When COVID-19 brought society to a grinding halt last year, one of the first things Dr. Amen wrote was that “mental hygiene is just as important as washing your hands.” While true, it may be difficult to have good mental hygiene unless you know where your issues are originating from. In Dr. Amen’s brand new book “Your Brain is Always Listening”, he chronicles the dragons from the past that breathe fire on your emotional brain. This first episode of a series based on the lessons from this new book introduces us to the concept of the dragons from the past.
For more info on Dr. Daniel Amen’s new book, “Your Brain is Always Listening”, visit https://yourbrainisalwayslistening.com/
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.
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.
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, everyone. We have a very special week for you this week. I am very excited to talk about your new book. Your brain is always listening. This is fun because it’s actually in our public television show, but we’ve got 50 dragons to get through. So I love this idea because it’s different than your other books.
I really loved the end of Mental Illness, and I thought it was a special book, but this book is different because it talks about the dragons that breathe fire on your brain. And so it makes it really easy to understand, like all these different issues.
Sometimes your issues are not your own, sometimes they are, sometimes they are familial, but it’s really fun. We’re going to talk about all these dragons. There’s 50 of them. And I just think this is a really fun book. And the dragons, the animations in the show are so cute. So let’s get started because we got 50 to go through.
Well, we’re actually going to do this over six to eight weeks.
Yeah. Not today, sorry.
So we’re going to dig in to each of these. And so think of them as the big psychological issues that your brain is always listening to.
And try to identify which ones are yours or your family’s. And remember that dragons have babies. So there’s probably more than one dragon that you have. I have a whole bunch of them. I’m just saying.
And we’re going to honor each one, and talk about them, and talk about where they come from, what they trigger inside of you, how they cause you to react and what to do about them. We also have a brand new 12-step program for anyone who is struggling with addictions. The initial 12-step program was developed many decades ago and millions of people have benefited from it, but it’s not based on any underlying neuroscience. So I redid this 12 steps from a brain health perspective.
But before we get to the dragons, we have testimonials. This is from Pnkbling, from the US. I love listening to this podcast while I’m doing housework during the week and cleaning our janitorial accounts every weekend. I had to put it on pause this weekend to listen to Tana’s new book and enjoyed that as well. I find the content very helpful and insightful, and I’ve been very grateful for the information on killing the ants, since I first learned that in a PBS special with Dr. Amen many years ago. So thank you.
So we’re going to make Pnkbling, P-N-K-B-L-I-N-G, one of our winners of either your new book or my new book. Just go to The Brain Warrior’s Way, no. Just go to brainwarriorswaypodcast.com and tell us you’re one of the winners and let us know how to reach you.
I also want to just thank those of you … I got some amazing, amazing reviews on Amazon from some of our listeners. I’m grateful. So thank you to those of you who took the time out of your day to give me some reviews. So they were just lovely to read.
So let’s get started. Your brain is always listening. I actually opened the book at the beginning of the pandemic. And I remember for me, it was March 10th. I was scheduled to be on the Mel Robbins show. We had scanned her. It’s a nationally syndicated television show. The whole show was going to be about The End of Mental Illness. And I was so excited, but not really that excited to get on a plane with COVID.
Yeah, I told you you had to stay away for two weeks.
And I wouldn’t be excited about that at all. And that night I wrote down mental hygiene is just as important as washing your hands. We need to disinfect our thoughts and tame the hidden dragons that are going to drive anxiety, depression, addictions, stress, and bad habit. And the pandemic has absolutely done that.
Then on March 16, we were at home and it was a Sunday night, and I got a call from one of my favorite patients, Miley Cyrus, and Miley was freaking out, as most of America was freaking out. And she’s like, her dragons were attacking her. How long will the viruses live on packages? And she and I had been working on taming her dragons for a long time. And as we began to use the tools, as I helped walk her back from the edge, she asked me, she said, “Will you come on my Instagram tomorrow with my 105 million fans-
It was wonderful. Oh, let me think about it.
… and share your dragon taming strategies? And so I did. [crosstalk [00:06:44].
It was fantastic.
And she actually started a program called Bright Minded, where every week she’d have one of her friends and they’d talk about how to be mentally healthy during a challenging time.
And then April 17th, my mom and dad were on the front page of the Orange County Register because both of them had COVID and five days later they came out of the hospital. And [crosstalk [00:07:21].
But the way that they opened the article, to this day, it’s so classic of your mom, she packed her bag, put on her lipstick, looked at her family and said, I am going to die. I’m leaving to die.
After she put on her lipstick. And so we were celebrating. I mean, they were on the front page of the LA Times. But my dad really didn’t get better from COVID. I mean-
But he wasn’t well to start with, and it weakened him.
Well, he and I, last January we were lifting weights together, but then he had a GI bleed and that [crosstalk [00:08:02]
He was in the hospital. We think that’s where he got COVID.
It made him tired, and so that stacked with COVID, stacked with he also got Epstein-Barr. On May 5th my dad passed away, and that’s where we’ll talk about this. The grief and loss dragon really breathed fire on me and my mom and my siblings that day, because he’s obviously a very important part of our lives.
So what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about the dragons from the past. These are issues you inherited either from your childhood or your early adulthood, or even from your ancestors. There’s 13 dragons from the past. These are the one that tell the story your brain is always listening to. And we’re going to teach you how to rewrite your story because your moment by moment thoughts and behaviors come from the story you have been telling yourself. I’m a child of an alcoholic, I came from a dysfunctional family, I’m short, I’m insignificant or your dragon is. We’re going to go over the 13 dragons from the past.
Because they’re very much connected to your negative thoughts.
Yes, they are. And then we’re going to talk about the they, them, and other dragons. These are the other people in your life, past and present, who are still talking to you. Your brain is always listening. Even though my dad is dead, my brain is always listening to the things he told me when I was child, or the things he would tell me in the last five years of his life.
So is this the they like when my mother calls me all the time and says, they said?
And I’m like, “Who is they?” “I don’t know, but they said …”. She believes whatever they say.
Well, so we have 13 dragons from the past and nine, they, them, and other dragons, and they is the society dragon. So it’s the faceless group where you think they. I don’t know if it’s CNN or Fox or …
It’s so funny, I don’t trust anyone. And so many people trusted faceless, nameless they.
I’m so confused by that.
So these are things like your parent’s dragons, the sibling and birth order dragon. I’m one of seven, and so this is a big deal for me. And in the book, I talk about the research on middle children and older children and younger children and only children. And I think it’s why we work so well.
Oh, you came fully trained and housebroken. I am so grateful to your sisters, it’s not even funny.
We’ll talk about children dragons because you, obviously, Chloe is in your head a lot.
All the time.
Whether she’s talking or not, teachers and coaches, popular kids, your friends, mean girls and bullies, former, current and prospective lovers. So you are my current and former and prospective lover.
Yeah. Til death do us part.
Yes, that’s it. And we’ll talk about internet trolls a bit as well. We had a bit of that when we posted about why we got the vaccine. And then we’re going to talk about maybe one of my favorite sections, bad habit dragons, and how to break the bad habits that you have developed over time, whether it’s overindulging or procrastination, being distracted. It’s a very practical section on how to have a better life.
We will also talk about the ants. There’s a whole ant killing section in the book, and then we’re going to finish with the scheming dragons. These are the dragons that are making you fat, depressed, and feeble minded, from food pusher dragons, to digital dragons, to toxin dragons. And one of my favorite dragons here is the holiday dragon. It’s people who got it off track because of the holidays that they continually give themselves an excuse. We’re going to tame that dragon for you.
So stay with us. The dragons from the past are coming up next. What did you learn today? Write it down, take a picture of it, post it on any of your social media sites. You can also go to yourbrainisalwayslistening.com. And if you pre-order the book, I have four very special gifts for you, including a free bottle of Happy Saffron, my favorite supplement that I make sure I take, Tana takes, every day. Stay with us.
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