We’re pleased to introduce OPTIMISM DOCTOR®, Visual Imagery & Media Expert, new mom and founder of Things Are Looking Up™, Dr. Deepika Chopra as this month’s FRĒDA Woman! We’ve loved getting to know her and learning more about her work connecting people to their inner happiness.
TALK TO US ABOUT YOU.
Well, first and foremost I am a mom of two young boys (5.5 and 2). I have always been deeply curious about humans, always been drawn to emotion and what really makes people tick, what stands in peoples way and how to help them move past limiting self beliefs. I currently practice as the Optimism Doctor®️ I study and focus on the science behind optimism, resiliency and joy. I am passionate about blending together evidence based science and holistic practices to help clients, boutique and fortune 100 and 500 companies, brands, athletes, actors, activists, partners etc live a more optimal life that is more in line with what they want. I hold a doctorate in clinical health psychology and completed a double post doctoral fellowship at Cedars Sinai medical center and UCLA here in Los Angeles.
I didn’t get here in any sort of linear fashion- as an undergraduate at UCLA I interned at a punk music record label, then started my career as an Investment Banker and then in the public health space … I found my way into Psychology as sort of my third “career” and it stuck. The journey into psychology and grad school and clinical practice and focusing on optimism has all been extremely organic something that felt very different to how my path had been unfolding before.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE “OPTIMISM”?
A true optimist is someone who sees the roadblocks, sees the setbacks, sees the less-than-ideal situations and is very mindful of them, but they see them as temporary and something they have the ability to overcome. They may not know how or when, but they know that they will because they’re able to recognize their strengths and their accomplishments, and they know that up until this point, they have overcome specific struggles. They use their past resiliency as a sense of empowerment for figuring out their future.
WHAT TOOLS WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE SEEKING MORE OPTIMISM AND HAPPINESS IN THEIR LIVES?
I would give them the THINGS ARE LOOKING UP optimism deck of cards (www.ThingsAreLookingUp.com) haha :) well, it is why I created the deck/ 52 science based prompts or suggestions that actually work to increase optimism and happiness.
I will say though one of the most overlooked tools we have that has a tremendous amount of power is self compassion.
WHAT DOES “CONNECTION” MEAN TO YOU?
Connection is survival. Connection to me is the exchange of positive energy with another human to create a bond, to create intimacy, to create trust. Humans are social creatures and connection is not a luxury or something that is indulgent it is a necessity.
YOU’RE A CONNECTOR THROUGH HUMAN EMOTION, HOW DO YOU THINK CONNECTION AND OPTIMISM RELATE?
You absolutely need connection to build optimism. Connection and positive relationships are highly correlated with happiness and positive mental health.
WHAT CONNECTIONS HAVE HELPED YOU IN YOUR SUCCESS?
My parents, my husband, my children and my closest friends. Also, my clinical supervisors during my graduate career which now was so many years ago.
AS A MOM, HOW DO YOU BUILD MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS WITH YOUR CHILDREN?
By giving them our time, energy and attention, by creating space for the freedom for them to be authentic in their feelings and by listening. By holding them, hugging them and kissing them. By looking into their eyes and by respecting them.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
Actually quite a few things :) can’t share all just yet but I can share that one of my goals for this year is to take better care of myself physically, which I have not really ever put enough energy towards.
WHAT’S YOUR MANTRA?
Things Are Looking Up.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
Stay tuned for the kids version of the THINGS ARE LOOKING UP deck of cards, it’s launching very soon and it’s something I’ve been working on and perfecting for a very long time!
GO-TO RESTAURANT: This small tea shop and bakery in my neighborhood - my kids love the empanadas from there and I love the tea sandwiches and their signature iced tea that they brew with this really highly specialized machine that’s sort of like an espresso machine but for tea leaves. And BRAVO TOAST!
CAFFEINE KICK: An Arnold Palmer or iced tea.
NEIGHBORHOOD TO WANDER: Rustic Canyon.
SUNDAY ACTIVITY: Sushi Sundays with my family.
HIDDEN CITY GEM: My hometown of Palos Verdes.
RAINY DAY DESTINATION: In front of my fireplace snuggled up with all my boys under a cozy cashmere throw.
FAVORITE RITUAL: Making a cup of tea or our family after dinner dance parties.
TOURIST ATTRACTION THAT’S WORTH IT: Griffith observatory and any of the Malibu beaches.
BUCKET LIST EXPERIENCE: One that I have done: experiencing Sakura (cherry blossom season in the Japanese countryside in my twenties) something I want to do: see the Northern Lights.
BEST THING ABOUT LIVING THERE: The accessible nature while still being in a big city.