Love & The Brain: The 6 Types

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

Most people view love as a singular expression, but did you know that the Greeks had 6 different words for love, all based on specific types of expression? In this episode of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen define these 6 types of love, and then discuss how each of them relate to the health of your brain.


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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 BrainMD, 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.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome back to feel better fast, make it last, brain XL. Gotta get your brain right, your rational mind right, your attachments, your inspiration, your nutrition. We talked about the lessons from imaging, the X factor, and now we are talking about love. My favorite topic, especially when I'm hanging out with you. And the way you guys love us is by writing reviews of the podcast.
And two, quickly, from Monte Kaiser, "Wow, it's good to hear that other people go through this stuff, too." So, being real. And this is from Oliver. "Thank you very much for this wonderful podcast. Hypnosis series coming from a Christian perspective, was very skeptical about hypnosis, especially because Christians are supposed to be vigilant and very careful when relaxing and giving up control. Your talk helped me a lot to see hypnosis from another perspective."
Tana Amen: See, I don't understand that. To me, I feel like when you practice meditation and hypnosis, that is you, controlling your moods, your psyche without ... Because we all struggle, right? I don't understand that perspective. I mean, I understand where it's coming from. I just don't understand why, because that is you taking control of the outcome of how you're feeling without relying on medications, without being subject to the outside world. So, I'm a little confused by that.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Well, and it's about how people don't really understand that hypnosis is not being under someone else's spell.
Tana Amen: But, I would never go to someone I don't trust anyways. So, why would you-
Dr. Daniel Amen: That it's teaching your brain to get into a natural state of healing.
Tana Amen: But I always pray first anyway. But, why would you go to someone you don't trust? So, I don't know, I'm a little confused by that. But anyway.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So, let's talk about six different types of love. The Greeks have four words for love. C.S. Lewis, one of my favorite authors, talks about need love and gift love. And Brain Health is both of those. You need to do it, because if your habits aren't right, it puts you at risk for anxiety, depression, cognitive impairment, pain, a lack of focus, and so on. So I would argue, you need to do this. And gift love is, by doing this for yourself, you're modeling a better life for your children, for your grandchildren, for your coworkers, for your employees. And it's about love. Now, the Greeks had four words for love. Storge love, which is affectionate love between family members, so, husband and wife, mother and child, father and daughter, father and son. Philia, which is love between friends. And Philadelphia-
Tana Amen: Right, Philadelphia.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... is the City of Brotherly love. Eros, which is passionate love. And Agape, which is selfless love. It's really, the highest form of love.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: As I was thinking about that, is doing the right thing applies to all six of these forms of love. I need to do it, so I stay healthy. When I do the right thing, I model it for those people around me. So, it's good for my family, Storge. It's good for my friends, Philia, and people get better together, they get sick together.
Tana Amen: Right, so community.
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's totally good for Eros, for passion.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And close your ears, because you don't like when I talk about this. But one of the most common things my male patients tell me when they get on the plan, is their erections are better.
Tana Amen: I'm a nurse. Why would you say I don't like when you talk about that?
Dr. Daniel Amen: Because you think I'm obsessed with sex.
Tana Amen: Well, I do think you're obsessed with sex. But, I mean, that's just a fact. We do have some things that are just, I'm a nurse, so, not like I don't-
Dr. Daniel Amen: When you're married to a smoking hot woman.
Tana Amen: Okay, that's where you, you cross the line from talking about things from a technical standpoint on the podcast over the line, like that. You do it every time.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Sorry.
Tana Amen: You just never stick with it.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Beautiful women make you stupid.
Tana Amen: Oh, geez.
Dr. Daniel Amen: You know that. So, it's good for your sex life.
Tana Amen: Beautiful women do not make me stupid.
Dr. Daniel Amen: I am not going there. I'm not even going to go there at all.
Tana Amen: Don't, just don't.
Dr. Daniel Amen: I'm not even.
Tana Amen: See, I didn't even, okay, nevermind. Movin' on.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Agape love. Selfless love. The highest form of love is doing the right thing because it's good for the planet. And we actually didn't talk about soul food under nutrition.
Tana Amen: Oh, I like that.
Dr. Daniel Amen: But it's a term I came up with, that you want it sustainable, unadulterated, organic, and locally grown.
Tana Amen: How interesting, yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So, when you make the right choices for your food, it's about love. Do you remember when you taught the Brain Warrior's Way course, that a woman took it, and she was overweight. And I think it was Lesson 2, she started crying in the class. And the reason that she started crying is that she thought she was treating her children with sweets.
Tana Amen: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Do you remember that story? Do you want to tell it?
Tana Amen: Well, I'm confusing it, because I was teaching Omni the same thing it happened, but it was about halfway through the course. So, it's happened a couple of times, actually. It's not an uncommon thing to happen. So, I'm not sure which one you're referring to, but similar things happened, so I'm gonna pick one of them. I remember Alicia coming in. She got really angry, and then she broke out into tears. And she came in and she was upset. And I was, "What's going on? I thought she was upset about something in the course. And she said, "No, I'm angry because all this time, I thought that I was doing the right thing. Every time my kids would do something well, we would go out for ice cream. We would go out for a treat. We'd go out and we'd buy candy, or we'd go to get something, it was always food-driven."
And she said, "It never crossed my mind that by doing that, I was hurting my children." And she said, "Now my children are suffering the same health problems that I have. They are overweight, they're brain fogged, they've got these problems I have. They've got the same health issues, they're developing, that I have." And she said, "And I just feel this guilt now that I understand." And I'm like, "Okay, so what's the good news about that?" And she's like, "Well, I'm changing how I see treats. I'm changing how I see celebrating victories. And I'm gonna start planting that with my children." And they did, they started doing these amazing things as a family, going for hikes, and bike rides, and spending time together but in a healthy way.
Dr. Daniel Amen: I was watching, we haven't talked much about it on the podcast, but I'm a huge Lakers fan. And we had season tickets for a number of years.
Tana Amen: I remember this.
Dr. Daniel Amen: I was watching a new documentary. It was called Love A Basketball Story. And Shaquille O'Neal was on, and talked about how his father, who was a police officer, was actually fairly abusive to him. And that he'd-
Tana Amen: He's just not someone I'd be abusive too.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... belittle him, and say really hurtful things, and he would cry. And his grandmother would give him poundcake and ice cream as a way to soothe him. And then-
Tana Amen: My grandmother did something similar.
Dr. Daniel Amen: You can tell years later, that I really struggle with this weight. Because the message he got about love was attached to food, so very much like Alicia. Or, like what your grandmother would do.
Tana Amen: The warm fresh Syrian bread with, just dripping with butter. And then she'd put honey or a little bit of sugar on it. Oh, that was crazy.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Right. But she ended up in diabetes, and she was obese, and it was not a good thing-
Tana Amen: No.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... for her. And so, how are you loving the people in your life? Are you loving them with things that hurt them, or are you loving them with things that help them? Because really, what children want is not sugar. I mean, yes they want sugar. But that's not what they really want.
Tana Amen: They want your time.
Dr. Daniel Amen: They want your time. And so, going for a walk with them, playing games with them, talking to them, what you've done with Chloe for years, and years, reading with them.
Tana Amen: I was at the nail salon with Chloe just yesterday. And the lady goes, "Oh, are these together?" And I'm like, "Yeah. Someday, maybe she's gonna treat me. But for now, it's still on me." And she goes, "You're always here with your daughter." And I said, "Yeah, she hangs out with me all the time. I'd have to push her to go hang out with her friends." She goes, she looked at me funny, and she goes, "I have teenagers." She goes, "Your daughter wants to hang out with you?" And I said, "Yeah, she always want to hang out with me." She goes, "Isn't that a little weird?" It was just the funny way she said it. She goes, "How did you do that?" Like I did some kind of voodoo on my daughter.
It's because I just always spent time with her. I mean that's honestly, that's the only thing. It's just, I spent time with her. And I listened to her, even when it was hours upon hours of things that were just senseless to me, like Justin Bieber, that made no sense. I just listened. And so, now that left opening for her to always come to me and talk.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Doing the right thing is about love. Stay with us. Thank you for listening to the Brain Warrior's 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 Warrior's Way and the Brain Warrior's Way cookbook we give away every month.