Deepak Chopra's 3 Must-Have Spirituality Tips To Boost Longevity
It's safe to say we love all things longevity here at mindbodygreen (my wife, Colleen, and I even have a whole newsletter dedicated to extending health span!). But while we tend to talk a lot about nutrition, supplements, exercise, and even biohacking, we don't spend nearly enough time on the spiritual side of longevity and health span.
That's where Deepak Chopra comes in: In his latest bestseller, Living in the Light, the spiritual icon and world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine provides an inspiring and thoughtful program to unite the mind, body, and soul—all of which are equally important when it comes to longevity.
Below, Chopra shares his necessary wisdom to live a longer, more joyful life by increasing your awareness. We bet his tips will alter how you view longevity in this day and age:
Consider your exit strategy.
"The great wisdom traditions say if you want to conquer death, you want to actually have a good exit strategy," says Chopra. It sounds counterintuitive: People who focus on longevity and biohacking are all about prolonging the exit—they don't necessarily think about the exit strategy itself. But according to Chopra, separating your consciousness from your physical body is how you truly enhance longevity. After all, when you leave your physical form, your consciousness lives on.
"Learn to experience your body not as physical but as formless awareness," Chopra says. "You can do all the biohacking stuff, but this is the way to conquer the human construct that we call 'death' because death doesn't happen to consciousness. It happens to the activities of consciousness—perceptual, cognitive, memory, etc." When you internalize that mindset, he adds, that's how you ultimately enhance longevity.
Practice mindful walking.
Chopra is a prolific walker—he's famous for clocking around 20,000 steps per day. And walking, we know, is great for extending health span: In one 2022 study of more than 400,000 adults in the UK, researchers found that as little as 10 minutes of brisk walking per day was associated with longer telomeres—enough that their biological age appeared 16 years younger by midlife1.
But Chopra takes the practice a step further. Rather than looking at text messages or checking his watch, "I use my walking as a process of awakening," he says. He looks at the people around him, he looks at buildings, and as he sees everything around him, he realizes that everything physical is actually a product of his perception. "The world exists in me," he says. "The body exists in me. The mind exists in me. But that 'me,' is not a person. That 'me' is the spirit."
He essentially treats his daily walk like a meditation, thereby enhancing its health benefits for the mind, body, and soul.
Prioritize social bonds.
Social connections are downright crucial for longevity. Research has shown that social isolation was associated with a higher risk of developing dementia. But high-quality connections are perhaps more abstract than a fully developed eating or exercise regimen—social bonding is also closely related to purpose, which is connected to a sense of spirituality.
So it's no surprise, then, that Chopra prioritizes these special, health-enhancing bonds. "Social scientists say when there's shared vision, when we complement each other's strengths, if we bond with each other emotionally and spiritually, [and] we embrace maximum diversity, we could actually create a critical mass for a more peaceful, just, sustainable, healthier, and joyful world," he explains. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
Spirituality doesn't get enough credit in the longevity conversation. But if you're serious about increasing health span, you should consider a holistic approach to well-being, which includes mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Not to mention, when you view longevity from a spiritual lens, chances are you'll feel lighter and way more free. "There's almost stress about living longer. That's not the way it should be," says Chopra. "Understand that birth and death are human constructs to a timeless awareness, a timeless being that is not subject to birth and death. When you ask the great masters what happens after you die? They say, 'I was never born.'"
We hope you enjoy this episode! And don't forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Amazon Music!
Jason Wachob is the Founder and Co-CEO of mindbodygreen and the author of Wellth. He has been featured in the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Vogue, and has a B.A. in history from Columbia University, where he played varsity basketball for four years.