This episode of Bulletproof Radio goes deep into the dragon psyche. No, not “Game of Thrones,” but specifically our inner dragons.
“A dragon is an issue you’re dealing with, that your brain is listening to, but it’s not helping you,” says brain expert Dr. Daniel Amen.
These dragons are the ones that “breathe fire on our emotional brain,” like anxiety, depression, grief, loneliness and more (you can find out what yours are at www.knowyourdragons.com).
As a physician, double board-certified psychiatrist, professor, and author of 30 books, Dr. Amen has a lot to share about taming the beasts that beset us.
In his newest book “Your Brain is Always Listening: Tame the Hidden Dragons that Control Your Happiness, Habits and Hang-ups,” he talks about those dragon origin stories, their triggers, your reactions and how to tame them.
He has a lot of tips for how we can step outside of our mind to distance ourselves from the dragon’s fire, like tuning into your pleasure centers, and how to guide your mind to look for what’s right rather than what’s wrong.
“It’s like a little treasure hunt,” Dr. Amen says. “And I look for even the micro moments. What are the smallest things that happened today that just made me happy? And it sets your dreams up to be more positive. These little habits are so helpful if you can make them part of your everyday life. You literally can train your brain. And when you do, your life is happier.”
We talk about the ways past physical and emotional trauma may impact the way we heal, how our dragons are always interacting with other people’s dragons, how this is all affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and much more.
Dr. Amen gives practical tools you can use to stop feeling sad, mad, nervous or out of control and start being happier, calmer, and more in control of your own destiny.
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Follow Along with the Transcript
Book: “Your Brain is Always Listening: Tame the Hidden Dragons that Control Your Happiness, Habits and Hang-Ups”
Know Your Dragons Quiz: https://knowyourdragons.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/doc_amen/ (@doc_amen)
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DocAmen (@DocAmen)
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Dr. Daniel Amen: Alzheimer’s, Brain Food & SPECT Scans – #227
- We get to talk today about your newest book. Talking about dragons in the brain called Your Brain Is Always Listening. – 1:45
- You haven’t brought dragons up in your books before. So tell me what is a dragon. – 3:23
- The new book is actually divided into five sections. The first section is the dragons from the past, and there’s 13 of them. And the pandemic is just making this dragon thunder go crazy. – 4:04
- People can know about which dragons they have. We have a cute quiz called knowyourdragons.com. – 4:58
- So what’s the secret? Let’s say that someone’s dealing with that dragon, but the insignificance one. – 6:34
- We have to be very careful because social media is really built to get eyeballs for advertisers. It’s not built for your mental health. – 8:41
- The 18-40-60 Rule that says when you’re 18, you worry about what everybody’s thinking of you, and when you’re 40, you don’t care what anybody thinks about you, and when you’re 60, you realize no one has been thinking about you at all. – 10:43
- There’s a whole section in the book on ANTs, which is automatic negative thoughts, because the more ANTs you have, the more the dragons get out of control. – 13:23
- The book actually starts with a conversation between Miley Cyrus and I. She went public last year that I’ve been her doctor for about 10 years. – 15:34
- I’m in a new docu series with Justin Bieber called Seasons.- 16:58
- How do you manage the hopeless and helpless dragon? So I do something called positivity bias training, where you really can guide your mind to look for what’s right rather than what’s wrong. – 18:33
- These little habits are so helpful if you can make them part of your everyday life. You literally can train your brain. And when you do, your life is happier. – 22:02
- What is the part of the brain, what is the process that makes you forget all the good stuff that happens before the end of the day? – 23:53
- Happiness is actually what you were talking about, that string of little moments. – 25:22
- Envy is designed to be secret. So you don’t even know you’re feeling envy towards others. – 26:55
- There’s a group of hormones that are involved in happiness. Dopamine, people usually think of that, but oxytocin for relationships, serotonin for respect. Serotonin is the hormone of respect, but it’s also an antidepressant. – 29:22
- There’s a section in the book I know you’ll like called the scheming dragons. So these are the dragons that are stealing our mind. – 31:06
- 40% of our patients have a significant brain injury at some point in the past. And we find you have to ask them 10 times whether or not you had a brain injury. – 36:05
- You talked about your process for grief and loss. Are there things that people should know beyond what you did to tame the grief and loss dragon? – 37:43
- I took a death and dying class, and it was one of the most important classes I’ve ever taken. Because what it did was it taught me to start with the end in mind. – 41:46
- Is there a dragon about fear of being wrong? – 49:46
- But if I just change it to I want to see my dad or if it’s my goals to see my dad, I go see my dad. But loading things up with guilt and shame it makes people miserable. – 53:45
- Your dragons are always interacting with the other person’s dragons. – 56:07
- Love And Logic is it teaches parents to make kids responsible for themselves and to pay consequences when the consequences are inexpensive. – 59:59
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