Health Strategies: Rewrite Your Story

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

To wrap up this series on happiness, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen introduce a new strategy, that when followed can dramatically change your life. The strategy is centered around a process that involves taking inventory of your life’s history, assessing how your actions have historically brought you closer or further from your goals, and then making the necessary adjustments to you’re your way towards a happy ending.

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Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warriors Way Podcast. I'm Doctor Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: 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 spec imaging, to better target treatment and natural ways to heal the brain. For more information, visit
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 Welcome to the Brain Warriors Way Podcast.
Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome back. We're in happiness week, and talking about the habits ...
Tana Amen: Yes.
Dr Daniel Amen: of happiness. That would make a great book. One of the things that clearly makes us happy is when you leave reviews. This is from a firm believer all the way. The title is One Of The Only Wars Really Worth Fighting. I so agree with that. I listened to most of the original presentations of the Brain Warriors Way, which started in the summer, I guess of 2016 ...
Tana Amen: Yeah. Yep.
Dr Daniel Amen: and went through the fall. However, then I had to work, change schedule and it was hard to fit in all, of the remaining ones. I'd listen the audio book of, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. Thank you. I didn't feel it a complete loss. What I really like now with the podcast, is that they are 15 minute segments of time, rather than one hour, getting the meat and potatoes of the presentation if you will, which is easier to fit into a busy schedule. Thank you for that.
I also like that you can pick up and choose a title that is pertinent to what you want, or need to hear at any time. Excellent content, with abbreviated presentation. Thank you so much. Would like to add retrospectively, months later, I am totally a brand new warrior. I'm an RN, and am ready to take the next step and sign up for the Brain Health Coaching course. I love that. Thank you so much.
Tana Amen: Gail, thank you.
Dr Daniel Amen: We are in the habits of happiness.
Tana Amen: Yes.
Dr Daniel Amen: One of the most important strategies you can do that will radically change the trajectory of your life, is to rewrite your life story.
Tana Amen: I love this. We've been working really hard with our nieces on this, and actually my sister. This has been so powerful. They don't have to stay on the same path they've been on that has been so destructive for them, that it's their choice now, to decide to rewrite that ending.
Dr Daniel Amen: What was your life story when you were a child?
Tana Amen: Well, I've told it. It was a mess. I've told it.
Dr Daniel Amen: What were some of, the messages that you got as a child?
Tana Amen: Oh dear. Well, college wasn't really in the cards. Medical school wasn't in the cards at all. I wanted to go to medical school. That kind of ... I remember hearing things about that.
Dr Daniel Amen: No. Go earlier than that. When you were seven, eight, nine.
Tana Amen: Yeah. No, those were stories I always heard. School's too expensive. I would hear things like ... My mom, who worked repeatedly ... I'd hear weird messages. Never depend on a man. How are you supposed to have a really good relationship with somebody right? Never depend on a man to take care of you. That was one. She's very successful by the way. She was a 16 year old runaway, so if you understand the context, then ...
Dr Daniel Amen: Right. I'm talking about the messages.
Tana Amen: That's the message, right, so never depend on a man. There were chaotic relationships nonstop that went along with that. That was one of them. Let's see. Gosh.
Dr Daniel Amen: When you were having the anxiety stuff when you were nine, it's people abandoned you.
Tana Amen: Oh yeah. Yeah, I thought that I couldn't trust anybody. I just starting thinking ... I used to visualize, what I would do, if I found out that my parents were dead, was pretty horrible. I would visualize, "Okay, what would be the first thing I would do? What would be the second thing I would do?" I'd go pack my stuff and figure out-
Dr Daniel Amen: You know, I actually had that same one. I wonder if it's not an uncommon fear.
Tana Amen: Oh, you did? Oh, weird. Yeah, no. I used to visualize, so that I could survive it. I was so terrified. Yeah. Yeah. There were a lot of weird messages growing up.
Dr Daniel Amen: When you're one of seven, it's, you're invisible. That was one of mine, is you're invisible.
Tana Amen: Are we talking about messages that other people gave you, or just things ...
Dr Daniel Amen: No.
Tana Amen: Oh, the [crosstalk 00:05:23] ones that I sort of, that I took in. Okay. Okay, that's different.
Dr Daniel Amen: The environment.
Tana Amen: That is different. Yeah, no, I began to quickly, early on, believe that men were not trustworthy. Yeah. No, no question. That was something I began to believe early on. I also began to believe that you had to fight, like life, you had to fight to survive.
Dr Daniel Amen: For those of you listening, I just ... I want you to think of when you were young. What was the story you were writing for yourself? What was the beginning of the book ...
Tana Amen: Yeah, mine was like fight or die basically.
Dr Daniel Amen: and how you began to predict how that book would turn out. Whether I'm weak, I'm small, I'm insignificant, I'm not important. Sometimes those early story messages, can impact the rest of your life. What we want to do to end happiness week, is to get you to rewrite the story.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: How do you want it to be? Does your behavior match the story from your childhood, or does it match your heroes journey?
Tana Amen: Well, and sometimes ...
Dr Daniel Amen: Listening to the reviews that we've done, clearly your journey shifted ...
Tana Amen: Oh, for sure.
Dr Daniel Amen: from being weak and ...
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: not powerful ...
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: to be a healer and a teacher.
Tana Amen: Right. I also think that ... I grew up in an environment where I was very timid. I was very sort of weak as a child. That's how I felt. I felt like I was sort of in the way, so I'd hide, if you will. I would sort of stay in the shadows. And then, out of necessity, that wasn't working out so well. To protect myself, I started learning how to fight back. And then, there was this sort of fight or die type of mentality. That was too scary to give up, the fight or die thing.
What I did learn how to do in writing my own ending was channel that in a more positive direction. That's why the warrior mentality, right? It's not fight or die in a really negative way, but rather, okay. I channel with martial arts and with okay, warrior mentality. How do warriors ... It's prepare, be aware, avoid. That's what you do as a warrior, right? It's not just like, charge in, right and just fight someone because. It was a much more positive way that I started to channel my energy, was with intention.
Dr Daniel Amen: How can we help people do this for themselves? One of the exercises that [crosstalk 00:08:30] I do with my patients is I actually do sort of, a year-by-year history. What were the significant things that happened in your life ...
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: before you were born, that you know about. Year one, all the way through however old you are. It takes a couple of hours to do. You really begin to understand why people do what they do. And then, we'll continue it on year-by-year, "Well, how do you want your life to be? What are the things you want for yourself?" It's very powerful, if you begin to rewrite your story of what you want. Ultimately, it's up to us, right? I mean, in all movies, there's always twists and turns. There's always gonna be twists and turns to your life. As Tana always says, responsibility doesn't mean the twists and turns are your fault, but in your ability to response that decides whether your story, turns out blossom or awful.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: We never ... Brain Warriors are not victims. Brain Warriors are victorious. Now, it doesn't mean Brain Warriors don't make mistakes. They make mistakes all the time. They just don't make the same ones over and over again. They're paying attention to the mistakes that they make.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: How do you want your story to turn out?
Tana Amen: Well, my story right now is awesome. I just want it to continue the way it is. I want you to be in it with me, until the end. I want it to be purposeful and loving and kind. I want little grand babies and ... I like my life. My life's amazing.
Dr Daniel Amen: Okay. What do you have to do ... When you're listening to this, I want you to answer these same questions. What do you have to do to make it that way?
Tana Amen: Be loving, and kind. Be purposeful, doing what I do with you, invest in my relationships. I like the question, then what. If I do this, then what?
Dr Daniel Amen: Does it fit the goal you have with your life? That's what the front part of your brain does. It helps you decide if this helps you or will it hurt you.
Tana Amen: Right. That's why even when I'm not feeling well, first thing I did was go get numbers checked and figure out ... Then what? If I don't do this, then what?
Dr Daniel Amen: Know your story, and rewrite it the way you want it to be. And then, match your behavior over time to get what you want. Thank you for listening to the Brain Warriors Way Podcast. Go to iTunes and leave a review. 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.