Feel Better in 5 by Dr Rangan Chatterjee is the only lifestyle plan you need - feeling healthier has never been easier!
Simple, effective and flexible, Feel Better in 5 is the first personal daily plan of short 5-minute tips that you can stick to, and which will help you sustatin good health for life. Drawing on twenty years of experience, and two previous bestsellers, Dr Chatterjee will help you to kick-start your health and happiness, perfect for the start of a new year.
Just five minutes of your time, three times a day
Why don’t traditional health programmes work? Why do quick-fix diets fail? Why can’t we simply decide to transform our lifestyles, snap our fingers and make it happen? Because all these approaches are based on a huge but extremely common mistake. They involve thinking about health solely as a destination, about the place where we end up.
This kind of destination thinking causes even health professionals to get it wrong. Take, for example, what I’ve already described happening when you go to your doctor with a headache. You complain of a symptom and the doctor tries to treat it. Of course, it seems perfectly reasonable to focus on the symptom because that’s the cause of the immediate distress. If someone is experiencing pain or discomfort, then that’s what will naturally draw our attention. But this is the mistake. These symptoms are usually just the destination of a long journey that the patient has been on for one, five, ten, or even twenty years. While pain reduction is obviously important, the real problem is not the destination the patient has ended up at but the journey they’ve been on.
Take depression as another example. The symptom of low mood might be treated with an anti-depressant. But low mood is just the current complaint. It’s the destination where you've found yourself. Your mood problems might have their roots somewhere else that’s not immediately obvious. It could be a lack of quality sleep. Poor food choices might be a significant contributory factor. It could even stem from a lack of real-life human connection or an absence of meaning and purpose.
It’s precisely the same style of destination thinking that undermines our attempts at getting healthy. When we decide to turn over a new, healthy leaf we visualize the person we dream of becoming. We fix that image in our minds and try to become that person. We see that beautiful beach body holding a perfect yoga pose or that muscle man breezing through his twenty-kilometre run and we think, ‘That’s who I’m going to be.’ We fill ourselves with hope and motivation and aim ourselves towards that distant ideal – and then are surprised and disappointed when we lose hope and fall flat on our faces. Why do we fail? Because we’re focusing on the destination rather than the journey. But that’s not how we get anywhere.
A typical health journey is made up of thousands and thousands of little daily steps. It’s these daily steps that the Feel Better in 5 programme targets. You’re probably thinking that my promise sounds too good to be true.
Surely you can’t transform your health in just fifteen minutes a day? The amazing news is you can.
If you’re doubtful, think of it this way. If I were to tell you I wanted you to start smoking non- stop for five minutes a day, then eat rich chocolate biscuits for five non-stop minutes, then drink as many litres of sugary pop as you can physically swallow for five solid minutes, and that I wanted you to do this five days a week, every week, you wouldn’t be at all surprised when all this started changing your health. After a week or two of this madness, you’d start to feel worse in yourself. You'd have less energy. You’d start coughing. You’d start craving more and more sugary foods. The shape of your body would begin to change. After a month or two you might experience the first symptoms of more serious problems. And after a year? Two years? You may well be on the road to suffering a life-threatening disease.
Good health works in exactly the same way as bad health, yet we don’t think of it in the same way. It’s the journey you're taking – the small, regular, daily steps you’re choosing to make – that will end up having the most dramatic long-term effects. Feel Better in 5 is all about this journey. It’s about changing your steps and taking you to an amazing, happy and healthy long life. What I’ve discovered in my surgery, time and time again, is that when I pay attention to my patients’ journeys, it’s amazing how many of their problems just vanish.
Dr Rangan Chatterjee is regarded as one of the most influential doctors in the UK. A practising GP for the last two decades and resident BBC Breakfast doctor, Dr Chatterjee wants to inspire people to transform their health through making small, sustainable changes to their lifestyles. Leading the charge on how healthcare and medicine is understood in the UK, Dr Chatterjee most recently co-created a lifestyle medicine course with the Royal College of GPs, that has now been delivered to over 400 GPs and health care professionals. Host of the No. 1 iTunes podcast, Feel Better, Live More, and presenter of BBC 1's Doctor in the House, Dr Chatterjee is the author of two Sunday Times bestselling books and his TED talk, How to Make Diseases Disappear, has now been viewed over 1.8 million times. Dr Chatterjee lives in Wilmslow, Manchester, with his wife and two children.