Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which nothing can be taken for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.
Feel Better in Five
Dr Chatterjee, a medical doctor with sixteen years experience, wrote Feel Better in Five as a response to the ailments and complaints he observed in his patients and many other people who feel overwhelmed by the demands of their daily obligations and stressful lives.
We may presume it is only serious illnesses which end, shorten or damage the quality of our lives, but it’s often the recurring minor battles and niggling setbacks which occur every day that erode the quality of our lives; the neck pains after hours at the computer, the fuzzy brain due to lack of sleep, the distress caused by an argument with your neighbours or colleagues, or heartache as a result of lack of communication with our loved ones, these daily episodes can lead to insomnia, high blood pressure and depression, among other ailments.
Imagine if we could improve the way we react and cope with these daily, so-called, minor events, how much would the quality of our lives improve? Feel Better in Five offers simple solutions which can lead to immense changes in the quality of our lives.
Dr Chatterjee proposes three types of health snacks which can be carried out in five minutes for our minds, bodies and hearts, leading to increased health, well-being and greater optimism to face our days with renewed energy.
A little goes a long way.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘Five minutes will never be enough!’ I’ll prove to you that it is more than enough, and that you are already aware of the power of a short investment in time to improve your health. Most people spend between six and ten minutes a day taking care of their teeth, brushing, flossing and using mouthwash etc. It has become part of our daily routine since childhood. We all know that as a result of our improved dental hygiene, our dental health has vastly improved compared to previous generations.
Imagine what could happen if we spent between five and ten minutes a day on stretching exercises or meditation?
The power of less.
Less is more. This is not a gimmick, it’s a reality. Less will empower you to feel successful, create a routine and it could lead to more once you win the battle and recognise the benefits. We can all spare five minutes to improve our health and wellbeing, the difficulty, as with everything in life, is starting, that is, garnering the willpower and motivation to act. Dr Chatterjee talks about that extensively too, offering simple tips and strategies to create daily habits.
Image by Mohamed Hassan at Pixabay
In his book, Dr Chatterjee proposes three groups of simple, 5-minute health snacks for Mind, Body and Heart which you can pick and choose according to your interests and motivation. You may even be doing some of them already. For example I was playing my favourite songs and singing and dancing throughout the day for five minutes during the recent covid confinement, and it did make me feel better.
Dr Chatterjee describes simple activities to calm our minds, such as breathing exercises, meditation techniques and morning and/or evening journaling.
He encourages us to activate our bodies with 5-minute workouts, yoga, press ups, lunges, etc. With no tools and no gym visits.
He shows us how to improve our emotional wellbeing, which he refers to as ‘heart’ by carrying out 5-minute meditations, doing things we love, daily affirmations, gratitude journals and engaging in kindness.
Why 5 minutes is enough
- When you make something easy to do, people are more likely to do it.
If it’s too hard many won’t even try, and if they try and fail they will feel guilty and inadequate. Making time and finding the funds to go to the gym three times a week is anything but easy, yet doing 5 minutes of stretching exercises before your coffee break, not so much.
- Everyone has 5 minutes.
We waste plenty of time surfing the internet or watching a TV programme because we couldn’t be bothered or feel too tired to get up from the sofa.
Completing your 5 minutes will motivate you to continue. You will feel successful and it may even encourage you do do five more minutes. It can be as easy as writing ten things you are grateful for or dancing to your favourite song.
- It will keep the habit going.
Completing a short and simple habit will motivate you to carry on. If you skip a day it doesn’t matter. Remember, your teeth won’t rot if you forget to brush them for a day, but your breath will smell if you don’t brush them for a month.
I’m convinced it really is enough. Every minute we spend consciously improving our lives adds up. Five minutes lunging or skipping is five times more than zero minutes.
I listened to his audio book on Audible, which Dr Chatterjee reads himself, and it is full of positive energy, achievable goals and simple exercises and activities which are changing peoples’ lives.
Feel better in Five by Dr Rangan Chatterjee, is a brilliant book which will help you feel healthier and happier.
If you’re still not convinced, I urge you to listen to Dr Chatterjee himself here:
You can also visit his webpage
Or follow Dr Chatterjee on Twitter