In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, my guest, Dr. Caroline Leaf, has been changing lives through her research into the human mind-brain connection for nearly four decades. “We’ve been sold such a lie that your brain controls you,” she says.
The brain isn’t a generator, it’s a responder, so it has to be stimulated. We have the power to change the environment in which the brain thinks, feels and chooses. Dr. Leaf talks about how we can all use self-awareness to better understand and strengthen our minds.
Her new book, Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress and Toxic Thinking, shows you ways to use your mind to biohack your brain.
It may look different for everyone, but she believes wholeheartedly in our abilities to change through understanding our minds and fostering self-awareness. We can build up our brain health, resilience and strength. Dr. Leaf developed a five-stop process called Neurocycle to help us get there. “The five steps teach you how to grow a healthy thought,” she says.
Listen on to learn what these five steps are and how to put them into practice in your own life.
“I am absolutely 100% convinced that if we focus more on the mind and understand that we have a level of control that we use online to change our mind, we can change our brain and our body function,” Dr. Leaf says.
As a communication pathologist, Dr. Leaf looks at people’s communication tendencies and the roots of those tendencies. She does so by tapping into the depths of the mind, exploring the non-conscious, conscious, and subconscious levels. During her career, she’s conducted research with people who have extreme brain damage, traumatic head injuries and many others, and directed them towards life-altering change.
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Follow Along with the Transcript
Book: Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress and Toxic Thinking
SWITCH app: theswitch.app
- What’s a communication pathologist. – 1:23
- When I first started my career, I started working and looking at the elusive question of what is mind, what is consciousness? – 2:42
- One of my first research studies was on someone who’d had a car accident and was in a coma for two weeks. – 7:07
- Within eight months, that girl not only went from a second grade level, she actually finished school with her peer group, she was really average student before her accident, which I stressed. She actually went off the IQ scale genius. – 8:45
- How common is that? Where people, the way they compensate for brain injury actually gives them more than they had before. – 13:16
- I talk about mind management. And then you can then change your brain. – 16:00
- Mind is divided into three parts. The biggest part is your non-conscious mind. – 18:06
- I always like to explain it like the Redwood forest in San Francisco, the root system is phenomenal. That’s what our brain’s like. This phenomenal root’s where connect and make connections to others, but this is always changing. – 24;12
- Thoughts are real things that occupy mental, real estate. Neuroplasticity is building these. So if we’ve got something from early childhood and you’ve never dealt with it, it’s pervasive, toxic thoughts. – 26:22
- Autistic kids or autistic adults, what results have you had with them? – 31:06
- Not just autism, honestly, people with head injuries, people with Alzheimer’s even. At some point, you cannot reverse Alzheimer’s because we don’t have that technology, but if you catch Alzheimer’s early enough, you can certainly delay the process. – 35:46
- How do you make them know that they need to manage their mental mess, to quote your book? – 37:31
- You’ve got to use your mind to build mental strength. So one of the easiest ways of brain strength, I should say, brain health, brain resilience, is to build your brain, and that’s using this these five steps to learn. – 39:28
- You talk about something called a neurocycle in there, and this is where those five steps are. Can you walk me through the steps in order? I think that’d be really helpful. – 42:56
- Find a statement that it capsulates what you’re working on, type that out into the reminder’s function on your phone or using my app, and then you just read it when it pops up. It takes you seven seconds a day. So seven times a day. – 1:04:25
- You then take the fear neurocycle, where you’re detoxing and you take the same five steps and you then build your brain with knowledge, because the more knowledge we have, then we can control what we feel. So it kind of works together. – 1:11:32
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