How To Find Your Purpose Through Pain

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

In this episode of the Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen dig into the mailbag to address some messages from our listeners. A common thread among Brain Warriors is the notion of transformation from a place of pain to one of purpose, gaining mastery over both brain and body. Other topics include nutrition, social isolation, spirituality, and your body as a temple.


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Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast. I'm Dr. 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.

Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way podcast is brought to you to 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

Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's 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 Warrior's Way podcast. Today we're going to talk about finding your purpose through pain. This is a really important topic to me. I know we've talked about it before, but those of you who have read The Brain Warrior's Way or you have listened to our podcast, watched our YouTube channel, you know how important this is to me with some of the pain that I've been through in my early years, the drama trauma, the illness. This is what I live for. I live for these stories that come in.

We've been getting some amazing stories now with people who have been doing the Brain Warrior's Way and I want to take a few minutes. Daniel and I are going to read a couple of these stories that, literally people's lives have not only been transformed, but they are now going on to transform other people's lives. This can be you. Whatever you're going through, I had no idea at the time that I was going through some of that pain I was going through, that I could ever use those worst experiences of my life to become the best thing that ever happened to me. Why don't you start and read one of the stories.

Daniel Amen: You know, for those of you who haven't read The Brain Warrior's Way, we just highly recommend it. It is so practical. It highlights the war you're in, but how to be armed, prepared, and where, so that you can win the fight of your life for your health.

This one is from Crowd Control, the Avenger. Love that title. "Where was this when I was younger? Growing up, I had a horrible diet. I remember when I was 13 during summertime, my diet was caffeine free Pepsi and cookies. I was horribly lethargic and felt tired all throughout high school because of my diet and sleep habits. I can say, after following Daniel and Tana Amen's program, I feel much better and have taken up running as a hobby. This podcast is something that keeps me motivated to not creep back into bad habits. It reminds me of the life I had, where I am, and where I want to be. Thank you so much."

Tana Amen: I love that.

Daniel Amen: You're beaming. I love the smile, so for those of you that aren't watching, you can also watch these on YouTube. For those of you that aren't watching, or listening, she's just beaming, and gorgeous [crosstalk 00:03:14].

Tana Amen: I actually ... These stories are like a paycheck. Okay, so, those of you that don't know, I've had people walk up and they'll say, "I know you hear this all the time, and I'm sorry to bother you ..." and I just have to tell you, it doesn't matter how often you hear it, and it doesn't bother me. You never get tired of hearing that something that you do helps to change someone's life. You guys are the ones doing the work, but just the fact that there's something that we could put out there that makes that difference, that helps you take that leap is really important. That's my purpose.

I want to read this one from Chantel, and you can see the pictures of her on YouTube. Can't show you the pictures on the podcast obviously, but the change in her is radical. She only lost 15 pounds, but she literally looks 15 years younger. Chantel, she says, "When I started the Brain Warrior's Way class over a year ago I felt like I was slowly dying and that if I didn't do something I wouldn't live to see my 60th birthday. I was 57 years old then. I changed my diet, followed the instructions given in the Brain Warrior's Way classes, plus I've been working with one of the internists there, Dr. [Filiday 00:04:20]." That's one of our doctors here.

"Through recommended testing I found that I had some serious overgrowth of bad bacterias in my gut, adrenal fatigue, and possibly lyme disease. I'm very excited about the positive changes I see now and I don't feel like I'm dying anymore. I'm sleeping better most nights. The surgical scars on my abdomen look white and healed for the first time since my surgery in 2009. My sense of wellbeing has returned. I don't wake up anxious in the morning. I have no anxiety at all. I lost 15 pounds. A mysterious rash on my neck that would come and go has disappeared. Allergies were minimal this spring. Almost off high blood pressure medication. No more chronic infections, and the biggest surprise to me is that my foot is a size smaller." That's from inflammation, by the way, sidebar.

"All of this is just from following the Omni Diet and doing a few things to heal my leaky gut. The adrenal support supplements and herbs for my immune system are fairly new. My progress has probably been slow, but it's been a wonderful journey, and I'm looking forward to the coming year when I hope to lose the last 10 pounds to reach my goal after my adrenal glands are working back up to speed. Tana, helping me kick the sugar addiction by showing the ugly consequences of sugar consumption and telling the class to sip on green juice to stop the cravings was awesome advice. My favorite cold pressed green juice is cucumber, apple, lemon, and fresh mint. I've learned so much from you and Dr. Amen, and continue to learn by listening to your podcasts. I will be forever thankful to you both. Hope to meet you some day."

The reason I love this story is because all of the symptoms that she talks about; the rash, the scar that won't heal, her feet going down a shoe size, the sleep, the fatigue, these are things that we hear ... At least half of the people we see. They might have another presenting symptom that brings them in, but those are very common things. She was like, the perfect story. The 15 pounds she lost, she might say she needs to lose 10 more, but the 15 she lost took 15 years off of her. She looks amazing. It's just incredible to get these stories and see this. That slow progress is actually better, so don't lose hope.

Daniel Amen: Well it's a war. For those people who are just listening to the podcast and have not read the book, it's based around this concept we developed called mastery, how to develop mastery over your brain and body. It's mindset. Are you a sheep or a sheepdog? We're training sheepdogs to really take control. Assessment, you say this all the time. You can't change what you don't measure. Know your important health numbers. If you never check you really don't know if you have leaky gut or a low thyroid or high mercury.

Sustenance, food is just so important. It is really the foundation of getting and staying well. At least half of the illnesses we see as physicians are food based illness. Training, what are the daily habits to do, like sleep. I love that she's sleeping better most nights. Essence, turning pain into purpose, which is what we're talking about, our responsibility. I know people don't want to hear it, but you know, your behavior is contagious. Are you giving away healthy behavior or are you giving away sickness and illness? Years long, the why is years long, is this isn't for 10 pounds or 10 weeks. I'm grateful she lost 15 pounds, that's awesome. I mean, just pick up 15 pounds. You know, people go, "Oh, it's not that much." Pick it up and carry it around, and it is a lot. It's really not the point. It's the side effect of truly getting ...

Tana Amen: It's the inflammation, yeah.

Daniel Amen: Getting well and putting mastery into your life, you become a warrior. You're armed, prepared, and aware. The side effect is energy. The side effect is memory. The side effect is you're happier.

Tana Amen: Sleep and weight loss.

Daniel Amen: You can be more purposeful. Ultimately, it's what makes most people happy. It's not money, it's not fame.

Tana Amen: Right.

Daniel Amen: It's making a difference, but there's a reason why you're breathing.

Tana Amen: Right. We work with a lot of, because we did the Daniel plan, there's a lot of people we work with who are Christian and they have this sense of eternal life. I've actually had this conversation. Believe it or not, I've had some people say to me, "Well, why does it matter what I eat, because it doesn't matter. It doesn't have eternal value. I'm going to go to heaven anyways." It frustrates me a little bit, because my thought is, "Well do you want to, number one, feel miserable for the time that you do have? Number two, is that what God would want for your life?" Don't you want to live a purposeful life while you're here? Don't you want to do something meaningful with the time that you have? Is that what you were put on the planet for?

Daniel Amen: Well, and if you talk to Pastor Warren who we did the program with, who we developed it with, he actually put it right in the beginning of this decade when he said, "If you're going to do anything special, you have to have energy."

Tana Amen: You won't feel good.

Daniel Amen: That means you have to get your physical habits right. It's biblical. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit that was given to you by God that was bought for you at a price. If your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, well how are you treating the temple? Are you spray painting it and really defiling it, or are you optimizing it so you can do your purpose in life?

Tana Amen: Even from a scientific, psychological, and biological standpoint, you know, Maslow's hierarchy, right? When you feel terrible, when you are sick you cannot focus on anything else. You must feel better and take care of yourself and be able to raise through that hierarchy before you can give away something else, before you can give of yourself.

Daniel Amen: Well, and ultimately I think getting well is the ultimate act of self love, because you're taking care of ... You know this because you've been sick.

Tana Amen: All I could think about was myself and being sick.

Daniel Amen: Anybody who's been sick, whether you have billions of dollars, incredible fame, none of it matters.

Tana Amen: Nope.

Daniel Amen: None of it matters if you don't have your health. We're going to talk about our friend Tony Robbins who came to see us, but without health, it is really the foundation for success in anything in your life is brain health, whether it's your relationships, your work, your money, your physical health. Without taking care of your health and your brain, none of that is as possible, and ultimately none of it matters.

One more podcast review that I just love, extremely rich information from Ashley. "I struggled with ADD and anxiety for a long time. It's pretty severe. The information that Dr. Amen and Tana provide is like nothing I've heard before. It's so useful and I've started applying their tips and suggestions through whole food eating, and I'm seeing results. I would recommend this information to anyone looking for a change." Ashley, thank you so much.

What is your purpose? I think people need to write that down. Why are you on the planet? What is your deepest sense of meaning and purpose?

Tana Amen: I love the line you use, "Why is the world a better place because you breathe? Because God gave you breath, why is the world a better place?" It takes the focus off of you and helps you contribute. It's about contribution, and I just think that that is ...

Daniel Amen: One of the really interesting parts about that is social isolation, you know, which is really, it's all about you when you're isolated, shrinks the hippocampus.

Tana Amen: Yeah, interesting.

Daniel Amen: Those major structures, we play with them around here. You know, hippocampus is Greek for seahorse, and when you're alone, when you're lonely, when you're isolated ... A great story of that is your dad's story, that it actually shrinks your seahorses and makes it harder for you to remember and to think. Living with purpose ... This fascinating new study out of Baltimore where they actually measured people's brains, and then they had half the group go and volunteer in schools in Baltimore. The other half just continued to do what they usually did. The volunteer group grew their seahorses, it grew their hippocampus. If you're feeling isolated and alone, find somewhere where you can volunteer, where you can get outside of your head to be helpful to other people. It can help so much.

You are listening to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast. Stay with us.

Tana Amen: Thank you for listening to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast. We have a special gift for you. It's an opportunity to win an evaluation at the Amen Clinics. All you have to do is subscribe to this podcast, leave a review, and rate us on iTunes.

Daniel Amen: To learn more about Amen Clinics and the work we do, go to You can also learn about our nutraceutical products at Thanks for listening.