Global wellness expert Deepak Chopra told CNBC that he would like to see the administration of incoming President Joe Biden involved in “democratizing well-being” and addressing “true health reform.”
Chopra, a worldwide leading figure in integrative medicine and meditation, said talk of health reform in the U.S. today mainly revolved around insurance reform and payments for health services.
“True health reform means giving people the tools for prevention and also for lifestyle measures that can help them not only prevent disease, but actually reverse a lot of chronic disease,” he said.
“The new administration should have a full department on the future of well-being as prevention and self-regulation, giving people the tools and even helping pay for them,” he added.
‘95% of chronic illness is related to stress’
Speaking in the latest episode of “The CNBC Conversation” series, Chopra said that the Covid-19 crisis in the U.S. had been “the worst” globally, and that the pandemic had become “a political instrument” there.
As a response to help people try to counter the effects of the crisis, he teamed up once again with global media icon and wellness advocate, Oprah Winfrey, to release the latest of their “21-Day Meditation Experiences.” The highly popular partnership series first launched in 2013.
Chopra told CNBC that “95% of chronic illness is related to stress, anxiety, depression and inflammation, and is potentially preventable and reversible.”
“Stress is the interpretation of threat, whether it’s physical threat or psychological threat or emotional threat, it doesn’t matter. If you feel threatened your body goes into what is called sympathetic overdrive, so that results in inflammation in the body,” he said.
Chopra, who is also the founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit focused on the research of well-being and humanitarianism, said mindfulness and meditation practices, as well as other healthy habits including good sleep, managing stress, deep breathing, exercise and good nutrition, can all help “mitigate inflammation, depression, anxiety and disease, and now this is all measurable.”
The New York Times best-selling author also told CNBC that financial security is as “important as any other aspect of health and well-being.”
Under the theme of “New Year, New You,” he recently partnered with U.S. digital financial software company, Personal Capital, an Empower company, to promote the importance of “financial wellness.”
Chopra said people need to feel secure to improve their financial well-being.
“I think first of all get into the habit of saving. Right now, people if they lose one month’s salary, they don’t have enough to pay their rent or buy food, which is again a tragic commentary on our society. So there should be measures to help people feel secure,” he said.
“It’s not the amount of money, it’s how you use it and how you feel emotionally, your relationship to money is more important and that comes from what we call abundance consciousness and not scarcity consciousness,” he added.
Chopra told CNBC that in 2021 he hopes the world can learn from the global crises it has faced over the last few months.
“I see the pandemic actually disappearing by about April because of many factors, including the vaccine, but many other factors”, he said.
“And then I see, hopefully, that we have learned from it. That economic well-being … and social justice and peace are really necessary if you want to reinvent life on this planet,” he added.