Featured Image Thumbnail Lying on Bed reading The Stress Solution by Dr Rangan Chatterjee
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What I Learnt From The Stress Solution – A Book Review

For the past 2 years, I have been listening, learning from and changing as a result of Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s podcast, ‘Feel Better Live More‘. (I mention his podcast in ‘My Top 4 Podcasts‘ post) I am very excited to be able to write a review on his most recent book – ‘The Stress Solution’.

Who is Dr Rangan Chatterjee?

Dr Rangan Chatterjee is a GP and a television presenter as well as the author of ‘The Stress Solution’ and ‘The 4 Pillar Plan’. He states in his podcast that he, ‘believes that everyone has the ability to feel better than they currently do but getting healthy is far too complicated.’ With his goal of simplifying this, I can happily say that his work has improved my life considerably.

Why Did I Read ‘The Stress Solution’?

I have mentioned in previous posts that I am blessed with the ability to build-up stress quite easily. I have been trying to add things into my lifestyle that can, firstly, lower my stress and secondly hinder the build-up. This is exactly why I was so thrilled to read ‘The Stress Solution’ and why I am so keen to write this review!

Book Cover of Dr Rangan Chatterjee's - The Stress Solution.

Now that I have set the scene, I would like to share with you four particular terms, techniques and thoughts that I have learnt from Dr Chatterjee’s book and how they have impacted my life.


What I Have Learnt From ‘The Stress Solution’

One – You can’t avoid Micro Stress Doses

We are starting off with something important that I learnt from the introduction of the book! I was introduced to the term of, ‘Micros Stress Doses‘ (MSDs) and how they are now unavoidable – “especially in this day and age“.

I reflected on an average day and the number of MSDs I experienced before I even got to work was insane – and that’s when I knew I had to change something. Dr Chatterjee uses examples such as reading negative news stories first thing in the morning to having an argument with a teenager to get out of bed in the morning. Whilst I can resonate with the first example, of which I now make the decision to read the news later in the day, I also discovered my own versions of these MSDs.

Below are two of my ‘Micro Stress Doses’ that I tackled! They seem simple and obvious but I never thought much of them until reading Dr Chatterjee’s book.

1: Being ‘shocked’ out of sleep by my alarm

Why are alarm sounds so loud and annoying? I love waking up in the morning, so I don’t have an issue with getting out of bed. But, I still dislike being ‘jumped’ by my obnoxious alarm interrupting my sleep. (Don’t we all love a first world problem) This was obviously an issue because I was adding to my list of MSDs before I had even opened my eyes!

Jack was kind enough to gift me a Fitbit for Christmas, which includes a silent alarm, so I took advantage of that. I am now awoken by a gentle vibration and not the equivalent of, ‘GET OUT OF BED THE WORLD IS ENDING‘. If you are interested in getting one I wrote a review on mine, otherwise, I have recently seen Flora Beverly advertise a snazzy light alarm clock.

Chapter 9, of Dr Rangan Chatterjee's The Stress Solution, on Resetting your Rhythm

Another tip I recommend is making sure you are going to sleep and waking up within the same half-an-hour period each day, as this will allow your body to naturally set a body-clock!

2: The ‘RUN FOR THE BUS’ State

I am potentially the country’s, if not the world’s, most organised person. Yet, I still found myself running to the bus stop in the morning pretty much every day. This was a simple one to fix – I gave myself more time between finishing at the gym, getting ready for work and getting to the bus stop. Simple yet incredibly effective. Whilst every once in a while I find myself doing a lil‘ jog to get there on time, I have successfully managed to start my day off with one less MSD!

Two – The power of touch

I hadn’t found myself thinking very much about this ‘left behind’ sense until I read chapter 4. I learnt so many facts about the power of human touch and its techniques that reduces stress. These include, “touch is the first sense we develop as a foetus” and “being touched as a child helps form vital neural pathways and feeds emotional connections.”

With benefits such as reduced cortisol levels and raising levels of ‘Natural Killer’ cells, I was keen to start annoying my family with my love even more. (Sorry Mum!) Dr Chatterjee even provides six ways to get more touch into your every-day life. I have yet to book my VERY long-awaited massage (Jack is awful at them…) and the only real person I hug every-day is my Mum. However, it still feels good and sometimes I can feel it decreasing my stress levels!

Another one I want to mention from chapter 4, on Relationships, is the exercise shared on seeing ‘eye to eye’! Either with a partner or close friend, sit with your knees touching and spend five minutes maintaining eye contact. Whilst it did take a few attempts to convince Jack to try this one with me, I wanted to recommend giving it a whirl yourself as it can be a great tool!

Three – Finding your ‘perfect’ dose of exercise

Exercise is a fantastic way of releasing stress and this is why it is recommended that students take part during the exam-period. Whilst also learning about how exercise fights stress, I learnt about the concept of ‘Hormesis’.

Hormesis is the idea “that exposure to a small amount of stressor can actually do the body good, while exposure to a large amount can be detrimental.” This then follows on nicely to the idea of over-exercising and the negative impacts it can have on your mental and physical health. Dr Chatterjee provides several signs that someone might be over-exercising. These include:

Frequently getting ill (for example, coughs and colds)

Feeling irritable and moody after increasing intensity of workout

Impaired heart-rate variability

Me lying down reading Dr Rangan Chatterjee's The Stress Solution chapter on exercise.

This is something that I am being aware of right now as I have just created a new higher intensity exercise timetable for myself!

If you are confused on what was meant by ‘impaired heart-rate variability’ then do not worry, as it leads us nicely onto the last point…

Four – Heart-Rate Variability

Following the trend of the large number of new terms and facts I have learnt from Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s ‘The Stress Solution’, I wanted to share my newly-acquired knowledge on heart-rate variability.

If you thought that the heart should always beat the same rhythm then you are wrong and in fact it should vary! Low levels of stress are linked to high heart-rate variability and is “a reflection that the body is capable of adapting to a constantly changing environment.” Whereas high levels of stress are linked to low heart-rate variability which is then linked to poor health.

I had absolutely no idea that this concept even existed, prior to reading ‘The Stress Solution’. Since then I have been increasingly aware of the impacts that MSDs can have on a person’s health.

I don’t plan on decreasing my life-expectancy from stressing over missing the bus. Knowing the science behind this has allowed me to feel more powerful and that I can tackle life’s issues without negatively impacting my health.


To Conclude…

I have only mentioned four of the main takeaways I got from Dr Rangan Chtterjee’s ‘The Stress Solution’. However, I can guarantee there are so many new things to learn and implement within the 271 clean, minimal and high-quality pages.

If you feel as if you are suffering because of the stress of your everyday life then I recommend picking up a copy of this book. There is science, evidence, techniques and more yet Dr Chatterjee portrays them in a simple and easy to take-in way. Through beautiful and calming photographs to subjects touching on every aspect of life – I truly believe the average person can benefit from flicking through this book.

Inside Dr Rangan Chatterjee's The Stress Solution Book. Photo of Paint supplies and text.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review on Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s ‘The Stress Solution’! I am trying to approach book reviews in a different way. Particularly non-fiction, I want to inform the potential reader of what they can get out of reading the book and not just describe what happens with some adjectives!

Please let me know in the comments below your tips on decreasing stress, whether you have read/heard of Dr Chatterjee’s work before and any similar book recommendations! I will also leave links to other posts I have written around stress and self-care.

Until next time my friends!

-Millie ๐Ÿ™‚

How to Become a Morning Person – 4 Ways to Wake Up Earlier

My Top 5 Ways to Fight Back Against Stress

14 Comments

  • Chloe Osborn

    I need to get my hands on this book as Iโ€™m the living embodiment of stress haha! I can so relate to the alarm clock one, I absolutely hate alarm sounds and they frighten the life out of me first thing in the morning. Thatโ€™s interesting about human touch, Iโ€™ll have to drag Jordan into doing the eye to eye exercise with me! This is a great review, it gives a nice snapshot of the things we can expect from the book and how youโ€™ve used it in your everyday life!

  • Musingsofbrowngirls

    Loved this. So many little everyday things that can make such a huge impact on our mental wellbeing. For exercise Iโ€™ve taken up yoga and itโ€™s made a world of a difference on my health, posture everything. And the running for the bus concept… Iโ€™m still working on that one

  • Madi Dearson

    First of all, I am SO EXCITED you are back! this is such a great review. After cutting out the major stress factors from my life, now, for me, it can be the silliest things that get me nervous. like my first grader had to do a presentation in class last week. She was the picture of confidence – me? a stressed-out mom:) I SOOOOO agree with the power of touch thing. One of the most high-stress periods of my life was during my fertility treatments before my first pregnancy. The one thing that managed to calm me down was a type of message that really helped. I am still trying to get to a point where exercise de-stress me:)

    • msblife28

      YAY THANKS MADI!! Aw bless, I hope the presentation went well! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really hoping I can get myself round to get a massage sometime because I have been wanting one for AGES and I’m sure if you keep at the workouts you will get there!

  • Sophie Harriet

    This book sounds so interesting! I had never thought about the concept of MSDs but it makes so much sense that all the small stresses can add up, and a lot of them would be so easy to eliminate from our lives! I had also never heard about heart rate variability. It sounds like this book has some completely new information to what I have read in other self-help books so I have added it to my ‘want to read’ list and hopefully I will get round to reading it soon!

    • msblife28

      Thank you Sophie! ๐Ÿ™‚ When I was reading it I was surprised at just how much I didn’t know! I agree, I love how it has more science than other self-help books and I can definitely recommend reading it! Thank you for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lindsey

    This sounds amazing! It’s amazing what the simple things (like changing an alarm) can do for your entire day, isn’t it? Going to have to hunt down a copy of this.

    • msblife28

      It is so useful and also looks great! I’m glad I could be of help to you and happy early birthday to your mum haha! Thanks for reading Megan! ๐Ÿ™‚

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