May 6, 2015
Deepak Chopra knows a thing or two about maintaining a physical, emotional, and social well-being. Chopra argues that the long-term financial success of any startup depends on the health of the team and how its culture is functioning.
This week Chopra took the stage at eMerge Americas in Miami to talk about how technology can help personal well-being. The bestselling author and educator shared his insights to an audience of entrepreneurs eager to learn about creating a sustainable, yet healthy, business.
“Your business is not a business until it’s global,” said Chopra.
According to Chopra, the purpose of a business should be to improve the quality of life, not to have a successful exit. And quality of life begins with personal choices entrepreneurs make daily to nourish the mind and soul.
“The mind and body are inseparably one. The unity that is ‘me’ separates into two streams of experience. I experience the subjective stream as thoughts, feelings, and desires. I experience the objective stream as my body. Your thoughts come from a deeper presence. And that is your soul or awareness,” said Chopra.
Data can help people understand how they can personally maintain their well-being. Chopra argues that by having the right metrics, businesses can create services that influence people to stay healthy. According to Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being, research has shown that people with higher well-being are healthier, more productive, and more resilient in the face of challenges.
According to Chopra, a lot has to do with our cellular biology. In a study for the Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative (SBTI), they concluded that there are ways that we can “reverse biological markers of aging and alter gene activity to promote radical well-being.”
There are five pillars of well-being, which help with the process of renewal. They include:
Chopra explained that sleep helps our minds detox from all the information your brain has processed during the day. For some reason, many adults sleep very little or need medication to sleep. We’ve recently asked Tech.Co readers if sleeping is necessary for entrepreneurs. You would be surprised to know that 17% said that sleep is not necessary (sleep is for the weak). Actually, investing in your sleep contributes to maintaining your brain health.
For those who do struggle with sleep, the good news is that it’s becoming high-tech. There are apps that help you monitor your sleep pattern and even companies that help you find the perfect mattress for you.
- Jawbone Up: A fitness tracker that helps you keep up with your sleep using a wrist monitor. It includes a sensor that has sleep-tracking capabilities.
- Sleepbot: An app that also tracks your sleep through the accelerometer that is built into your phone. It has three major features: a motion-tracker, a sound-recorder and a smart alarm.
Meditation is all about connecting with your soul. Part of maintaining your well-being is taking the time to disconnect from the outside to go within.
“Your soul or self-awareness. It has nothing to do with your ego identity, which is a projection of yourself based on your experience. You need to go to your deeper self; when you attain that, you reach a platonic truth,” Chopra.
In recent years, medical studies have found evidence of meditation’s many benefits, including: Protecting against health problems from high blood pressure and arthritis to infertility, reducing stress, improving attention and sensory processing; and physically altering parts of the brain associated with learning and memory, emotional regulation, and perspective-taking.
The benefits are there, but not everyone has the time to join a meditation group. Good thing there are a few apps that can help you:
- Calm: Calm can help you meditate, sleep, relax, focus and much more. There website even includes a two-minutes guided meditation for those looking for an afternoon session.
- Breathe Sync: Breathe Sync gets your breathing and heart back in sync fast, so that you feel more relaxed and think more clearly.
Chopra believes that it only takes some daily movements to get you on the right path. So you don’t have to commit to a full-hour workout, just need to get moving daily.
- RunKeeper: The app tracks speed, distance, and routes for exercises like running, walking, and cycling.
- Nike App: Pick your workouts, watch videos from a personal trainer, and earn NikeFuel (if you have a Nike+ FuelBand).
Chopra suggested that each person keep a diary with 5 positive emotions.
“The biochemistry of the body is a product of awareness. Beliefs, thoughts, and emotions create the chemical reactions that uphold life in every cell,” said Chopra.
Positive emotions lead to healthier minds. There are many habits you can pick up to keep you positive. There also apps:
- Happify: Positive vibes app that trains you into thinking positively and feeling happy by engaging you in various “tracks” with different goals like improving your confidence or seeing new possibilities.
- iMoodJournal : The ultimate mood journal, personal diary and charting tool. It will help you discover causes of your ups and downs, and get surprising insights into yourself!
Eating Healthy Food
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of keeping a healthy diet. Chopra emphasized staying away from processed food, which many blame as the cause for the rising rates of chronic disease and weight gain in the developed world. It may sound like a challenge, but the outcome is worth it. Processed foods are high in sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup. It also contain dozens of artificial chemicals that are in no way real “food”.
Choosing to eat a healthy diet means commitment, and maybe a little help from technology:
- Lose It!: This app helps you set a goal weight, log the food you eat by scanning barcodes or entering items. It also connects you to a nutritionist, to keep you on the right track.
- MyFitnessPal: A calorie counting website with a database of over 1 million foods. It also has a support community for those difficult days.
Chopra was a keynote speaker at eMerge Americas conference, the annual technology and innovation event that promotes the acceleration of a technology corridor for the Americas.
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