Are you constantly on the run? Do you feel overwhelmed by tasks every day? So much so, that you never find time to relax?
If, you fall into this category, then the Four Pillars of Health Dr Chatterjee is a “must read” for you. It turns out that taking time to relax is as important to your health as exercise, sleep and healthy eating. Lets take some time to review an interesting concept that Chatterjee speaks about – “Me time”.
The four pillars of health in 4 Pillar Plan Dr Rangan Chatterjee are “Relax” “Eat” “Move” and “Sleep” and all four of them are of equal importance.
Dr Rangan Chatterjee
I first came across Dr Rangan Chatterjee at a “Yes to Life” Conference that took place in London in November 2018. Chatterjee spoke about how as our understanding of the human body is evolving, our medicinal approach must change also. The new approach must be much more encompassing and must account for the fact that the body is innately inter-connected. Medicine now demands a 360 degree approach that more fully takes account of all elements of human health.
Chatterjee was inspiring to me as he exuded the credibility and confidence required to inspire other medical experts down the line. Also, he is clearly a man of action. He worked hard to execute the first RCGP-accredited lifestyle medicine courses to teach doctors. He has also called on the Medical Schools Council and GMC to roll out nutrition training for doctors.
When I spotted a talk that Chatterjee would be presenting on local to me, I decided to go. Turned out to be a book-signing and the event was focused on promoting his new book – The 4 Pillar Plan: How to Relax, Eat, Move and Sleep Your Way to a Longer, Healthier Life.
4 Pillars of Health Dr Chatterjee
The book provides a simple actionable plan for a healthy life-style. It centers around achieving balance across “4 pillars” in your life – Relax, Eat, Move & Sleep. It underlines the importance of balancing all four.
“Relax” is the first pillar in the book for the very reason that most health advocates fail to give it the recognition it deserves.
What I love the most about the book, is that every single tip that Chatterjee provides, he wholeheartedly embraces in real life. Each chapter features images of Chatterjee embracing what he preaches.
Also to note, that the basis of Chatterjee’s tips are all backed up by Science.
Me Time meaning
“Me time” can be defined as “time out” from the world. It is time to have for yourself and is time to be enjoyed. The purpose of this time out is to relieve stress and to recharge you.
• Every day for at least 15 minutes, be selfish, and enjoy some time for you
• This must be something for you alone
• Must not be an activity that involves your tablet, smartphone or computer
• You are not allowed feel guilty about it
Me Time health benefits
According to Chatterjee benefits include:
• Weight Loss
• Improved resilience
• Reduced feelings of stress
• Improved ability to cope
• More balanced outlook
• Less road rage
• Improved ability to sleep
• More restorative sleep
• Better concentrations
People who spend all of their time running around without consciously setting aside moments for themselves operate in “Fight or flight” mode. It has been proven that these people have very high cortisol levels.
According to Chatterjee very high cortisol levels can have the following affects:
• The heart rate quickens, lung tubes widen, muscles contract & pupils dilate
• Sex drive, muscular strength, energy levels are all negatively affected.
• Risk of chronic disease is heightened.
• Long-term this can lead to weight-gain, sleep disruption and an exhausted immune system.
(Due to Digestion System being switched off)
• Over extended time can lead to chronic inflammation which pretty much underpins every single degenerative disease that we have.
We can take steps to rejuvenate by balancing out stressful activities with rest and relaxation
Taking time out for rest and relaxation involves an alternative branch of our nervous system. When activated, our saliva production increases, digestive enzymes are released , our heart drops , muscles relax, we can digest properly de-stress and sleep soundly.
What to do during me time
Suggested by Chatterjee:
• Have a bath
• Go for a walk
• Sit in a coffee shop
• Sit on a park bench relaxing
• Read a book
• Play music
• Cook with your favourite album playing, or in silence
• Yoga or Tai Chi
• Relax at home
Tips on how to have me time
• The key is to plan ahead for it. Plan the time, place and plan what you will do.
• Make sure that it is a plan that will involve you being totally relaxed.
• Actively build it into your routine
• The key is that knowing that you have this time of enjoyment each day to look forward to encourages you to put more energy into the rest of the day.
If you like these ten tips then the The Stress Solution Dr Chatterjee is another great book well worth checking out.