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The Seven Secrets of Happiness

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

Dr Daniel and Tana Amen continue sharing their wisdom, with questions to ask yourself and advice that can help lead to a happier life.


Daniel 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.

Daniel Amen, MD:

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.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com.

Welcome back. We are talking about our happiness challenge and we are talking about secrets five, six and seven in this episode.

Daniel Amen, MD:

[crosstalk [00:00:57] I have testimonials.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yes

Daniel Amen, MD:

I actually am going to read a couple of them.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yeah.

Daniel Amen, MD:

I mean, why the heck not?

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

(laughs) [crosstalk [00:01:00] It makes you happy.

Daniel Amen, MD:

From Gabe Guy from the United States “Enjoy, your encouragement for health”. Great.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

(laughs)

Daniel Amen, MD:

I love that.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Short and sweet.

Daniel Amen, MD:

And then from future Rach, “Favorite podcast, I’ve come to love Dr. Daniel and Tana Amen. They share a wealth of free knowledge in easy to listen to and digestible episodes. I love the sound of their voices and I love their willingness to help me. Thank [crosstalk [00:01:38] you, Rachel Miller” 20 years young [crosstalk [00:01:43].

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

So sweet. [crosstalk [00:01:44] I love when young people listen.

Daniel Amen, MD:

So much. All right. So happiness is a moral obligation. I read that. I never thought of it like that.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yeah, it’s interesting. [crosstalk [00:02:00]

Daniel Amen, MD:

Growing up, Roman Catholic,

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

(laughs)

Daniel Amen, MD:

I’m a fan of God and religions. And you know, there’s, it could be a long discussion, but I’m a fan, [crosstalk [00:02:13] but I’m a fan. But I grew up with a fair amount of guilt and shame and fear of retaliation and punishment.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Daniel Amen, MD:

I mean, how I lived in my house. I remember I was six years old. I’ve told this story before, and I told a lie, or at least somebody thought I told a lie. My mother thought I told a lie and she started to cry and you never want to make your mother cry.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

(laughs)

Daniel Amen, MD:

She started to cry. And she said, “I never thought I would have a son. Who’s going to [crosstalk [00:02:59] hell”.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

That is so awful.

Daniel Amen, MD:

That is so awful. And I love my mother, but [crosstalk [00:03:06] my goodness. And so the idea that one should seek happiness.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Right.

Daniel Amen, MD:

As opposed to freedom from fire and retribution.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Right.

Daniel Amen, MD:

It just didn’t live in my house, right? You’re always trying to stay out of trouble as opposed to going toward happiness.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yeah, I remember having a conversation because we, we intentionally are psychologically more savvy, right? So I had a conversation with my daughter. I think she was like 14 or 15 and she had did something and we’re very, very close. And so she came and talked to me and she’s like, do you think I’m going, she’s very intense, very intense. But she came to me and she’s like, do you think I’m going to be damaged now? And I mean,

Daniel Amen, MD:

(laughs)

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

I’m trying to suppress a laugh, but rather than getting into this conversation. Yes or no, I just looked her and I go, do you want to be? And she was like, “What?” I go, do you want to be more damaged because of this? She was like, “Well, of course not”, I go, then don’t be, so what do you need to do to not be damaged because of this? You know, it’s like, do you want to be? And so we were able to then have a conversation about what to, what to do for her to open her mind, to not be, to make the choice to not be damaged.

Daniel Amen, MD:

Yesterday was the last day of the past.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Right.

Daniel Amen, MD:

And you can choose to drag it along with you. You can choose to sort of let it go.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Right.

Daniel Amen, MD:

And I choose not to take sort of the guilt, fire, retribution with me, but yet I choose to take the good things with me. The connection, the morality, the ethics, the goodness, and my religion and in my life. Now we’re talking about the happiness challenge.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Right.

Daniel Amen, MD:

The Happiness Challenge is 30 days, go to 30dayhappinesschallenge.com sign up free. And we’re going to teach you the seven secrets. We talked about four of them get right for your brand type or get happy for your brain type, optimize the physical functioning of your brain, nourish your brain, eat right for your brain. The question we didn’t say, I love this question I created. This question makes me very happy is choose foods you love, that love you back.

I love Tana. No question in my mind, I’m connected to my wife and you know, I’ve been in bad relationships. You’ve been in bad relationships. I’m just not doing it anymore. Not do it. And I’m damn sure not doing it with the… Right? That’s something I can choose. Question number five, or secret number five, master your mind.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). I like that.

Daniel Amen, MD:

And gain psychological distance from the noise in your head.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yeah, I like that too.

Daniel Amen, MD:

And when you grow up with trauma, the noise in your head is often abusive. The noise in your head is often…

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Well it can also be [crosstalk [00:06:16]

Daniel Amen, MD:

Scary. It’s like Fox or CNN. They just put the worst things out there.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Right.

Daniel Amen, MD:

The headline Breaking News that they’ve said over and over and over again, Breaking News about murder and mayhem and political division and scandal. When in day-to-day life, those things are not [crosstalk [00:06:39]

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

You know, when you go grow up in trauma, there is also this tendency. And I know this from a lot of people. I know who’ve grown up in trauma, not just my own experience, your world becomes small because you’re in survival mode. And so you forget, and you don’t even realize there’s this whole other world around you. Everything is about what’s happening in your tiny little world because it’s survival. And if you can, like you said, gain some distance. Once you’re out of the actual threat, the problem is our minds are still the threat. We get stuck.

Daniel Amen, MD:

Even though the threat… [crosstalk [00:07:09]

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Even though there’s no real threat, you’re stuck in fight or flight. But if you can gain distance from that, do some meditation, do some EMDR, do a few things that you can do to help treat that. But remember that there’s this whole other world out there that’s not about fight or flight. That’s not about constant threats. If you can gain that distance and remember, oh, it goes beyond my tiny little bubble of fear. It makes a difference.

Daniel Amen, MD:

And so there’s all sorts of strategies on mastering your mind, not believing every stupid thing you think, understanding where thoughts come from and then how to get rid of the ones that don’t serve you. How to interrupt unnecessary, unhappy moments.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Daniel Amen, MD:

I love that gratitude, appreciation, diaphragmatic breathing, hypnosis, all of these things. And ultimately it comes down to this very cool little strategy of give your mind a name.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

(laughs)

Daniel Amen, MD:

And my mind name is Hermie. I check in with Hermie on a regular basis, and Hermie has actually been very nice to me. But when you give your mind a name, you don’t have to attach to it.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Right.

Daniel Amen, MD:

You can separate from it. You can sort of roll your eyes at it. Or when Hermie’s really bothering me, I’ll put her on her back and tickle her.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

(laughs)

Daniel Amen, MD:

Just sort of metaphorically. I’m like, come on. And I coach my patients to be a good coach to themselves. You know, I’m blessed. I have a number of NBA players and professional hockey players. And I’m like, think of the best coach you’ve ever had. And it’s generally not the one that’s been swearing at you.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yeah.

Daniel Amen, MD:

That’s been demeaning you, or belittling you. It’s one that encourages you. That helps you grow, helps you learn, of course, learn from the mistakes you make. So you don’t make them again, but with love, with encouragement. And if we can just. People’s minds are so awful…

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Daniel Amen, MD:

…to them, just stuck.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

So true. [Crosstalk [00:09:19]

Daniel Amen, MD:

So that is secret number five, secret number six, notice what you like about other people more than what you don’t.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Daniel Amen, MD:

Within acceptable boundaries, but you are powerful. And when you notice, I mean, you are so manipulative.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Me?

Daniel Amen, MD:

Oh my God. You [crosstalk [00:09:40] notice and reinforce when I make your cappuccino in the morning.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Of course.

Daniel Amen, MD:

And you notice.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

My smoothie, [crosstalk [00:09:48] and my hot chocolate.

Daniel Amen, MD:

(laughs) And so every day I’m making your cappuccino, your smoothie

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

I thought I was [crosstalk [00:09:56] just being nice. I think it hasn’t been manipulative.

Daniel Amen, MD:

(laughs).

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

(laughs)

Daniel Amen, MD:

But if you notice what you like more than what you don’t like.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Well, by the way, you’re manipulative to then.

Daniel Amen, MD:

Absolutely.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yes.

Daniel Amen, MD:

I get what I want.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

[crosstalk [00:10:05] There are lots of things you notice so that you can get what you want.

Daniel Amen, MD:

That’s so powerful. And I’ll talk to you about why I collect penguins. And then secret number seven is live each day based on clearly defined values, purpose and goals in those four circles. And we’ll give you an exercise for it. And the question super simple, like all of these are super simple. It’s like, does it get…

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Daniel Amen, MD:

Does my behavior today, fit the goals I have for my life? And so none of this is going to be hard. I want you to join us for the challenge. Already. 13,000 people have signed up. We’re so excited. So it’s like a whole city. We’re going to get, we’re grateful for you. If you learn something during this podcast, please write it down. Take a picture of it. Post it on any of your social media sites, where we’re trying to grow our Brain Warrior Community. And we would dearly love your help.

You can also go to brainwarriorswaypodcast.com. Leave us a comment, question or review. And if we read it on the air, we’ll enter you into a drawing to win a signed copy of the Relentless Courage of a Scared Child, or my new book Your Brain is Always Listening. Stay with us.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

If you’re enjoying the brain Warrior’s way podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe. So you’ll always know when there’s a new episode and while you’re at it, feel free to give us a review or five-star rating as that helps others find the podcast.

Daniel Amen, MD:

If you’re interested in coming to Amen Clinics, use the code PODCAST10 to get a 10% discount on a full evaluation at amenclinics.com for more information, give us a call at (855) 978-1363.