LIFE&STYLE

Korea overly stressed society: Deepak Chopra

By KH디지털2
  • Published : Apr 21, 2016 - 14:55
  • Updated : Apr 21, 2016 - 17:13
Globally recognized author, motivational speaker and leading figure of the New Age movement, Deepak Chopra, has returned to Seoul after two years to share some of his spiritual insights into Korean society and his thoughts on the country’s overly stressed and work-centric society.

Chopra presented his latest motivational presentation on the future of well-being, “Super Soul Relay,” to the local audience Wednesday. 

Doctor, author and alternative medicine motivational speaker Deepak Chopra speaks at his “Super Soul Relay” lecture, held at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Wednesday. (Ritamville)

“I think Koreans are too serious about their work and about the outcomes of everything,” said Chopra at a press conference held prior to his lecture at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul.

“It is a very stressed society. This is true all over the world to a great extent, but I think there’s more (stress) in Korea,” he continued, when asked about his thoughts on the country’s high suicide rate. “And I now think people are really starting to realize it’s a problem. It’s a false idea that if you work hard you’ll be more productive. Because less sleep equals less productivity.”

The doctor cited Gallup’s well-being research and its data measuring happiness among nations, which shows that economic powerhouse countries tend to be far lower on the well-being and overall quality-of-life scale. 

Doctor, author and alternative medicine motivational speaker Deepak Chopra speaks at his “Super Soul Relay” lecture, held at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Wednesday. (Ritamville)

“Korea is one of the countries that is lower on the list, but that’s not because of its economic status,” he said. “Countries that top the list are places like Myanmar and Scandinavian nations, but look at China and Russia for example. They are huge economic powers, but they rank very low in happiness.”

“Some of the lowest well-being countries in the world have links to depression, suicide, addiction to cigarettes and alcohol,” Chopra added. “And although those countries are doing well economically, they are not doing well with their well-being.” 

Chopra first gained a massive international following in the early 1990s after being a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show discussing his alternative medicine texts. He has now written close to 85 books on health, yoga, meditation and natural healing methods. Through his books and motivational speaking endeavors, he has become one of the best-known and wealthiest figures in the world. Yet his nonmedicinal approaches and claims that his methods have the power to heal and even extend one’s life span have made him a highly controversial figure in the world of hard science. 

Doctor, author and alternative medicine motivational speaker Deepak Chopra poses during his “Super Soul Relay” lecture, held at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Wednesday. (Ritamville)

Chopra’s research focuses mostly on human emotions in consciousness, expression of genes and the rewiring of the brain for physical, mental and spiritual well-being. He strongly believes that effects of yoga, meditation and inner spirituality can not only improve one’s quality of life, but also aid physical ailments, arguing the brain cannot explain external factors such as experience.

For yoga and meditation novices looking to boost their sense of mental clarity, Chopra suggests the first thing for beginners to concentrate on is to be aware and take control of their breathing.

“Your breathing mirrors your internal dialogue,” he says. “So you take a few minutes to bring awareness to your breathing. Try taking deep breaths for five seconds and then exhale. This way you will only be taking six breaths a minutes. And what’s the average number of breaths taken a minute? It’s 14, so you quickly notice your mind starting to calm down.”

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)