In the wake of the Hawaii false alarm debacle, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen share an intriguing discussion about disasters. If there were an actual imminent attack in your area, what would you do? How would you react? Is there anything you could do to better your chances of safety? Daniel and Tana share their personal perspectives.
Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warriors Way podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. Here we teach you how to win the fight for your brain, to defeat anxiety, depression, memory loss, ADHD, and addictions.
Dr Daniel Amen: The Brain Warriors Way podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics where we've transformed lives for three decades using brain spect imaging to better target treatment and natural ways to heal the brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
Tana Amen: The Brain Warriors Way podcast is also brought to you by Brain MD where we produce the highest quality nutraceutical products to support the health of your brain and body. For more information, visit brainmdhealth.com. Welcome to the Brain Warriors Way podcast.
Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome back. Well as many of you know, there was a mistake in Hawaii where-
Tana Amen: How does that happen?
Dr Daniel Amen: A text message went out saying-
Tana Amen: Crazy.
Dr Daniel Amen: In ten minutes a ballistic missile is going to hit that state. There was hysteria for 35-40 minutes before they sent out a correction saying it was a mistake. There have been cases reported of a guy having a heart attack because of the stress.
Tana Amen: Terrible.
Dr Daniel Amen: People are having nightmares, they're having flashbacks, they're having symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.
Tana Amen: We could get into all of this crazy stuff about how does that happen? I mean you can't even delete a television program without it saying, "Are you sure?" What? But without getting into all that and blaming and all that other stuff.
Dr Daniel Amen: Well when disasters like this happen, typically, people were either on drugs, they were drinking, or-
Tana Amen: Not sleeping.
Dr Daniel Amen: Or they were sleep deprived.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: Which I think is-
Tana Amen: In the military, that happens a lot so ...
Dr Daniel Amen: So there are these personal disasters that happen all the time, but the question that we really want you to think about, that we want to talk about is if you had 10 minutes left, what would you do?
Tana Amen: I want to talk about something first before we get into that because after this happened, all of a sudden you were so interested in asking me or telling me we need to have a plan. I have been planning this forever. I have an end of the world plan. I have an end of the world room. I have got like ... I literally have a handwritten plan that I put in your briefcase three or four years ago. There's one on our bulletin board in the kitchen. You didn't even know it was there.
Dr Daniel Amen: Right because of my age, I worry more about dying than I do the end of the world.
Tana Amen: But you were giving me so much grief over the fact that I actually do have a plan. All of a sudden this happens, and suddenly you're like, "Oh wait. Oh my gosh. This could happen. We need a plan." So it took this to get your attention, but I'm happy talking about it.
Dr Daniel Amen: So are you gloating? Is that what we're doing right now?
Tana Amen: I'm gloating. Yes. I remember you saying, "I hope I never have to thank you, but" ...
Dr Daniel Amen: Okay it was a mistake. Somebody in Hawaii made a mistake-
Tana Amen: But it made you think that we need a plan.
Dr Daniel Amen: That made me think. There's actually an article recently on how to survive a nuclear blast and the takeaways for me ... So if you're within a half a mile probably a mile, you're going to be toast. Literally. Right? You're going to be incinerated.
Tana Amen: That's really sad.
Dr Daniel Amen: Just say-
Tana Amen: Goodbye.
Dr Daniel Amen: Thank you. It was great. Sort of like a drop the microphone moment and be grateful for the time you had because gratitude makes everything, even the end of the world, better. But what I thought was really interesting, they said if you're close, get inside. Right away. To decrease your exposure to the ionizing radiation and don't go out.
Tana Amen: Look how passionate you are.
Dr Daniel Amen: Don't go out for a couple of days.
Tana Amen: So I have a question?
Dr Daniel Amen: Now we have food in our house for months.
Tana Amen: For a year. But I have a question. Are you regretting at this moment that you did not allow me to take the pool out and put a bunker in?
Dr Daniel Amen: Absolutely not. I'm not going to live with the end of the world disaster in mind everyday.
Tana Amen: You don't have to have it in mind every day. You prepare for the worst, you expect the best. So anyways. All of that-
Dr Daniel Amen: These people who are listening are not therapists. They may be therapists, but they're not our therapists.
Tana Amen: But they're doing therapy through us.
Dr Daniel Amen: Right I mean write in if you have suggestions for us.
Tana Amen: They're doing therapy vicariously. They're doing therapy vicariously. Okay so all of this to get to this.
Dr Daniel Amen: But let me finish. If you actually are in an area where there is a nuclear strike, don't go to work and pick up your husbands, tell him-
Tana Amen: Say goodbye to your husband. Let him die. Is that what you're saying?
Dr Daniel Amen: No. Tell him to stay in the building. You stay in the building. Don't go outside to get the children four miles away. Tell them to get in the building. Text them, "Get in a building!" That is the most important thing if you survive the actual blast is try to get around concrete so something that can protect you from the radiation.
Anyways, if you had 10 minutes left and you knew that was it-
Tana Amen: And I couldn't get inside.
Dr Daniel Amen: Or you could. What would you do? What is important to you in the last 10 minutes? Because one of the things that I've done since college is I live my life with the end in mind.
Tana Amen: Okay so I was just going to say so two things come to my mind. Number one I did a live chat not that long ago on my birthday and I said, "Live everyday like it's your birthday unless you go get smashed on your birthday then don't do that," but-
Dr Daniel Amen: Unless your birthday is your excuse to hurt yourself.
Tana Amen: Right. So I didn't do anything different on my birthday. Why? Because I do what I want to do everyday. Like everyday is like my birthday because I spend it with the people I love, I do something meaningful everyday. So I don't feel like I would have to change that or do something extraordinary. So hopefully I would be with the people I love because I actually do spend most days with the people I love, you and Chloe. I would hope that my mom would be somewhere nearby, I don't know that, but I spend my time with people I love. I do the things I love doing that are already meaningful. A thousand things come to mind what you would do in those 10 minutes, but honestly the thing that I would do is grab the people that are right near me, and I would start crying, with gratitude and forgiveness. Just forgive me, forgive the people that I've held any grudges toward, and have gratitude for everything in my life.
Dr Daniel Amen: So you'd review positive things about your life?
Tana Amen: Yes because what else is there?
Dr Daniel Amen: I have six siblings and 60 immediate family members.
Tana Amen: Your family is huge. I love them. They're huge.
Dr Daniel Amen: So I created a group chat and so if that happens, I at least can tell the people I love that I love them and to stay inside.
Tana Amen: One of the things I'm most grateful for in this process, you actually decided we need a plan. I'm grateful for this. So one little tip I'm going to give everybody, write your plan out. You need to write out a family plan. The Red Cross actually has one online. You need all of your phone numbers written down. Cell phones are not going to work. Landlines, maybe. Write them down. Write down where you go during the day so everybody knows where you are.
Dr Daniel Amen: Then work on what you have been grateful for. All of us are going to die. All of us.
Tana Amen: At different rates.
Dr Daniel Amen: Most people live as if that's never going to happen so they don't get their wills in order, they don't get their estate plans in order, and that's a huge mistake, right?
Dr Daniel Amen: I think anybody-
Tana Amen: Try to face that early in life, face that idea.
Dr Daniel Amen: Over 40 should have that plan written down, prepared because that's the last thing you want to be worried about.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: So have your plan prepared. I actually think it's a good exercise periodically to go, if this was the end of my life, what would've been important to me so that you can then go back and make sure you're living the life-
Tana Amen: Purposefully.
Dr Daniel Amen: That matters. People go oh well at the end of your life, work will not have matted.
Tana Amen: Then go do work that matters.
Dr Daniel Amen: I'm like well that's not true for me.
Tana Amen: That sucks for you then.
Dr Daniel Amen: You spend so much time working, at least you and I do, that we want you to do the work that matters. Now, if you can't because you're financially connected to a job you don't love but you have to do it, it's your free time could be working toward getting the skill that would be more meaningful.
Tana Amen: Sometimes though, and this is digressing a little bit, sometimes that's about how you see it because I worked in a hospital seeing the worst things on the planet, and people used to say to me, "Ew how can you do that job?" I dealt with body fluids all day long, disgusting stuff that I saw, horrifying stuff-
Dr Daniel Amen: Stuff we'd see at the end of the world.
Tana Amen: At the end of the world, yeah. It actually kind of looked like that, but the truth is I actually went home every day feeling like I was doing something purposeful, and I did it because I knew not everyone could do it, and I could do it, and God chose me to do it so that was a really good feeling for me even though it wasn't an easy job.
But I was talking to someone that I was coaching, and she was complaining to no end about her life and her job at Starbucks. She's like washing other people's dishes or glasses is beneath me, and it really frustrated me actually, and I chewed her out a little bit. Lovingly. But I'm like is that true? Like what is that so? I cleaned body fluids all day, and I never had that thought, that it was beneath me. I actually wanted to do this and help people be dignified at that stage of their life, and you're complaining about washing people's dishes when in fact you have a job at a company that's known to be a fairly good company, and you get to do something that makes people happy first thing in the morning. It makes them happy going to work. It's their comfort, it's their joy.
Dr Daniel Amen: Yeah but she's also a drug dealer.
Tana Amen: Okay shut up. Anyways, seriously, the point is, it's how you look at it.
Dr Daniel Amen: This is the Brain Warriors Way podcast.
Tana Amen: Stop. It's not the point. The point is she stopped and she thought about it, and she's like, "I didn't think of it that way. I just thought I was washing other people's dishes."
Dr Daniel Amen: Oh my God. That is so important. Albert Ellers, a long time ago, he's a very famous-
Tana Amen: Are you saying I said something important?
Dr Daniel Amen: Very important.
Tana Amen: Thank you. I just wanted you to say it again.
Dr Daniel Amen: I don't know that we've talked about it much, but A is what happens to your mind, it's the ABC model-
Dr Daniel Amen: A is what happens to your mind, working at Starbucks. B is your interpretation of what happens to your mind, I'm blessed to have a job or not to wash someone else's dishes. It's beneath me. C is how you react. C is what you actually do, and C has nothing to do with A.
Dr Daniel Amen: It's the B stuff.
Tana Amen: It's how you think of it.
Dr Daniel Amen: So we went to church. So it's no surprise we go to church. We talk about that on the show. It was a couple of weeks ago.
Tana Amen: Oh wait this was so good.
Dr Daniel Amen: There was a sermon about betrayal. Two of the people closest to Jesus on the night he was taken, the day before he was crucified, betrayed him. Judas pissed and identified him as the Messiah.
Tana Amen: And took money for it.
Dr Daniel Amen: And he took 30 pieces of silver for it. And Peter.
Tana Amen: Which you know if you think you're going to get paid for betraying Jesus, I mean come on make it worth your while at least. That was like really?
Dr Daniel Amen: Well 30 pieces of silver was a lot.
Tana Amen: Yeah, no. No.
Dr Daniel Amen: 30 pieces of silver. Peter who was one of the closest apostles to Jesus-
Dr Daniel Amen: Betrayed him three times. He said he didn't know him.
Tana Amen: Yeah and he swore he would never do that.
Dr Daniel Amen: So Judas said he knew him. He actually identified him. Peter said, "I don't even know him."
Tana Amen: Right after he said he wouldn't do that.
Dr Daniel Amen: I don't even know him. So same A-stuff, betrayal. The B stuff is what I did is unforgivable from Judas.
Tana Amen: Your interpretation, yes.
Dr Daniel Amen: From Peter it's I'm sorry I can't believe I did that.
Tana Amen: How can I change this? What can I do to make the difference?
Dr Daniel Amen: So one who betrayed him returned the money and then committed suicide, hung himself.
Tana Amen: Because it's not forgivable. His thought was it's not forgivable.
Dr Daniel Amen: Peter went on to help-
Tana Amen: Change the world.
Dr Daniel Amen: Found the Christian church.
Tana Amen: And change the world.
Dr Daniel Amen: And change the world. So all of us have done bad things.
Tana Amen: So the B, I just want to point out, the B is the interpretation. How you see it, what you do about it.
Dr Daniel Amen: How you interpret A.
Dr Daniel Amen: That's what determines-
Tana Amen: The outcome.
Dr Daniel Amen: The outcome.
Tana Amen: So I saw it as I'm helping people be dignified at the worst time in their life which is why I can do the things that I do in the hospital which are a little bit different than washing dishes, right? So that's why I left everyday exhausted but feeling fulfilled versus washing dishes is beneath me.
Dr Daniel Amen: So in those last 10 minutes, you could be angry and hysterical and bitter-
Tana Amen: Which is pointless.
Dr Daniel Amen: Or you can be hopeful thinking oh well maybe it's a mistake, right? Don't completely ruin all of your relationships if it's somebody in Hawaii didn't sleep made a mistake.
Tana Amen: But if it's not a mistake, I want to go with being clear.
Dr Daniel Amen: And being loving.
Tana Amen: Loving and right.
Dr Daniel Amen: And grateful and forgiving.
Dr Daniel Amen: And appreciative. So think of all the words because at that point, bitterness is not helpful.
Tana Amen: No.
Dr Daniel Amen: You're listening to the Brain Warriors Way podcast.
Thank you for listening to the Brain Warriors Way podcast. Go to iTunes and leave a review and you'll automatically be entered into a drawing to get a free signed copy of the Brain Warriors Way and the Brain Warriors Way cookbook we give away every month.