right now, anger, hostility, grief, which is happening, then you’re going to compromise your immune system,” said Chopra, who recently launched a new meditation app, Chopra Meditation & Well-Being. His 91st book, “Total Meditation,” was also just released.
A number of illnesses, including digestive problems, heart disease and migraines, have been linked with stress.
“Cortisol levels will go up,” Chopra noted. “It compromises your immune system.
“Adrenaline and other hormones go up, cause inflammation, make it more likely that you’ll have a cardiovascular disease or metabolic syndrome,” he added.
How to deal with stress
Deepak Chopra leads a meditation in Telluride, Colorado.
Courtesy: Deepak Chopra
Get restful sleep and exercise, Chopra advised. Also, practice deep breathing and meditation.
“We need to override the sympathetic overstimulation in our body, which is making us sick,” he said.
There is guided meditation, which you can find online or through an app, or self-guided meditation you can do on your own.
To start, just instantly engage in a little reflection, said Chopra.
“You can sit down quietly, right now, ask yourself, ‘Who am I? What do I want? What’s my purpose? What am I grateful for?'” he said. “That will ease things.
“Then you observe your breath; that will bring your mind to a quieter place.”