In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, the topic is something that drives all of us, whether we like it or not: fear and trauma.
Tana Amen is just the right guest to talk about this subject. She’s a neurosurgical ICU trauma nurse, vice president of the Amen Clinics, a health and fitness expert and a New York Times best-selling author. She taken on these topics in her new book, “The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child: How Persistence, Grit, and Faith Created a Reluctant Healer.”
Tana defines trauma as any event or set of events that occurred in your life that:
- made you think the world was unsafe,
- broke your trust in people that you’re surrounded by, and
- really caused you to just not trust.
We’ve all experienced trauma to varying degrees, so in our conversation we unpack how to identify your responses and access your inner strength.
“When we don’t heal from trauma, all of that energy is stuck, and it’s focused on the wrong things,” Tana says. “You’re stuck in this flight or fight thing. You’re stuck in this mode of “I need to survive” as opposed to, “I need to just thrive and heal and live life.” You can’t do that. And that’s one of the really big reasons to do it.”
Our conversation goes into how trauma impacts your brain function and your healing process. From your biology and psychology to your social circle and spiritual circle, every influence throughout your life can change that process.
“We are more beautiful, we are more complex, more interesting because of those broken pieces that we’ve mended back together and mends just like a scar,” Tana says. “You can be stronger because of that, as long as you heal it, as long as you allow it to set.”
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Follow Along with the Transcript
Book: The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child: How Persistence, Grit, and Faith Created a Reluctant Healer
- Trauma is an automatic pattern that is designed to be invisible for you. – 1:29
- It’s like if I accomplish enough, if I look good enough, if I have enough makeup on or the right clothes, people won’t see how broken I am, they won’t see how really screwed up I am inside. – 4:03
- How many people do you think are out there with a similar amount of trauma who just don’t show anything but are still holding it inside? – 5:39
- Victim narcissism or suffering narcissism. – 8:01
- You do want to start to notice the happy things and the good things around you, that positivity, bias training is really important. It doesn’t mean we have to lose our survival skills. – 10:35
- When you take the word trauma, and you actually think of the definition, really what it is, it’s any event or set of events that occurred in your life that made you think the world was unsafe, that broke your trust in people that you’re surrounded by, that really caused you to just not trust. And so if you think of it that way, okay, that’s easier to digest for me. For me, that was easier to digest. – 13:02
- When we don’t heal from trauma, all of that energy is stuck and it’s focused on the wrong things. You’re stuck in this flight or fight thing. – 18:46
- The emotional part of my brain on fire, it’s on fire, it was bright red. And it’s supposed to have a little bit of activity, and mine was it does a triangle pattern, a diamond pattern rather. And if you have the diamond pattern, that is a sign of PTSD or emotional trauma – 23:09
- I went from being overly anxious to dangerously impulsive and it could have ruined my life – 26:15
- One question I like to ask myself when I start to get stuck on the small things in my life that are bothering me is, “Does this have eternal value? Why is the world a better place? – 27:58
- Are you more resilient because of all this stuff that happened in the healing You did? Then you would have been had you not gone through those things? – 29:59
- Love and logic is really about learning how to draw healthy boundaries, being a good coach, not being a helicopter parent, but letting your kids experience real life consequences. – 33:58
- When I’m coaching someone, you’ve got to be invested. You’re the one who has to do the work, I’m not going to fix you. – 40:42
- We have this very different way of looking at the world. But he also grew up with Leave it to Beaver and I grew up on with the Nightmare on Elm Street. – 41:28
- Things are going to happen throughout your life. What I want is skill. So that’s why I practice martial arts. – 44:57
- Do you think that there’s a lot of kids who are going to require trauma healing from 2020? – 48:23
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