How to Use The 5 Senses To Flood Your Life with Happiness

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

In his new book, Feel Better Fast and Make It Last, Dr. Daniel Amen talks about the “Ultimate Brain-Based Therapy,” which is a method of flooding all five of your senses with stimuli that can make you feel better fast. In this episode of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, Dr. Amen and Tana describe how you can arm yourself with the tools needed to use this therapy method anytime, anywhere.


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Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's 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 Warrior's 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
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.
Welcome back. So we are talking about your new book, Feel Better Fast and Make It Last.
Dr Daniel Amen: We are, and you can pre order it at and when you do we have gifts for you, you can immediately download the introduction and first chapter. You can get a quick start guide to give you many tiny habits, the smallest thing you can do today that'll make the biggest difference. Some Feel Better Fast audios that you can download, hypnosis sessions I do for you. And your new cookbook, the 10 Day Brain Boost. People literally can feel better fast or not with the food that you choose.
We're gonna talk about in this podcast is what I actually think one of my favorite parts of this new book that I've never written about before, it's called the ultimate brain based therapy. It's how to feel better fast by flooding all five of your senses with happiness at once. And so for example, I teach people about vision. 30 to 50% of your brain is dedicated to vision, which is why women-
Tana Amen: Is this stronger for men?
Dr Daniel Amen: No, it's both, but it's why women spend so much time at Sephora.
Tana Amen: See, I thought that was because men are attracted to the visual. I thought they did it because of men, no?
Dr Daniel Amen: Well, women are attracted to beautiful things as well.
Tana Amen: That's true.
Dr Daniel Amen: But for them it's-
Tana Amen: That's true, we have that raccoon factor when we see [inaudible 00:02:42] yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: So vision is so important, and so what I talk about in the book is get an album on your phone of pictures that immediately make you happy.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: And so, if I go to my phone and I go to my favorites, you're there.
Tana Amen: Well I like your front photo. It's our big white ... Well you can't see this, it's our big white dog. I don't know if you can see that, but I love that.
Dr Daniel Amen: With you.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: So two of my favorite images is my beautiful wife. But also on it, my mom and dad.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: Actually their dog that I got for them, holding the hand with my grand babies.
Tana Amen: Yeah, babies.
Dr Daniel Amen: Events that we've been at.
Tana Amen: I've got Chloe singing at church.
Dr Daniel Amen: When I've been at the White House. So, so many things that I love, and so if I go through my favorite photos, immediately that just makes me feel better because it gets my ... Where you bring your attention determines how you feel.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: Also images of nature, and fractals. Fractals are never ending patterns.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: So if you think of the inside of a shell.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: For example. They've been shown to help people feel better fast.
Tana Amen: That's so interesting.
Dr Daniel Amen: What images help you?
Tana Amen: Not fractals. So I like my family. I like things that are meaningful to me. Even with hanging art around the house, I prefer like family images, memories. I like memories that make me happy. So my daughter singing at church, or doing something cool. You when we go on vacation, like those types of things are what make me happy. My animals. Those are the things that I would prefer. Or a great vacation.
Dr Daniel Amen: Okay, so vision, get something visually that makes you happy. Hearing, and this is where music can be just so important.
Tana Amen: Yes, but it's interesting because it can have the opposite effect too. Because you and Cat Stevens, yeah, me and Cat Stevens have a very different relationship than you and Cat Stevens.
Dr Daniel Amen: So it's funny, I love-
Tana Amen: Nails on a chalkboard.
Dr Daniel Amen: Cat Stevens because when I was a teenager, his music was really popular, and I used to just blast.
Tana Amen: No, no.
Dr Daniel Amen: Blast it, father and sons, one of my favorite songs ever.
Tana Amen: But to be fair, it's not just Cat Stevens, it's most '70s music.
Dr Daniel Amen: Right, so it has to be individualized because in the '70s-
Tana Amen: Like my heart's starting to beat fast.
Dr Daniel Amen: In the '70s you had an uncle that was a drug addict, and so when you hear-
Tana Amen: One of them was murdered.
Dr Daniel Amen: When you hear that music, for you, it actually triggers-
Tana Amen: It reminds me of pedophiles and drug addicts. Reminds me of. No, my uncle was not a pedophile, but that's what it reminds me of is pedophiles and drug addicts.
Dr Daniel Amen: So when I play music, if I'm with you I need to have something different.
Tana Amen: Even my hairstylist knows. He had Cat Stevens on one day and I walked in and he's like, "Oh, sorry." And he turned off Cat Stevens really fast. It's like traumatizing.
Dr Daniel Amen: So when you're struggling, find five songs that make you feel happy. So for me, when I'm with you, good vibrations.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: That would work.
Tana Amen: We can come to common ... Yeah. I can't put Def Leopard on, which is like, that kind of stuff when you're around. So we have to find our common ground.
Dr Daniel Amen: Right. And for me of course from The Wizard of Oz, if I only had a brain is the perfect song. But we love the prayer by Celine Dione.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: And Andre Bocelli.
Tana Amen: We love the new soundtrack from A Star is Born.
Dr Daniel Amen: It's amazing.
Tana Amen: Oh my gosh, so good.
Dr Daniel Amen: So you want to find, get a playlist. Five, 10 songs that just make you happy so you're looking at something that triggers happiness, you're hearing something that triggers happiness.
Smell. So honeysuckle.
Tana Amen: Jasmine. Love jasmine.
Dr Daniel Amen: Vanilla.
Tana Amen: Sage.
Dr Daniel Amen: Sage.
Tana Amen: Lavender.
Dr Daniel Amen: Lavender.
Tana Amen: But like real lavender.
Dr Daniel Amen: Cinnamon.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: All of these things scientifically has been shown to actually improve mood quickly.
Tana Amen: Yeah, we live-
Dr Daniel Amen: Along with taste.
Tana Amen: We live by the beach. When we go for a walk there's a ton of jasmine and sage. It just puts me in a different mood, it's just so ...
Dr Daniel Amen: Well, and actually hearing the sound-
Tana Amen: Of the ocean.
Dr Daniel Amen: Of the ocean.
Tana Amen: We stayed last night at the Surf and Sand down in Laguna, and we slept with the doors open, and literally that hotel, the water goes like almost under the hotel and up to the glass, like it actually splashes on the glass, and it was amazing.
Dr Daniel Amen: So smelling the freshness in the air along with the sound of the ocean. You can totally get that on your phone.
Tana Amen: It's not the same.
Dr Daniel Amen: Or get a video. Well, it can help just to trigger the memory.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: Of those things, and then touch. Acupuncture. Which you've actually found to be really helpful for you.
Tana Amen: Okay, I have no idea why it helps because in my very cynical scientifically based mind, it shouldn't work. It just shouldn't work to stick needles in your body. But it works. I have no idea why it works, but it works. I sleep like a baby like for two weeks every time I have it done. And my pain is less, it's just weird. It's weird.
Dr Daniel Amen: You should have it done every week.
Tana Amen: Yes, it's kind of like voodoo where they poke you with pins.
Dr Daniel Amen: It's not voodoo.
Tana Amen: But it works.
Dr Daniel Amen: It's based on-
Tana Amen: It works.
Dr Daniel Amen: Chinese medicine that's been around thousands of years.
Tana Amen: I'm joking, but it works. You get so mad when I say that. I just can't figure out why it works.
Dr Daniel Amen: So acupuncture, acupressure.
Tana Amen: Chiropractics.
Dr Daniel Amen: Actually I talk about this technique of taking your thumbs and forefingers and stroking your earlobes.
Tana Amen: So-
Dr Daniel Amen: Because those are acupressure points and can help you feel better fast.
Tana Amen: Well, and I never understood why when I go to the chiropractor I literally leave feeling better immediately. Like my energy is better and I feel better and it's like this relief. But I guess studies have shown that when you get adjusted it's an endorphin release. So besides the fact that you feel adjusted, it's an endorphin release and it increases energy. So ...
Dr Daniel Amen: Holding the hands of someone you love, because when you hold hands-
Tana Amen: See, and it made me smile.
Dr Daniel Amen: That your heart rate begins to synchronize, your breathing rate begins to synchronize, even your brainwaves.
Tana Amen: Well, and-
Dr Daniel Amen: Begin to synchronize, and in a new study it was actually found to take away the pain of your partner in pain if you hold their hand.
Tana Amen: Yeah, well-
Dr Daniel Amen: But be very careful whose hand you hold-
Tana Amen: Whose hand you hold, yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: Because if they're a little haywire you are gonna get that way too.
Tana Amen: Well, and to that point, if you really are connected to someone healthy and that you love and you're grounded with that person, when you hold my hand, I have this thought that goes through my head, and this feeling. And I even texted you this the other day. It's like the minute you hold my hand there's this feeling, everything's just gonna be okay, it's gonna be great. It's really great. So as soon as you hold my hand it's like, "Oh, everything's gonna be good."
Dr Daniel Amen: Also taking a sauna can be helpful. There's actually a new research study that was in JAMA Psychiatry that one sauna, one session was found to be a treatment for depression.
Tana Amen: Wow.
Dr Daniel Amen: So put it all together at one time. Take a sauna while listening to good vibration, watching images of nature, sipping an almond milk cappuccino, pumpkin spice cappuccino that you have with the scent of cinnamon or lavender.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: Use your senses to feel better fast.
Tana Amen: So in my case we can just make it a bubble bath with Def Leopard and it'll be the same thing.
Dr Daniel Amen: And it would help you.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: You can order the book Feel Better Fast and Make It Last at and when you do, you get the gifts that we've talked about including Tana's new cookbook, the 10 Day Brain Boost.
Tana Amen: How is it you put up with me for so long?
Dr Daniel Amen: Because I love you, and because you stimulate my visual brain because you're beautiful, and I love hearing your voice.
Tana Amen: It's not because you feel like you have to fix me?
Dr Daniel Amen: Love cuddling you. No, it's the whole thing, and I love how you smell. So I'm good, all five senses, Tana is a total sensory experience, I'll leave it at that. Stay with us.
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