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    #402 How To Create Healthy Habits, Think Clearly & Effortlessly Achieve Your Goals with Shane Parrish

    Parents must set clear rules and boundaries around technology use, lead by example, and have open conversations with children to promote responsible behavior and decision-making.

    enNovember 15, 2023

    About this Episode

    How would you like to think with greater clarity, feel confident in your choices, and finally be capable of sticking to good habits? Today’s guest might just show you how.

     

    Shane Parrish is the entrepreneur and wisdom seeker behind Farnham Street and The Knowledge Project podcast, where he focuses on mastering the best of what other people have figured out. He is also the author of the wonderful new book, Clear Thinking: Turning Ordinary Moments Into Extraordinary Results, in which he shares timeless insights and actionable tips, to help us all make better decisions in every aspect of our lives. 


    When we think about decision-making, we probably think of those big choices in life as the ones that matter: what subjects to study, which job to take, house to buy or partner to settle down with. But Shane asserts that it’s the smaller, everyday decisions that really shape our path. Choices like what to eat, how to respond to a tricky email or how to tackle a tricky conversation with your partner. And why these matter is because they become our customary, quick-fire responses – behaviours or habits, which we struggle to change because we don’t fully understand that we’re even doing them.

     

    This doesn’t mean we have to take time to ruminate over every situation in life. Shane introduces the concept of personal rules as a powerful tool to override the ‘four defaults’ driving most human behaviour: emotions, ego, social pressure and plain inertia. 

     

    Overcoming them usually means relying on willpower. But rules – such as bedtimes, food choices, or technology limits – help us easily align decisions with our values and goals. Rules are just one of the super-useful hacks Shane shares. We discuss the difference between high-stakes decisions and quick-fire choices. He introduces the powerful notion of playing life on ‘easy mode’ to put us in the best position for success – like setting the difficulty level on a video game in your favour.


    Shane also talks about the importance of separating problems from their solutions. And he advises appointing your own ‘board of directors’ – real, historical, famous or fictional people whose opinion you’d value. ‘Consulting’ them on dilemmas will give you new perspectives.

    Shane’s ethos is all about finding the hidden opportunity in ordinary moments. In a world where our lives and minds feel increasingly cluttered, his advice can cut-through and help us find clarity.


    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/402


    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

    • By consciously setting personal rules and regulating our emotions, we can overcome defaults and find clarity in everyday decisions, ultimately shaping our path in life.
    • By recognizing our default behaviors and consciously making decisions, we can better navigate life's challenges and position ourselves for success. Take responsibility for your choices and focus on factors within your control.
    • By prioritizing sleep, maintaining healthy habits, investing in relationships, and making wise financial choices, individuals increase their likelihood of success and overall well-being by putting themselves in a good position and preparing for challenges.
    • Acknowledge and prioritize rest to manage fatigue effectively, establish rules to pause and think before responding impulsively, and make decisions that align with your goals.
    • Implementing rules can help us form automatic habits, allowing our conscious brain to catch up with our unconscious reactions and make more effective decisions. These rules provide structure and empower us to have more control over our lives.
    • Setting and following rules can simplify decision-making, reinforce positive habits, resist social pressure, and support overall well-being.
    • By eliminating negotiation and establishing non-negotiable routines, we can conserve cognitive energy, make better choices, and achieve consistent progress towards our goals.
    • Make time for your goals, turn them into habits, and carefully consider decisions for better results.
    • Separate meetings for problem definition and problem solution reduce the risk of solving the wrong problem and promote clear thinking and rational decision-making for effective outcomes.
    • By creating a supportive structure in our environment, such as setting rules and constraints, we can effectively change our behavior and make better decisions without relying solely on willpower.
    • Parents must set clear rules and boundaries around technology use, lead by example, and have open conversations with children to promote responsible behavior and decision-making.
    • By implementing self-reflection techniques and creating simple rules, we can transform our perspective and achieve our goals. It is crucial to embrace simplicity and a growth mindset to make positive changes and develop self-awareness.
    • Reflecting on our thoughts and seeking feedback from trusted individuals can help us understand ourselves better, adopt new perspectives, and prioritize personal growth over ego.
    • Being open to feedback and using it as a tool for improvement can turn negative experiences into opportunities for success.
    • Our mindset has the power to shape our experiences. By choosing to interpret criticism and setbacks as opportunities for growth, we can lead happier and more fulfilled lives.
    • We have the power to shape our lives by focusing on what we can control, overcoming challenges, and navigating through life with clarity and resilience.
    • By consciously positioning ourselves well, we can increase our chances of success in various aspects of life, just like Warren Buffett does in investing.
    • Recognizing our own contribution to situations allows us to make conscious choices, improve ourselves, and change the outcomes we experience.
    • By creating rules and rituals, establishing routines, and maintaining momentum, focusing on the next move can lead to long-term success.
    • Define the problem and explore potential solutions before making a decision to ensure the best option is chosen, and be consistent in actions to increase opportunities and success.
    • Prioritize consistency, find balance between rationality and intuition, validate your intuition before taking action, and seek guidance from mentors for valuable perspective.
    • Choose who and what influences your thoughts carefully, as your mental environment greatly impacts your mindset and choices. By selecting high-quality, inspiring sources of information, you can improve the quality of your thinking and behavior.
    • Unfollow and rebuild our online network periodically to eliminate unnecessary pressures and focus on accounts that truly add value, extending this practice to other aspects of our lives.
    • Reflect on what truly matters in life, align actions with values, cultivate relationships, spend time with loved ones, and strive for a meaningful legacy, learning from those near the end of their lives.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    The Power of Personal Rules: Shaping our path through mindful choices

    Our everyday decisions, especially the small ones, have a significant impact on shaping our path in life. These decisions, such as what we eat or how we respond to tricky situations, often become our default responses without us even realizing it. To overcome these defaults and align our decisions with our values, author Shane Parrish introduces the concept of personal rules. These rules, like bedtimes or technology limits, help us override the four defaults: emotions, ego, social pressure, and inertia. Additionally, Parrish emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and taking a pause to regulate our emotions before reacting. By making mindful choices in everyday ordinary moments, we can find hidden opportunities and clarity in a cluttered world.

    Breaking free from default patterns and making conscious choices for success.

    Our default behaviors and lack of conscious decision-making often hinder our ability to think in the moment. We tend to rely on ego, emotion, social bias, and inertia, which limits our capacity to reason and respond effectively. Just like a child who chooses to play on hard mode without realizing it, we often fall into default patterns without recognizing that we have a choice. By understanding our positioning and consciously making decisions that position us for success, we can navigate life's challenges more effectively. It's important to take responsibility for our choices and consider the factors within our control that can better prepare us for success.

    The Impact of Prioritizing Preparation on Success and Well-being

    Our actions and decisions in the present are heavily influenced by the circumstances we were in before. Just like Shane's brother's performance in the race was affected by a stressful week at work, our ability to perform well in any area of life is impacted by our overall position and preparation. Successful individuals consistently prioritize putting themselves in a good position by taking proactive steps beforehand. This includes prioritizing sleep, maintaining healthy habits, investing in relationships, and making wise financial choices. By doing so, they make it easier to navigate challenges and achieve better outcomes. While circumstances may sometimes disrupt our plans, having these rules and practices in place increases the likelihood of success and overall well-being.

    Managing Fatigue: Taking Action to Prioritize Rest and Make Thoughtful Decisions

    Acknowledging your fatigue is not enough; you must take action to manage it. Look at your schedule and find moments where you can prioritize rest, even if it means rescheduling or canceling meetings. If you have limited control over your schedule, establish rules for yourself to pause before responding or sending emails, or delay sending them altogether. Take a breath and ask yourself if your response will bring you closer to your goals or further away. Avoid reacting impulsively by consciously choosing your actions. Even a momentary pause can break the pattern of automatic reactions and allow your brain to make more thoughtful decisions.

    The Power of Simple Rules for Better Decision-Making and Behavior

    Creating and following simple rules can significantly improve our decision-making and behavior. Rules can serve as reminders and help us overcome internal conflicts or default behaviors. By implementing rules, we can turn desired behaviors into automatic habits without relying on willpower or conscious choices all the time. For example, setting a rule to take two breaths before responding to a situation can allow our conscious brain to catch up with our unconscious reactions and respond more effectively. This concept can be applied not only to personal habits but also to various areas of life, including health decisions. Ultimately, rules provide a structure that supports better decision-making and empowers us to have more control over our lives. So, give it a try and see the positive impact it can have!

    The power of rules in making healthy choices.

    Creating and following rules can be a powerful tool for success, especially when it comes to making healthy dietary choices. By establishing automatic rules, individuals can eliminate the need for constant decision-making and rely on a set guideline for making food choices. These rules not only signal to others that certain foods or behaviors are off-limits, but they also provide a sense of identity and reinforce positive habits. Moreover, rules help individuals navigate social situations where there may be pressure to indulge in unhealthy options. By following a rule, individuals can resist social pressure and stay on track with their health goals. Ultimately, establishing and sticking to rules can simplify decision-making and support overall well-being.

    Consistency and better decision-making through non-negotiable habits.

    Avoiding the use of willpower can lead to better decision-making and consistency in routine. Willpower is like a battery that drains throughout the day, making it harder to make good choices as the day progresses. By establishing non-negotiable rules or habits, such as a morning routine or a daily workout, we can conserve our cognitive energy and make it easier to stick to our goals. For example, by implementing a rule to sweat every day, the focus shifts from whether or not to exercise to how the workout will look that day. This approach is similar to toothbrushing, where we don't debate whether to do it but rather follow a routine for optimal dental health. Similarly, by eliminating negotiation and making certain actions non-negotiable, we can create consistency and build positive habits.

    Prioritizing, establishing habits, and thoughtful decision-making are key to achieving your goals.

    Prioritizing and making time for your goals is crucial. By setting aside dedicated time every day, like the example of running for an hour, you ensure that it becomes a habit rather than a struggle. This means incorporating it into your schedule, just like brushing your teeth, so that it becomes automatic and doesn't require conscious effort. Additionally, making decisions and choices should be approached differently based on the stakes involved. Choices are quick and easy, while decisions require conscious evaluation and should be reserved for higher-stake situations. Understanding the distinction allows for better allocation of decision-making power and prevents wasting time on trivial matters. So, prioritize your goals, establish habits, and approach decisions thoughtfully based on their impact.

    The importance of separating problem definition from problem solution for better decision-making.

    Creating a clear separation between problem definition and problem solution can greatly improve decision-making. By holding separate meetings for each phase, individuals can focus on understanding and defining the problem without immediately jumping into finding solutions. This helps reduce the risk of solving the wrong problem and allows for a more rational and thoughtful approach. Additionally, the pause between these meetings allows for input from different perspectives and gives time for rational thinking to kick in, avoiding emotional responses and signaling. By creating an artificial environment that promotes clear thinking and rational decision-making, individuals can increase the likelihood of making effective decisions and achieving their desired outcomes.

    The Power of Environment in Shaping Behavior

    Creating an artificial environment with rules and constraints can significantly influence our behavior. This applies to various aspects of life, including health and technology usage. For example, if you struggle to stick to a meditation routine, instead of relying on willpower, you can create a structure that supports your practice. In the case of reducing device usage before bed, leaving your phone outside the bedroom or setting restrictions on app usage can help break the habit. These small changes in the environment can have a transformative impact on our behavior. Similarly, establishing household rules about device usage can prevent arguments and provide a clear framework for everyone to follow. By utilizing the environment to shape our actions, we can reduce reliance on willpower and make better decisions.

    Setting Boundaries: Guiding Children's Technology Use

    Setting clear rules and boundaries around technology use is vital for both children and parents. Technology has rapidly become a dominant part of our lives, and without proper guidelines, it can easily spiral out of control. Parents need to lead by example and demonstrate responsible technology use themselves to effectively guide their children. It's important to have open and honest conversations with kids about the reasons behind the rules and the potential consequences of their actions. Encouraging self-reflection and learning from experiences is also crucial in developing responsible behavior. By creating a learning loop that includes reflection, compression, and action, children can gain a deeper understanding of their choices and make better decisions in the future.

    The Power of Self-Reflection and Simple Rules

    Self-reflection and creating simple rules can be highly effective in transforming how we see the world and achieving our goals. By asking ourselves questions like "What went well today?" and "What can I do differently tomorrow?", we can identify patterns and make positive changes in our behavior. It's important to remember that simplicity doesn't mean something is simplistic; simple practices can have a profound impact. When we encounter setbacks or don't follow a rule consistently, it's crucial not to beat ourselves up. Instead, we should adopt a growth mindset and focus on not missing twice, getting back on track, and replacing negative inner loops with new, empowering narratives. Developing self-awareness is key to implementing these strategies successfully.

    Gaining Perspective and Reducing Blind Spots for Better Decision Making

    Gaining perspective on our lives and reducing blind spots is crucial for making better decisions. One way to achieve this is through reflective practices like writing or journaling, even if we don't share it with anyone. By expressing our emotions and thoughts on paper, we can better understand ourselves and gain insights into our behavior. Additionally, seeking feedback or different perspectives from trusted friends or mentors can give us a fresh lens through which to view our lives. Adopting different personas or imagining how others would see us can also offer new insights. Ultimately, prioritizing the outcome over our ego is necessary for growth and positive change.

    Embrace feedback and criticism for growth.

    It's important to be open to feedback and criticism in order to achieve the best outcomes in life. We often spend so much time trying to prove that we're right and defending our ego, that we miss valuable information and opportunities for growth. It's crucial to ask ourselves periodically if we are getting the results we want in different areas of our lives. When someone offers us feedback, instead of immediately dismissing it, we should take the time to digest and reflect on it. By being open to criticism and using it as a tool for improvement, we can turn negative experiences or comments into fuel for success. Ultimately, the power to choose our story lies within us.

    The Power of Mindset: Shaping Experiences and Outcomes

    Our mindset plays a significant role in shaping our experiences and outcomes in life. How we interpret criticism and setbacks can either empower us or hold us back. We have the power to choose how we interpret negative comments or situations, and we can turn them into fuel that propels us forward. It's important to avoid adopting a victim mindset because it limits our potential and keeps us stuck in a cycle of powerlessness. Surrounding ourselves with positive and resilient individuals can help us maintain an empowering mindset. By reframing our thoughts and embracing intentional choices, emotional regulation, and clear thinking, we can lead happier and more fulfilled lives.

    Taking Control and Overcoming Circumstances

    We have the power to shape our own lives and overcome our circumstances. Becoming a victim of our circumstances means allowing them to control us, while taking control means mastering our own trajectory. It doesn't matter where we start or what challenges we face, there is always something we can do to improve our position and increase our chances of success. It's about focusing on what we can control and taking action instead of dwelling on what we can't control. Stress can be both positive and negative, depending on how we perceive and handle it. By positioning ourselves to withstand various outcomes, we can navigate through life with clarity and resilience.

    The Importance of Positioning in Life and Investing

    Positioning ourselves well can greatly impact our outcomes in life. Just like in investing, being in a good position can make us look like geniuses, while a bad position can make even the smartest person seem like an idiot. People who consistently achieve positive outcomes are not necessarily luckier or smarter than us, but they simply avoid being forced into bad decisions by circumstances. Warren Buffett is a perfect example of someone who controls his circumstances and consistently wins because he has positioned himself in a way that allows him to thrive regardless of market conditions. We may not have billions of dollars like Buffett, but we can still apply the concept of positioning in our own lives. For example, we can save money to prepare for potential job loss or strive to improve our skills to make ourselves invaluable at work. Additionally, taking care of our health and well-being positions us to be more productive and make better decisions. Ultimately, positioning ourselves well is about taking control of what we can change and putting ourselves in the best possible position for success.

    Taking responsibility for our actions and choices

    Our actions and behaviors are often influenced by external factors such as fatigue or lack of sleep. Instead of simply reacting or blaming others, it is important to recognize our own contribution to the problem or situation. By being honest and holding ourselves accountable, we can develop a clearer understanding of our mindset and interpretation of events. We can then make conscious choices to improve and become the best version of ourselves. This involves identifying what is within our control, focusing on our own rituals and rituals that help us stay centered and present in the moment. By doing so, we can make better decisions and ultimately change our outcomes.

    The Power of Focusing on the Next Move for Success.

    Focusing on the next move or action is crucial for success. Whether it's a tennis player, CEO, or basketball player, what matters is not dwelling on past mistakes or circumstances but rather putting energy into the next step. This can be achieved by creating rules and rituals that shape behavior. By establishing a routine, positive inertia is built, making it easier to overcome initial resistance and maintain momentum. Just like my kids with homework, initially forcing the behavior and then allowing it to become automatic led to positive results. Similarly, creating a streak or loss aversion can instill a strong drive to continue a habit or practice. Ultimately, focusing on the next move and establishing positive inertia can lead to long-term success.

    The importance of defining the problem and exploring potential solutions before making a decision.

    Decision making begins with defining the problem. Many people jump into solutions without truly understanding what they want to achieve. Take the example of wanting to meditate. Instead of simply saying "I want to meditate," it is important to identify the root problem, such as managing stress. From there, a list of potential solutions can be explored, including meditation, journaling, breath work, and mindfulness. To determine the best option, criteria must be established, such as time availability and effectiveness. It is crucial to give the chosen solution a fair chance, but also be willing to switch if it is not delivering the expected benefits. Consistency is key, as being reliable and consistent in our actions can lead to more opportunities and success in various areas of life.

    Consistency, intuition, and mentorship: the keys to effective learning and decision making.

    Consistency is key when it comes to learning and decision making. We often expect fast results, whether it's learning a new language or making important choices. However, if we lack consistency, our progress will be slower and less effective. It's important to prioritize what truly matters to us and make time for it. On the other hand, intuition plays a role in decision making as well. It's about finding the right balance between rationality and intuition based on the type of decision we're making. Additionally, we need to be aware that our intuition is not always reliable, and it's crucial to create a pause between insight and action to assess and validate our intuition. Lastly, building a personal board of directors can provide valuable perspective and accountability, whether through real or virtual mentors. By leveraging their expertise and different viewpoints, we can overcome blind spots and elevate our standards.

    Curating our mental environment for better thinking and decision-making.

    Curating the information and influences we allow into our minds is crucial. We have a unique opportunity to access direct thinking from great thinkers and role models through social media platforms. By following and learning from these individuals, we can shape our own behavior and decision-making. Our mental environment, just like our physical environment, has a significant impact on how we think and act. If we surround ourselves with negativity and low-quality information, it will undoubtedly shape our mindset and choices. Therefore, it's essential to curate our board of directors, the people we allow to influence our thoughts, and actively select high-quality, inspiring sources of information. By consciously choosing our inputs, we can transform our default behavior and improve the quality of our thinking.

    Curating our online environment for a better quality of life.

    Our online environment and the people we follow on social media have a significant impact on our behaviors and mental well-being. To improve our quality of life, it is important to curate our online environment and be intentional about who we choose to follow. One strategy is to unfollow everyone and start building our list from scratch, either annually or quarterly. By doing so, we can eliminate unnecessary social pressures and comparisons, and focus on the accounts that truly add value to our lives. Additionally, this takeaway extends beyond social media and can be applied to other aspects of our lives, allowing us to make clearer decisions and prioritize what truly matters to us.

    Prioritizing the Pursuit of Meaning over Power, Money, and Fame

    We often prioritize societal expectations of power, money, and fame, but these pursuits may not lead to a fulfilling and meaningful life. We need to reflect on what truly matters to us and align our actions with those values. Imagine being on your deathbed and hearing what people say about you. What do you want them to say? This thought experiment can guide us in making decisions that are in line with our desired legacy. We should strive to cultivate relationships, spend time with loved ones, and live a life of meaning. By learning from those near the end of their lives, we can gain valuable insights and avoid regrets. Ultimately, we should want what is worth wanting, not just what we think we want.

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    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

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

    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.

    Thanks to our sponsors:

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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


    Thanks to our sponsors:

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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.



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