In this episode of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, Dr. Amen and Tana Amen continue their exploration of the many types of love, this time centered on “storge” or familial love. Family relationships are often complicated, and it’s all too easy to get caught up in daily struggles. However, by narrowing the focus to certain important elements, such as modeling good behavior, strengthening bonds, and paving the way for future generations, you can bring purpose into your familial relationships.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: 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.
Dr. Daniel Amen: 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 brainspect imaging, to personalized treatment to your brain. For more information, visit Amensclinics.com.
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way podcast is also brought to you by Brain MD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to BrainMD.com.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome back. We're here with Natalie, our social media director-
Tana Amen: Who we love.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And we're talking about love-
Tana Amen: Who we love.
Natalie Buchoz: Yes we do.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And she's interviewing us and Natalie is part of our family, and in this podcast we're going to talk about Storge love, which is love for your family.
Natalie Buchoz: So I want to read a testimonial. I don't have my contacts in, so bear with me. 'Revolutionized my life by great sleep coach. I've been implementing many of the Brain Warrior's Way, no artificial sugar, healthy fats, limit grains, no alcohol, no coffee. At least eight hours of sleep every night, hydrating throughout the day, et cetera. Into my daily lifestyle for the past half year, and I've noticed a tangible difference in my life. I'm very excited about the positive effects of this new, healthy lifestyle. Thank you Tana and Dr. Daniel Amen. I am a Brain Warrior.'
That is so awesome.
Tana Amen: I love that.
Natalie Buchoz: So, thank you. That's so cool.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And Brain Warriors, just for those of you who have forgotten or just jumped in the middle of this podcast, are people who are armed, prepared and aware to win the fight of their life, and often the enemies of health actually live in your house. And what I've come to believe-
Tana Amen: The weapons.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... is you are modeling for your kids and your family, health, or you are modeling illness, based on the behaviors that you engage in.
Natalie Buchoz: And that's so true, because kids do what you do, not what you say. Wouldn't it be so much easier if they just did what you said?
Tana Amen: Yes.
Natalie Buchoz: But one of my pet peeves, God, one of my pet peeves, is when parents constantly tell kids, "Don't be a follower. Don't be a follower. Be a leader. Don't do what other kids do. If they walked off a cliff, would you walk with them. Would you follow them?" And then what do you do? I just had this happen with a health coach, actually. Someone who is a leader in her field. She went back to visit her family and she's like, "Yeah, I ate really bad for the last couple of weeks." I'm like, "Why?" And she's like, "I just feel terrible," she goes, "Because I didn't want to make waves. And it's in the south, and my family cooks. They use a lot of fat and sugar and salt, and just really awful food," and she didn't want to make waves. So let me get this straight. So, you didn't want to make waves, you did whatever everyone else was doing because you didn't want to hurt their feelings. Isn't that kind of like peer pressure that you tell your kids not to give into?
Tana Amen: Well, that was going to be my first question, is that, in the Amen household, as I've gone over multiple times, everybody at work and everybody in your household, we all eat like a Brain Warrior, because we feel better when we do. Not because we have to, because we feel better. And that was my first question with you, because I know when I first started Tana, Chloe wasn't a Brain Warrior, necessarily. She wanted to eat what other kids were eating, and it took her a while-
Natalie Buchoz: She didn't want to be different.
Tana Amen: She didn't want to be different. And so talk a little bit about that. I think that's important for people to hear.
Natalie Buchoz: So, it's interesting. She didn't want to be different, and then she went extreme. Even more so than us. She was very rigid, because she's got that brain. She's got a rigid brain. So then she went extreme and she ate so healthy, and so extreme, but she found that that was actually hard for her, too. So now, and I think kids do this, they kind of go back and forth. She's 15 1/2.
Tana Amen: Yup.
Natalie Buchoz: Now she's a little bit more middle of the road, she eats really healthy, but not all the time, and I don't push her now. Now she's old enough, she's got the philosophy. I eat the way ... we eat healthy, we eat the way we eat. I don't put it in the house, but I also don't ride her about it, because she knows, and she generally does eat healthy. So if she doesn't eat something, if she doesn't eat perfectly, like the way we eat all the time, she knows how she feels after she does it. I don't need to ride her anymore.
Tana Amen: It's because you laid the foundation of, this is what we believe, this is what we do, I would love for you to do this, and if that happens, that's great. But if it doesn't, that's your choice.
Natalie Buchoz: You know the consequences.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And we don't spend money on bad food, because-
Tana Amen: We love our family.
Dr. Daniel Amen: You know, I'm working on 'The End of Mental Illness', my new book for next year, and Drew Carey actually has this great quote. So, Drew Carey went from being very overweight and unhealthy to, he lost a lot of weight and became super healthy. And he said, "Eating crappy food isn't a reward. It's a punishment." And he gets it.
Natalie Buchoz: Yeah. And one thing that is interesting, so my daughter got ... she's a teenager so she's getting a little salty now, amen. No, she's actually pretty good. But, she got frustrated with me, because she's like, "Okay, let me get this straight." Because I told her, I'm like, "I buy food at the house, you spend your allowance when you're out." Because I know when she's out with her friends, she's buying whatever she wants, and she can buy whatever she wants. I'm not going to follow her and tell her what to buy. But I know they're going to fast food place and doing stuff like that. So, that's what they can afford, too.
And so she said, "So let me get this straight. You'll pay for everything when I'm with you. You'll let me order DoorDash when I'm at home, but I have to use my money when I'm out? You won't give me money to spend when I'm out?" And I said, "That's exactly what I'm saying. Glad that was clear." I'm glad that was clear, because now you use your allowance if you're going to buy crappy food, it's on you. That's on you. I'm not going to buy that for you.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So let's talk about 'It's not about you'. That ultimately, it's not. It's about generations of you. I mean from an evolutionary standpoint, we're basically programmed to pass on our genes, but are you going to pass on healthy genes or illness genes. And nobody's thinking like this in our society, but Haven, our granddaughter, who's now nine months ... so fricking' cute.
Tana Amen: Oh, my God.
Dr. Daniel Amen: She's just like-
Tana Amen: She's just yummy.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Stolen my heart.
Tana Amen: Yummy.
Dr. Daniel Amen: When she was born, when little girls are born, when both of you were born, you were born with all of the eggs in your ovaries, that you'll ever have, and your habits ... so the stresses you're under, the food you eat, the environmental toxins, whatever are turning on or off genes in those ovaries, making illness or health more likely, not only in you, but in Haven's babies and grand babies. Teenagers need to know that, that their behavior's not just about them.
Natalie Buchoz: And that's one thing Chloe mentioned to me. She said, "It's not fair." She's starting to see some of my traits emerge in her, and I was not healthy growing up. She's way healthier than I was. She is not sick like I was all the time, but she does have some issues that I had. So the gun's loaded for her. But she does notice that she pulls the trigger or not by her lifestyle. So exercise helps her, eating healthy helps her a lot. And she's like, "Why is this fair? That I ended up getting your genes and they kind of suck, sometimes." And I'm like, "You know, that's the sad part. You do get my genes. But you do get to turn on or off-"
Dr. Daniel Amen: But she also gets the intelligence, the kindness, the drive. All of those good things, right?
Natalie Buchoz: Thank you. That's very sweet.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Compared to your mom, you can look at some of the negative stuff, but you can also look at her drive, her ability to overcome adversity-
Natalie Buchoz: Well, I got that from my mom.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Right. That's what I'm saying. We can all look and-
Natalie Buchoz: It's easy to focus.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... there's this great saying, I do all of my patients, every day. Where you bring your attention determines how you feel. So, for me, I can bring my attention to some of my critics who have been fairly brutal over the years, or I can bring my attention to the tens of thousands of stories we have at Amen clinics, of people who have gotten better. It just determines how you feel.
Natalie Buchoz: And that is probably one of the most important things in family relationships. You just said it. Because, talking about family relationships, that's one of the things that can probably trigger me faster than anything. Family relationships? It's hard for me, because of my family, and sort of the chaos and the drama and the ... it's hard. And I don't always want to help, I just don't. I'm just being honest. I wake up sometimes and I'm like, "No. Not today. Not doing it." And, that's if I let my brain go to the negative part, "You should be ..." I should all over myself. "You should be responsible for your own life." I do. It's like, "You should be responsible for your own life. Why can't you take care of yourself. You should be doing this. You should be doing that. Why is it my responsibility. Why is this my job?"
Or, I can shift that, and this is where you're really good, because I'll just go down that path and just go on a rant. But you're very good at trying to help me redirect. Usually it works, sometimes, every now an then it doesn't. You just have to let me rant, and then I get over it. But you're very good about helping me redirect, and think about the positives.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And timing is so important, right? Because sometimes when people are really wound up, you need to listen.
Natalie Buchoz: Let it go.
Dr. Daniel Amen: You need to just listen and not tell them, "Well, you shouldn't feel that way." And that's when we often talk about active listening, that repeat back what you hear, and someone like Tana, who's emotionally charged, but so bright, will actually talk herself into doing the right thing.
Tana Amen: Twenty minutes. I need twenty minutes. I know that's my timeframe. So, it's like, don't try and stop me.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So, we think about Storge love, or love of your family. Is your modeling health or illness that ... know what you want. I had someone this morning that had a very important meeting, and before she went into the meeting, I went, "What's the goal?" She goes, "What do you mean?" I said, "What's the goal of the meeting?" You want to think about that ahead of time, right. Use the prefrontal cortex, focus forth on judgment, but planning, use that so when you're in, perhaps, a difficult meeting, you know what the goal is, so that your behavior can be goal directed.
So if I just reacted out of every thought I had with Tanner, Chloe, or my other kids or my friends, I'd end up saying things that I shouldn't say. Still do, sometimes, but if I know the goal; kind, caring, loving-
Natalie Buchoz: so important.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... supportive, passionate relationship, then I'm going to inhibit ... I had somebody in my office this weekend who said, "I'm brutally honest." And my comment was, "That's usually not helpful." You don't want to say the first thing that comes to your mind, because it's often insensitive. It's often painful. It's often hurtful. You want to go, "So what's the goal in our relationship, and does my behavior," it's totally selfish, "Does my behavior get me what I want, because, quite frankly, I want something that's good for us."
Natalie Buchoz: Well, I really like your idea about goals, especially when you're talking about teenagers. Because it can be challenging, right? So before I react to some of the moods and the this and the that, I stop myself, and I'm like, "Do I want to have a good day? What is my goal today? Do I want to be bonded, do I want her to talk to me, be open with me. Do I want to know what's going on in this kid's life?" Because they will just clam up and shut up and not tell you anything if you're not careful.
Speaker 1: Absolutely.
Natalie Buchoz: So, just ask yourself what your goal is, and the same thing is true when I'm talking about what I just got done talking about when I 'Should' all over myself. And don't want to help family and I get frustrated, and I'm like, "I'm busy enough as it is. I don't need more people trying to take my time." Then the voice of reason, which is irritating sometimes, but then I'll go away, and I'll think about it. It's like, what is the goal? The goal is to make the next generation of our family better. The goal is to not keep passing on the chaos and the drama. Right? The goal is that-
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's [inaudible 00:13:41] mental illness.
Natalie Buchoz: Right. That's the rule.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Because there's too much of it. But, going on in society-
Tana Amen: Everywhere.
Dr. Daniel Amen: In society, but among some of the people we love.
Natalie Buchoz: So when I ask myself, "Why is this my responsibility?" That's why.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Stay with us. When we come back, more on love.
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