I am a physician scientist living in the San Francisco Bay area with decades of experience in neuroscience and immunology and over 100 scientific and news articles in top-rated journals as Nature and Lancet, also a veteran of the biopharmaceutical industry. As a neuroscience and immunology researcher, I have studied how the interaction of the mind with the nervous and immune systems affects our well-being, especially anxiety.
When my fast-paced life was rocked with painful events affecting two close family members, I questioned everything about my life while developing unbearable levels of anxiety. That’s when I decided to address my anxiety reflecting deeply, looking for answers inside myself, returning to my roots as a young doctor passionate for psycho neuro immunology and integrative medicine, unearthing the best or Western and Eastern medical practices.
During my life I had been practicing several modalities of meditation based on mantra repetition, object concentration, body scanning, breath and thought observations, and more recently app-based guided meditation. In all cases my mind wandered after a few minutes and I felt frustrated. That’s why I developed ‘mindful framing’, ideal for the busy and overstimulated minds of the 21st century. In just 15 minutes of practice every morning, my mind’s eye plays a fast-paced mental movie that creates a daily framework and helps me achieve an emotionally balanced and healthy life.
The journey for this book started when I suddenly realized that my approach to life had to change, starting a search for meaning. I had high-performing anxiety, always on edge, eager to add checkmarks to my personal and professional to-do and bucket lists. Possessions, vacations, entertainment were transitory fixes, “trivial pursuits.” I was not a true caregiver for key people in my life. I was not taking proper care of my emotional and physical needs. I gave myself this prescription: Stop doing. Let it be. Let it go. Less is more.
To have more quality time, I significantly reduced time-wasting entertainment, such as excessive TV, social media, and newsfeeds, and eliminated some habits, such as snacking and drinking after dinner. I realized that I needed new routines and habits, a complete revamp of my daily activities, including my approach to work, free time, relationships, nutrition, sleep, outdoor activities, and mind and body activities. Almost magically, I had time for important things, such as writing this book! Now I have time to reflect and work on myself and my relationships. I also realized that my words, tone of voice, body language, and especially my thoughts, have a tremendous impact on myself and on those around me. One of the key findings from my exploration of habits and routines was that I had to incorporate a daily practice in my life. I had to change my frame of mind and start sharing with you and the world the practice of mindful framing and the NEO Chi lifestyle.