The Biggest Takeaways from Dr. Amen’s New Book

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

As we wrap up the discussion of topics covered in Dr. Daniel Amen’s new book, Feel Better Fast and Make It Last, Daniel and Tana discuss the major takeaways you can plant in your own life right now. Learn how these tiny habits can make an enormous difference in your life and leave you feeling better fast.

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Dr Daniel Amen Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast. I'm Doctor Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tanna 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 spec 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.
Dr Daniel Amen Welcome back. We wish you the happiest of holidays and we're just going to finish up our session on "Feel better fast and make it last." Although, if you stay with us, at the Brain Warrior's Way podcast, that's what we always talk about.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen How to feel better fast a way that lasts.
Tana Amen: Kind of, it's the whole thing. Yeah, it's really the whole thing. So I have to read this, because it's actually funny. So I'm going to read two, because one of them's really short and I actually think this is funny. So first the serious one. This is by [Huntbar 00:01:27], ACI [inaudible 00:01:29]. "Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Amen, I really love your work. Thank you billions of times. Sharing your knowledge saved my life. After three years of suffering and not getting better, 18 months ago, I found you. Your advice is so valuable, it's unbelievable. I got my weight and strength back. Depression is not a big deal anymore and I got the right treatment for my ADD now. I had to find a new psychiatrist, but it was worth it. You saved my life. Even if my conditions wouldn't cause death, my life wasn't livable anymore. If I go to a new doctor now, I initially ask him if he knows your studies." Aww. "If he doesn't, I won't let him treat me. Have great day." That's important to me for a reason we'll talk about in a minute. This one's-
Dr Daniel Amen Wait. Let me respond. This is why we do what we do.
Tana Amen: It is.
Dr Daniel Amen This is why we do what we do.
Tana Amen: It is. And I love this because this time, the disease didn't get to win. And sometimes it does.
Dr Daniel Amen So I actually want you to read it again and let's take it apart a little bit. So she loves the podcast, read that. But she was suffering.
Tana Amen: So ... "Sharing your knowledge has saved me life." And the reason that's ... This is really important right now to me, because even in our family, people suffer a lot and I just had ... We just had a suicide in our family. And it was someone who just wasn't ... Everyone knew he was suffering and they were really trying to help, but he wasn't ready to get help, I guess, and didn't say anything before he committed suicide. Nothing. Zip, zero. Everyone was going over there, trying to help him. He waited until he was alone, didn't leave a note, nothing.
Dr Daniel Amen But now, you and I were not involved in this situation. We-
Tana Amen: No, I don't know this person very well. It's an in-law.
Dr Daniel Amen Right.
Tana Amen: That's a distant. So I actually didn't personally know this person. But it's still ... It hit the people that I love, that I am close to, very hard. And so it just goes to show you, sometimes the disease wins. And it's very painful. And I kept thinking-
Dr Daniel Amen Which is very important.
Tana Amen: You think to yourself, "God, we could have helped." But we didn't ... We don't know the person and they weren't ready for help. And so it's ... You have to reach out and I love that this person reached out. They saw it. They were ready. And the disease did not win. So ...
Dr Daniel Amen And death ... It's very important how you think about death. When I was in college, I took a death and dying class.
Tana Amen: Me too.
Dr Daniel Amen From ... And we really studied the work of Elizabeth Cooper Ross, who's a psychiatrist who really focused on death and dying. And I just want to find this quote from her. It's one of the strategies in "Feel better fast and make it last." I use this quote in the book, "Live with the End in Mind." She writes-
Tana Amen: I do that all the time.
Dr Daniel Amen "It is the denial of death that is partially responsible for people living empty, purposeless lives. For when you live as if you'll live forever, it becomes too easy to postpone the things you know-"
Tana Amen: Are important.
Dr Daniel Amen "That you must do"
Tana Amen: Well, that's why we have the question, "Does it have eternal value?" "Does it have eternal value?" And if not, it's not important. And if it does, then pay attention. Right? And so I like this. This person-
Dr Daniel Amen And you have eternal value, because I'm going to stalk you in the afterlife.
Tana Amen: Yes.
Dr Daniel Amen You bet.
Tana Amen: So I like this. So this person said, "Depression is not a big deal anymore." Because depression is, as someone who's had it, one of the most painful things when you're going through it. It's horrific. But this person realized that once they got the right help, it's not a big deal anymore. In other words, it doesn't have to be a life sentence, because they also actually said something really interesting. "You saved my life." And she said ... he or she said, "Even though this wouldn't cause my death," which isn't always true. I'm glad that this person said that. They said, "My life wasn't livable any longer." And that's just really ... That's ...
Dr Daniel Amen How many of you are really suffering in silence? And you've done that for a long time?
Tana Amen: We were watching your family members.
Dr Daniel Amen There is a way out.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen And it's not just going to the family doctor and trying this medicine or that medicine. It's the tiny habits that Tanna and I talk about. Is this good for my brain or bad for it? And when you get your brain right, you just feel so much better.
Tana Amen: Yeah. So that was really powerful. I'll read the next one and the next one, because it's just really funny and this is too serious to go funny right now.
Dr Daniel Amen All right. So in the few minutes we have left, because we've been talking about such serious stuff, when you think of "Feel better fast and make it last," what's the one thing you learn that you will keep?
Tana Amen: The first thing that pops in my head is the tiny habits. Simple things. It's not as hard as people think, it's about the simple things. It's the daily things.
Dr Daniel Amen So if we summarize a couple of them, start every day with "Today is going to be a great day." And even when you had to go to the funeral, it's like, well, how do you say, "Today is going to be a great day," except you drove. You were in the car for like six freaking hours that day.
Tana Amen: Seven. Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen But, "Well, I got to support my mother."
Tana Amen: Well, I'm going to be honest. Okay. This is a moment of honesty. It wasn't a great day. Okay? It was not a great day. There were moments, and you actually helped redirect me. And that's the benefit of having people in your life, right?
Dr Daniel Amen Well, and that's what that tiny habit does.
Tana Amen: Your community.
Dr Daniel Amen Today is going to be a great day, just redirects your mind.
Tana Amen: Hold on. So I came home and in your words, I vomited all over you, because you're my person. I have healthy people in my life. It was not a great day. But there were moments during the day that were. And you helped redirect me. It was not a great day. I didn't feel well, physically. I felt awful by the time I got home.
Dr Daniel Amen Because ...
Tana Amen: Lots of reasons.
Dr Daniel Amen You drove through a farm community where-
Tana Amen: The smell was just-
Dr Daniel Amen There was manure.
Tana Amen: Killing me.
Dr Daniel Amen And it seemed like toxins.
Tana Amen: And emotionally, and there were all these ... There were just a lot of things going on. So I got home and it was not a good day and I was very frustrated. But I came in, I vomited all over you, which you let me do. Regurgitated my awful day all over you.
Dr Daniel Amen Not literally, for those of you who ...
Tana Amen: Yes. Figuratively. And you helped me redirect the day. And then what I did, besides you going, "Well, what part of the day was good?" And I was able to focus. I saw family members I hadn't seen for a long time. And even though it was a terrible circumstance, I actually had moments that were ... Like someone reminded me of a memory when I was 15 that was awesome. And I just had forgotten about it. And so I had focused on that, but then I did something else. The next day, as life would have it, like everyone's sort of pulling at me, but I had promised myself I was going to have sort of a personal, self-care day. And I figured out a way to delegate, right? So I figured out a way to delegate and have other people help me with all those things that had to be done, and I took a personal, self-care day. And so I worked out, I prayed, I prayed for all the people ... All the things I was frustrated and angry about, I prayed for. And then I meditated. And I went in the sauna. And by the end of the day, I felt great. Like I actually was very relaxed and happy and regrounded and you got to do that.
Dr Daniel Amen And we talk about ... I talk about in the book that just taking a sauna has been found to be a treatment for depression.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen And a number of my patients say that that really helps. But start the day, I mean ... not always it's going to work, but if you start the day with "Today is going to be a great day," that helps to set it up to go in a better direction.
Tana Amen: And you're not always going to feel that way. You're not always going to have a great day. But if you have someone in your life who's positive, who's either your best friend or your partner or someone who follows this same philosophy with you, that you can get on board with you, like I have you. Right? And we do that for each other. Then it's going to really make a difference on those days when you just don't care. Like I'm like, "I'm not doing this today. I'm just not." And then all of a sudden, that person, they listen, they empathize, and then they help redirect you. And you do it together.
Dr Daniel Amen And you end every day with what went well today. That's actually how I go to sleep, by thinking about, "Well, what went well today?" In my mind, my reptilian mind that's always looking for trouble, will go, "Well, what went wrong today?" And I'm like, "Knock it off. What went well today?" And just by noticing the people that you talk to, the memories that you had, the support you were able to be, actually shepherding Chloe through one of her first funerals. I mean, not her first funeral, but one of her first funerals and kind of really-
Tana Amen: No, it wasn't her first funeral. It was her first suicide.
Dr Daniel Amen Yeah.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen Another tiny habit, probably the most important tiny habit that you can do is a game I've played with Chloe since she was two. Is this good for my brain or bad for it? Literally takes three seconds, and if you can answer that tiny habit or question with love and intelligence, you'll make the right decisions that will give you a great brain. Stay with us.
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