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  • Women's brain health remains one of the most under researched, under diagnosed and under undertreated fields of medicine. Women are twice as likely as men to develop Alzheimer’s and twice as likely to become anxious or depressed. They are four times more likely to suffer with headaches and migraines and they are more prone to brain tumours and strokes than men. Today’s guest says this is a clear indication of functional differences between female and male brains. And she’s made it her life’s work to learn more about it.

    Neuroscientist Dr Lisa Mosconi is director of the Women’s Brain Initiative and works at the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College, US, where she studies how genetics, lifestyle and nutrition shape brain health, particularly in women.

    Lisa describes her frustration at constantly being told by peers that the reason Alzheimer’s was more prevalent in women was simply because they live longer, and it’s a disease of ageing. We discuss her ground-breaking research that has exposed this bias, finding dementia brain changes can actually begin in midlife, triggered by declining oestrogen during perimenopause. Worrying as that might sound, this discovery will enable women to take control of their risk at a much earlier age. Lisa goes on to share plenty of practical, evidence-based advice to help you do that.

    I was really moved hearing Lisa talk about the beautiful changes that happen in the female brain during pregnancy and post-partum. It’s a new take on the idea of ‘Mummy brain’ and will be validating for all mothers out there to hear. She also gives a clear and candid explanation of how perimenopause alters brain function. So many of my patients in their 40s and 50s are scared by changes like forgetfulness, brain fog and anxiety. If that’s you or someone you know, Lisa’s insights and advice will be really empowering.

    I’m a passionate advocate for women’s health equality. Yet chatting with Lisa made me realise how much more work we all have to do to get topics like these out there and understood. This conversation is relevant to all of us, women and men alike. I hope it gets you thinking and talking more. 

    Show notes available at drchatterjee.com/129

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • Today’s episode will change the way you feel about exercise – and yourself. Do you ever feel guilty for taking the lift instead of the stairs? For swapping that workout for a lie in, or for having zero desire to run a marathon? If so, my guest has some reassuring words on why an aversion to exercise is completely natural. And some valuable advice on how we can overcome that to reap the multiple health benefits. 

    Dr Daniel Lieberman is a paleoanthropologist and Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He has studied evolution and researched cultures all over the globe, to explain the science of how and why we move today. Whether you struggle to exercise or you’re a committed fitness fan, I think you’ll find his new perspectives on physical activity absolutely fascinating. 

    Among the many topics we cover in this conversation, Daniel addresses the following questions:

    Can exercise really help you lose weight?

    Does running ruin your knees?

    Should we be running barefoot?

    Is sitting the new smoking?

    Do you need eight hours’ sleep a night? 

    Should activity levels decline with age?

    I think some of his answers might really surprise you. I hope this conversation helps you feel better about the role of exercise in your life and have more compassion for yourself. I think it might just inspire you to move more, too.

    Show notes available at drchatterjee.com/128

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • CAUTION ADVISED: This podcast contains swearing from the start.

    How long could you last in a freezing-cold shower? And for how long could you comfortably, peacefully hold your breath? My guest today insists you can learn to do both for far longer than you think. And that by doing so, you can battle disease, regulate your mood and connect with your true self.

    This podcast is a fascinating insight into the mind, work and charismatic personality of Wim Hof, aka The Iceman. Wim has been described as a ‘trailblazer for human potential’ and a ‘modern legend’, thanks to his incredible feats. They include withstanding extreme temperatures, climbing Kilimanjaro in nothing but shorts – even, as he describes to me, being injected with a toxin and resisting illness.

    But he is no mere showman, there is method to what some might see as madness. Wim wants to convince people they too can do the ‘impossible’ and prove it through evidence-based science. Brain scans now indicate we can take conscious control of our autonomic nervous system. But this sort of ‘top down’ regulation had been unknown in science before.

    We talk about cold-water immersion – and why he believes that ‘a cold shower a day keeps the doctor away’. He explains that cold stimulates vascular muscle tone, increasing blood flow, slowing heart rate, increasing energy and lowering cortisol. Wim gives practical advice to help all of us build from a tense, 10-second blast of cold at the end of a shower, to comfortably showering cold for two to three minutes a day. And with benefits like reduced inflammation, improved cardiovascular function and immunity, reduced depression and anxiety.

    Breathing techniques go hand in hand with his cold-water exercises, and we discuss how his particular practice can work to help us achieve peak functionality before endurance events, stressful times and more. Paradoxically, it involves over-breathing and breath-holding, to create a stressful spike in the body. Yet it results in a very tranquil sensation – and builds resilience to all kinds of stress, physical and mental, for the rest of the day.

    At the end of this podcast, Wim kindly agreed to take me through one round of his technique, so you can give it a try with me and experience the effects for yourself.* It felt incredible, like accessing a different state of calm. I really hope you can feel the positive energy in this unique conversation. 

    (*As we discuss and as Wim makes clear in all his work, please follow his instructions carefully in order to carry out his techniques safely. It’s powerful stuff!)

    Show notes available at drchatterjee.com/127

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • Today’s episode is all about fear and how it holds us back in all aspects of our life. My guest is psychologist, Dr Pippa Grange, who has been hailed by the media ‘the doctor who helped transform the England football team’. Pippa is also author of the compelling book, Fear Less: How to Win at Life Without Losing Yourself.

    Fear is one of our body’s natural early warning systems. It alerts us when we’re under threat and need to take action. A bit like stress or inflammation, it’s something that’s useful to us in certain circumstances. But not when it becomes chronic and disrupts our entire sense of wellbeing. Pippa believes that behind every negative emotion, is the fear that we are not good enough. She sees fear as ‘the constant companion’ in our lives. Whether it manifests as loneliness, jealousy, dissatisfaction, perfectionism, judgement or shame, the root cause is actually the same. We discuss how we can all leave fear behind and gain what Pippa calls ‘mental freedom.’

    We delve into how shame evolves in childhood, and how we need to shake out some of the narratives of how we ‘should’ behave. We also talk about how so many of us conform to societal ideals in order to avoid criticism but in so doing, we can strip ourselves of who we really are. In fact, by pretending to be someone else, Pippa believes we are only performing at life, not living it.

    We explore the concept of a ‘scarcity mindset’ – the false idea that there’s not enough to go around, whether that be love, success, respect or admiration. We also talk about how schools would be the best place to instil these ideas, and help our children understand that winning and losing are just outcomes and not their worth.

    Finally, Pippa explains how by noticing and sitting with our own fears, we can find our real passions and deeper fulfilment. This conversation is full of wisdom and insight and I am sure you are going to really enjoy it!

    Show notes available at drchatterjee.com/126

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • What does immunity mean to you? In today’s Feel Better Live More podcast, researcher and lecturer, Dr Jenna Macciochi explains that it’s not just about fighting off infection. Our immune systems do not lie dormant, waiting to wage war if bacteria or viruses invade – they play a central and constant role as our bodies’ housekeepers.

    How do we do that? From empowering nutrition advice to insights into the how our metabolism and immune systems interact, there’s plenty of practical takeaway from this conversation. We discuss the disruptive effects of stress and how cortisol dampens immunity and even reactivates viruses. Having learned this first-hand when chronic stress led to her getting pneumonia, Jenna shares some helpful rituals for reducing the impact of stress in your life.

    Perhaps most fascinating though, is the idea that the type of person you are can shape your immunity. Jenna explains there are five main personality categories and each of them have specific immunological features. Traits and behaviours typical of each category, such as risk taking, sociability and how we respond to stress, can end up informing how our immune systems develop. As we discuss, ‘It’s more important to know what person the disease has than what disease the person has.’

    This is a valuable conversation for anyone who wants to understand more about their immune system, not just to reduce their risk of getting an infection, but also to increase their overall wellbeing and longevity.

    Show notes available at: https://drchatterjee.com/125

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • In today’s episode, we’re returning to one of my favourite topics. Breathwork is where my personal and professional interests collide. How we breathe affects every body system we have and I’m excited to welcome James Nestor, science journalist and author of new book Breath, which explores the data behind this ancient, but some might say lost, art.

    And yes, it is an art. As we discuss, it doesn’t matter whether you follow a new or ancient technique to harness the potential of your breath, the principles are the same. What I love about James’ approach is he has no agenda to push. He hasn’t developed his own breathing technique, theory or product. He’s a journalist with an enquiring, sceptical mind. By his own admission, he came from a place where – like many of you, perhaps – he thought, ‘What’s all the fuss about breathing? It’s automatic, it’s easy, our bodies know what they’re doing’. But do they really?

    During this conversation, we cover some of the fascinating – objective – insights James has uncovered in his research. He explains the benefits of nasal breathing, the importance of masticating and how diet affects the skeletal development of our children’s mouths. James reveals how learning to chew more, chewing on one side and using mouth tape at night has changed the structure of his own mouth. His airways – and his wellbeing – have never been better. We discuss the long list of conditions breathing may improve; how athletes can benefit. And James reveals the therapeutic process behind some ‘super breathing’ techniques.

    Whether you’re already practising breathwork, you’re curious or yet to be convinced, James has a no-nonsense, rigorous approach we can all take something from. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!

    Show notes available at: https://drchatterjee.com/124

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • CAUTION: Contains mild swearing and adult themes.

    If there is any certainty in life, it is that things will never stay the same, yet so many of us struggle to embrace and accept change. In the conversation today, Julia Samuel, a leading British psychotherapist, with over 3 decades of experience teaches us how we can all adapt and thrive during our most difficult and transformative experiences.

    Julia is passionate that pain is the agent of change – whether that’s through grieving someone that has died or through what Julia calls, ‘living losses’ (e.g. loss of job, a health crisis, or as many of us are experiencing at the moment, the loss of a life that we used to lead). We talk about how the way we respond to change, in many ways determines how our lives will unfold. Julia explains how love is powerful medicine and that a strong predictor of outcomes in grief is love and connection to others. We delve into transgenerational trauma, my own journey with grief and, importantly, Julia explains how to talk about death - especially with our children. This is a really enlightening conversation and I hope you get as much from it as I did.

    Show notes available at: https://drchatterjee.com/123

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • I am delighted to kick off Season 4 of Feel Better Live More with former monk turned social media superstar, Jay Shetty. After having spent three years living as a monk in India, Jay believes that you don’t have to live like a monk to think like one. With his social media following now totaling over 32 million, Jay is transforming the ancient wisdom he has learned into bite-sized nuggets that will help us all live more meaningful and purposeful lives. So many of us these days are living lives that are not truly ours. Instead, we base our opinion of ourselves on what we think other people think of us. In today’s conversation, Jay and I talk about how we can figure out our own identity and live our truest and most authentic life. He talks us through his value audit exercise which will help us all on our way to living the life we really want.

    We also discuss the importance of staying open and curious to new ideas and how our childhood experiences play into all our relationships. We delve into gratitude and Jay shares some brilliant tips to help you get more out of your daily gratitude practice. This conversation is full of timeless wisdom, personal stories and actionable tips and I really hope it helps you live the life you were born to live.

    Show notes available at: https://drchatterjee.com/122

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • CAUTION ADVISED: this podcast contains swearing.

    Today, I welcome Peter Crone, aka ‘The Mind Architect’ back to the podcast. Peter is a writer, speaker and thought leader in human potential. He has worked with world-famous actors, athletes and the business elite yet what he has to say is just as likely to resonate with the average person, seeking to feel more comfortable in their own skin. His mission is to help people live life without limitations and stress. What he offers instead, is a life of freedom and peace. And who wouldn’t want that? I think that’s why my last conversation with Peter back on episode 82 was one of the most popular conversations I have had to date. 

    Peter acknowledges that people struggle and the human experience is challenging but he offers a different way to look at life and your current problems. He believes our subconscious dialogue – the self-talk that’s rooted in childhood conditioning and that we may not even be aware of – gives us a certain idea of who we are. By questioning this, and realising it’s not the truth, we can find freedom from suffering. We can get to know the triggers that make us feel less-than, and break free of our limitations. 

    If you heard my last conversation with Peter, you’ll know how life-changing his philosophy can be. This conversation has even more anecdotes that will help you apply Peter’s philosophy into your life. This is a really powerful conversation and I hope it helps you to find more freedom in your life. 

    Show notes available at: https://drchatterjee.com/121

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • We are living through a crisis of distraction. Plans get sidetracked, friends are ignored, work never seems to get done. You sit down at your desk to work on an important project, but a notification on your phone interrupts your morning. Later, as you're about to get back to work, you receive an email that you need to reply to. At home, screens get in the way of quality time with your family. Another day goes by, and once again, your most important personal and professional goals are put on hold. What would be possible if you followed through on your best intentions? What could you accomplish if you could stay focused? What if you had the power to become ‘indistractable?’

    My guest on today’s conversation is an international bestselling author, former Stanford lecturer, and behavioral design expert, Nir Eyal. Nir started his career by helping tech-companies develop products that are intentionally habit-forming. Now, Nir has written a new book, Indistractable: How To Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life, which explains how to get the best of technology and reclaim your attention, without letting it get the best of you.

    Nir believes that we all have the power to become indistractable and in today’s conversation he reveals how. He explains what really drives human behavior and why ‘time management is pain management’. Nir also shares actionable techniques that will help you design your time, realise your ambitions, and live the life you really want.

    I hope you find this conversation empowering.

    Show notes available at: https://drchatterjee.com/120

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • As human beings, relationships are fundamental to who we are. We know that relationships can be a big source of happiness and fulfillment in our lives but they can also be one of the major sources of stress. So, why is it that we often find relationships so hard?

    In this conversation, I speak to arguably one of the world’s leading and most original thinkers on modern relationships, the wonderful, Esther Perel, who has long been on my dream guest list.

    We talk about the many differences between relationships of the past and the relationships of now. How we are now all under pressure not only to have the perfect relationship, but also to portray this illusion to others as well.

    Esther believes that it’s the quality of our relationships that determines the quality of our lives. And who we are is actually a combination of how we see ourselves and how others see us. We only really get to know ourselves through our interactions with others.

    We talk about the idea that we are not one person but different with each person – and rather than being one-way, all interactions are reciprocal. We discuss the value of couples’ counselling and whether it’s something all relationships, healthy or otherwise, need. Reassuringly, we learn that there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship, they all follow a rhythm of harmony, disharmony and repair.

    Esther and I touch and expand on our own situations and how the family history and values you bring to a relationship or marriage impacts the dynamic between you. She talks us through how much the concept of marriage has changed over the past century, and how it’s a tall order to ask just one person in our lives to meet all of our needs – needs which once would have been shared across our extended families and communities.

    This episode is a joyous celebration of all the relationships in our lives. It’s challenging, poignant but ultimately hugely practical. Esther offers some wonderful examples of practices we can all start implementing today, from rituals to build strength in our intimate relationships, to advice on reframing criticism or starting difficult conversations at work. The upshot? Rather than hoping others will change, we can be the change ourselves.

    It was a great pleasure to speak with such an incredible lady and I know that you will get a lot of value from hearing what she has to say.

    Show notes available at: https://drchatterjee.com/119

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • Why is it that we equate long hours with greater effort? Could a four-day working week be the change we need for public health as well as the economy?

    My guest on today’s conversation is Alex Pang, an author and former Silicon Valley tech consultant who noticed that, when he went on sabbatical from work, he suddenly got a lot more done. This led him to research and write about resting more and working less.

    We begin the podcast by talking about active rest or, as Alex also terms it, ‘deep play’. How taking regular breaks from intense work to do something you love is a means to enhanced creativity and productivity. We talk about how the technologies we thought would give us a better work-life balance have instead robbed us of boundaries and ground our work down into a fine powder that settles on all areas of our life. It works both ways – we check social media or do our online banking while we’re at work, just as we check our work emails when we’re at home. 

    The solution, says Alex, is to work shorter, more focused hours and balance that with more ‘serious leisure’ time. There are already progressive companies out there who are shortening the working day or week and reaping the surprising rewards of increased profitability and productivity!

    At a time when many of us are working in very different ways from normal, Alex’s work seems incredibly prescient. As lockdown slowly lifts and workplaces start to reopen, finding a balance between work, rest and play that promotes productivity and growth alongside employee wellbeing feels like a no-brainer. The same applies to the self-employed and across all industries. Surely this is our window of opportunity to explore what the ‘new normal’ should be? I found this conversation really inspiring and I hope you do too.

    Show notes available at: https://drchatterjee.com/118

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • CAUTION ADVISED: this podcast contains themes of an adult nature.

    Darryl Edwards – aka The Fitness Explorer – was one of the very first guests to appear on this podcast, all the way back on episode 7. He is someone who is passionate about promoting movement that is fun and playful. But that’s not why I invited Darryl back to talk to me on this episode.

    If there’s a thread that runs through all my podcasts, it’s that empathy and compassion are essential to feeling better and living more – and that’s more important now than ever. This episode was recorded 10 days after George Floyd lost his life in Minneapolis, US, and the #BlackLivesMatter movement rose up in response. 

    I talk to Darryl about his experiences growing up in the UK with black skin. He was born in the UK but his grandparents came here from Jamaica in the early 1950’s. Whilst Darryl is a leading light in the wellness industry, he’s also one of the few black faces. And perhaps, until now, we haven’t thought enough about why. 

    Darryl has an in-depth knowledge of black history and in today’s conversation, he takes us back to the very origins of the transatlantic slave trade, the ‘social construct of race’, and dehumanisation of African people in the late 14th century. He describes how, far from being a US-only problem, transatlantic slavery was introduced by Europeans throughout the world and capitalised upon by the British. He explains how racism didn’t end with the abolition of the slave trade but continued through systemic laws of suppression, oppression, colonisation and segregation. I’m really grateful to Darryl for distilling what he knows into a form that we can all understand and act on. 

    He shares shocking examples of racism he’s experienced, from playground bullying through overt workplace discrimination to the fact that, as a black man, the police have pulled him over while driving at least 100 times, including at gunpoint. Whether this is an experience you share or one you can only contemplate with horror, the question we are all asking now is how should we respond. Darryl and I discuss how all of us, not just the black community, have a responsibility to internalise racism and think ‘that could have been me’. Empathy and compassion surely have to be part of the solution.

    Can something positive come from the tragic death of George Floyd? Perhaps, if those of us now listening, engaging and learning go out into the world and demand change. ‘Our window of discussion has extended,’ says Darryl. ‘Please listen to us.’ This conversation is a very good place to start.

    Show notes available at https://drchatterjee.com/117

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • For many people, lockdown has provided a time for personal development. You may have discovered and worked on new qualities or skills. But I’m very aware that just as many people have found it a really stressful and incredibly busy time. Perhaps you’re a key worker, or a working parent juggling schooling and office hours. Maybe you’re out of work, have lost loved ones, or are in any way struggling to cope.

    This week’s podcast has a really important message for everyone: be kind to yourself. It’s OK not to have acquired new skills or found enlightenment.

    I’m delighted to welcome back Dr Tara Swart, a previous guest, whose message I think is more important now than ever. Tara’s impressive list of credentials includes medical doctor, neuroscientist, psychiatrist, lecturer at MIT, business coach and author. Her passion is teaching people how to apply lessons from neuroscience and behavioural psychology – in easy, achievable ways – to enhance their everyday lives and better cope with stress and change.

    We discuss some really practical, empowering acts of self-care you can easily build into your day – micro habits that can build your resilience to stress. Not all of us have time for 90 minutes of yoga every evening. But Tara explains there is no need to worry - simply lying on your yoga mat for five minutes sends the signal to your brain that you matter and that you are worth looking after.

    We chat about the value of journaling during the pandemic; how it develops self-awareness and can help our relationships. We also talk about spirituality, vivid dreaming, and how to cope if you’re feeling anxious about the easing of lockdown or uncertain about the future.

    Finally, Tara talks us through how to create a ‘vision board’ for how we want life to be different after lockdown. Mine is going to include less time travelling, more with my family, whom I’ve come to cherish more than ever during these past months. What would be on your action board? What have you learned about yourself during lockdown – and how do you want that to inform the life you lead going forward? I really hope this conversation helps you to consider that.

    Show notes available via https://drchatterjee.com/116

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • There’s so much craziness going on in the world right now and it can often be hard to know what to feel, or even what to do. In times like these, a practice of mindfulness or meditation becomes even more important. It can help improve sleep, reduce levels of stress and anxiety and so much more. But for me, the most important benefit is that it allows you to check in with who you are. Many of us live life at 100 miles an hour – bombarded with emails, texts messages and news – we are constantly consuming information from the outside and we rarely have time to go to the inside and check in on how we are feeling.

    Today’s episode is a special compilation episode all about mindfulness and meditation – what are the common misconceptions, and what are the actual benefits? In this episode, I have put together the very best clips from previous conversations on the podcast, to help answer these questions. Many of us have tried before to start a daily practice but have soon found ourselves giving up, despite our best intentions. This special episode will show you why this need not be the case. It is packed with simple, easy and practical tips, that I am sure will inspire you to get started and start reaping the benefits today!

    Show notes are available via https://drchatterjee.com/115

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  • My guest on today’s conversation is Vivek Murthy. Vivek was the US Surgeon General under the Obama administration and is now author of the fantastic book, Together, about the healing power of human connection. And connect is exactly what Vivek and I did during this conversation in a really deep and profound way. During this conversation, we talk about what authenticity really means and how powerful it is to be truly vulnerable.

    We also talk about the consequences of this pandemic causing a social recession as well as an economic recession and how lockdown is making an already chronic problem of loneliness much worse. But this conversation is about hope and optimism - could the outcome of our separation in fact be a social revival? Are we realising more than ever before that we need to put people first?

    When he was in office, Vivek realised that the thread running through so many social and health problems, touching people of all ages, was loneliness. As doctors, we share the conviction that lack of connections is a major factor in many modern health conditions. We discuss how loneliness can manifest as irritability, anger, depression and disturbed sleep. It can also be behind ailments from anxiety to addiction and even obesity. And, of course, in the current pandemic, its effects are amplified.

    So, could it be time for us to take stock of how much we’ve missed our family, friends, even strangers – and decide how we want those relationships to be going forwards? Vivek believes we need to make an explicit commitment to other people – reaching out to others and giving our undistracted time when we do. Service, he says, is a powerful antidote to loneliness – it’s you adding value to the world.

    Vivek’s guiding principle is to ‘put people first’ in society, as well as in our individual lives and to let love and compassion be our path out of loneliness and suffering. It’s really hard to disagree with this when you hear this conversation, and I hope you find it as meaningful as I did.

    Show notes available at https://drchatterjee.com/114

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  • CAUTION ADVISED: this podcast contains swearing

    It is the first thing we do when we arrive in the world and the last thing we do before we leave. It happens automatically 26,000 times a day without us even having to pay any attention to it, yet breathing is one of the only autonomic systems in our body that we can control, if we choose to. But because we can do it without consciously thinking about it, we often forget about it. The reality is though, that we react to every single situation in life with our breath and we have the power to choose how we respond to any situation by controlling our breath. Amazingly, this can also affect how others will respond back to us.

    No one demonstrates this better than my guest on today’s conversation, Brian MacKenzie. Brian is co-founder and President of the Health and Human Performance Foundation and Creative Director at Power Speed Endurance, a company focused on optimising physical, emotional and cognitive performance.

    In today’s podcast, Brian shares some of his incredible experiences. Firstly, he describes how he nearly became paralysed in an accident and he also shares his unbelievable experience of voluntarily swimming with great white sharks. In both of these intense situations, Brian was able to control his response by harnessing the power of his breath. Breath is at the centre of everything Brian does and he believes that through our breath, we can all discover who we really are and rid ourselves of the mental and societal constructs that prevent us from being free.

    We cover so many different themes today. We discuss the concept of carbon dioxide intolerance and what it means for our biology and our emotions. But we also talk about optimising oxygen efficiency in our bodies – doing so can help every single aspect of our lives – whether we want to improve our mental health, our focus, reduce stress or even increase our sporting performance.

    I understand that starting a breathing practice can feel confusing – where should you begin, what method should you use, are you doing it right? Brian’s advice on this is reassuring. For him, breathwork is about giving it all a try, experimenting, learning and finding out what works for you. I think that is wonderfully freeing and exciting. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!

    Show notes available at drchatterjee.com/113

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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  • CAUTION ADVISED: This podcast contains swearing themes of an adult nature.

    Do you believe that we have control over how we age? Is mental decline inevitable? Or, does how we live now determine our later years?

    This week’s guest is Dr Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist, cognitive psychologist and best-selling author. His latest book, The Changing Mind, is an enlightening read for anyone who wants to age well, live well and understand the science behind both.

    Dan and I discuss the concept of healthspan versus lifespan – how if you want to live to a ripe old age, you’ll want to be able to enjoy it, too. Amazingly, Dan’s extensive research has led him to conclude that the number one factor that predicts how well we’ll age is not, as you might imagine, genetic – it’s a personality trait. We discuss just what that personality trait is and Dan goes on to reveal three other important traits that govern our behaviours and how we respond to the world – and therefore how healthy and happy we are at age 8 or 108. The good news is, that these traits can be taught and it’s never too late to start learning - you can start cultivating your personality to be neuroprotective at any age.

    Dan is passionate that we can and should keep learning throughout life. He explains why it’s a myth that memory automatically deteriorates and outlines simple and easy changes we can all make that will enhance life right now, as well as promote a healthy and fulfilling old age. This is a really enlightening conversation – I hope it helps you on your way to a long, happy and healthy life.

    Show notes available at drchatterjee.com/112

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  • Sleep is one of the most undervalued components of our health – if we can improve the quality of our sleep, we can improve the quality of our lives. Getting more sleep improves every aspect of our lives – it makes us less prone to injury when we exercise, boosts our productivity and enhances our ability to lose weight. Yet so many of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

    In this episode, I have decided to try something a little bit different and draw on the wealth of knowledge that is contained in all my previous episodes to put together some of the most actionable tips to help improve the quality of your sleep. You will also hear about the effect of artificial light, caffeine and alcohol on the quality of our sleep.

    This episode is jam packed with simple tips that you can put into practice straight away and I hope that by the end of the episode, if you don’t already, you will be convinced to make sleep a priority in your life.

    Find links to the full podcast episodes featured here via drchatterjee.com/111

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  • CAUTION ADVISED: this podcast contains swearing.

    Do you believe that people’s values can change, or are they set in stone? Can you gain talent and intelligence through practice, or are they innate? Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed one?

    My guest on this week’s show is convinced that change is available to all of us, at any time. Tom Bilyeu is a US entrepreneur who co-founded a billion-dollar nutrition company. His weekly YouTube show, Impact Theory, explores the mindset of the world’s highest achievers, to share the secrets of their success. And during this conversation, you’ll learn how to implement some of those yourself.

    We talk about the importance of being a learner and how openness to criticism is, in fact, a superpower. We also discuss how to shift self-limiting beliefs. One of Tom’s mantras is: ‘only do and believe that which moves you towards your goal’ and he describes how you can use that to change your thinking around things like weight loss or fitness.

    Tom and I delve into topics like nutrition and diet, although we do not necessarily share the same views – but that’s the beauty of a conversation like this, being open to debate. He has what he calls ‘strong convictions, loosely held’ and I love that as a description of a mind that’s always curious and open. As a doctor, I know different methods work for different people – and at different times. So health is a great example of why a fixed mindset isn’t helpful.

    Tom’s motivation and passion for life is infectious. His mission is to help people live to their full potential and execute their dreams – I hope after listening to this chat you’ll want to start working towards yours.

    N.B. this conversation was recorded in October 2019.

    Show notes available at drchatterjee.com/110

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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 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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