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    #398 How To Find Happiness, Tune Into Your Intuition & Make Friends With Your Thoughts with Light Watkins

    By embracing a "do less and accomplish more" approach, incorporating meditation into our daily lives can improve our overall well-being and lead to positive changes in various aspects of life.

    enNovember 01, 2023

    About this Episode

    Could you live out of a single backpack? Not for a few weeks or months, but as a lifestyle choice? Well, five years ago, today’s guest gave up his luxury apartment, its contents, his cars and all his possessions – apart from those that fit into his trusty backpack.

     

    Light Watkins has been practising daily meditation for 20 years and teaching it for 15. He’s a mindfulness expert and the bestselling author of four books. His latest book, Travel Light: Spiritual Minimalism to Live a More Fulfilled Life might sound like a guide to decluttering – and in some ways it is. But Light is not necessarily talking about us getting rid of our possessions, he’s trying to help us clear away our inner clutter - the mental baggage that weighs us down, so that we can better see the path to fulfilment and happiness.

     

    Light believes that we should be following our hearts more, and our heads less. This involves knowing our values, tuning in to our curiosity and then taking small leaps of faith towards our purpose. He explains why a daily practice of stillness and contemplation is so important and shares practical advice that will help you make friends with your thoughts and turn your mind into your ally. He also explains how meditation works to dissolve stress and feed our intuition.

     

    It really is a fantastic conversation that takes us to some really deep and meaningful places - we discuss whether time can ever really be wasted. Light talks us through his own minimalist fitness regime – and you’ll find out why he thinks meditation is like a Rubik’s Cube, as well as why he sometimes takes his showers fully clothed!

     

    Above all, Light’s minimalist philosophy is about breaking free from the ‘achievements bring happiness’ approach to life and discovering that happiness really does come from within.  I hope you enjoy listening.


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/398


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • True happiness comes from within. By letting go of mental baggage, following our values, and being mindful of our choices, we can find fulfillment and cultivate lasting happiness.
    • By abstaining or reducing addictive behaviors, we gain clarity and freedom to make choices that align with our true desires.
    • Discipline is about being honest with ourselves and intentionally letting go of dependencies. Embracing a minimalist lifestyle helps create internal clarity and frees us to pursue our goals without holding ourselves back.
    • Listening to your heart and pursuing your desires can lead to a more adventurous and fulfilling life, while ignoring them can result in constant tension and pain. Prioritize your own happiness and growth by challenging societal conventions.
    • Following your heart, despite challenges and criticism, is crucial for finding purpose and living authentically. Small steps towards your passions and values can lead to a more meaningful life.
    • Following our curiosity and intuition leads to success, while practicing stillness through meditation reduces stress and promotes happiness.
    • Meditation can reduce stress, improve sleep, enhance intuition, and provide clarity. Approach it with a minimalist mindset and allow yourself to simply be, leading to a flow state and better handling of life's challenges.
    • Meditation is a two-way process that not only reduces stress but also helps us make better choices and prioritize happiness, leading to positive changes in all aspects of our lives. It doesn't require a specific posture, just find comfort and relax.
    • Shifting the mindset towards accepting and celebrating thoughts during meditation can lead to a more consistent and fulfilling practice, enhancing various aspects of life.
    • Embrace initial thoughts in meditation, as observing them without resistance leads to a quieter mind. Over time, the practice becomes more enjoyable and cultivates mental and spiritual strength.
    • By embracing a "do less and accomplish more" approach, incorporating meditation into our daily lives can improve our overall well-being and lead to positive changes in various aspects of life.
    • Embracing interruptions and shifting our perspective from problems to opportunities not only enhances meditation but also helps us handle difficulties with calm and resilience, finding joy in the process rather than fixating on the outcome.
    • Shifting our perspective and being fully present in each moment can unlock valuable learning opportunities and lead to unexpected and fulfilling outcomes in our lives.
    • Finding correlations in different aspects of life can lead us on a unique and adventurous path toward our goals, teaching us the importance of listening to our hearts and being present.
    • The belief system that empowers you the most is the one you should adopt. It can give you a sense of control, shape your perspective, and align your decisions with your values for fulfillment and growth.
    • Cultivating stillness and prioritizing inner happiness allows us to live more purposefully and make decisions from the heart, leading to a more fulfilled life.
    • Stepping outside of our comfort zones and actively seeking new experiences can lead to personal growth, fulfillment, and a more meaningful life.
    • Prioritizing our values leads to a balanced life, where we make choices aligned with what truly matters, resulting in fulfillment, engagement, and improved mental and physical health.
    • By creating distance and limiting exposure to social media, individuals can better understand their own thoughts and beliefs and experience a sense of calm and fulfillment in life.
    • Simplifying our routines and priorities can lead to increased freedom, intentionality, and enjoyment in daily life. Less can often be more, and consistency in a simple routine can yield significant results.
    • Embracing a mindful and simplified approach to exercise and daily chores can lead to a more fulfilling lifestyle, eliminating common obstacles and promoting balance in one's routine.
    • Making a sacred commitment to ourselves and consistently engaging in nourishing practices can lead to abundance, creativity, and a fulfilling life.
    • True change and growth come from committing to daily practices, being honest with ourselves, and taking small actions based on that honesty. Gradual transformation and a deeper connection with ourselves can be achieved through consistency.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Discovering True Fulfillment: Clearing Internal Clutter and Living an Intentional Life

    True fulfillment and happiness come from within. Rangan Chatterjee and Light Watkins emphasize the importance of clearing our internal clutter and living an intentional life. Minimalism, as they discuss, is not just about decluttering our physical possessions but also about letting go of mental baggage that weighs us down. By tuning into our values, following our curiosity, and taking small leaps of faith towards our purpose, we can find our path to fulfillment. Cultivating happiness internally and being mindful of our choices lead to a more fulfilled life. External achievements may not bring lasting happiness, but connecting with our inner selves will.

    Choosing intentionally and minimizing addictive behaviors for a more fulfilling life.

    Being intentional about our choices and minimizing addictive behaviors can lead to a more fulfilling and centered life. We often fall prey to low-grade addictions like caffeine, sugar, social media, and shopping, without realizing their negative impact on our well-being. By intentionally abstaining or reducing these addictions, we can gain clarity on their hold over us and make healthier choices. Light Watkins exemplifies this by living out of a backpack and intentionally curating his possessions. Rangan Chatterjee emphasizes the importance of honesty with ourselves, acknowledging our addictions, and putting stopgaps in place. This approach allows us the freedom to make choices that align with our true desires and avoid the pitfalls of addictive behaviors.

    Rethinking discipline and embracing minimalism for personal growth.

    Discipline is not about willpower, but about honesty and intentionality. We often convince ourselves that certain habits or substances, like caffeine, are necessary for us to function properly. However, research shows that regular caffeine consumption only brings us up to the level of non-caffeine drinkers' baseline. It becomes clear that our dependency on these external substances is more of an addiction than a choice. The process of living out of a backpack and adopting a minimalist lifestyle is not just about reducing physical possessions, but also about creating internal spaciousness. This internal clarity allows us to confront old belief patterns and excuses, enabling us to explore and pursue the things we've always wanted to do but have held ourselves back from.

    Following Your Heart for a Fulfilling Life

    Following the nudge from your heart and acting upon it can help you avoid pain and lead to a greater sense of adventure in life. Ignoring your heart's desires can result in a constant state of betrayal, causing tension and potentially manifesting into physical or internal pain. When we choose the socially acceptable path instead of following our hearts, we may end up in situations that leave us resentful and regretful. Many people find themselves stuck in jobs they despise or that society deems successful, causing them to numb their pain through unhealthy coping mechanisms. To live a fulfilling life, it is essential to have the courage to challenge conventions and prioritize our own happiness and growth.

    Trusting Your Heart: The Key to a Fulfilled Life

    Following your heart and voice may come with challenges and criticism from others, but it is essential for finding your purpose and living a fulfilled life. The pain of resisting your heart's desires can lead to dissatisfaction and unhealthy coping mechanisms. On the other hand, pursuing what your heart nudges you towards may invite judgment and doubts from society. However, it is crucial to trust and prioritize yourself, just like the oxygen mask on an airplane. Your purpose doesn't have to be directly related to your job; it can be expressed through any profession while aligning with your values and following your curiosity. Taking small steps and actions can lead to a more purposeful and authentic life.

    The Power of Curiosity, Intuition, and Stillness

    Following our curiosity and listening to our internal guidance are pivotal in achieving success and avoiding negative outcomes. Rangan Chatterjee emphasizes that recognizing the pivotal role of curiosity and intuition in our lives is essential. He highlights that when we reflect on our accomplishments, we often realize that they originated from a moment when we followed our curiosity. Similarly, when negative situations arise, we usually ignored our intuition or internal guidance. To be healthy and happy, Light Watkins adds that practicing stillness and meditation are crucial. However, many struggle with stillness due to the stress that accumulates in their bodies. Therefore, reducing stress becomes a vital step in creating a fulfilling and happy life. Meditation aids in this process by reducing stress and increasing inner fulfillment, allowing us to tap into our inherent happiness.

    The benefits of meditation and how to approach it

    Meditation is a valuable practice for everyone, even if not everyone necessarily needs to meditate. Meditation offers the opportunity to rest and achieve a sense of pure being, allowing the mind to become settled and the body to naturally rehabilitate and dissolve stress. Through consistent practice, meditation can lead to decreased stress, increased adaptability, better sleep, and improved overall well-being. Additionally, meditation can enhance intuition and provide clarity of internal guidance. While many people may initially struggle with meditation, it is essential to approach it with a minimalist mindset, doing less and allowing oneself to simply be. Ultimately, meditation can create a flow state and help navigate life's challenges with less reactivity.

    Meditation for Positive Change and Overall Wellbeing

    Meditation is not just about reducing stress, but also about making positive changes in other aspects of our lives. It's not an either-or situation where meditation alone brings benefits. Instead, it's a two-way process. By making better choices, cultivating peace and happiness within ourselves, we are able to meditate better. The progress in meditation can be seen in the choices we make and how we show up in our daily lives. Whether it's being present with our loved ones or finding fulfillment in our work, meditation helps us prioritize what truly makes us happy. And when we prioritize happiness over seeking external sources of happiness, we free up time, become less needy, and improve our physical health. So, meditation is not just for mental wellbeing, it has a positive impact on our overall wellbeing. If you're struggling to make meditation a regular practice, remember that you don't have to look a certain way while meditating. Find a comfortable position, whether it's on the couch or in your favorite chair, and simply relax.

    Enhancing Meditation Practice with a Nonchalant Attitude

    Meditation can be practiced in a comfortable and relaxed position, even while watching television. This realization increases the enjoyment of the practice by 60% and dispels the notion that the mind is an erratic monkey sabotaging meditation. Understanding that the mind naturally thinks and seeks better possibilities helps shift the attitude towards seeing the mind as an ally rather than an enemy during meditation. By accepting the normalcy of thoughts and distractions, and even celebrating them, the mind becomes more settled and calm. Starting with just five minutes of meditation, focusing on deep breathing, and adopting a nonchalant or celebratory attitude towards the thinking mind, can lead to a consistent meditation practice that enhances gratitude, exercise, compassion, and other desired habits.

    Embracing Thoughts: A Guide to Meditation

    Meditation is like swimming in cool water. At first, it may feel uncomfortable as your mind is filled with to-do lists and distractions. However, if you embrace these thoughts and observe them without resistance, the mind naturally begins to quiet and settle. Just like how a swimmer's body adjusts to the water temperature over time. The key is to be okay with the initial shock and not let it deter you from the practice. It's common for meditation sessions to start with thoughts, but as you continue, you'll find yourself becoming more settled and focused. So, lean into the experience and don't shy away from those initial thoughts, as they are part of the process. Eventually, meditation becomes more enjoyable and helps cultivate not just mental strength but also spiritual strength.

    The power of low heart rate movements and meditation for a healthier and more fulfilling life.

    We often feel the need to do something intense or drastic for it to count as an accomplishment. However, this Western mindset may not be as beneficial as we think. Low heart rate movements, like walking, can have incredible benefits for our short-term health, longevity, and stress response. Rangan Chatterjee suggests that we should adopt a "do less and accomplish more" approach to life. Instead of focusing on extreme activities, such as intense workouts or cold immersion, he encourages a calmer, more sustainable approach, like meditation. By practicing meditation daily, we can become better versions of ourselves in all aspects of life, including our relationships and professional interactions. Meditation acts as a truth serum, allowing us to confront our stress, make positive changes, and live more authentically. While journaling can be helpful in processing insights gained from meditation, it should be combined with a regular meditation practice for optimal results.

    The Power of Attitude in Meditation and Life's Challenges

    Our attitude plays a crucial role in our meditation practice and in how we navigate life's challenges. It's not about achieving a certain level of depth or stillness, but rather how we feel about our experiences. By embracing interruptions and distractions, such as the presence of children during meditation, and shifting our perspective from viewing them as problems to opportunities, we can reshape our attitudes. This change in attitude not only enhances our meditation practice but also carries over into our daily lives, helping us handle difficulties with a greater sense of calm and resilience. The key is to let go of rigid expectations and trust that things are happening as they should, positioning us in advantageous ways that we cannot yet see. Ultimately, finding joy lies in embracing the process and journey rather than fixating on the outcome.

    Embracing Every Moment for Growth and Development

    Every moment, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, has the potential to teach us something valuable. We often view certain experiences as throwaway moments or consider time wasted when things don't go as planned. However, Rangan Chatterjee highlights the importance of shifting our perspective and optimizing our time by being fully present in each moment. By embracing curiosity and learning opportunities, we can unlock the potential for growth and development in all aspects of our lives. It's not about obsessively optimizing every single aspect, but rather cultivating a daily practice of stillness and presence that allows us to make better choices and tune into subtle cues about the future. Ultimately, being present and open to learning can lead to unexpected and fulfilling outcomes.

    Discovering Connections: From Rubik's Cubes to Meditation

    Finding correlations in different aspects of life can lead to valuable insights and discoveries. Rangan Chatterjee noticed a connection between solving a Rubik's Cube and the benefits of meditation in bringing the body back into balance. This correlation inspired him to create a video and share it on YouTube, eventually helping more people learn about meditation. It teaches us that listening to our hearts and being present can lead us on a unique and adventurous path towards our goals, and the journey itself can be just as important as the destination. Whether we believe in randomness or divine purpose, we are all practicing some form of religion, and it is up to us to find meaning and shared values in our beliefs to create a fulfilling lifestyle.

    Choosing an Empowering Belief System for a Fulfilling Life.

    The belief system or ideology that empowers you the most is the one you should adopt. While we can't definitively prove which belief is real or not, what matters is how empowered you feel in the choices you make on a daily basis. If you believe that things are happening to you for a reason, it can give you a sense of control and empowerment. Choosing to believe that everything is just random and meaningless may not provide the same level of empowerment. By consciously choosing a belief system that empowers you, you can shape your perspective and make decisions that align with your values. Even past experiences, both positive and negative, can inform your decisions and lead to fulfillment and growth.

    Cultivating Stillness and Prioritizing Inner Happiness for a Fulfilling Life

    Cultivating stillness and practicing meditation allows us to honestly assess our lives. We cannot hide from ourselves, as that inner voice is always present, even if we try to distract ourselves with social media, sugar, or other forms of escapism. Ignoring this inner voice has long-term consequences for our mental and physical health. Rangan Chatterjee's favorite book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," emphasizes the importance of giving care and attention to everything we do. The book teaches us to cultivate inner happiness and make decisions from the heart, rather than the ego-driven mind. By prioritizing our internal nudgings and discomfort, we can lead more fulfilled and purposeful lives.

    Embracing Change and Growth for Personal Fulfillment

    Embracing change and growth is essential for personal development and finding fulfillment. Rangan Chatterjee's discussion about living out of a backpack and his friend's divorce demonstrates the importance of stepping outside of our comfort zones and exploring the unknown. Staying stagnant in familiar and comfortable situations can inhibit our growth and limit our potential. By continuously seeking new experiences, challenging ourselves, and reevaluating our values, we can uncover new paths and opportunities for personal growth. This can lead to a more meaningful and fulfilling life, where we prioritize qualities like patience, generosity, and kindness over material possessions. Ultimately, it's important to stay open-minded and flexible, allowing our desires and aspirations to evolve and guide us towards a better version of ourselves.

    Guiding Our Choices with Core Values

    Our values should guide our choices and decisions. When we identify and prioritize our core values, we can use them as a filter to evaluate opportunities and make choices that align with what truly matters to us. Sometimes, this may mean sacrificing financial gain or material success in favor of maintaining our integrity and nurturing meaningful relationships. The monetary value of a job or opportunity should not overshadow the emotional and spiritual cost of compromising our values. By choosing the path that aligns with our values, we are more likely to find fulfillment, engagement, and inspiration, leading to better mental and physical health. Ultimately, prioritizing our values can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling life.

    Prioritizing Relationships and Personal Well-being over Social Media Noise

    It's important to prioritize what truly matters in life, such as relationships and personal well-being, over the constant noise and influence of social media. While it may not be feasible for everyone to take extended breaks, finding ways to create distance and limit exposure can lead to a better understanding of one's own thoughts and beliefs. By stepping away from social media, whether through delegation or intentional breaks, individuals can tune into their own voices and experience a newfound sense of calm and presence. This can ultimately result in improved relationships, increased productivity, and a greater sense of fulfillment in life.

    Embracing Simplicity: Finding Freedom and Joy in Minimalism

    Both Rangan Chatterjee and Light Watkins emphasize the importance of simplicity and minimalism in various aspects of life. Whether it's reducing the number of people they follow on social media or streamlining their exercise routines, they both understand the value of cutting out unnecessary clutter and focusing on what truly matters. By adopting a minimalist approach, they have found increased freedom, intentionality, and enjoyment in their daily lives. Rangan's minimalist workout program, consisting of just 20 reps of a targeted body part each day, exemplifies how less can often be more and how consistency in a simple routine can lead to significant results. Their shared belief in simplicity serves as a reminder for all of us to evaluate what we allow into our minds and bodies, and to prioritize what brings us joy, contentment, and fulfillment.

    Balancing Mindfulness with Exercise and Everyday Tasks

    The western approach to exercise often emphasizes pushing oneself to the limit, going all out, and leaving nothing behind. On the other hand, the eastern approach promotes a more mindful and balanced approach, focusing on doing a specific amount of exercise and not overexerting oneself. The beauty of this approach is that it eliminates many of the common obstacles people have, such as not having the right equipment or finding the gym too far away. By committing to a consistent routine, like doing pushups every Monday, individuals can eliminate the need to make choices and procrastinate about their workouts. Additionally, the idea of hand washing clothes and utilizing water in the shower is not as absurd as it seems, as it is a more efficient and environmentally friendly approach that people used in the past. Ultimately, adopting a more mindful and simplified approach to exercise and daily chores can lead to a more manageable and fulfilling lifestyle.

    Commitment and Practice: The Path to Success and Fulfillment

    Making a sacred commitment to yourself and embodying that commitment can lead to great fortune and success. Rangan Chatterjee's daily practice of writing and sending out inspirational emails for over seven years has brought him numerous opportunities and resources. He sees it as a deposit in his spirit, a thousand-pound reward every day. Similarly, his consistent meditation practice for 20 years has become a joyful and rejuvenating activity, like a bubble bath for his mind. The key is to shift our attitude towards these activities from being chores to being opportunities for growth and fulfillment. By committing to our purpose and consistently engaging in practices that nourish us, we can create a life of abundance and creativity.

    The Power of Honesty and Consistency for Personal Growth

    True change and growth come from being brutally honest with ourselves and taking consistent actions based on that honesty. We often look for external validation or scientific evidence, but the most powerful evidence is our own experience. By committing to daily practices and showing up for ourselves, we build self-esteem, change our identity, and create momentum. It's important to start small and focus on consistency rather than going all-in, especially without external accountability. Instead of trying to make drastic changes all at once, we can start by telling ourselves the truth about one thing in our lives and taking a small action based on that honesty. This can lead to gradual transformation and a deeper connection with ourselves.

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    #452 The Science of Rituals & How They Can Transform Our Health, Happiness and Relationships with Professor Michael Norton

    #452 The Science of Rituals & How They Can Transform Our Health, Happiness and Relationships with Professor Michael Norton

    Have you ever thought about the role that rituals play in our health and wellbeing? Whether it's a morning routine, a pre-game warmup, or a cultural tradition, rituals can provide us with structure, meaning, and connection.

     

    Today’s guest is Professor Michael Norton, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of the brand new book, The Ritual Effect: The Transformative Power of Our Everyday Actions, which delves into the science and psychology behind, why turning everyday habits into rituals can improve our work, our relationships and our lives.

     

    In this conversation, Michael and I explore the fascinating world of rituals and how they impact on our mental and physical health. We discuss the distinction between rituals and routines, why they can be really helpful in making our habits stick over the long term and how, by providing order and structure, they can help us manage overwhelm and stress.

     

    We also explore how rituals foster community and connection, how elite athletes like Serena Williams use rituals to enhance performance and mental preparation, and how team rituals, like the New Zealand rugby team’s iconic Hakka, are a great example of how ritual behaviours boost togetherness and collective identity. 

     

    Michael and I also share some of our own personal rituals  - including the preparation rituals I go through each week to prepare for this podcast. And, we also acknowledge that rituals can become problematic if taken to an extreme and the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with them, using them as tools for self-improvement rather than allowing them to be in control of us.

     

    Ultimately, this is a conversation that offers a compelling case for the power of rituals in enhancing our health and happiness. Whether you're an athlete striving for peak performance, or simply someone looking to live a more fulfilled life, I think you’ll find that understanding the "ritual effect" can be truly transformative.


    Find out more about my NEW Journal here https://drchatterjee.com/journal


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/452


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #451 BITESIZE | A 103-year-old Doctor’s #1 Secret to Health and Happiness | Dr Gladys McGarey

    #451 BITESIZE | A 103-year-old Doctor’s #1 Secret to Health and Happiness | Dr Gladys McGarey

    Today’s guest is the oldest person I’ve ever welcomed onto my show, and what a great pleasure it was for me to do so. 


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 394 of the podcast with Dr Gladys McGarey.


    She’s 103 years old, co-founder of the American Holistic Medical Association, and author of the fantastic book, The Well-Lived Life: A 102-year-old Doctor’s Secrets to Health and Happiness at Every Age.


    For many of us, finding our purpose in life feels like an optional extra when we’re busy working, raising children or caring for parents. It can be hard to know who we really are or what we want out of life. But Gladys insists we should still strive to identify our reason for getting out of bed every morning.

    Gladys believes each of us holds a unique purpose - a true reason for being here. And in this clip, she invites you to find yours.


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/394


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #450 How To Eat To Boost Your Body’s Natural Defences & Avoid The Foods That Weaken Them with Dr William Li

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    Today’s guest passionately believes that the decisions we make every day about what we eat, have a huge influence on our overall health. Dr William Li is a medical doctor, internal medicine specialist, research scientist and the author of the 2 international bestsellers, Eat to Beat Disease and Eat To Beat Your Diet. He works in a field of research called Food as Medicine and having been involved with the development of many different drugs over the past few decades, he is passionate about using scientific rigour to analyse the specific benefits of food.


    Dr Li has been a guest on my podcast on 2 previous occasions - Episodes 234 and 376 - and those episodes remain some of the most downloaded episodes in the history of my show. Today’s brand new episode was actually a conversation Dr Li and I recorded together around 2 years ago, but the content within it, is just as relevant today.

     

    In this conversation, we covered a broad range of food related topics that people often find confusing, with the intention of providing more clarity. We start off talking about the foods we might want to consider cutting back on, due to their negative effects on our health. We talk about sugar, artificial sweeteners, ultra-processed foods, alcohol, and the problems with reusing oil when frying.

     

    We also talk about the practical steps we can all take immediately, when it comes to choosing foods that will enhance both our short term and long-term health.

     

    We cover so many different topics today, including:  

    • how you can go about choosing a good quality olive oil,
    • the benefits of pairing certain foods together to increase nutrient absorption,
    • how we can increase the amount of vitamin D in mushrooms,
    • why organic foods are healthier,
    • how to best read food labels,
    • the link between the foods we consume and autoimmune disease,
    • whether supplements are beneficial, and so much more.

     

    Dr Li is someone who wants joy to be at the heart of how we think about our food choices and our health. He is knowledgeable, passionate and a wonderful communicator. I always enjoy my conversations with him, I hope you enjoy listening.

    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.

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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/450

    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #449 BITESIZE | The Simple Habit to Manage Daily Stress and Overwhelm | Tony Riddle

    #449 BITESIZE | The Simple Habit to Manage Daily Stress and Overwhelm | Tony Riddle

    Today’s guest shares a simple daily habit that can help us calm the fight-or-flight system and manage the build up of daily stress.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 278 of the podcast with natural lifestyle coach and record-breaking barefoot endurance athlete, Tony Riddle.


    Tony believes that through connecting with nature and our natural state, we can experience greater health and happiness.


    In this clip we discuss the physiology of stress and how breathwork can help us, and Tony to take us through a simple breathing exercise, in real time (so you can join in, too).


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/278


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #448 A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness: Why Being Able To Forgive Improves Your Physical & Mental Wellbeing with Dr Fred Luskin

    #448 A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness: Why Being Able To Forgive Improves Your Physical & Mental Wellbeing with Dr Fred Luskin

    What does the word forgiveness mean to you? If the very idea of letting go of a past hurt makes you feel indignant or upset, then listening to this podcast could be one of the best gifts you give yourself.


    Today’s guest wants us all to understand why forgiveness matters for our mental and physical health. Dr Frederic Luskin is a clinical psychologist, researcher and speaker who has been teaching at Stanford University for the past 30 years. As Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects, he has taught tens of thousands of people to live happier and more fulfilled lives through the practice of forgiveness, gratitude and meditation.


    Although 20 years old, his book Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness, is as relevant today as it ever was. Based on groundbreaking scientific research, it provides practical strategies for letting go of grudges and resentments. And offers startling insight into the healing powers and medical benefits of forgiveness, and its profound impact on our lives.


    Fred explains how our past hurts are stored in our bodies. People who are able to forgive are physically more relaxed. Their blood pressure and central nervous system normalise, their perception of pain lowers, their risk of depression and anxiety goes down. Crucially, their relationships are more open and trusting, so they feel less alone.


    This is such powerful knowledge to have. Most of us can probably think of an example where we’ve allowed something that’s happened in the past to sabotage our present. Not letting go of old hurts can be a way of trying to protect ourselves and control the future. But Fred points out this is a coping mechanism to stop us acknowledging when we are vulnerable. True resilience means sitting with that discomfort and learning that it will pass.


    Of course this doesn’t mean we don’t have a right to be devastated if our partner has an affair or our boss treats us badly. It’s vital to feel the hurt and process your feelings, says Fred. But if you’re still living in the negative emotions months or years later, it’s time to move on.


    If that sounds easier said than done, rest assured that Fred has plenty of inspiring examples and practical suggestions to help you forgive. He is adamant that forgiveness is a choice and a skill anyone can learn. And you start by giving yourself permission to enjoy your present and future, unbound by the past.


    I really enjoyed my conversation with Fred and completely agree with him that forgiveness is an undervalued human skill. It may feel hard to access, but it is a brave choice and one that in any given situation will trigger a cascade of rewards. I hope this conversation prompts you to reconsider some of your past hurts and move forwards with self-compassion and freedom.


    Dr Chatterjee's Journal https://drchatterjee.com/journal


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/448


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #447 BITESIZE | How To Heal Chronic Pain | Dr Howard Schubiner

    #447 BITESIZE | How To Heal Chronic Pain | Dr Howard Schubiner

    CAUTION: This podcast episode contains swearing.


    Headaches, migraine, back, neck or joint pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia – they’re just some of the common causes of chronic pain, which is estimated to affect between a third to half of all UK adults, or just under 28 million of us.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 310 of the podcast with Director of the Mind Body Medicine Center in Michigan and author of Unlearn Your Pain, Dr Howard Schubiner.


    Emerging neuroscience tells us our brains actually create what we experience in our bodies, through a process called predictive processing. Pain doesn’t come from the body part where it’s felt, it’s created by our brain, signalling that something needs attention.


    Howard believes that in many cases of chronic pain your brain has created a neural pathway which remembers the pain and keeps you trapped in a vicious cycle. 


    In this clip he explains why it’s not ‘all in your head’, your pain is real. And there is something you can do about it. 


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/310


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #446 Why Better Conversations Will Improve Your Health, Essential Skills To Enhance Your Relationships & Why Men Struggle To Open Up with Nihal Arthanayke

    #446 Why Better Conversations Will Improve Your Health, Essential Skills To Enhance Your Relationships & Why Men Struggle To Open Up with Nihal Arthanayke

    Today we’re going meta, as they say. Because this is a conversation about…conversation. More than that, it’s a deep and meaningful exchange about why effective, authentic dialogue is so important to humankind – and yet seemingly in decline. And who better to exchange words with on this topic, than my fellow ‘professional conversationalist’, Nihal Arthanayake.

     

    You may know Nihal as an acclaimed broadcaster and TV presenter. He presents a national daytime show on BBC Radio 5 Live, which has over 1.2 million regular listeners, and his unique style recently won him Interviewer of the Year at the BBC Radio and Music Awards. Nihal is a good friend, so I can testify to his ability to ‘give good chat’. But he’s also brilliant at having public conversations that are bold, thoughtful and honest. Guests from the world's biggest stars to leaders of inner-city gangs have lauded his ability to stimulate positive discussions without the need for confrontation. 

     

    In his wonderful book, Let’s Talk: How To Have Better Conversations, which has recently been released in paperback, Nihal explains that all the scientific evidence points towards us now sharing fewer conversations than we ever have done before. We may have hundreds of connections on social media, but fewer than ever in our daily lives. So, could learning the art of conversation be an antidote to loneliness?

     

    In our conversation, we discuss the importance of empathy and active listening, with your heart and mind as well as your ears and eyes. Are you listening to understand, says Nihal, or simply to respond? We talk about vulnerability in conversation, why men in particular find that difficult, and why it feels so hard for male friends to exchange words like ‘I miss you’ or even ‘I love you’.

     

    Nihal shares his personal experience and advice, such as how he’s approached conversations with friends who are going through tough times, or why he went to couples’ therapy with his wife on realising their interactions had become more transactional than conversational.

     

    He also explains the evolution and psychology of dialogue, as well as the neuroscience of what’s happening in the brain during meaningful discourse. And he shares some powerful, high-profile case studies who’ve proved that it is possible to find common ground with anyone, even those who are your sworn enemies, by finding your common humanity.

     

    I really think that the skills Nihal is encouraging us all to cultivate are essential if we are to live happy and contented lives, but also essential when it comes to our physical and mental wellbeing. This conversation was relaxed and light hearted but at the same time, powerful and provocative. As Nihal says, great conversation is the glue that binds us all together.


    Find out more about my NEW Journal here https://drchatterjee.com/journal


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/446


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #445 BITESIZE | The Simple Habit That Can Transform Your Life | Robert Greene

    #445 BITESIZE | The Simple Habit That Can Transform Your Life | Robert Greene

    So many of us struggle to make change in our lives, and each of us has our own journey ahead of us, but, as today’s guest highlights, life is short; all of us have less time than we think to make the changes we want to make.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 320 of the podcast with best-selling author and speaker, Robert Greene.


    In this clip he shares how meditation can help us gain a better understanding of who we really are, and why self awareness is key to creating lasting change in our lives.


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/320


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #444 The New Science Of Memory, How to Remember What Matters & Why We're Designed To Forget with Dr Charan Ranganath

    #444 The New Science Of Memory, How to Remember What Matters & Why We're Designed To Forget with Dr Charan Ranganath

    We often think about our memories as a record of the past – but what if they’re only a selective and evolving version of it? Today’s guest is a world-leading memory expert who has a surprising message: we’re not supposed to remember everything. In fact, our brains are designed to forget. And much of what you experience today will be lost by tomorrow.

     

    Dr Charan Ranganath is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at the University of California at Davis.  For more than 25 years, he has studied the mechanisms in the brain that allow us to remember past events, using brain imaging techniques, computational modelling and research on patients with memory disorders. The occasion for his appearance on my podcast is the publication of his wonderful new book, Why We Remember: The Science of Memory and How it Shapes Us, which challenges, educates and enlightens, on so much of what we thought to be true about memories.

     

    In this fascinating conversation, he explains that the seemingly selective and unreliable nature of human memory doesn't reveal laziness, distraction or early dementia. Instead, it shows that our brains have not evolved to keep a comprehensive record of events. Rather than live in the past, the brain’s job is to extract the information it needs, to guide our futures.

     

    We also discuss how memories create our sense of self. We learn that our memory is an unreliable narrator but that we can use this to our advantage. By changing our perspective on traumatic experiences, we can feel differently about them in the present – a theory on which many forms of therapy are based.

     

    We also discuss our brain’s ability to change – its plasticity – and how we’re most likely to remember life’s emotional experiences as well as its new and surprising ones. Charan explains why music and smells are evocative cues, why it’s never too late to learn new skills, and why forgetting is a sign of an efficient brain - in fact, one of Charan’s key insights is that we shouldn’t strive to remember more, but to remember better

     

    This is a fascinating conversation, full of fresh ideas, wisdom and practical advice about a topic that deeply matters to all of us.


    Find out more about my NEW Journal here https://drchatterjee.com/journal


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/444


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #443 BITESIZE | Avoid These 3 Foods For Better Brain Health | Max Lugavere

    #443 BITESIZE | Avoid These 3 Foods For Better Brain Health | Max Lugavere

    Today’s guest shares evidence-based principles that will help all of us protect our brain health.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 330 of the podcast with science journalist and New York Times bestselling author, Max Lugavere.


    Max is on a mission to help people feel better, live longer, and maximise their brain health by optimising their diet.


    In this clip he shares the three food types that we should think about cutting out of our diet – and why. 


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/330


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.