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Create a daily plan to feel better

Small daily healthy habits can transform our health and quality of life. These practices are achievable for anyone, regardless of their busy schedules.
Mental wellness starts with positive declarations about who we are.

I recently reviewed an excellent book called ‘Feel Better in 5‘ by Dr Rangan Chatterjee. This is a self-help book that offers readers a practical and accessible approach to improving their physical and mental well-being. Dr. Chatterjee presents a daily plan consisting of five-minute practices that can lead to lasting positive changes based on individual needs and schedules. 

Dr. Chatterjee explains the science behind how small daily healthy habits can transform our health and quality of life and emphasizes that these practices are achievable for anyone, regardless of their busy schedules. The four sections of the book include the Body, Mind, Relationships and Life Purpose.

Part 1 – Body: In the first part of the book, Dr. Chatterjee focuses on practices that improve physical health including Exercise, Relaxation, Sleep, Nutrition and Breathwork.

Movement: These quick and effective exercises are designed to improve flexibility, strength, fitness and energy.  He emphasizes importance of incorporating movement into daily routines, even if it's as basic as stretching or doing exercises just using your own bodyweight.

Relaxation: In this section, Dr. Chatterjee explores the importance of relaxation and stress management for overall well-being. He provides quick relaxation techniques that can be practiced daily to reduce stress levels, calm the mind, and promote relaxation responses in the body including deep breathing exercises or mini-meditation sessions. Reducing stress can positively impact physical health, including improved sleep and digestion.

Sleep: Dr Chatterjee discusses the critical role of sleep in maintaining good health and energy levels.  He offers practical tips and strategies for improving the quality and duration of sleep, emphasizing the importance of establishing a consistent sleep schedule and creating a sleep-friendly environment.  He highlights the relationship between sleep and various aspects of physical health, such as immune function, hormonal balance, and cognitive performance.

Nutrition: Dr Chatterjee discusses the importance of dietary choices and their impact on physical and mental health. The connection between nutrition and mental health is unrefuted (see article Is gut health important for mental health? - Prince George Citizen). Dietary choices impact mood, cognitive function, and emotional well-being.  He introduces the concept of mindful eating, emphasizing the importance of savoring and being present during meals and provides practical tips for making healthier food choices that support mental clarity and emotional stability.

Breath: Dr. Chatterjee explores the power of breathwork and conscious breathing exercises for reducing stress and improving mental focus, and explains techniques such as deep breathing, box breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing. Breathwork has many benefits for calming the mind and reducing anxiety.

Part 2. Mind: Chatterjee delves into strategies for cultivating a positive mindset and enhancing emotional resilience. He discusses practices such as gratitude journaling, positive affirmations, and cognitive reframing to help readers shift their thinking patterns and develop a more optimistic outlook on life. He also provides insights into the science of happiness and how certain mental habits can lead to greater life satisfaction.

(As emphasized in my course “Drive Your Own Train” I can personally attest to the power of taking charge of the thinking mind through mindful practices such as focussing on gratitude and positive declarations which contribute to self acceptance and self love. Repetition of positive thoughts change beliefs. Changes in beliefs change our perception of life.)

Stress Management: Dr. Chatterjee discusses techniques for coping with stress, including progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness meditation and more on Breathing exercises.

Part 3: Relationships In this section, Dr. Chatterjee emphasizes the significance of social connections and their impact on our happiness. The focus is on building and nurturing meaningful positive relationships with others ourselves, fostering self-compassion and self-love.  Following is a more detailed look at the key practices and concepts within this part:

Connection:  Human connection is incredibly important and has a huge impact on mental and emotional well-being.  Dr Chatterjee provides practical tips for maintaining social connections with family and friends and within broader communities. He emphasizes the value of authentic and supportive relationships.

Love: In this section, Dr. Chatterjee explores the concept of self-love and self-compassion.  He may offer exercises and practices to help readers develop a greater sense of self-worth and self-acceptance, which can contribute to healthier relationships with others. The author may also discuss the importance of setting healthy boundaries in relationships and practicing effective communication.

Empathy and Kindness:  The power of empathy and kindness plays an important role in fostering positive interactions and relationships. He may provide guidance on how to cultivate empathy and practice acts of kindness toward oneself and others.  He also discusses the science behind the "helper's high" and the positive effects of altruism on mental well-being.

Conflict Resolution: While this topic is touched upon throughout the book, this section offers more in-depth guidance on resolving conflicts and addressing relationship challenges. Dr. Chatterjee provides strategies for effective communication, active listening, and finding common ground in relationships.

Boundaries and Self-Care: It is important to set healthy boundaries in relationships to maintain one's well-being. Dr Chatterjee offers insights into how self-care practices can contribute to healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

Part 4: Purpose: In this section of the book, Dr. Chatterjee discusses practices and strategies for finding meaning, direction, and fulfillment in life. Here's a more detailed look at the key practices and concepts within this part:

Learning: Dr. Chatterjee emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and personal growth in contributing to finding purpose and attaining fulfillment.  He provides suggestions on how readers can incorporate learning into their daily routines, whether through reading, online courses, or pursuing new skills and interests. The author highlights how the process of learning and growth can lead to a greater sense of purpose and satisfaction.

Sunlight:  In this section, Dr. Chatterjee explores the benefits of spending time outdoors and connecting with nature.  He discusses the positive impact of sunlight on mood, vitamin D production, and overall well-being and provides practical tips for incorporating outdoor activities into daily life, even in urban environments.

Plan: Dr. Chatterjee delves into the importance of setting clear goals and creating a plan for one's life.                           He offers guidance on goal setting, time management, and prioritization to help readers align their daily actions with their long-term aspirations. Hi discusses the significance of having a sense of direction and purpose in daily life.

Creativity and Passion:  While creativity and passion may be themes woven throughout the book, this section may provide more specific guidance on how readers can tap into their creative potential and pursue their passions. Dr. Chatterjee encourages readers to identify and nurture their creative outlets and interests as a means of finding purpose and joy.

Gratitude and Mindfulness (related to "Mind" in Part 2):

The author revisits the concepts of gratitude and mindfulness as tools for staying present and appreciating life's moments on the path to purpose. He suggests daily practices like gratitude journaling or mindfulness exercises that can help individuals connect with their sense of purpose.

Dr Chatterjee’s book covers four very important areas but, in my opinion, there could be a part five which could include the following: 

Community and Connection: Community involvement and the positive impact of connecting with others beyond individual relationships is important. There are many benefits to community engagement, volunteering, and building a sense of belonging.

Emotional Resilience:  It’s important to build emotional resilience to help navigate life's challenges, cope with adversity, bounce back from setbacks, and maintain a positive outlook during difficult times.

Mind-Body Practices:  There are many holistic benefits to practices that combine both mental and physical well-being, such as yoga, tai chi, or meditation.

Digital Detox and Screen Time: In our digital age, managing screen time and reducing digital distractions can be crucial for well-being. This part could offer guidance on achieving a healthy balance between online and offline life.

Financial Well-Being: Topics related to financial planning, budgeting, and finding contentment with one's financial situation could be covered, as they are related to overall well-being.

Environment and Sustainability: An extension of the "Sunlight" concept in Part 4, this part could explore the positive effects of connecting with nature and the importance of environmental stewardship for personal and planetary health.

I enjoyed this book and the work of Dr Chatterjee and I have covered many of these concepts in more detail in my weekly articles for Prince George Citizen which can be accessed through the links on

Claire Nielsen is a health coach, author, public speaker and founder of The information provided in the above article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional health and medical advice. Please consult a doctor, health-care provider or mental health practitioner if you're seeking medical advice, diagnoses and/or treatment