Stress. This is the word that is the bane of our existence today. It is the cause of a number of lifestyle diseases, mental health issues and can negatively impact our holistic well-being . Yet, we grapple with stress management techniques! Why is achieving the stress solution so difficult in the age of information overload?
Dr. Chatterjee is all set to simplify stress management. In an authentic voice born out of his medical practice and informed research, he presents four pillars on which you can build a stress-free life.
A holistic approach
In The Stress Solution by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee you will read about a multidimensional approach to stress management. After all, stress solutions need to address more than one area of our lives.
I would like to use the analogy of a car here. Just like a car wouldn’t get going without all the four wheels working well in harmony, we can’t handle stress without adopting a multi-pronged approach.
The book focuses on purpose (how having a sense of purpose can help you deal with stress), relationships (how to nurture and develop them), Body (how physical wellbeing is linked to stress free living) and Mind (this section deals with mental well-being but more specifically talks about the tech menace that is so rampant today).
To the point
The Stress Solution is written in a lucid manner. I love the use of terms that really stick in your head and ensure that you remember concepts from the book. For example, he talks about MSDs or Micro Stress Doses that basically refer to little things that add to the stress we experience in day to day life. He elaborates on how to LIVE (Love. Intention. Vision. Engagement). In a sense, he dresses the concepts in a way that one can remember the key point.
Stress solution? Attack the ecosystem
We live in a world where stress does not merely stem from one source. We live in an ecosystem of stress! The book considers all these different angles. It then tackles topics such as time management, need for solitude, having a good morning routine, giving due importance to key relationships, eating healthy, exercising, sleeping well, handling tech addiction that somehow seems crazily pervasive nowadays, reconnecting with nature, decluttering your surroundings, breathing correctly, meditation and much more.
Off the cuff
For me, the one of the most crucial part of this book was the section on relationships. Have you tried the 3D greeting with your partner? This is a little 15 seconds secret revealed in the book…Similarly in the section that talks about good eating habits and the relationship of food to stress, I found the Eat Your Alphabet Chart really easy to use and implement.
What appealed to me:
- Sharing of personal experiences as well as case studies of patients. These instances hold advice which is rooted in authentic cases and experiences, which makes it more relatable.
- Actionable tips that are tabulated. Once you’ve read the details, you need only to look at these bulleted and tabled pages to get actionable information in a nutshell. I must especially mention the “Eating the Alphabet” guide which aims to get you eat at least 26 different types of healthy foods over the curse of the month! Another handy chart is the “breathing menu” which presents a selection of breathing exercises that you can do.
- Soothing images punctuate the book and immediately set a calm and relaxing tone to the experience of reading.
- Scientific evidence is presented in easy-to-read language. This was especially true of the chapter on how food and gut health impacts the mind.
Some pointers to take away:
- Schedule your entire day. Put in absolutely everything you need to do. It is critical that you schedule in your free time as well as tasks you have to complete.
- Practice having a regular morning routine which helps you to ‘zone in’ for the day. What you do at the start of every day sets up the way you live that day, and those individual days build up into a whole life- a life lived on purpose and a life lived with purpose.
- If you have a specific and clear long-term vision, it will always be helping you get there. Research indicates that we are able to endure short-term struggles with much more resilience if they’re helping us achieve our long-term goals.
- We need more ‘social’ and less ‘media ‘.
- Our phone is the third member in our relationship. This is an affair that just has to end if we are finding the intimacy is draining from our relationships.
- Eating a diverse diet rich in fibre is one of the single best things we can do to live a more stress-free life.
- We need to give our mental health the same daily care we give our physical health.
- A lot of mental energy is taken up by being chronically connected. Take a digital holiday!
- Being in nature feeds your soul and nourishes your mind.
Twenty-first century living is harming our minds. We’re filling our heads with stressful information, bombarding ourselves with noise and light. Infinite distractions vie for our attention. We think nothing of continually drowning our thoughts in news articles, status updates, health blogs, text messages, notifications or emails. This information overload is playing havoc with our mental health.
It is at such times that we need to step back and reassess the situation. Are we living in a way that is indeed best for us? Are we allowing stress to overtake our lives in a manner that will prove harmful to us in the long run?
The Stress Solution by Rangan Chatterjee is a book that speaks to us in a language that we understand. Filled with authentic information and observations, and very practical tips, it’s your resolute guide to living a stress-free life!
BOOKS BY RANGAN CHATTERJEE
Title: The Stress Solution
Author: Dr. Rangan Chatterjee
Genre: Health, Non-fiction