Dr. Deepika Chopra, Optimism Doctor and Visual Imagery Expert touts holistic happiness as her way of life and has used that as a catalyst to help her clients reach more fulfilling and happier lives as well. After achieving a doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology and specialising in the mind-body connection, Dr. Chopra has released a proactive mental health guide, Things Are Looking Up.
BAZAAR caught up with the holistic happiness expert to ask her about her work, Things Are Looking Up and tips for how we can experience genuine happiness in our everyday lives...
1| What is holistic happiness?
To me, holistic happiness is a way of life, it is a long -lasting sense of joy or contentment, it is not fleeting and not based on something materialistic or based upon a specific or single result or manifestation. It takes hard work and practise but it is about shifting mindset, dismantling limiting beliefs and checking in with what we are expecting to occur. Holistic happiness is a state of mind, being and existence and it incorporates the whole mind, body and soul!
2| How and why did you get into holistic happiness and health psychology?
I have a doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology, with a specialty in the mind body connection. During my graduate career and my double post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and Cedars Sinai Medical Center, I started to question why so many of the theoretical perspectives and clinical modalities that we were being taught were based on the past. In all my studying of the brain and in my clinical practices I kept coming up against so much evidence that the brain is an anticipatory organ, always looking towards the future and so why were most of the ways we were taught to help patients with based on the past. So many of the modalities were focused on helping people makes sense of their past and tie those past relationships to current behaviors or beliefs – while I see clinical relevance and value in that, I would always feel frustrated with the amount of focus placed on why they were thinking certain things or doing things in this way that were admittingly not working for them anymore. I wanted so badly to give my patients alternatives or a new pathway to think and feel differently, to live better. My time in graduate school was the perfect opportunity for me to dive into all of this. I started to research why being optimistic is important for our mental health, physical health and what benefits it could bring to productivity, success and joy. I also started to study how and if we could increase optimism (we can) and what the different exercises if any at all we could do to work out our resiliency and hope muscles. All of that really brought me towards becoming who I am today, an Optimism Doctor®, Visual Imagery Expert & Happiness Researcher.
3| What is Things Are Looking Up?
Things Are Looking Up is a brand rooted in Optimism. It is a place I hope people can come to, to be inspired by a collection of aesthetically pleasing, functional, holistic and science based products that really deliver tools to increase happiness, joy and optimism. My goal is for TALU to be a place where proactive mental health is not only celebrated but also fashionable. TALU’ s first product, which launched this past summer, is called Optimism On Deck, it is a deck of 52 cards, each one has a holistic or science based prompt or suggestion that increases happiness.
4| Why did you decide to launch it?
I wanted to give people practical tools that they could use on their own, without having to depend on anyone else. I knew I wanted the format to be a physical deck of cards in which people were actively flipping the card from one side to the other as the brain learns more effectively this way.
5| What is the story behind the name of the brand?
The name, Things Are Looking Up is based on an old saying that literally means that things are getting better, there is so much hope in the phrase, that just saying it often makes people smile and we loved how it was literal for our brand but also kind of cutesy and approachable.
6| What makes it different from other brands out there?
I think what makes Things Are Looking Up unique is that it’s really based on my personal practice and expertise, the intersection between holistic wellness and evidence based science all in a very approachable, tangible and empowered standpoint.
7| Three things we can start doing now to improve our emotional health
- Spend more time in nature.
- Quality Sleep.
- Spend time with happy people
8| Life motto you live by?
A true optimist is not someone who is always experiencing positive emotions and having the perfect day, 365 days out of the year. A true optimist is someone who is very mindful of the setbacks and roadblocks they are faced with, but they believe these setbacks are temporary and in their power to overcome.
So, this motto and the name of my brand is really illustrating such an optimistic outlook, one that not only do I teach, but work towards practicing myself as well.
Images courtesy of Dr. Deepika Chopra