Posts Categorized: Book

One Beauty Secret for Everyone

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By Deepak Chopra, MD and Kimberly Snyder, CN

 

The pursuit of beauty, which has been a constant theme throughout recorded history, makes beauty seem like a mysterious gift granted only to the fortunate few. Even now in a scientific age, there’s the constant search for beauty secrets that will bring this gift to many more people. In fact, such a secret does exist, in our view. Instead of saying, “If I’m beautiful I will be happy, the secret is the reverse: “If I’m happy, I will be beautiful.”

 

This is the axiom of finding beauty from the inside out. There is a rising tide of evidence to show that our cells immediately respond to the inner events in our lives. Being unhappy is a state of mind and body, not simply the mind. There are medical consequences in terms of decreased immune response, for example, among people who are depressed, grief-stricken, lonely, or who have been suddenly terminated from their jobs. This isn’t news. What’s news-worthy is the finer detail, which indicates that no matter how microscopic the scale, all the way down to our genes, shifts in mental activity produce shifts in the wellbeing of cells.

 

Let’s accept for the moment that the best way to be beautiful is to be happy.  Does that really improve the situation? The field of positive psychology, which is relatively new, has discovered that being happy isn’t a simple thing where one prescription works for everyone. And finding a path to increased happiness is tricky. Each of us has a kind of emotional set point we return to as our default. An outside event can cause the needle to move, making us temporarily happier than usual or unhappier. But over time we return to our emotional set point, even after the most extreme events.

 

Yet happiness is still the key, because two findings from positive psychology appear to be solid. The first is that a happy life is made up from happy days. In other words, waiting to be happy isn’t effective. Being happy today, here and now, is the best strategy. This ties in with the finding that our cells react to our moods. If you work for twenty years at a job that makes you miserable, waiting for retirement day so that you can finally be happy, then during those twenty years you amass cellular changes, including pathways in the brain, that imprint misery–something you will be carrying around biologically and psychologically for many years into your retirement.

 

What makes for a happy day? In the first post of this series we reduced this question to a matter of input. Our cells recognize only negative input and positive input. Experience is translated into chemicals that either benefit a cell or harm it. Therefore, by focusing on giving the mind-body system positive input every day and decreasing negative input, you are adding to your well-being overall. Here’s a sizable list of positive inputs to pay attention to, as first stated in our last post:

 

  • Pure food, water, and air.
  • Avoiding physical and emotional toxins.
  • Unprocessed, natural, organic food.
  • Nurturing relationships.
  • Good sleep.
  • Exercise that favors lightness, balance, flexibility, and gracefulness.
  • Attitudes of appreciation and gratitude.
  • A higher vision of life.
  • Service to others.
  • Satisfying, meaningful work.
  • Mediation and yoga.
  • Increased self-esteem.
  • The sense of being in control.
  • Feeling safe.
  • Feeling as if you belong.
  • Daily close contact with family and friends.
  • Generosity of self through acts of giving.
  • Being loved and loving in return.

 

As a practical matter, you can keep a journal that tracks these positive aspects of life, while at the same time tracking the negative aspects, which are simply the opposite of everything on the list. Most of these things are directly under your control, such as deciding to meditate, and others, such as being in a loving relationship, are things you have a voice in.

 

So choosing to be happy involves meaningful decisions, which brings us to the second discovery about how to be happy. Despite the effects of outside people and forces pulling against your happiness, and despite the emotional set point, it is estimated that 40-50% of a person’s happiness is dependent on choices made or not made. This is simply an average. It’s likely that some people grow much happier than the norm once they make steady, conscious, positive choices. We already know that such people have much better physical health than the norm, so it’s only logical that the same applies to wellbeing. In our view, “If I’m happy, I will be beautiful” is the beauty secret everyone has dreamed of.

 

Deepak Chopra MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. The World Post and The Huffington Post global internet survey ranked Chopra #17 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine. Chopra is the author of more than 80 books translated into over 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His latest books are Super Genes co-authored with Rudolph Tanzi, PhD  and Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine.  www.deepakchopra.com

 

KIMBERLY SNYDER, C.N., is a nutritionist and the New York Times bestselling author of the Beauty Detox book series. Snyder has appeared as a nutrition and beauty expert on Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, Ellen, Access Hollywood, The Doctors, and Today and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Vanity Fair, ElleInStyle, as well as many others. The go-to nutritionist for many of the entertainment industry’s top performers, Snyder is also the creator of Glow Bio, an organic juice, smoothie and cleanse company. She hosts the top-rated podcast Beauty Inside Out on iTunes, and her blog, website, and products have spread the Beauty Detox movement to more than 150 countries. For more information, visit KimberlySnyder.com and  RadicalBeauty.com.

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How to See a Beautiful Person in the Mirror

By Deepak Chopra, MD and Kimberly Snyder, CN

Society has allowed our notion of beauty to go awry. Countless women–and not just women–look in the mirror and see a reflection of inadequacy. They have fallen short of an ideal that was defective to begin with. But conditioned since childhood to equate a “perfect” body with being beautiful, they blame themselves for being the defective one.

The situation is filled with cruel ironies. Children are naturally beautiful until they are taught to stop thinking that way and to start measuring themselves by an unnatural standard. Even the small percentage of women who are super-model thin suffer anxiety over gaining a pound. The first gray hair and wrinkles create panic. The worship of perfection belies the epidemic of obesity that constitutes reality for millions.

The problem has been diagnosed many times without a workable solution. One study after another has proven without a doubt that fad diets don’t work; in fact, the chances of becoming obese are higher for chronic dieters. Billions of dollars spent on cosmetics and plastic surgery have done nothing to solve a prevailing sense of not being beautiful enough. All of this points to a single underlying issue: a woman’s sense of lack.

In our view, this is the issue that must be addressed head on. If a person looks in the mirror and doesn’t see someone who is lacking, the way is open for seeing someone who is beautiful. A radical turn-around in social measures of beauty is necessary, and yet the good news is that such a turn-around is accessible by everyone. Let’s look at a few facts about the mind-body system that support our optimism. Untitled design(23)

1. Mind and body are connected through a network of messaging that alerts every cell in the body to our thoughts, moods, beliefs, hopes, fears, and expectations.

2. As a result, the body is amazingly sensitive to shifts in our mental state.

3. By using a simple measure–the percentage of positive input the mind-body system receives–the messaging to every cell can be improved and even optimized.

4. Working from the inside out, practices like yoga, meditation, and stress management have holistic benefits.

These facts have far-reaching implications for beauty. As a woman gains more positivity about herself, grounded in lifestyle changes in any area, the feedback loop that connects mind and body gets stronger. The person’s increased wellbeing increases, and with each step in this direction, a shift occurs in the brain, favoring even more positivity and less negativity. So what do we mean by positive input? In our holistic approach to beauty, which we call Radical Beauty, the range of possibilities is very broad:

* Pure food, water, and air.

* Avoiding physical and emotional toxins.

* Unprocessed, natural, organic food.

* Nurturing relationships.

* Good sleep.

* Exercise that favors lightness, balance, flexibility, and gracefulness.

* Attitudes of appreciation and gratitude.

* A higher vision of life.

* Service to others.

* Satisfying, meaningful work.

* Mediation and yoga.

* Increased self-esteem.

* The sense of being in control.

* Feeling safe.

* Feeling as if you belong.

* Daily close contact with family and friends.

* Generosity of self through acts of giving.

* Being loved and loving in return.

This is just a start on the holistic path, and every aspect comes naturally once we drop our unrealistic ideals and realize how fulfilling reality can be instead. Beauty should be measured by these things, and yet we aren’t shying away from or giving up on traditional beauty, which still has a place. The skin, for example, is the body’s largest organ and secrets more endocrine hormones than the endocrine glands. These hormones are carriers and signals of emotion. therefore, in the mind-body feedback loop, a glowing mood gets translated into glowing skin.

In the next post we’ll give more details about how our radical revision of beauty works, in what we call Radical Beauty. Here we wanted to open the discussion on a topic that everyone is involved in, leading to life-enhancing or self-destructive results. The purpose of beauty should always be life-enhancing, and we believe it can be, in very practical terms.

 

 

Deepak Chopra MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. The World Post and The Huffington Post global internet survey ranked Chopra #17 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine. Chopra is the author of more than 80 books translated into over 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His latest books are Super Genes co-authored with Rudolph Tanzi, PhD  and Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine.  www.deepakchopra.com

 

KIMBERLY SNYDER, C.N., is a nutritionist and the New York Times bestselling author of the Beauty Detox book series. Snyder has appeared as a nutrition and beauty expert on Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, Ellen, Access Hollywood, The Doctors, and Today and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Vanity Fair, ElleInStyle, as well as many others. The go-to nutritionist for many of the entertainment industry’s top performers, Snyder is also the creator of Glow Bio, an organic juice, smoothie and cleanse company. She hosts the top-rated podcast Beauty Inside Out on iTunes, and her blog, website, and products have spread the Beauty Detox movement to more than 150 countries. For more information, visit KimberlySnyder.com and  RadicalBeauty.com.

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Want to Lead a Happier Life? Talk to Your Genes

 

wellbeingBy Deepak Chopra, MD, Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD

 

Genetics may be on the verge of solving a very complex question in a revolutionary but quite simple way. The question is, What does it take to be happy? The question never goes away. It hangs over our heads every day. The possible answers are many, but they follow two general trends whose results, frankly, have been disappointing. One trend is psychological, holding that happiness is an emotional state. The other trend is philosophical, holding that happiness is a mental state. When someone is unhappy, psychologists aim to improve their mood, largely by addressing anxiety, depression, and various psychological wounds from the past. A philosopher, on the other hand, would examine the underlying idea of happiness itself and why it is or isn’t feasible. In the end, happiness is all about health and wellbeing.

 

Yet after thousands of years of deep thinking and a hundred years of psychotherapy, the condition that the vast majority of people find themselves in is marked by total confusion. We muddle through on a wobbly combination of wishful thinking, hope, bouts of high and low spirits, denial, family ties, love, distraction, and the constant pursuit of external pleasures, as if happiness can be cobbled together more or less randomly.

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