Deepak Chopra: The coronavirus and the need for spiritual well-being

There are three levels of response to the COVID-19 outbreak: how it affects us physically, mentally and spiritually.

The physical response came first, and by now everyone knows about self-isolation, social distancing and testing.

The second effect, on our psyches, is being experienced personally but with only fitful answers and advice. The best advice in the mental area is meditation and yoga, relaxation techniques and paying attention every day to finding not just relaxation but joy and comfort in your life.

The virus makes the need for a positive psychological response more urgent, and the good news is that meditation and yoga are good for antistress, which is connected to a strong immune response.

But it is the third area, the spiritual effect of the outbreak, that is being neglected, even though the presence of death, whether we want it to or not, evokes concern about the state of our souls. Spiritual well-being is alien to many people’s daily lives, and with the decline of organized religion, millions of people experience a sick soul, however you want to define it — weariness of heart, existential dread, a sinking feeling that nothing really matters — without finding a way out.

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