In this week’s series of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, Tana Amen is joined by our good friend Dave Asprey, host of Bulletproof Radio and author of the new book “Fast This Way”. In this episode, Tana and Dave discuss the many ways the internet hijacks the amygdala by favoring fear-based content over anything else. Dave and Tana also give you some specific strategies to counteract this so you can feel safer and more balanced in your emotions.
For more info on Dave Asprey’s new book “Fast This Way”, visit https://www.amazon.com/Fast-This-Way-Inflammation-High-Performing/dp/0062882864
Dr. Daniel Amen:
Welcome to the Brain Warrior’s Way podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen, BSN RN:
And I’m Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit AmenClinics.com.
The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to BrainMD.com.
Welcome back to the Brain Warrior’s Way. I have a very special guest today, one that most of you will already know. He doesn’t need much of an introduction. He’s a dear friend of ours, but I’m going to do him justice anyways. I’m going to read his bio. We’ve got Dave Asprey today.
So Dave Asprey is the founder and chairman of Bulletproof. He’s a three-time New York Times bestselling science author, host of the Webby Award-winning podcast Bulletproof Radio, and has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, The New York Times, Dr. Oz, and more. Over the last two decades, Dave, the father of bio hacking, has worked with world renowned doctors, researchers, scientists, and global mavericks to uncover the latest, most innovative methods, techniques, and products for enhancing mental and physical performance. Dave has personally spent nearly $2 million taking control of his own biology, pushing the bounds of human possibility, all in the name of science and evolution, the creator of Bulletproof Diet and innovator of Bulletproof Coffee, collagen protein supplements, and more, more advances in commercial [inaudible [00:00:01]:50] products, Dave’s mission is to empower the entire globe with information and knowledge that unlocks superhuman potential in everyone at any age.
The proof of these … sleep, energy, expanded capacity for all, be it partner, parent, provider, and overall human being in every aspect of life. Be proof, be Bulletproof. Wow. Welcome, Dave. So nice to see you again.
Thank you, and thanks for that kind introduction. I’m feeling full of myself now.
Well, it’s funny, I’m reading this introduction and I know all of these things about you, but honestly I know you as a person and it’s been so much fun to know you all of these years. And I always say this whenever I see you, but I love Bulletproof Coffee. It’s an amazing, amazing coffee, but you’ve also got, you built this amazing company and you’ve done so much with life and these books and you’ve rebuilt your health and you’ve done all these really cool things. So I’m super excited to have you back. Our audience just loves you every time you’re here with all the tips and the knowledge that you bring, so welcome.
Well, it’s a pleasure to be friends. And I still say, to this day, if I had not done a SPECT scan, when Dr. Amen’s very first book came out, I wouldn’t be here today. I mean, he showed me I had a hardware problem, not just a moral failing, and it was a really big light switch for me. So I’m eternally grateful for just the incredible lifting, just the pushing against the system that it takes to introduce a new idea like maybe should look at your brain to fix it, who would have thought? So I’m always happy to be here.
I love that, and I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s so interesting when you realize that it’s medical and not moral, so I love that you said that. So I want to talk to you a little bit, before we jump in, you’ve got a new book that I’m excited to talk to our audience about, but I want to hear a little bit about how you’ve been during COVID. What have you been doing? Since you are the father of biohacking and really taking control of your health, what challenges have you seen with COVID and what have you been doing to sort of get by and not just get by but thrive?
Well, like everyone, my kids were home more than planned. And so I said, all right, how do we make it a little bit more playful? And I said, all right, you can do what you want. What do you want to learn? And my daughter, I want to do more art and do more art. And my son, I want to learn programming. I’m like, you’re 11, okay, me get some videos. And he’s written three video games now in different languages, but just letting them do what they love and the biggest thing, though, has been teaching them to feel safe and then using the platforms where I’m blessed to have lots of followers just to reinforce this idea that you’re safe and it’s turning off the amygdala and just being calm. There’s an advanced spiritual state that I teach at my neuroscience brain upgrade thing, very different than the SPECT and I tell everyone I know, get a SPECT scan first, just to be really clear.
This is a neurofeedback-like polishing of the brain. What I’ve done there is there are these spiritual states that we can achieve and one of them is empathy for others, like you can feel other people’s pain. Okay, this is good, but it also is bad. If everyone else around you is completely full of fear and freaking out, then you’re likely to do that. Then there’s another level, which is compassion, where you’re like, oh wow, these people are suffering. I don’t have to take it in, but they are, and then the final one is equanimity, which is where I can be completely grounded, safe, and myself, and in the states that are of service to others, the best. And I can do that no matter what’s happening around me, whether there’s a hurricane, an earthquake, right? It’s fires, plagues, you name it, but you’re still you and you just don’t have to take it in and it doesn’t cost you. You’re not pushing against it because you’re there. So I’ve been working on that state and working on helping the people who follow me understand that that’s possible and desirable, and that you don’t have to watch the news every day. When you do that, magically, maybe those voices in your head will shut up or at least get a little bit nicer.
Oh, I could not agree with you more. It’s amazing how, when I don’t turn the news on, I go outside in my backyard with a cup of green tea and I watch the hummingbirds, everything feels great in the world actually. It’s hard to focus on all the negativity. The minute I turn the news on, I’m screaming at the TV. So you help more people,-
You do, right?
One of the things that’s been really remarkable is there’s been a huge shift in Google over the last year. They stopped carrying health content, even in the search results. I used to use this Google News and what I do now is I have an app called News360, and you tell it what you care about and you thumbs up or thumbs down every article they show you and it learns what you like. So when I tune into the news there, I get a list of all the latest findings about our brains and mitochondria and human performance and kindness and it filters out all the garbage. I’m like, I don’t care about all the garbage. And then once a day, I log into Google News just to remind myself, just to analyze what’s actually being fed to us versus what we want and they’re not even the same universe.
Isn’t that interesting?
It is. And really interesting, on my Instagram page, I’m Dave.Asprey, yesterday I posted the words over there be very afraid. That was it. That was the whole picture was be very afraid. Then I put the words be very afraid of the top of my little description and then in parentheses I put, we’re going to test and see if the algorithm pushes this to the top of your feed and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people are like, Dave, I never see your stuff in my feed and this was 11 hours ago and it’s at the top of my feed. So the algorithms there, this doesn’t prove, but it’s pretty obvious, the algorithms there are promoting fear and they’re promoting an amygdala response because it makes more money. I don’t think there’s an evil guy there saying I decided to do this. It’s just what happens when you say we want attention, because fear gets more attention than love. It’s how we’re wired, because you might die right now from a tiger and you can love later and it’s just not okay. So we got to stop that.
Right, so you know this. We are hardwired as human beings to pay attention to what is frightening, because we have to get away from it, just hardwired that way. What makes us happy we can deal with later. In fact, I have a funny story, just really fast with my husband. He was creating this brain game to teach people to pay attention to what is good, to what has happened to settle down the amygdala, if you will. But as somebody who grew up in chaos and trauma and had a lot of childhood trauma, I’m playing this game and he’s like, look, I want to help you focus on the things that are happy. So what you do is you focus on the happy faces and you ignore the scary faces and the sad faces. And I’m like, two [inaudible [00:08:21] through this game and I throw it out. I’m like, this is the dumbest game. He goes, why? I go, because I don’t care about the happy faces. When you’re brought up like I do, you’re paying attention to the threat, but in the minute I said it, I’m like, that’s why the news does what they do.
It’s exactly why and, it’s funny, I did the test there at Amen Clinics. And I think I see angry faces like three times faster than I see smiley faces and it’s wired in. I had birth trauma. I was bullied and things like that. And it happens, but you can change your filters and what I’ve learned through the course of my work, writing about mitochondria and the brain is that we start our filtering of reality inside our cells throughout our body. Then they make a little decision about what do they pass on and then they collaborate and they make a decision about what’s passes on until it reaches your prefrontal cortex. Then there’s these seven layers that strip out things and you only get to see what’s left. If that is set to look for fear, it’s going to find fear. Through the process of video games, through training, through meditation, through heart rate variability, all these different kinds of feedback, neurofeedback, breathing, almost every spiritual practice out there that aims to do that, you can change your filters. So all of a sudden you see the good stuff instead of seeing the bad stuff. I want to play this game. I’ll probably suck at it too.
I love that. So we’re going to dig into your book in the next episode, but show us your book now.
Let’s see. This might be my best book ever in terms of readability and just content and usability. I’m pretty excited about it. It’s called Fastest This Way.
Fast This Way and it’s all about what you need to know about fasting, right?
Well, there’s lots of books. Okay, I’ll write a book on fasting for you right now. Step one, don’t eat for a while. Step two, here’s a bunch of science. Okay, there, I wrote it. I wrote a book and there’s actually several really good books like that out there. I did not write that book. It wasn’t necessary.
This is how to actually do it so that you’ll do it and how to do it without fear, without pain, without hunger, so that you don’t have to push your way through a fast and so it isn’t like a form of torture and deprivation. It includes things like what is a spiritual fast and what is the ideal intermittent fasting window for you, what’s different for women and men, what supplements are okay during a fast. So this is the real usable from 10-plus years of fasting and teaching millions of people how to do it.
Oh, that’s so interesting. So I’m actually really interested to hear what you’ve learned, what’s new and what’s going on with that. So Fast This Way, I’m excited to dig into that. So we’re going to come back and talk about Fast This Way, but in the meantime, for everybody listening and watching right now, I want to know what you’ve learned in this episode. If you would tag Dave, tag me, take a screenshot and post it, I would be grateful. We want to hear from you. We want to know your questions, your concerns, what’s going on with you during COVID.
I loved the levels that you were talking about of spirituality and learning. I thought that was amazing, so that’s what I learned.
I thought that was really cool. So we’re going to come back and, when we do, we’re going to talk about Fast This Way. See you in a minute.
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