The Future of Wellbeing: A Conversation with Deepak Chopra
Good. Morning. Welcome. To the forum at, the Harvard th Chan School of, Public Health, I'm. Michelle, Williams Dean of the faculty, here at the school and, I'm delighted to see you all here today, I'm. Also delighted. To, welcome our online, viewers around. The. World, including. Those tuning, in from, India, Hong. Kong and other. Sites globally as well, as those, in our community who, are spread, across the, campuses. In Boston, and in, Cambridge. Today. We are gathered, to discuss an essential, concept, that. At times may feel elusive. And that, concept, is well-being. I'm. Deeply. Honored and, really. Humbled, to, welcome, our distinguished. Guests, dr., Deepak Chopra, New. York Times bestselling. Author and founder. Of the Chopra foundation. Dr.. Chopra is a world-renowned. Expert on, well-being, he. Has recently published, a new book the. Healing, self a, revolutionary. New plan to. Supercharge your, immunity, and stay, well for life this. Is a book that's co-authored. With Harvard zone neurology. Professor, dr. Rudi tansy, this. Event this morning is presented. Jointly, with PR, i--'s the. World and, WGBH. And I am pleased to welcome the. World's, Carol Hills our moderator. For today's, conversation. With dr. Chopra. We. Are streaming live on, the. Websites, of the world and. The. Forum as well, as. Other social media, platforms. We. Will look at our world today as we. Tend to focus on, the, problems, that, many of us confront. Here at the school and beyond. For. Example, think, about the problems, we confront, chronic. And infectious diseases. Undermining. The health of halation. Natural. Disasters. Strike, often. Hitting hardest, the, most vulnerable populations. Social. Injustice --is and health. Disparities, sadanand, frustrate, us all, and. Mental. Health a key. Part of overall, wellness tends. To go. Underappreciated. Or even, unappreciated. In some contexts. Yet, psychosocial, stress, depression. And anxiety. Impact. Hundreds. Of millions of people around the world. So. What can public health do about these challenges, how can public health help. Let. Me offer a few examples. To illustrate how, public health can help we. Can recognize that. Healthy, lives across, the life course are, not, just, those lived, without sickness, and disability. We. Can help people engage in wellness, across. Their, life spans. What. Do we mean by that we. Can help people by. Easing. Access, to affordable and, nutritious food. We. Can help by. Promoting. Social, connectedness. We. Can help by, offering access. To. Good quality health, care and we. Can help by educating, people. About the. Importance, of managing stress and, getting. Enough sleep and exercise. We. Can also encourage, a holistic. Approach that. Supports. These, foundations. With. Respect, to personal, health as well. As within, healthy. Communities, and. Perhaps. Most importantly. We. Can help to bring evidence that drives, policy. To, promote systems. And, approaches. That bolster. The well-being, of entire. Populations. We. Here at the Harvard Chan School consider. Well-being, as such. An important, part of what. Constitutes. A healthy, world that. We have identified. Well-being. And nutrition, as, key components of our research, mission. We. Will begin today, with dr. Chopra giving, brief remarks, here, at the podium and then, he will join Carroll, Hills in a, conversation. We. Have already received, a large number of questions in advance of our session, and, Carol. Will share some of those with you along. With questions, contributed, by our our local viewing, audience, here, to. Start today's program, I get to do an Oprah, I'm sure she'd like to know that her name is a verb as well I. Have. An, opportunity, to have a little fun and, what.
I'd Like to do is ask everyone, here in the auditorium to. Look at the postcards. At the desk in front of them and if. Your postcard has a, sticker. On the reverse side, then. I'm happy to share with you that. You will receive. A complimentary. Copy, of the. Healing self, after. Our program so. Read, it enjoy. It be. Well have. Fun it, is. Now my great pleasure and honor, to welcome dr., Chopra to the podium. Well. Thank you dr.. Williams Dean. Williams and thank you all for being here very. Honored, privileged. And. Always happy, to come back to Boston. My. Training was here in internal, medicine. Endocrinology. And then. Neuroendocrinology. So, selling. Dean. Williams that my career has spanned, internal. Medicine, endocrinology. Discovery. Of neuro peptides as. Molecules, of emotion, getting. Into mind-body, medicine. Integrative. Health and, well-being and, today. Addressing. The hard problem, of consciousness. So. I'd. Like to start off by saying that as biological. Organisms. We. Are already a, holistic. Process. All. Biological. Organisms. Function, holistically. A human. Body has more. Than 60, trillion, cells which. Is more than all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Human. Body can, think, thoughts play, a piano kill, germs remove, toxins, make, a baby all at the same time while. Monitoring. The movement, of, planets, and, stars as. Its. Own biological, rhythms, circadian, rhythms, seasonal, rhythms gravitational. Rhythms even. Lunar, rhythms that. Homeostasis. Or, self-regulation, is a, natural, state and, the. Extreme, end. Of, the, spectrum may, form a stasis or self-regulation. Which is a dynamic. Process. Of, non change within, change, is, one. Extreme, then, low-grade. Chronic, inflammation, is, the. Other extreme. Which. Leads. To disease. Only. 5%, only, 5% of. Disease. Related gene, mutations, are fully penetrant, which. Means they, cannot, be stopped. 5%. If somebody has a baraka gene for example for, breast cancer. It's a fully penetrant. Gene and one. Needs to do. Remedial. Measures, as prevention, Angelina. Jolie has gone. Public with her preventative. Mastectomy, and, so forth because she had that gene now. What most people don't know other. Than those who are really. Involved is that's. True of, 95%. Of chronic. Illness in our world even. Mutations. That lead to disease, are not fully, penetrant, so if you have say. 30. Identified. Genes for, Alzheimer's. Only 3 are fully penetrant. Hundreds. Of genes are involved in various. Types of cancer less, than 5% are, fully, penetrant, and, the. Fact that the. Risk factors, for heart, disease stroke. Inflammation. Cancer. Autoimmune. Illness, infectious. Diseases, are, actually common that. The same risk factors, that. We've. Been looking at for cardiovascular, disease for, the last 35, years so. With that understanding, of. Our body as the holistic process, a, body. As a verb, and I'd. Like to say that nouns. Are conventions, of language, but, they do not, reflect, reality, reality. Is always, an, activity. Your bodies and activity, even. This is an activity, at the level of atoms and particles but. Biological, organisms, are so. Dynamic, in maintaining, self regulation that. If we put attention, to, just a few things and the new sciences. Of. Neuroplasticity. Epogen. Neuroplasticity. Means, that you're conscious choices. Regulate. Your neural, networks, and if you make something a habit you create something called. Long term potentiation. Of, neural. Networks that. Basically. Helps you regulate. Your own biology. And, so. Neural, feedback cardiac. Feedback, but just, simple. Thing, like. Meditation. Will change, the, way you. Look. At, self-regulation. And healing, the, word healing comes from the word holy healing. Holy wholeness. Health, are the same word, is reminding. Yourself of, your connection, to wholeness. So. With what, we know of neuroplasticity. Epigenetics. Which means we every. Experience, that you have every experience including, the experience you're having right now even, if you're online and, watching, it from India every. Experience, is, modulating. Not only your neural, networks, but your gene activity and. Similarly. Your, microbiome, which is 2 million extra genes is responding. To every experience, you have whether it's sleep or food or, exercise. Of. Meditation. Or yoga, so. Over the years I've, identified, what. I call the six pillars of, well-being. These.
Are And not necessarily, in, order. Of importance. They're. All equally important, so the first is sleep, we. Can go into details, at any time on that second. Is stress management, mindfulness. Meditation and. Many. Other. Contemplative. Techniques, that have been part of wisdom. Traditions, all over the world and we. Have now original. Research to show that even a week of practice, of mindfulness, and. Meditation, will. Up regulate your gene activity, some genes will go up 17, fold, genes. For wound healing genes. For homeostasis. And, genes, that are responsible, for inappropriate. Inflammation. Will go down we. Have shown, that telomerase. The enzyme, that regulates, your genetic, clock in. Some cases, will go up by 40%, and, people practice, contemplative. Self-inquiry. Mindfulness. And meditation there's, no drug that will do that so, that's the second pillar the third is movement and, if. You add to that practices. Like yoga and, breathing. From practices. You, can specific. Klee targets. Several, different. Organs, in your body because, yoga has. The knowledge of which visceral. Nerves are activated. With which kind of movement, yoga, postures, or asanas, as they're called so, movement, is the third pillar the. Fourth pillar is emotions. So we know the stress and. Anger. And hostility and. Guilt. And, shame and, depression. All. Aggravate. Inflammation. And raise. Blood pressure and, and cause. Sticky, platelets, and everything, that goes wrong when homeostasis. Is, disrupted. But, we now also have evidence that, love compassion. Joy, equanimity. A, peaceful. Mind, and even keeping, a gratitude list, will. Decrease, inflammatory. Markers, and activate. The genes that are responsible, for homeostasis. And. Self-regulation. So, emotions, become very, practical. As a way. To harness. Emotional. And social intelligence. For. Optimal. Self-regulation. And finally. Two. More things which, what is nutrition. Michele, mentioned when. I was training in internal medicine people. Called me and said you know I changed, my diet, my, arthritis went, to me or my, asthma, went away I didn't. Believe them I had no basis, to understand. How that happened, but now that we know that the, microbiome. Two, million genes in your gut the, first thing they see is food and, if your food is contaminated, it's. Too much fat too much sugar too. Many chemicals or, pesticides or, petroleum products, or processed, food then. You have dysbiosis. Inflamed. Microbiome. That, causes inflammation in, the body your, microbiome. Your jeans and your epigenetic. Mechanisms, are all, influences. The. Metabolic activity in. Your body right now so. Nutrition, becomes very important, and then. Carol, was asking, me I think earlier, do I experience, jetlag. And because I traveled so much and I. Think this is a very important, point that our biological rhythms, are very important, in self-regulation. And so. That we, now know that if you eat within, the eight, hours. Of daylight if, you, get good sleep at night and, if, you ground, yourself even, by touching a tree or working. Barefoot, on the earth or on, grass or by.
The On, the, beach or even using a grounding, device that. Will decrease inflammation in, your body, avoid. Disruption. Of circadian rhythms. Which. Is. What jetlag, is all about so. With these six, pillars that I mentioned, you can hone. In on your. Biological. Sustainability. But, if you want to go beyond that to what, essentially. Is the mission of the. School of Public Health and you have to address bigger, problems. There. Is no. Social. Well-being or. Community. Well-being in the absence, of personal well-being, because we are units. Of society. So. If you want to move in the direction of some of the things that. Were. Mentioned by dr. Williams. If. You want to move in the direction of, a more peaceful just, sustainable. Healthier, and joyful, world and. We have to look at what creates for, purpose-driven. Well-being, or what we call career, well-being. People. Who, have happy, careers, who are on purpose, who, are engaged, with other people, who complement, their strengths, who, have shared vision, and are emotionally. Bonded create. Four extremely, successful, careers. Then. You have social, and emotional. And. Community. Well-being which. Is do, you have a close group. Of family. And friends that, you can rely on are. You socially, engaged. As. Far as communities, are concerned, do, you offer. Some, service, as. A volunteer, do. You gather in, a community, to, envision the future of your unity do, you have some kind of practice. Spiritual. Practice. That you do together in, India. And I know if people are watching in India we, use this free word savor, satsang. And Simran, say bah means service. Satsang. Satsang. Means a gathering, of people who are looking for. Ways to improve well-being, and, search. For what. Is called reality and Simran. Is some kind of contemplative. Self inquiry those. Are the essence, of. Community. Well-being. Social. Well-being career. Well-being, community. Well-being and, ultimately, financial, well-being a linked. Financial. Well-being doesn't, have to do with how much money you make. But the. Security, that you have if, you, have default. Ways. Of ensuring. That. You. Will be fine if you fall sick that. You have employment, that, you have disability.
That You have insurance and that, you can look forward to. Security. As you get old and, finally. The spiritual, well-being which, is another topic who. Are, we the, hard problem, of consciousness is. Consciousness a, byproduct of our brain or is it more fundamental. In nature is. Consciousness, the source of all experience, and that's. What I'm focusing, on my work on now. Totally. Looking. At the hard problem, of consciousness and, understanding our. Consciousness. Both personal, and collective, as a, source, of insight, into, ition. Imagination. Creativity. Vision. Higher, purpose, and the. Power of intention. So. When we look at well-being, and it's measurable everything, I've said is measurable social. Well-being. Community. Well-being financial. Well-being physical. Well-being, emotional. Well-being in, fact now in. Addition to doing perceived. Stress, scores, we, are also doing spiritual. Well-being stress, cause called. Understanding. Your relationship. With. The. Ecosystem. At large not, just the, social ecosystem, but. Our. Connection, to nature and ultimately. Our connection, to the universe, it's a big topic. Public, health should. Be the number one discipline, for anyone wanting, to go into. The. Future of well-being. Because. It's, going to be predictable, it's, going to be precise, it's. Going, to be. Preventable. In many cases, it's. Going. To be participatory. And, it's. Going to be process. Oriented. And it's, going to require, more. Than academic, institutions. It's going to require a, global. Public. Awareness. And. Require. A. Global. Action plan. Which. I think is feasible through. Blockchain. Technologies. And, other. Social, networks so. That we can collectively. Not. Only envision, but. Practically. Embark in the. Direction, of a more peaceful just, sustainable. Healthier. And joyful. World I was, sharing with Michelle, some of our research, now, at the Chopra, foundation. Through. Meta-analysis, of big data, it seems the number-one epidemic. In of our civilization. Is stress, but. It's, also connected. Directly, or indirectly to almost every illness that you can think of and even, to social violence and conflict. And, ultimately, even. Climate, change you, know change, can all be linked to our collective, behavior, it's, time to take. Schools. Of Public Health with, leadership. Such, as this here. At Harvard, School of Public Health come, together collectively. And. Bring. About a. Shift, in well-being and I'll, just end there well-being. Is more than wellness, wellness, is having. A good cholesterol, level and good blood blood pressure but. Well-being, is a state of. Consciousness. Where. You. Measure the quality of your, life in all the different buckets that I mentioned, physical, emotional spiritual. Community. Social. Financial. And, career, thank, you. Well. It's great to be here I welcome, everyone I'm, Carol hills and I. Wanted. To unpack a lot of what dr.. Chopra is talking. About in his new book and in his remarks, I. Think. Most of us in this room are. Familiar with. Wellness. And mindfulness. And, there's, a whole genre of. Books. And. Films. And documentaries, and. It's. In many ways its focused on the individual, and what individuals, can do to. Take, responsibility. For their own health and, I, wonder how do we I. Want. To frame this conversation by. Thinking. About how do we apply these things, in, the world of public health and. Where. We're talking about populations. And we're. Talking very often, about populations, without access. Living. In poverty. People. Whose lives are full of stress and have very, little. To. Work with and so. I wanted, to start with you. Mentioned. One thing in your opening, remarks about, block chain, technology and. I, wonder if you could elaborate. On that where. It concerns public health, blockchain. Technologies. Self-regulating. Movements. And technologies. For just about everything so, one can create blockchain, technology, in fact I'm in the process of doing that and I was talking, to Dean, Williams about, it that. You could create a social. Movement where, you have reward. Systems, for well-being, and social. Engagement and, service, and those, reward, systems, could be recognition. From. Say the Harvard School of Public Health or. Opportunities. To serve or get. A job in the, area of well-being, and I.
Think It takes. Well being and. Democratizes. It whether. It's, through, blockchain. Technologies. Of cryptocurrencies. That. Can be used as reward, systems, give a give an example, so. We create, well-being. Community, in Cambridge, Massachusetts and. Everybody. Here is part of it and it. They. Have access, to it through a private, code. And they. Share ideas and, they share. Goals. Whether it's optimizing. Nutrition, weight. Loss better. Sleep, service. To the community. Spiritual. Practice, in exchange. They get. Money. For it crypto currency, that, can be used only for improving. Well-being, and service. Are. There examples are models for that approach. In. Other countries. Model. And it's. Moving. Very fast especially. Among, the millenniums, Millennials. I see. A future, even for, democracy, in. The future globally, where, as global, citizens and global, citizen, scientists, we can contribute, both. Our services. And also get, back. Advise, and, participate. Even in the electoral process by. Voting. On values. Rather. Than on personalities. And you, see this translating. Among populations. That. Live. In poverty are there ways to introduce this kind of thing. Among. The populations, then right now it's, not in that demographic right, now but it could be especially, in places like India where everybody, has a mobile phone so. It could be part. Of that but. As, far as. Managing. Stress, in, impoverished, areas as. Dean, William knows we have a program, in, New. York in a very impoverished. Areas. Is, called urban Yogi's, where. Regular. Practices. Such as those, I mentioned are bringing the. Community. Violence and murder rate down just by doing this, now, that could be incorporated, ultimately, through, blockchain, technology. As well but, I think for impoverished areas, especially. In school systems it's. Very easy to introduce some of these ideas and. Meditation. Doesn't have to be a complicated process or. Mindfulness. Doesn't, have to be a, complicated. Process it's, just getting in touch with your inner self, in fact we could try an experiment. Right now we should take five seconds, are you game for it, are. You game for it so everyone who's watching us, I'm. Going, to ask you a question, and the, answer is yes. I'm. Giving you the answer before. I ask you the question okay. So, please say yes after I ask, you the question are, you aware right now. Can. You be a little more enthusiastic. Are, you aware, right, now. Okay. Now, I'm going to ask you the same question, but before. Don't. Answer it till I lift my hand up okay, so. Same question and, then you can say yes when I lift my hand up are. You aware. So. Are you aware as a thought the answer yes is the thought in between is you as awareness. People. Are so overshadowed. By their thoughts and perceptions, and, experiences. In. The external world that they never get in touch with themselves, so, now I'm going to ask you the same question. Are. You aware and this time just be aware of that which is listening, are, you aware. This. Presence, is who. You really are not. Your thoughts which recycle. In. Social. Media. But. The presence, in which experience. Occurs you. Can stop anytime and, ask yourself, am i aware. Shouldn't. Be a complicated, process I, want. To remind people that we're going to have a Q&A. From online, viewers.
And And all, of you here in, the form of emails, if you want to email questions. You. Can email. Them to the forum, at HS, pH harvard.edu. You. Can post them on Facebook, at. Harvard, Public Health or post. Them on the live chat at the forum site. In. Terms. Of introducing questions I wanted, to we. Have some questions in, advance from, people who've written in prior to this event and. This. Was from Jasmine hall and, she. Asks in some ways what I'm trying to get at what what practical, steps can we take to promote well-being to, communities, that do not always have basic. Needs met to. Be more inclusive of socioeconomic. Status, and less privileged, populations. Yes. I think that's the major, challenge. We have, both. In academia and, outside of academia, I think. It is to create partnerships, to, create social networks, to. Engage people through social media but, focus. On those three things that I mentioned while. Ensuring, community. Service, as part of the volunteering. Gathering. Together to, discuss. Issues, for. The communities or. What are challenges. Having. A vision for the future and. A. Spiritual. Or, mindfulness. Or. Aware fulness practice. If. I can call it that but. These. Movements, are happening, right now because, people are fed up of waiting, for the government of waiting. For even. Institutions. To take action, and when. We discuss, well-being, in most places outside, of schools. Of Public Health it's, about insurance, it's not about well-being health. Reform, is not about health reform it's about health insurance, but health insurance, is very critical, it's cool and I would agree on one country where it is unavailable. Right and particularly. In a country like the US and, it's. It is actually a source of deep stress. It's. I spent. My childhood in, a developing. Country and, we've. Never had to think about it we never had to think about education or health. Or well-being because, it was taken care of by. The public, sector, yes. For. Some Indians, yes probably there's millions. Of other Indians who didn't yeah but India. Is a huge volunteer. Force as well and more. NGOs, than the, United, States I want. To talk about stress it's a big topic in your book and, it's a real concern for. People in the field of global, health and a concern of Dean Williams and the School of Public Health here. You. Talk about ways, to reduce stress getting, out of overdrive connecting, with nature making, time for yourself confiding. In a friend and. And you talk as you did in your opening remarks about, how, lifelong, stress can can. Managing. Lifelong stress can really reduce the incidence. Of chronic. Disease, but. How do we are the examples, either. In the United States or overseas of. Places. Where it's. Again outside of the realm of the individual, who's. Who's who's, learning and taking responsibility are. There are. There healthcare systems, that, are addressing, stress. And reducing, stress as a primary, concern, that. Maybe the. US could look to there. Are no health care systems, officially. In the world looking. At stress which. Is the number-one epidemic. Of our, civilization. Which. Is directly, or indirectly, connected. To almost every chronic illness even risk, for acute illness so, there are no programs but there are many, volunteer. Organizations. I mentioned. One because, I'm close to it the, urban Yogi's, in, Queens, in, New York they've. Done a remarkable. Job not, only of improving their well-being in. A very impoverished. African-american. Community, but. They've become leaders, in their field, they're now teaching, this to other people and the, crime rate is coming down there's a direct correlation between, social. Violence and. Individual. Stress as well but, crime rates are coming down for, a lot other reasons is to crime. Rates are coming down for a lot of other reasons too in this particular demographic. We are looking at we, are attributing. It to the. Self-organization, of the. Community, itself in, this particular community, one thing I wanted to ask is it seems like you. Know in the 60s and 70s and, its various parts of certainly, American history if, there were group political. Movements, and it was the group that, was moving toward political. Ends and political, ideals. And you. Know for the past 20 or 30 years it's really been about kind of self-realization. Taking, charge of one's self whether it's working out whether it's Fitness whether it's mindfulness, and is. There, a role for politics. And. Sort. Of group behavior in trying to achieve these things since, they are so critical, for the, health of individuals. Their. Entire life so I started. My career in Boston, and, early. Seventies, and there, was busing, there were racial riots in Boston, yeah, you probably remember them too. There, were a lot of issues right.
Then That were emerging. Feminism. Gloria, Steinem, was marching. The streets of Cambridge, there, was the peace, movement there, was the green. Movement and, you. Know in my naive day I was 24, years old I thought we, were, going to change the world in the next 10 years and look where we've gone now we've, regressed, by, 60 years I would say so. We are right now not, in a, position, where, we can say that this is, the. Ideal situation for a society, or a community or, a nation or the world and, we. Need to revive, that. Kind of zeitgeist. Where. Politics. Ultimately. Will. Be influenced, by. Social. Opinion by public, opinion as it, is always, you see right now if, what is happening, in the, political, world. It's, being influenced, by, social. Opinion. And I think in, order for well-being. To be part of the political, Arina, it's, young. People who should now be both, voting, and getting. Involved, in the. Issues we are talking about. I'm. Gonna introduce another question, from, someone who sent it in in advanced Archana, Basu, she. She. Asks how, can current, systems, of health in the u.s. move to a more preventative, model of care I, think. Current systems, in the US have to listen to what is happening in schools of public health schools. Of Public Health need to get. Better funding, which is not happening at the moment by the way even, though everyone's, aware that public, health is the number one issue, both. For prevention, and for prediction. Of what happens in a society the. Funding is not happening so we need political. Movement. In that direction that. Can only come from the. Public. And. I think we have an advantage in the. Fact that we can use social media as well to. Bring these ideas. To. Everybody's, attention the, Internet if you look at it it's the global brain right, now and, it's, a very active global. Brain you, can send somebody a tweet in South, Africa, and you can give them a dopamine hit or, you can how. You can, be abusive, on the internet to raise their blood pressure so. We are all. Connected. We. Are inseparably. Woven. Into, the fabric of. Being. And, living we. Are monitoring, each other's brains we, are being monitored, by each other and we, are regulating, each other and being regulated by, each other there, is no such thing as a separate, self, so, even, self-realization. And all, these movements that started, with you, know it's all about me ultimately, leads to me, me. Leads to we but it also leads to a lot of stress, I mean digital, the digital age is is, online. Life is it has also a big, distraction, and so how do we kind of counter. That I. You. Know people are doing. Going to go away okay. So if. You don't like what's happening, in the. World of technology. And and. Social, media and you. Don't adapt then. Darwinian. Principles say. That, you will become, irrelevant. So. You cannot, stop, the. Technology. Movement. How. Do we use it right now it's being used by trolls. By. Gangsters. Posing. As political. Leaders, globally. We, need to get involved, in using. Social media so, we can actually bring. Awareness. About. These, issues violence. Social justice, economic, justice. Peace. Conflict. Resolution, climate, change this. Is the best, use of social media and I, use social media very prolifically. But I have time so when I use it so I have media. Time, exercise. Time meditation. Time, and. Work, time and I, do one, thing at a time because, multitasking. Your. Brain can't do it it's a myth your, your cortical, brain cannot, multitask, only, your reptilian. Brain which. Is taking, care of your, autonomic. Nervous. System, it's already multitasking. Anyway without your help but, your conscious.
Choices. Have, to be made, mindfully. And if, your multitasking. If, you're looking at your phone and speaking, to me at the same time you're doing neither. Okay. So it's a myth and it's. The one thing that actually ruins. Your neural. Networks, you. Know because they get confused, if. You try to do too many things all at the same time that's. The bane, of media. And being. Seduced, by it technology. Is neutral are you going to use it for destructive purposes or. Can you help create a better world I think. You and, I in many people in this room we have we have the luxury if. We're, willing to, to, compartmentalize. And create, separate spaces for our life but again putting it into a public health, context. Are, there. Other examples, are models, where these. Kinds of things are really being taken seriously even, in a very micro level in, the, United, States everything, becomes political. So if you want to introduce something to school, system. It. Becomes political, so it's a huge problem, but. The best use, of, knowledge. Is, education. And. Education. Is easily. Accomplished, in schools and. Education. For, wellbeing should, be the. Most important, aspect of Education, the, word education, or. Education. The word comes from a dual core which. Means to bring out what's. Already at, the core of a child or a human being which. Is infinite. Creativity, and, we're not doing it we are giving them information overlord. Which, right, now who needs that with the internet you, know you can look up anything so. It has to be public health and education. Have to go together. In many parts of the world education is free, and. Are. There any part of the world where that kind of. Thinking. Is going to some extent, in India. It is happening, to some extent, it's happening, in, urban. Societies. In New York and other. Cities. But not enough. We. Have another question, we received in advance from Maria, Maria Lopez Gomez, she, asked what is the role of work, in well-being, and how is the work culture in the u.s. affecting well-being, and she adds are, there any examples of work cultures around the world that offer examples. Well. Here's the. Unfortunately. Depressing. Data. Only. 54. 20%. Of people in the United, States are fully engaged in their work which means they. Enjoy, going. To work they. Enjoy working with the people at work, they. Are, complementing. And being. Complimented. In their strengths, they. Have shared vision, and they are emotionally. Connected. Only 20%. 80%. Of people in the American, workforce are, either disengaged. Or actively. Disengaged. So disengage, means you just go because it's a job you have to do actively. Disengaged means, that you you're. Unhappy and you go to work to make other people unhappy. This. Cost, the. United States about 300, billion dollars a year. Job. Disengagement. Unfortunately. This is true all over the world by the way, there. Are some countries where. There. Ahead of the United States, if you look at overall well-being in. The buckets I mentioned, work well-being social, well-being community. Well-being the, United, States is about 14, what. Are the countries that are seem to be doing a bit better Denmark. Canada. Even. Panama. Panama. What are they doing there well. I think it's a burgeoning economy, right, now and so they're doing very well right now but, there are other countries Costa. Rica, other, Scandinavian. Countries of course if you bring up the Scandinavian, Martland they're always doing everything right. I wonder. Your. Book of the healing self which, I read and I'm actually taking some steps and trying to reduce the clutter in my own mind but. Your. Book this one and others they put a lot of responsibility on individuals, to take charge of the health care to be an informed, inquisitive. Patient, you have this, checklist things, people can do in. The public health sector. Is. There. Should, we be thinking about it differently. Is. Is the individual, approach and the burden of the individual, to make things things happen and take charge is that the right approach in, the public health setting not completely.
Of. Course they cannot be social well-being in the absence of personal well-being that's. A given. But. When. You have social, engagement. Around anything, whether it's losing. Weight or. Providing. A service. Or. Exercise. Or. Mindfulness. Practices. Then. The more socially, engaged you can get and the more you. Can do, participation. As in, a group the. More likely you are to be. Successful. Now, having. Said that I've, created something, which I. Call. The Internet, of well-being where. I bring together experts. In. All, these areas we mentioned. Including. Conflict, resolution. Personal. Relationship. Management, it's. Free, and you get people to, participate create. Their own groups, and ultimately. Create, a blockchain movement, which we haven't done but, we're in the process so. That there's, a system, where. People are rewarded, even, for little nudges you know standing, up every hour or. Making. Sure. That you get 10,000, steps a, day, or getting, sleep if we can participate, as, a group and create, a reward, system it, works I. Wonder. You've. Had a long and storied, career and, you've become your own brand really you know you're this huge figure in the wellness movement and and, there's other people you know Andrew. Weil and dr., oz there's lots of people out there and do you ever feel, like there's. Something. Paradoxical. About that of being sort of a brand, name in this, field of, wellness and mindfulness, you know what I mean well. Fortunately. I have a wife and kids who don't take me seriously. That. Helps a lot. Secondly. I've learnt, over the years not to believe in my public, persona. Because. For. Everything that's said, about you, that's good. Somebody. Thinks something about, you that's the extreme opposite, so. As you grow older you learn to handle it in, a better way and it. Wasn't planned you know I was. Planning to be an internist, and. Right. Here in Boston right here in Boston and that's what I did, but then you know I couldn't, help notice, that. I had two patients who had the same illness received, the same treatment. Saw. The same doctor, and had completely, different outcomes this person died this, person, recovered, completely so. I knew, there was something missing in. Our mechanistic. Approach, to. Our. Well-being. Or, even, looking at our biological organism. We, were looking at our biological organism. As a physical, machine when, it's not you, know you can interfere, with mechanisms. Of disease but. If you don't address the origins, of disease no. Amount of mechanistic, in. Interference. Is going to help so, it. Was my journey which was accidental. Neuroscience. Endocrinology. Neuropeptides. Mind-body. Medicine. Integrative. Well-being. And, now, trying to figure out what, is it all about, we're. Going to turn to a Q&A in about a minute from, online.
Questions But my, last question to you is what. Is the research that, either you're involved, in or other, people are involved in that you're most excited about in the field of wellness the most. Exciting, research is what, I mentioned. Epigenetics. Where. You can see how your genes are activated, through. Every experience whether it's a perceptual, experience, or a mental experience, so. Epigenetics. The, microbiome. Looking, at the two billion genes that you have. You. Have only twenty five thousand human genes but you have two, million. Bacterial. Genes that respond, to every experience but particularly. To nutrition, so, for me that's very exciting, and. The. Third is how we, can change, and. Amplify. The. Coordination. Between the reptilian. Emotional. And intellectual, brain, which. Is my work with Rudi, tansy here at Harvard, you. Know now that he. And I worked so many years together, actually. We are so aware of what's happening in our brain even. In. A conversation, like this I know which part of my brain I'm. Looking, at right now, we're. Gonna move to questions. That have come in online, and. The. First one is from. Emanuel, and. She. Asks what is the single most threatening, problem facing, a child's health and security today and in the near future and how can we as parents and a society, equip our children to, avoid this problem what. Can we do today to, change the course of their future. Well. Unfortunately again, a childhood. Trauma. And childhood. Abuse. Where there's sexual abuse physical, abuse emotional, abuse. All. Leads. To problems, in adulthood. It. Sets, also, something, called the brain set point for, happiness. Or unhappiness, if. A child is given what, I call the forays attention. Deep, listening. Affection. Deep, caring, and love appreciation. Noticing. The child's strengths, and acceptance. Not trying, to conform. Their behavior to, how you think, they should be acceptance. And looking. At their strengths, that. Child, will grow up to be a healthy, adult and, if. A child is in some, way. Abused. Or, ignored, ignored. Is even worse, than by, the way being, criticized, because. Ignored, means you don't exist and then. That child, will go to become. A dysfunctional. Adult. Emotionally. May. End up winning a political. Election. Though. Here's. A person. Here's a question from we I mean that's. The name is given. How. Do you believe societal. Taboos or norms contribute. To health improvement, and how do they hinder health, improvement, well. Burn societal. Taboos and norms become, become, purveyors. Of. Self-righteous. Morality, then. They interfere, with. Creativity. And. And. Authentic. Behavior. In you, know imposed, morality. Never works. So. That's where, societal. Mores, and norms. And religious. Institutions.
Can. Cause problem, and even abuse, but many, religious, institutions, and societal, institutions. Actually do a lot for the world you, know some. Of the biggest humanitarian movements. In the world are actually. Religious. Movements, so, we should give them credit for the good that they do and, the service, they provide they. Are the people who are working in these impoverished, areas, and, also your, own background and, are, you Vedic traditions, in many, ways come from a particular Indian culture is, very strongly influenced. By the wisdom, traditions of India yes. Here's. A question from Rafael, he. Asks what are your thoughts about cultural, appropriation, in, reference, to Western, medicine starting, to adopt ideas, of mindfulness, meditation and. Alternative, medicine I, think. It's a great thing if it helps the world. We. Are I, look. At the future when I'm not around we're nationalism. Or extreme. Nationalism, will. Be considered, a tribal. Disease. That. We as we move into the future especially. With the, next generation and the next generation. Will. Be global, citizens, and. We. Will adapt, to other. Cultures, I have a grandson, right now whose. A little. Bit Chinese, a little, bit Indian and of. Course he, lives. In America he speaks Spanish, in, the English. And Mandarin, at, the same time, that's. The future citizen, of the world piece of fully realized self. That. Is the future of the words and so. I think. We. Need to go beyond our tribal behavior. And I think extreme, nationalism, is, just. Tribalism, so, it's not going cultural, appropriation, cultures. Get richer, when they mix with each other so. I'm not one for. Total. Cultural, identity, culture, can, be a baggage, it can also be, access. To good food and to. Good music but. Other than that I think, we. Need a multicultural. Society. In, a multicultural world and, America, is the best example of that so. Far, unless. We, go. The other way now and with our immigration, policies, here's. A question from Fatima in your role as a physician, and spiritual, guru could, you please elaborate, on the interaction, between mental. State and physical, health. You. Can't separate mental, state. And physical. Health wherever. The. Mind goes the molecules, follow, in. Fact they're, inseparable, so. This. Distinction, between mind, mental. State and physical, state. Is artificial. I, can. Give you bad news and your blood pressure will go up in, a. Moment, if, it affects you that bad news on, the other hand if. You're feeling appreciated, wanted. And loved, you'll. Have a different biochemistry. Your, state of mind even, influences. The, way your food is metabolized. So. Because you know the different chemistry's. In, the, body when. You're stressed or when, you are relaxed, or when you are celebrating. Completely. Different so. There's. No distinction between mind and body there we. Should use one word body mind just that the we use wave-particle. Mass-energy. Space-time. Body-mind. Here's. A question from Deborah, J as a. Public health professional what, actionable, steps can we take to encourage. Better holistic. And self care for our patients I think. Every, physician, in. The field should, be an educator, as well so. When I was in practice in Boston, I, used, to give, my patients a choice I would tell them I'm happy. To give you a tranquilizer a sleeping, pill in those days and antacid, we didn't have these sophisticated h2. Receptor. Blockers, or proton, pump. Inhibitors. But. You know I realized, very quickly that.
90%. Of all prescriptions were, for five things pain. Anxiety. Nausea. Insomnia. And, constipation. If. You want to remember the acronym it's, panic. Ba. And I see I used. To watch my nurses, waking, up patients, to give them sleeping, pills mr. Smith will you please wake up I forgive you your sleeping, pill okay. So all these things are very easily, manageable, so, I would, tell my patients, I give you a prescription if you want but on Friday I'm going to give a lecture on well being sure, and soon I noticed that more people were showing up for the lecture than for the prescription and. You. Know you can even two physicians out there in public health you can even charge for it you, know charge a little bit for your lectures, they'll be valued. But. Make. Sure they're less than a prescription, in price. Here's. A question from Adelle, what. Research topics, would dr. Chopra recommend for young scholars, to analyze and the interface between well-being. And spirituality, and. Spirituality. Look. Up a paper called non-duality, and, well-being non-duality, and, well-being it's about the relationship, of spirituality. And, well-being, and basically. It means that, the, more you. Know what is spirituality, it's, just a question I asked you are you aware the, more self-aware. You are. That spirituality, don't mix it up with religion, and, the more aware, you are of, your. Inner self, and the. More aware, you are of your. Mental. Activity and, your perceptual, activity. And the more aware you are of your choices, that. Improves your well-being so spirituality. Is being, self aware period. Here's. A question it's a long question but you have to give a short neck answer running, out of time here it is time. Does exist. It's. A human, construct. No. Other animal. Knows what, time it is now. This. Is from this is from Ida and it's kind of a serious question given, the ever-increasing language. Of hate exclusion. And violence, and its impact on the many who find themselves at the receiving end how can we limit the assault, and/or. Help improve wellness caused, by this kind of stress yeah, by the way it. It's. Only, obvious. When, you look at the internet, because the dominant activity. Is that of trolls but by and large people are actually out, there to help each other to engage. With each other and understand. That relationship. Is, who we are there's no such thing as a separate, self and. That's a very positive note to end this on our, event unfortunately. Has come to an end it's been a fascinating, discussion I want to thank our audience both. Here and online for joining us and thank. You to Deepak Chopra, and Dean Michele Williams you. Can continue the conversation at forum, HS ph org. And look, for the on-demand video, there on Facebook, and on Facebook and YouTube and join, and, join the forum next time on September, 26, at noon Eastern Time for, a live web webcast, about u.s., drug prices, why are they so high thank. You so much. You.