Deepak Chopra: Easy ways to relieve stress if meditation and yoga aren’t for you

It’s no surprise that wellness expert and author Deepak Chopra is spending his days in quarantine, meditating, doing yoga and getting lots of sleep.

“I’m so happy,” Chopra tells CNBC Make It.

In fact, Chopra’s quarantine routine is similar to the quiet life he lead before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chopra, 73 and founder of non-profit The Chopra Foundation, has long said his simple lifestyle and habits keep him stress-free and helped him achieve success.

But Chopra also knows that while yoga, meditation, and deep-breathing exercises work for him and many others, they’re not for everyone. So for those looking for alternative methods, Chopra says he has had similar stress-reducing results with other techniques too.

For one, Chopra says a great way to destress is by watching funny videos, which he has also been doing while self-isolating at home in San Diego.

“One of my favorite obsessions has been to watch ‘Candid Camera,’” Chopra says of the hidden camera reality show that secretly filmed unsuspecting people reacting to outlandish situations and aired from 1948 to 2014. (You can now watch the show on Youtube.)

And research has shown that laughing can relieve stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing can stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation that can help reduce some physical symptoms of stress.

Chopra also says “music or poetry, reading interesting and inspiring books or singing nursery rhymes” are all good ways to relief stress.

Indeed, studies have found listening to music and reading can reduce stress. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. And researchers found that it only takes six minutes of reading to slow the heart rate and relax the mind.

Whatever works for you, Chopra says it’s more important than ever before to find ways to reduce stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to help your immune system strong.

“Stress has biological consequences that destroy your immune system and cause inflammation,” Chopra, a clinical professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California, San Diego, says. “So, there’s a biological aspect to it that cannot be ignored.”

But Chopra says he has researched the effects of stress for years, and he believes there is one stress management strategy that tops everything.

“It doesn’t happen through conscious effort, but it’s to fall in love,” he says.

According to Chopra, when people experience love through a partner, a child or even a pet, it can mitigate stress. There is research to back that up too. But of course, relationships can also cause stress, especially during a quarantine.