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Healthy Living - October 26, 2018

CBN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT LORIE JOHNSON INTERVIEWS CHRISTIAN PSYCHIATRIST DR. DANIEL AMEN ABOUT CONTROLLING YOUR THOUGHTS AND REDUCING STRESS. Read Transcript


(gentle music)

- Hi, and welcome to Healthy Living.

I'm Lorie Johnson.

Thanks so much for joining us.

Today, our special guestis Doctor Daniel Amen,

the author of the newbook, Feel Better Fast

and Make It Last.

Thank you so much for beingwith us today, Doctor Amen.

- [Daniel] Lorie, what a joy.

- So this book is a great resource

for people who are strugglingwith emotional issues

like anxiety and depression and fear,

and who seek quick fixesand end up having problems

because of that.

- The book is really about those things

that people do that help themselves

feel better now but notlater versus now and later,

so what does the science tell us,

that things like alcohol,feel better quickly,

but miserable tomorrow, and it increases

the risk of seven different cancers,

so feel better now, but not later.

Marijuana, chocolate cake, ice cream,

digital addictions, so common,things like pornography,

looking at things you shouldn't look at,

even the negative news, andthey do it purposefully.

They do it to hook you, because the brain

pays attention to scary things

way before it paysattention to happy things,

and so scary movies are also there

or driving fast or engagingin high-risk sports

or high-risk relationships, and I'm like,

let's be more thoughtful.

What does the research tell us

about what we can do tofeel better now and later?

So what are the foods?

What are the daily habits that I can do?

How can I use my brain, andone of my favorite techniques,

I call it the ultimate brain-based therapy

is use something at once to stimulate

all five of your senses for happiness.

So what does the researchteach us about vision?

And vision is so important, because 30%

of your brain is dedicated to vision.

The whole cosmeticindustry is based on that,

and so images of nature, or on my phone,

I have my favorite imagesthat trigger happiness.

So for me, it's mychildren, my grand children,

my white German Shepherd,my wife, all at once.

And then hearing.

What are the sounds thatmake you feel better fast?

So the sound of the oceanhelps people feel better fast.

What are the scents that canhelp you feel better fast?

And lavender has beenshown to decrease anxiety

and depression.

Well, that's sort of simple,or rose, or honeysuckle.

What are the tastes?

It turns out chocolate's there (laughing)

- [Lorie] I coulda told you that.

- As well as cinnamon, canactually help you focus

and give you energy.

What about touch?

Getting a massage, holding the hand

of someone who's happy, right?

There's actually an interesting study

that if you hold the handof someone you care about,

your brain waves begin to sync,

so you wanna be very careful

with whose hand you hold, right?

'Cause if their brain's haywire,

you're as likely to feel that way as well.

Also, warming your hands

has an immediate relaxation response.

There's this great studywhere they gave people,

and they didn't knowthey were testing this,

something cold to drink orsomething warm to drink,

and when the people had something warm,

they were actually more loving.

They were more giving.

Isn't that interesting?

So you can use each of your senses

to flood your brain with happiness.

Even a sauna.

So if you've had a bad dayand you're really negative,

just hop into a saunabecause there's a study

published in a psychiatric journal

that one sauna was found toactually treat depression.

- This is great informationthat we all need to know about.

Helps us all in our daily lives.

We're gonna take a quick break and be back

with Doctor Daniel Amen right after this.

(gentle music)

Welcome back, and we're continuing

our conversation with Doctor Daniel Amen,

the author of the newbook, Feel Better Fast

and Make it Last, and you have

a really catchy acronymto help us do this.

Talk about that.

- Right, it's called BRAIN XL.

We've been talking about the B part,

which is the brain, thephysical functioning

of your brain.

Nobody cares about theirbrain, 'cause you can't see it.

You can see the wrinkles in your skin

or the fat around your belly, and you can

do something when you're unhappy.

Well, here at Amen Clinics,we look at people's brains.

We have a database of150,000 scans on people

from 120 countries, andwhen I started looking

at the brain, I'm like,oh, we can make it better,

or we could make it worse,and I looked at my brain,

and I was horrified'cause I played football

in high school, and I had meningitis

as a young soldier, andI had a lotta bad habits.

I only got four hours of sleep at night

'cause I thought I was special.

Now I realized I was stupid.

I was eating fast food likeit was going outta style.

I was chronically stressed,and I didn't care.

I'm a double board certified psychiatrist,

board certified in general, psychiatry

in child and adolescent psychiatry.

I'm a physician.

I didn't care one bit about my own brain,

but when I saw it, I'm like ouch.

This can be better.

And so I've dedicated mylife to make my brain better.

So that's the B part.

The R part is your rational mind.

It's so important.

We should be teaching second graders

not to believe everystupid thing they think.

I call them ANTs, automaticnegative thoughts,

the thoughts that come into your mind

automatically and ruin your day,

and you need an anteater in your head,

and so in the book,this is the tiny habit.

There's a lot of tiny habits in the book.

What's the smallest thing I can do today

that will make the biggestdifference in how I feel?

Whenever you feel sad or mad or nervous

or outta control, justjournal what you're thinking

and ask yourself, is it true?

Can I absolutely know if it's true?

Like, I'm the worst doctor in the world

or you're the worstjournalist in the world

if you're having a bad day.

You go, is that true?

No, no, there are a wholebunch of doctors worse than me,

and just cracking the thought,

it doesn't have to torture you,

but if you don't question your thoughts,

you believe them 100% and then you act

as if they're true, and thenyou may need to medicate

that lie that's torturing you.

In the rational mind,there's all these tiny habits

like start every day with todayis going to be a great day,

because then you set your mind up

to find out what's rightrather than what's wrong.

At the end of every day, writedown what went well today.

It's a great exercise with kids.

Start breakfast with, todayis going to be a great day.

End every day when you say your prayers

and then go, so what went well today,

just to get their mind focused

on what they love about their life

rather than what theyhate about their life.

The A is attachments.

What makes us happy is our connections.

What makes us unhappyis our disconnections,

and so there's, from my 40years of being a psychiatrist,

what are the things Iknow about relationships

that can help people?

The first thing is you haveto take responsibility.

I know, with my wife, Ican make the relationship

better today by how I act, and I know

within 30 seconds I canget her to yell at me,

but I choose not to, right?

Because my goal is really clear,

and so I help people get clear,

what your goals in the relationship,

and does your behavior match?

I also teach them about active listening.

It's so important.

Assertiveness, and forgiveness.

It's one of the mostimportant things you can do.

I call it grace and forgiveness.

The I in Feel Better Fast in the

BRAIN XL pneumonic is inspiration.

How do you protect yourpleasure spent centers,

'cause you wanna feel better fast.

Be inspired, but nobodyknows how to be inspired,

and so, in the book,I actually give people

a very specific formulaon how to get in touch

with their deepest sense of meaning

and purpose in life.

The N is nutrition.

Food is medicine, or food's poison.

There's a brand new study out.

If you change your diet,add more colorful fruits

and vegetables and get rid of sugar

and foods that quickly turn to sugar

and processed foods, it's been found

to be an effectivetreatment for depression.

It's like, yes, you can gofor the antidepressants.

They have all these side effects,

or you can go with thefood, and so I actually

teach you how to feel better fast

by the food you consume,and it's always delicious,

'cause if it's not delicious,no one will eat it,

and the tiny habit is dark chocolate,

so really low in sugar, has been found

to boost blood flow to the brain.

It boosts a chemicalcalled phenylethanolamines

which alerts, itstimulates your brain stem

and alerts you that something fun

is about to happen.

Now, don't have the whole box.

That'd be very bad for you. (laughing)

The X part in BRAIN XL is the X factor.

It's what we've learnedhere at Amen Clinics

from the brain imagingwork that we've done.

Mild traumatic braininjury is a major cause

of psychiatric illness,and nobody knows about it.

Do not let your children hitsoccer balls with their head.

Do not let them playfootball, because it damages

your brain, and I don'tknow how else to say it.

Brain is soft, skull is hard.

Skull has sharp, bony ridges.

Damage your brain, you damage your life,

and there's a lot ofvery sort of wonderful,

inspirational stories aboutthe imaging work we do,

and then the L is love.

Is you do the right thingnot because you should.

It's because you love yourself,

and you love the people in your life.

And too often, people, they go oh,

I don't wanna get healthy'cause I don't wanna

give up alcohol, or I don'twanna give up caffeine

or I don't wanna giveup rocky road ice cream.

I don't want, and they'refocused on the wrong things.

It's like, what do you want?

I want energy.

I want focus.

I want memory.

I want longevity, because I love my life.

I love my wife.

I love my children, my grand children,

I love the mission God has given me.

That is so much more important

than the rocky road thatI don't miss anymore,

and when I first got healthy 'cause I saw

my own brain wasn'thealthy, I had that mourning

for those things, and now Iliterally see them as the enemy,

and I'm like, no, youdon't serve my health.

You steal from my health, andwe're in a war in our society,

and I'm not kidding when I say this.

It's gonna sound funny,but I'm not kidding.

ISIS has nothing on ourfood industry, right?

The real weapons of mass destruction

are highly processed pesticide-sprayed,

high glycemic, that meansit raises your blood sugar,

low fiber, food-like substances

stored in plastic containers.

Everywhere you go,someone's trying to shove

bad food down your throatthat will kill you early.

I'm not okay with that.

You need to be armed andprepared to be healthy.

So if we look at tiny habits,what are the smallest things

you can do today that'llmake the biggest difference?

Brain is the most important.

So the tiny habit is whatever you do,

this takes three seconds.

Is this good for my brain or bad for it?

So whenever you're comingto a choice in your day,

to wear your seatbelt or not,

is this good for my brain or bad for it?

Wear your seatbelt.

If it's Friday and you'regoing to happy hour,

is this good for my brain or bad for it?

If you wanna stay uplate to watch cable news

and you wanna be inthe fight, is this good

for my brain or bad for it?

And sleep is so important, right?

You should be targetingat least seven hours

of sleep at night.

When you have a bad day, it's often

'cause you didn't sleep right.

Whenever it comes to, do youwant to see the dessert menu,

is this good for my brain or bad for it?

- This is so interesting, andreally applies to all of us.

We'll have more with DoctorDaniel Amen right after this.

Stay with us.

(gentle music)

- [Lorie] It goes on and on.

This is a natural way.

Talk about self-disciplineand impulse control.

- Well, impulse control happens

when we've not had seven hours of sleep,

when we've gone too long without eating.

So when your blood sugar goes low,

blood flow to the brain goes low,

and you're more likelyto make bad decisions,

and so eating, breakfast is important,

and I want people to haveprotein and healthy fat

at every meal becauseit helps to stabilize

their blood sugar, so whenI said high glycemic foods,

those are foods that quicklyturn to sugar, so sugar,

bread, pasta, potatoes, rice.

What they do is they spike blood sugar,

and then your pancreassees it, produces insulin

and it lowers it, and soyou end up being hungry

if you eat those foods, soI recommend limiting those.

More protein, healthy fat,colorful fruits and vegetables.

- [Lorie] Talk a littlebit about supplements.

Are they worth it?

- So I'm a huge fan of supplements.

I actually, I own a supplement company,

because when I first startedlooking at the brain,

so I'm a classically trained psychiatrist.

I was taught to usemedication and psychotherapy

to treat mental illness,and when I started

looking at the brain, I'm like,

some of my medications aretoxic to brain function.

I remember when I was atOral Roberts University,

that's where I went to medical school,

our professors used to always drill

a couple of things into our head.

First, do no harm.

Use the least toxic, mosteffective treatments.

So when I saw on scanssome of the medications

were not really making your brain better,

I'm like, well, what are natural ways?

What are things that are least toxic?

So I'm a huge fan.

I think everybody should be taking omega-3

fatty acids everyday.

We have a crisis in this countryof low levels of omega-3.

Why should you care?

Well, 25% of your brain is actually

made up with omega-3 fattyacids, so if you're low,

you're not thinking right.

I think all of us shouldtake a multiple vitamin.

Why?

90% of us do not have five servings

of fruits and vegetables a day.

The minimum required to getthe nutrition that you need,

so even though my diet's great,

I take a multiple vitamin everyday

because I think of it just as insurance.

Everybody should have theirvitamin D level measured,

and if it's low, and it isin 80% of the population,

you should supplement with vitamin D3.

There is one study thatsaid people who are over 40,

so the healthy range is 30 to 100.

People who are over 40 have half,

half the risk of cancer ofpeople who are under 20,

and when I first learned about it

and I tested my level, and Ilive in southern California

where the sun is out 330days a year, my level was 17.

I mean, I was just horrified,and what's interesting,

when I started taking morevitamin D, my appetite went away.

So I had been having troublelosing about 30 extra pounds

that I gained from beinglazy and building a business

and going to medical school and all that,

and I just had tried everydiet, but I was always hungry,

and we found when vitamin Dis low, the hormone leptin

that tells your brain tostop eating doesn't work.

You actually become leptin-resistant,

and so that simple tiny habit of taking

vitamin D everydayknocked off my appetite,

and then I ended up losingweight and getting healthy.

And I'm totally vain.

I totally get it.

I wanna be in the same sizejeans I was in when I was 18.

I like that, because Ihave obesity in my family,

and I'm one of seven children,and two of my siblings

are obese, and I'm not.

Why?

I don't give in to the behaviorsmaking it likely to be so,

and I published twostudies in medical journals

that show as your weight goes up,

the actual physical size and function

of your brain goes down which should scare

the fat off anyone, sowhen I think of, oh,

I want the chocolate cake or I want

the rocky road ice cream, I'm like,

I don't want what goes withit, and so we want people

to think beyond their four-year-old self.

I want what I want when I want it, right?

You're having an internal temper tantrum

when you do the wrong thing,but what are good parents?

Two words.

They're firm and they're kind.

It's like, this is not going to help you.

Let's go do something that'll make you

feel better now and later.

- This is great informationthat we all need to know about.

Helps us all in our daily lives.

We're gonna take a quick break and be back

with Doctor Daniel Amen right after this.

(gentle music)

So this message that you're talking about

in your book is.

What supplements should people be taking

to help their brains?

- Actually, online, we have a test

that people can take, abrain health assessment,

to know what type of brain they have.

Based on our imaging work, there are

16 different brain types, so if they go

to brainhealthassessment.com,

they can know what their type is.

So, for example, if you're a type 2,

short attention span, distractible,

not very organized, you tend to be late,

I like things that help really increase

your focus and energy, supplements

like rhodiola or ashwagandha, ginsing.

They're more stimulating.

If you're a type 3, worried,rigid, if things don't

go your way, you get upset,you tend to hold on to hurts,

supplements that boostserotonin, like 5-HTP,

or my favorite, or one ofmy favorite is saffron.

So the spice, saffron, hasactually got about 20 studies

showing that it boosts serotonin,

and it helps your mood,actually head-to-head

against anti-depressants, in some studies,

it's been shown to be equally effective,

but saffron, as opposed toknocks off your sexual desire,

it actually can enhance it.

It actually helps memory, helpsPMS, so I'm sort of a fan.

If are type 5 which is you're anxious,

GABA can be really helpful, so it's like,

know your type, and then the supplements

are really directed at what you need.

So just for general brain health,

I also love ginkgo.

So ginkgo is one of my favorite ones

because there's actuallypublished imaging studies

showing that ginkgo improves blood flow.

- [Lorie] Tell us about thesupplements you developed.

- We created this supplementcompany for our patients,

and so it's the highestquality we could find

in a plant that actually makespharmaceutical medication,

and BrainMD Health is the name,

and they can learn about it.

The line is called BrainMD,and we have multiple vitamin

called NeuroVite Plus, the highest quality

omega-3 fatty acids.

In fact, if you take two of ours,

and you go to one of the big box stores,

you probably have to take six of theirs

to get the same concentration,and we have things

to support mood and energyand focus and anxiety.

- [Lorie] Well, unfortunately,we're out of time,

but this book is fantastic.

It's called Feel BetterFast and Make it Last.

So, Doctor Daniel Amen, thank you so much

for being with us today.

- Thank you, Lori.

(gentle music)

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