There’s a technique used in timeline therapy where you take note of where you see your past and future in relation to where you are physically. If we can take our focus off the space of our past and place our focus on the space of our future while armed with helpful new strategies, we are in a much better position to be set up for success. In this episode, Dr. Daniel and Tana Amen give you their top strategies to start off 2021 the right way.
Daniel G Amen, MD:
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.
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Welcome back, everyone. Happy New Year. We are so excited to shepherd our Brain Warrior community. And everybody knows 2020 was terrible, it was hard and we talked about losses and lessons. But let’s start talking about 2021. I love one of the exercises in something called timeline therapy.
Yeah me too.
It’s actually, Where do you see the past and where do you see the future?
And we’re opposite.
So when I did that first with an NLP coach who we love a lot, he’s like, “So just tell me, where do you see the timeline of your life?” And for me, the past is in the back and the future is in front of me.
But for me, the past is to my left and the future is to my right, like I’m reading. And so you would always say this thing to me that would irritate me so much. He’s like, “Why are you in the past? Why are you talking about the past?” I’m like, “I’m not in the past because it’s all right in front of me.”
So the past is always right in front of her. And I want you to think about the past behind you.
But if they don’t process that way, that’s hard to do.
Right. But you can change, that’s why humans are cool because they can learn and they can understand why, that they can learn. And I want you to-
So, it’s really about recognizing. So when you’re thinking of timeline therapy, it’s about recognizing where… So present is right here in front of you. So it’s recognizing, presence, is it to the left of center or is it behind me? And so, just taking that minute to recognize where are you at? Because to me it doesn’t feel like the past really. That’s why I think my memories are so vivid. But I have to remind myself, “Oh, stay present.”
Well. And I think that’s why The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child is, it’s the past now in front of everybody. And if you take this screenshot of us in the book-
Or if you’re listening, just take a screenshot of the episode because there’s listeners.
Right? So they could take a screenshot. And if they send it to 10 of their friends-
Share it with ten people.
And then leave you a message, so they have to leave their address. That you will send them a signed copy.
Right. [crosstalk [00:03:28] But you need to show me like, share it with us on social media, tag us in social media, show us that you shared it with 10 people.
So what we’re going to do today, and we want to write down any great ideas you have and take a picture of it, post it on any of your social media sites #BrainWarrior’sWayPodcast, we’d be grateful.
We’re going to talk about top habits that will boost your mental health in 2021. So how do you get your mind that’s been pummeled in 2020, how do you get your mind going in the right direction?
And step number one is focus on what you can do. So back to the serenity prayer, accept the things you cannot change, right? Don’t spend your time, don’t waste your time on those things. Like, you think you’re going to change someone else? I’m a psychiatrist and I have drugs, and I can only change people that want to be changed, right? Accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what you can’t do. And we talked about the default mode network, that your brain sort of gets stirred up and can attack you if you’re not careful. Direct it in a way that helps you rather than hurt you. And as you said before, you are a control freak. Not my quote, your.
So work on what you can do, that doesn’t torture other people. But work on what you can do. The second thing I think you like.
So the second thing is eat right to think, right. And that’s been more challenging for people being home because they’ve given themselves permission, but just remember everything you put on the end of your fork matters when it comes to your mood. So food actually does affect mood. So, if it’s fast food in, fast food out. So you have fast food-
You have a fast food brain.
Fast food brain. Input equals output. So just try to remember that because when you eat a fast food diet, it actually does affect your moods.
And one of the things I’ve been doing every morning is making you a shake.
Mm hmm [affirmative [00:06:00]. I love it.
So we use our BrainMD protein powder, either chocolate or vanilla. I like them both. And then we have a couple of new products with BrainMD that just go so good in the shake.
The happy mushrooms.
Smart mushrooms. So I put BrainMD protein powder, the Smart Mushrooms, the Neuro Greens, and the Bright Minds powder, which actually is two products in a powder. NeuroVite Plus, the world’s best multiple vitamin mineral supplement that we make because it’s brain directed, and then Brain and Memory Power Boost. And it actually saves me eight capsules a day because I would just take them in capsule form. And I put a cup of blueberries or mixed berries in that, and I put a little bit of fiber in it as well. And it’s spectacular. It’s like 220 calories, totally satisfying for breakfast.
And when you start off your day right, you’re more likely to make good decisions throughout the day.
Well, and when you start off your day with something like that protein shake that’s just loaded with nutrients, my energy throughout the day is great. And it’s hard to have great energy during a pandemic. So the next one is take a break from toxic relationships.
Holiday gatherings often set the table for past hurts and emotional trauma to resurface, leading to arguments and drama for some people no matter how hard you try. The same stressful scenes play out over and over again.
You know, I want to just say something about this. So many people feel… I mean, your family is amazing. So some people, if you’ve got an amazing family, that’s great. But so many people, like me, have challenging family. And so there’s this idea that, “Oh, family is everything. Oh, because they’re my family. I have to put up with this abusive situation, this toxic behavior over and over and over every year.” Where did that rule come from? Because I didn’t get the memo on that one.
So you don’t have to… There’s no rule that says that you have to continue to put up with abusive or toxic or just horrible behavior that brings you down just because it’s family. Family is who you choose to hang out with, who you choose to love. And there are some people you need boundaries with. And if they can’t respect those boundaries, you got to love them from a distance. It’s okay if it means protecting your mental health.
Right? I mean, families, you don’t have a choice. I mean, there’s a biological pull because of oxytocin to be connected-
But you do have a choice.
But you are not a bad person if you limit the amount of time with toxic people. Now, you want to make sure you’re not the toxic one.
Right. Be honest.
As a psychiatrist, I often we’ll get a side of someone and I’m like, “Wow, this person’s really awful.” And then I meet them and I realize-
There’s more than one side of that story.
… it takes two, or three. And sometimes it’s the interaction. So you always want to ask yourself, “What is it I can do to make this better?” But if you try, and you try, and you try and there’s nothing you can do to make it better, or I think in some cases it’s dangerous, you have to move people off.
I’ve got family members like that.
And don’t have the idea that you should have 50 close friends. I think most people are really lucky if they have five. So spend time with people that you like, that like you back.
And the last thing I want to say about that is, when you do draw boundaries, the only people who are upset by that are the people who benefit from you not having one. When you draw boundaries and people can’t respect them, that’s because they were benefiting from you not having them. If people can’t respect your boundaries, those are the people you usually need to have boundaries with. And so certainly in my family I’ve got people that I just need to say, “I love you and I miss you. I will miss you.”
So, do what you can do, but also tell yourself the truth. That’s why neither Tana and I are big fans of positive pie-in-the-sky thinking, we’re fans of accurate thinking. Not too negative, but also you have to be careful not to be too positive because that may cause you to be in denial about difficult relationships.
All right, well, the next episode, I’m so excited to listen to the next episode because we are actually going to give away a free download of the first chapter of the Relentless Courage of a Scared Child.
And I love the readers so much. So first I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to read my own book. And they’re like, “Trust me.” The publisher was like, “Trust me on this.” And the reader they hired turned out to be someone we know very well and-
Whose an amazing voice artist.
She’s won all these awards for reading. So she’s a voiceover artist. And I honestly could not have, I just couldn’t have done as well as she did as far as inflection. She was amazing. So I’m super happy.
And so listen, in the next episode, to Chapter One of The Relentless Courage of the Scared Child, and then share it with as many people as you can. And if you share with 10 people and tell Tana about it, she will send you a signed copy of the Relentless Courage of a Scared Child.
You got to tag me. Go to social media or go to brainwarriorswaypodcast.com. Tag 10 people and share it or share it with 10 people and then tag me and I will send you a signed copy.
You are going to be signing a lot of books.
I hope so. That means they’ve shared it with a lot of people because my whole purpose to doing this was to give people hope.
Happy New Year everybody.
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