Dr. Caroline Leaf | The Secret to Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess & 5 Steps to Healing Grief

In today’s episode, we cover the idea of mental mess with Dr. Caroline Leaf. Caroline has spent the last 30 years researching the nature of mental health and has helped hundreds of thousands of people learn how to use their mind to detox and grow their brain to succeed in every area of their lives including school, university, and the workplace.

We are all dealing with mental messes in varying degrees, but what is a mental mess, how does your mental mess impact your ability to find happiness and success, and what process can you start using today to clean up your mental mess?

What to Listen For

  • What is a mental mess and why is it important to manage? – 0:00 
  • What is neuroplasticity and how can you take advantage of it on a daily basis to improve the quality of your life?
  • What is the difference between the brain and the mind and why do we put so much attention on one at the detriment to the other?
  • What can you do to replace your negative thoughts & beliefs with positive, empowering thoughts & beliefs?
  • What’s wrong with the way we treat mental health? – 16:27 
  • How is our current perception of mental health treatment preventing us from making significant progress in our overall mental health and happiness?
  • How has the media negatively impacted our mental health and the way we process our mental messes?
  • How does your mental health influence the length of your lifespan and what can you do to live a longer, healthier life?
  • What is the neurocycle and how can it improve our lives? – 37:15
  • What are the 5 steps of the neurocycle and how can you use it to heal grief?
  • Why is it important to develop a self-awareness of your mental state?
  • How do you prepare yourself for those moments when you know you will feel anxiety or fear so they don’t stop you from achieving success?

Mental health is an important part of everyone’s existence. In the same way we should take regular steps to maintain and improve our physical health, we must do the same for our mental health. If we don’t, then a mental mess builds up over time. This mental mess clouds our thinking, influences our beliefs in a negative manner, and slowly eats away at relationships. Using the neurocycle described by Dr. Caroline Leaf, you can start cleaning up your mental mess and improve your quality of life today.

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Resources from this Episode

Speaker 1: Welcome back to the art of charm podcast. A show designed to help you win at work love, and life. Now we know you have what it takes to reach your full potential. And that's why every week we share with you interviews and strategies to help you develop the right social skills and mindsets to succeed.

Speaker 2: You shouldn't have to settle for anything less than extraordinary. Over the last 15 years, we have trained thousands of clients to unlock their charisma, supercharge their social skills and build relationships that they deserve. We have worked with CEOs, military, special operators, Olympic athletes, and billionaires to reach their full potential. I'm Johnny.

Speaker 1: And I'm a J and we're so excited to share with you those exact secrets. Thank you everyone for tuning in let's kick off today's show. We have none other than Dr. Carolyn leaf. She is a communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist with a master's and PhD in communication pathology, specializing in cognitive and metacognitive neuro-psychology. Since the early 1980s, she's researched the mind brain connection, the nature of mental health and the formation of memory. She was one of the first inner field to study how the brain can change with directed mind input. Our favorite neuro-plasticity Dr. Leaf is also a best-selling author of switch on your brain. Think, learn, succeed, think, and eat yourself smart and many more. And today we're talking about her latest book, cleaning up your mental mess. Welcome to the show Dr. Leaf.

Speaker 2: Thank you. It's great to be with you both. So I'm excited to talk to you about something that seems like our favorite subject, neuroplasticity,

Speaker 1: That and mental mess, for sure. Yeah. So let's kick things off. I'd love our audience to hear what you define as mental mess. I think we all kind of have an idea, but what are your thoughts on what mental mess is?

Speaker 2: It's basically not having a managed mind. So it all comes down to the fact that if you're human, you wake up in the morning, you go to bed at night and in that space of being awake, you experiencing life and life is so challenging that we are experimenting and it's so easy to make a mess. And it's so human, but you've got to clean that up. We can't live with it, laugh between our teeth every day, we clean our houses and be clean up after eating. We need a teen on mental mess up, and this just not enough attention paid to mind, lots of attention paid to getting our body rights and exercising. And that's so important. I teach in there too, but if your mind's not in it, you can lose up to 80% of the benefit of that good nutrition and food. Anyway. So essentially think of your mental mess is a very human activity. You're human, you're alive, you're a mess, but you don't have to stay that way and you can actually manage it. And that's kind of where the concept comes from.

Speaker 1: Well, what I really enjoy about your podcast is how you share your own stories of mental mess. And Johnny and I laugh as podcasters and, and coaches. We always get asked, well, you guys must be so charming. You don't have any issues. So you have your own dealings with mental.

Speaker 2: Oh, of course. I love that you don't have any issues. I wish there was one human on this planet. You actually didn't have any issues. And then you would all be in, would actually be dead. Obviously I do. And that's where I started off as a clinician, nearly 38 years ago. So that's the amount of years I've been in the field for nearly 40 years and done lots of clinical research and actually did some of the first neuroplasticity research back in the late eighties when they didn't think that the brain could actually change. And I, my professors challenged me and I said, Hey, your mind can change. So therefore your brain can change. So therefore we should be able to manage this process. And they, she told me that that's a ridiculous question. And I've actually did a Ted talk on this, on the ridiculous question of neuroplasticity and that stage, it was not accepted that the brain could change.

Speaker 2: So from that time I moved fast forward. All these years, clinical practice research, et cetera, I applied it into very soon saw that this is not just something for therapy, for extreme cases of extreme trauma, extreme traumatic brain injuries or Alzheimer's or learning disabilities or dementia autism. It's not just for that, but this is basic life skill. Your mind is always with you. You know, you wake up with your mind, you go to sleep with your mind, you eat with your mind, we're using our mind now, you know, your mind's always active. So if you don't understand what it is, how are you going to manage it? So from the, I realized that this is a life, you know, from the ed, my research we've moved into very much, how can we apply this on a day-to-day basis as well as therapeutically? And how can we manage our things like our traumas?

Speaker 2: And because everyone's got to almost to a certain extent, yes. Short on a continuum, some more than others. So obviously along the way, myself and my family of four children, we married for 34 years. We've been our lab, rats, you know, myself and my family have been laboratory. And honestly, this is like, I am amazed still, but there's a huge difference now is I recognize it quickly and I know how to manage it and I can get through it quickly. So I'll make it work for me. I'm not frightened of the mess. I know how to recognize it and know what to do about it. And that is transformational in giving you that kind of mental space where you feel like you can cope with life. So from the big stuff to the tumors and the toxic habits would show up as patterns in our life, to the little things like, how do you manage the moment by moment, little things like the Instagram imposter syndrome reaction and the people-pleasing and the ruminating, and the little arguments that pop up and the horrible text or email that throws you. And you've got to go in a business meeting and all that stuff, the day-to-day stuff to the big stuff. So that's why I developed that whole concept of the neuro cycle into a day to day, as well as trauma advocation.

Speaker 3: You certainly take on a lot of damage trauma and loss throughout the years, and everyone has aspirations or at least somewhere inside of capabilities and things that they like to achieve in life. But without cleaning up the mental mess, they're not going to find the capacity to be able to, to handle what it's going to take to reach those goals. And I think somewhere in early Dole life, people started to look at the mass. They don't know how to deal with it, and they give up on those aspirations. What do you say to those people who are, are trying to grapple with the idea of coming to terms with this mess and actually wanting to do something about it?

Speaker 2: It starts with the recognition that we do have agency. We do have the ability to control, and that has been really stamped out over the last 40 years. And I've been fortunate to speak from this from seeing this change over the last 40 years. And I say fortunate, because I've watched the change as a practitioner, as well as just generally functioning in this world, et cetera. So what I've seen is over the last 40 years, we've seen a move to medicalizing mystery audio. I'm holding a, brain's not real, it's in a skull, but we, as neuroscience has developed and that's been my field, but mine's also been mind brain research. So we've become so caught up in the brain that everything's been about the brain. And I don't know if you've noticed the language, but as a clinician and as a scientist, I've noticed and I've seen, and it's evident in the research become neuro reductionistic.

Speaker 2: We've become so focused on the brain. And everything's about the brain that if you have any kind of anything, it's your brain, your brain made you do it. And that's the mind and the brain, the two words, mind and brain have also been infused interchangeably, but they're totally different. Mind is not brain and mind actually drives brain and mind drives the neuroplasticity of the brain. So the brain has the ability to change. Obviously neuro-plasticity plasticity is the ability of the brain to change, but the brain can change itself. And that's the misnomer. We've had this whole thing that it's brain, brain brain, and, and did, you can literally medicalize misery, but that's not the case. The brain, if you date, the brain does nothing. So the difference between you and a dead brain, you know, is your liveliness and your life is your mind and your mind is always with you.

Speaker 2: So what I would say to those people, when I do say to those people, because that's quite an excellent question, but it's, it's something that people do think about how, you know, that things are so much Reid, you even begin. Why should I even start? How do I is the message that this is in your brain, that you have a brain disease is hope plus it's not hopeful. And that hopelessness that's being taken away from people has actually been shown scientifically to reduce lifespan. It's that can I do? There's no hope. And they just kind of live with the label and live into it because whatever you decide with your mind is going to be the case. That's what you'll follow. That's the direction you drive the neuroplasticity of your brain, the changes in your brain. So there's a population study that was done. And I put this in the book as well.

Speaker 2: There two, 1996, and 2014, they notice that very scary trend. And that trend was there for decades. Long. People have been living longer, but suddenly this trend reversed. And they say that if you track back, the reason why people are dying eight to 25 years younger from preventable lifestyle diseases. So here we are living fast forward, 40 years later in this advanced technological medical age, neuroscientific age, and people are dying younger. So we need advice in one direction. We've gone completely backwards in the other direction. And the age bracket most affects it is the 25 to 65 year old, which are people in the prime of the career, just getting going. And, you know, families, period, kids are losing parents and the workforce is losing great workers. And we take that back to mind, Mike management. So we've given a hopeless message. That's what's come from there, checking it back to mind management.

Speaker 2: So for 40 years, summary, we have focused on brain we've ignored. Mind. Brain is 1%. If your mind is about 99% of who we are, if you ignore the 99%, you ignore the humanity, you ignore the context, the story, the narrative, the causes, people are in life, experiencing life. And when you anxious and depressed and frustrated that sort of brain disease, that is a normal human response to adverse circumstances. And yes, it can get extreme. I mean, if you have a continuum can get very extreme because if you have in a war torn country or multiple traumatic abuse or sexual abuse repeatedly willing and like severe, but whatever, whatever it is, they're more extreme. The more your mind is going to receive that process, that all that into the brain and your brain, both thoughts into trees.

Speaker 1: Yeah. The book has these great examples of brain scans between the two groups and shows just how big of an impact this has on your ability to think and feel and light up those brains.

Speaker 2: So that's a healthy tree and that's a toxic tree. And every experience we have becomes a physical reality in our brain and our bodies in our DNA and our mind in three places. So if you're experiencing something toxic, it goes all over your brain, body, and mind. So you consume with the stuff. And if you told that this is not manageable, if you're told, Oh, you're having symptoms of a brain disease, and you're just going to have to live with it, where's the hope so people don't know they can change. So my message, and it sounds like your message too, is one of, Hey, listen, if you're feeling depressed or anxious, you being a normal human life is challenging, especially now in the pandemic with all the unfamiliarity and threats and so on. But we were already in a terrible place before that. In fact, humanity has always been on this.

Speaker 2: This is not anything new. The whole thing of we've got one in four people with depression and one in five with anxiety and mental health is on the increase. That is just scary statistics, what the tooth is. And he has a real truth. A hundred percent of people have anxiety, depression, fear, worry to predation, just at different varying levels, different continuum, different life experiences, but it's very normal. And the big key thing is, is that if we don't manage that, if we don't see it as a helpful messenger and then manage it, go from helpful messenger awareness to beyond that, you're going to get stuck in that. And that's what people don't change. Yeah.

Speaker 1: We actually give them hope. Many people feel like they're stuck in this position and there's nothing they can do about it. And part of that is we are taught and we believe that planting those toxic trees may help us. It's a pattern that we pick up from our family, from society. What do you say to those of us who maybe have a forest of toxics trees right now who want to start planning some healthy trees, some new beliefs and thoughts that can empower them instead of harm?

Speaker 2: Well, that's an excellent question too. And so glad you mentioned forest, because we literally do have a forest in our mind and in our brain. So these trees, every experience that you've ever had from a certain point in the room to the age that you're at now has been translated by your mind, into your brain, as these protein structures. And this is the reality of it. And that hopefully most of them are this, but there's also a lot of these and some will have more of these and these, and some of these are huge and someone not so big. And so we have this huge, huge forest. And so if that is in our unconscious mind and in our brain, and essentially what we've got to do is we've got to learn to pay attention to the signals that these are producing. And we've got to then capture those.

Speaker 2: Then you've got to embrace and process and reconceptualize. You can't just be aware. You can't just basically say, okay, so here's the thing in my life. I'm just going to numb it with a drug that's like going into a garden with weeds and you go to wheat and all you do is chop that to head off. It's still got a root it's going to grow straight back. So when you use drugs or you use conditioning type sort of conditioning behaviors and that kind of thing, it doesn't deal with core issue. The only way out is through. So you have to then pay attention to these things, the signals and the ones that are the most dominant will give you the loudest signals. It's a constant process of listening to the signals and then working through them in a very systematic way. So we should be much more systematic, much more organized with online management.

Speaker 2: You know, we get that with exercise. You don't just go to work at once. You've got five or six times a week. You eat healthy every day, but the mind you think, Oh, quick fix, give me the seven steps, the five steps, quick fix mentality. It doesn't work like that. You have to treat your mind in exactly the way that you teach your body. You feed your teeth every day, clean up as I mentioned. So you've got to cleanup your mind everyday. So it's a matter of responding to these in the order of the most dominant signal. And then working through those in cycles of 63 days. And the work that I've done then Europe, which is the system I've developed is called the new cycle. It's not a new technique. It doesn't replace therapy or counseling or coaching. It's simply is how you, from a neuroscientific perspective, how do you use your mind to get your mind under control to drive the neuroplasticity of your brain?

Speaker 2: So that is not a tech gives people hope and anyone doesn't matter who you are. You do not need to be a PhD or a therapist to be able to manage your mind. When you think of it like this, you're going to therapy or coaching or counseling. And people come to you for that using them maybe one or two hours a week, but you've got to live with yourself 24 seven. So in order to live with yourself, that's what I bring to the table. I bring that first base where it's not the priority, or you've got to first get your mind working for, you've got to know how to manage your mind because you live with your mind, you live with yourself. And then when you do that, then the staff that you teach, they're going to respond so much more efficiently too, because your mind is ready to receive. I mean, if you're not ready to receive that great new eating plan and that diet, and you're just going to nod your head and they get the information, and it's nice to know, but you never going to apply it. So it's going to your, mind's got to be right.

Speaker 1: That example again, of the toxic tree, many of us fall into this pattern where we're chopping off some branches. We've identified that this is a toxic belief, but it's easier to go on a run or rush it under the rug, or take some drugs or eat some food to make us feel good and deal with it. But it's getting to the root and pulling it out and allowing the great plants, the healthy plants to grow and create those new pathways in your brain that stimulate you to success. I think it's that recognition of how do I actually pull this out versus just deal with it. And many of us are going through life of just dealing with it and it's created unhealthy relationship with our mind.

Speaker 2: So good. That's such a brilliant example. You know, often use the analogy of this being a very, you know, that from snow white, the poison apples. So this, this tree is like full of poison apples. This elder living date in game of Thrones. I mean, this is not dead. It looks deep, but this is what we living with. And if you don't manage it, imagine this is full of apples. And if you go up and you just bump it slightly, the Apple starts falling on your head. And you're just like knocked after all. That's how we go in the round. We feel knocked out. We feel overwhelmed about all these things hitting us, but we actually can control that state. It doesn't mean they got to go away. You've got to deal with the stuff and the only way artists through. So the only way to actually reconceptualize and reconstruct this tree is to go through a process.

Speaker 2: And it does take time. We all think it takes 21 days to build a habit, but it's actually 63. And there's been so much misinformation around that. That's why I actually did the research is about five studies done in the world. Mines one of them showing that it doesn't take 21 days, but it takes a full 63 days to form a habit that actually changes behavior, not just a little habit, but habit that actually changes behavior. So things happen in 21 days, but not sufficient to change behavior. So as we need to get much more systematized and organized in how are we going to find the roots and put it up? Otherwise you're just like dealing and we got to make mistakes, but that's part of it missing us needs to be accepted changed within messiness. We can grow, repeat, and grow. But if we deny messiness and pretend it's not there, then it just festers under the surface.

Speaker 2: And we see that 3% of leaders, only 3% of leaders and you guys would be leaders. So you'd be in this 3% because you have a community that you influence. Only 3% of leaders are talking about mental health or having these kinds of conversations. If anyone's backing up, go to the doctor, you know, think of it like this. You go to dinner with a bunch of friends and you sit down and you say, anyone knows you've been going through something. And then you sit down and say, I went to the doctor to psychiatrists a day and they told me I have a neuropsychiatric brain disease that I have this neuro biological thing going on in my brain. And that I have clinical depression. I mean already, you're looking at them, okay. Now what do I do? How do I treat them? You got to look at them differently.

Speaker 2: But if you went to your [inaudible] same person, take that away. Would I just see it? And you say, Hey, I've had the most awful week. This has happened. That has happened. This and that triggered all these reactions from the place. And I suddenly had these fish backs and I realize this, and I'm in therapy and people will say, Oh wow. How can we help you? They'll lean in. And you've got community, you've got interaction. You've got deep, meaningful connections. And that's how we process. That's what we supposed to be doing. We supposed to be being allowed to have our story validated. But just to say, you are in it, you are clinically depressed as an it and insecure in a box. Now you've got to love. See, we used to hope, but just the mere act of shifting your perspective has already placed you in a more resilient position. Keeping it increases your vulnerability to disease by 35 to 98%. That's insane. But by saying, Hey, this is okay. It's okay to be a mess. I'm going to clean it. No matter how long it takes that decreases that resilience, that vulnerability to disease. It's just so logical to, for us to apply. But we in a world that doesn't apply that kind of logic. Unfortunately, that's why I do what I do

Speaker 3: Well to go along with that, I always end up saying this to me. It's very important to understand this, which is I've been eating my whole life, but I didn't learn how to eat until I was in my late twenties, early thirties. I know exercise is good for me, but I didn't really learn how to exercise. And even to what you said of, there's a difference between going to the gym, because I feel like I have to, to I'm going to the gym because this makes me feel great. And this makes me better. That's two different mentalities. And then lastly, well, I've been thinking this way, my whole entire life, but no one trained me or told me that I could change the way my thought processes, my cognitive processes. And I had to come to that and through self-development and he's, there's three main areas that why are we not paying attention to these more when they dictate our life experience on what it's going to have. And more importantly, the ripple effect that it has in society and the people that are closest to them.

Speaker 2: Oh, brilliant, brilliant insights. And I wish more people had your insights. I agree with you. This isn't a skill that we should be glossing over. Now. There's a lot more awareness than there is some kind of, you know, awareness of eating, but you know, you don't get your mind, right? You won't learn it anyway.

Speaker 3: It's very easy to see who benefits from a style of eating that we had learned with the four food groups and everything else that goes with that, which is as you start to learn, you're like, wait a minute. This is not what I was eating as a child or what I was told in the middle of Saturday morning cartoons as I had a giant bowl of sugar with a big spoon in it. So it's very easy to follow the money trail, but, but with that, there is a bunch of those conventional wisdoms that need to be attacked and scrutinized because we're paying the price for now. And as you mentioned with the I'm absolutely terrified because I don't see any of the things that we are all discussing here, being propagated through mainstream news. All we keep hearing is things that are counter to our thought process. And you discussed this in, and you've mentioned it in several different ways here already of the way we think forces certain narratives and then a chemical reaction that goes with that. How are we supposed to be resilient and healthy in the face of a pandemic when we're being fed gloom and doom 24 seven

Speaker 2: It's to be bathed and toxic force. I mean, you really all, we literally living in it and there's some good, obviously in amongst it. And thank goodness for the wellness industry, that's countering this and that. And thank goodness for social media, that there is a level of it. There is a grassroots movement and how many scientists have jumped on board in that, in this grass? So thank goodness. That's the, that's the great part of technology 40 years ago, just to kind of kind of paint a picture of the industrialized food movement. The big money-making machine began at the same time as the psychotropic money machine began. And at the same time, technology was developing and technology is fantastic without it'd be, it'd be all, no we'd suffer, but mismanagement of technologies, to be fair, we got to teach ourselves how to use technology. You've got to teach our kids.

Speaker 2: You've got to have breaks from the screen. You've got to you, can't just gather data. You have to process data. So we have changed eating habits. We have changed how we move. We've changed all these things over there, and we've changed how we look at the human. So humans become a machine that you feed with all this junk and that you feed it, all this technology and that if they feel sick and break down, Oh, it's something. And he had to give another chemical. And that make an avatar view has resulted in people dying younger. And yes, they're propagating it now with the media. It's crazy

Speaker 3: Caroline. And here's another one. Our communication has changed, which feeds that toxic tree AIJ. And I were just discussing this in our marketing materials. When it comes to getting people's attention, you need to use absolutes. You always or never do this, or stop doing this to get people's attention. However, listening to some of your work, we have to use them in advertising and marketing, but you don't want to talk to your significant other with using you never, or you always are using these absolutes because the narrative that, that forms in somebody's mind feeds that toxicity and their overall health.

Speaker 2: Oh, absolutely. It's so true. And absorbing it between the time that you open your eyes and you go to bed at night, you are being exposed to somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 different experiences. And every one of those experiences is being processed through your mind. And your mind is literally this gravitational field that keeps you IPO'ed genetically keeps your brain and body alive. So no mind dead person. And it's so great, but it's scientific. You can talk about the incredible work done by Nobel prize winners in gravitational fields. And each of us has our own unique one, but those gravitational fields are supposed to be kind of quite flowy like the sea. And then when we are in a mind management state, we can have stuff going on, but if we don't mind mentioning state, it looks different in the brain too, in the unmanaged.

Speaker 2: So that energy goes through the brain and then that the brain responds energetically. Okay. So now, if we are based in this toxicity coming at us from every angle and we are not managing, we are literally sitting on a million different Apple trees hitting us with poison apples. We have to teach the resilience to be able to stand back and say, Hey, I don't want that in my head. And we can, but we have been almost there to believe that we can't. I mean, generation Z and the millennials down are the first generation to grow up. So drugged. They are the most drugged generation ever in history, which is insane. 20, 30, 40 years ago. If I did a letter, let's say 30, even 30 years ago, I did a lecture at a school about the mind. The questions would be about depression, anxiety would.

Speaker 2: Now, if I did a lecture, they would say, okay, what's the medication for their treatment? What's the diagnosis. So it's all medicalized. Our kids are growing, not mine because they've grown up with the opposite of this. But in general, have grown up with this thing that, Hey, life's terrible. You have no control. It's all your brain and body. And you base this toxic environment. Now that toxic environment is actually changing. We can block it going in, but if you don't know how you're going to absorb it. And then if that's in your, children's your telomeres, which is your DNA. And I showed him, and these are actually a really good,

Speaker 1: Yeah. The book has these great examples of brain scans between the two groups and shows just how big of an impact this has on your ability to think and feel and light up those brain scans.

Speaker 2: Actually, I've managed to get my publisher to print kind of graphs, to show the impact. And this is looking inside the brain, these actual brain scans and looking at the energy response of the brain and gray is what you want. This is someone in the con in my experimental trial. I mean my travelers, they then experimental group. So this is what you want. This is like a normal way for alpha beta data gamma. You've heard of those things and it's supposed to feel like the beach, big waves, little ways, you know, the breakers on the beach, et cetera. This person doesn't have that. They've got a blueprint flat line. That means low energy, low oxygen, low blood flow holes in the brain. Literally non-functional this person was saying, I am depression. They'd been diagnosed with clinical depression, and they've been told you are depression. And that's all that they initial narrative on day.

Speaker 2: One was all about, I am depression, I'm hopeless. I can't do the psycho. Everything that they couldn't do. And this was a millennial and I have quite a lot about millennials in the section, actually. And this is one of the case studies. This person said, I am depression. Their biological age, biological age is that shows that the health of your body, the biological age was way older than their chronological age. In other words, they were aging rapidly. They had a body at day, one of a 60, 65, 70 year old. And they were in their thirties. Now you have that. You're making a million cells every second. And the quality of those cells is determined on your mind. And we see that in the telomeres on the DNA. So they had short, unhealthy telomeres, the experimental subjects. They ended the neuro cycle, which is what's in the spoken.

Speaker 2: I'm not saying that I have the elixir of life. I'm just saying that I've studied the mind brain. And this system has got 38 years of research on how you can get this crazy mind of Oz under control to change the biology. So this person who had had clinical depression, tried every drug, tried. Every treatment was checking out. They literally were checking out. This was the last attempt. Then did this neurosurgical data in an app version. They didn't get therapy. This is the key. You've got this power in you. You've got to live with yourself 24 seven. So they did this for 15 to 45 minutes. Every day. By day 21, this person was crying. They were saying, I'm not depression. I'm not hopeless. I am depressed because of depression is a signal. It's not my identity. That's why you see the green, which shows that their identity identities changing and shifting.

Speaker 2: And they say this I'm still anxious and still depressed. But I now know why. And I would see this even more green, more green. They said, okay, I understand depression has come from this and this and this depression is a signal. I know I'm still going to have depression, but I know what to do. And their behavior was changing. They were back at work. They were back sleeping. Again. This seeping had gone from literally not sleeping, having little bits of sleep at night to nearly 25% to 35% improved sleep by this point, which may not sound a lot, but it is a huge amount. Just 5% improvement in your sleep will change your life. And there were also back at work, back in relationships, they've gone from literally suicidal in 63 days to changing their behavior. And we, there's still tons of work. This is a lifestyle.

Speaker 2: So I'm going to just go away. Like they've got to clean their teeth. They've got to keep on doing this, this over the page very quickly as someone who didn't get the experiments, didn't get the neuro cycle. The red brain shows someone who's got a tsunami in their brain. It was a mess from that came in a logical age, crazy this person with the blue brain, they are the time they've got the gray brain, the first person over here. By the time we got to this point, the biological and chronological age, in other words, they were in their thirties and the body over here was in the sixties. By the time they got here, it was back to thirties. So in other words, the longevity increase and the vulnerability disease decreased. Their cortisone levels were through the roof. The inflammation was through the roof, but with my management, we changed that this particular person with a red brain, they just got worse and worse and worse as they became a week because of all the testing did, they became super aware, which goes to all the mindfulness practices. People talk about it. You know, you, you can become aware, but if you don't manage, if you've got to go beyond awareness, you have to manage what you're aware of. And they didn't. They became aware, but had no management. So they just got worse and worse and worse. Obviously we gave them the neuro cycle. Once the nine weeks we gave it to them because they were Rick. And that was the control versus, I mean, I can go on and on. I put a lot of examples in the book.

Speaker 1: It's such an important point to make, because many of us wouldn't pick up a smoking habit. We wouldn't start eating fast food every day because we know the risk, but we don't know the risk that these thoughts and beliefs have on our physical health. We think we're just trying to deal with it mentally. We're afraid to share it with our friends and family. We're ashamed of it because of the chemicals and the labels and everything else that go along with poor mental health. You know, we're all going through this struggle. And you know, I want to talk about an example that you gave on your podcast about using the neuro cycle, because I think everyone can relate to this. And you were talking about being on your way to the gym with your daughter and having an

Speaker 2: People love the story. I can't sorry. I don't mean to interrupt you, but this story seems to have got people. And it was just such a spontaneous thing. I said, Hey, let me do a podcast on this. Cause it was so effective for

Speaker 1: Real, because we've all been there. Certainly during this pandemic, especially where the people we know and love and care about still get on our nerves and something else triggers us. And we're in an argument. And then we feel intense regret afterwards. Like, why did I do that? Why did I say that? Why did I behave that way? So can you walk us through that example that you gave around using this neuro cycle? So we can actually start to manage this mess that we're all struggling with.

Speaker 2: We were on our way to work at orange theory and I had woken up like on each that day. And I was just like ratty and something was worrying in and I hadn't quite processed certain it effected my sleeps as tired or jumped in the car. It's two minutes away. We drove together and in the car, Dominic, I've got four kids, three work for me and my husband. So we are a family business to be easy. We live work together, even though studio is separate from the house, we still together 24 seven. So he, or she says something to me and I'm this wonderful mental health expert in weather. And I totally snap at her get into this argument really. I mean, there was no reason to react like I did. There was always just, I said the horrible things and she got upset with me and tell me, we had this little fight in three minutes, we managed to get ourselves totally worked up.

Speaker 2: We get to the orange theory. It's time to go in and register, get on the treadmill. And we had all this built up energy. So the first thing is that you have got this energy and it just never lost energy is transferred to either. I could keep that energy boiling and keep toxic and keep mad and mess up the whole day and do whatever or I could neuro cycle. So I've got onto the treadmill, took that energy that was built up in me from the argument and started on the treadmill. That crazy going as fast as I've never been that fast on the treadmill. And I started neuroscience thing. So first of all, I gathered awareness, gather, notice the word gathered and stand under the Apple tree and get into guilt, shame, condemnation, everything you're the mother uses. How can you do that? Does that?

Speaker 2: I just thought no, when I did it, I messed up our own it. I got frustrated. I got irritated. I gathered awareness of my sin. I didn't notice my body in the car. My body was very tense. I was driving. I drove too fast and I didn't go break the speed limit. But I mean, I was, I was, I was not driving well. I was a 10 step. My hands were staff. My body was in. So I took a notice of those signals. Then I also took notice of my behaviors. My words were short, tip sentences, harsh words, body movement, loud tone, all that stuff that just generated a mess. And it was making me a mess. You're a mess, EMEA mess. And then I noticed my perspective. I was Turkey. I'm right. You're wrong. You know what I mean? That's ridiculous. You'd makes making assumptions.

Speaker 2: You don't know what the other person's thinking. The quantum physics shows us that never assume because you're going to be at least 70% chance of being wrong. And you should always give the other person a chance to explain before you jump to conclusions. And I know all of this, but in that moment I didn't do it. So I gathered awareness of those and I reflected and I, and I see, well, he says, you should have done this, but you didn't do this. Why is a reason why showed up like that that morning? Why didn't I do that? Instead of condemning myself, I wanted to know why so I could fix it is a huge difference. See, I could feel totally bad and guilty as a parent and as a leader in mental health, or I could say, okay, own it. What did you do on this?

Speaker 2: A reason why showed up like that? So that my reflection, which is the second step, which is ask, answer, discuss, put the thoughts on trial, put those things on trial. But I gathered just very quickly. I didn't stand under the Apple tree. I stood back and I controlled it. I picked the apples, controlling it with my wise mind, which is your survival mind and the messy mind. So in the day when we act two and we process our active mind, our conscious mind is very messy. And we need a wise mind, which has a wide full of survival optimism bias. Knowing in, I know our mind and Wyatt for that are bolded. You could talk about Nobel prize, winning scientists. Talk about the biology of the brain and body while we don't have any structures for this. So in this happens, it distorts and creates the damage in the brain and the body.

Speaker 2: That's why we got the telomeres and increased cortisol and blah, blah, blah, all that stuff. So in doing this process, as soon as I decided to gather awareness and reflect and you know, do this on the treadmill, the minute I did that, I immediately made streets work for me. Instead of against me, I shifted those 1400 neurophysiological responses. So I was in a more resilient state. I increased blood flow to the front of my brain so that I could increase my decision-making and drop my impulsivity in the argument. I was impulsive doing the gather awareness, doing the reflect. And then the third step is right now, obviously I don't have a pen and paper on the treatment. So in the quick, in the moment, what you do for the third step is you visualize like you making a movie and you watch the whole thing.

Speaker 2: I rewatched from the time I left the house to the time I got to orange theory and got in the car on the table, what did I do? I really looked at my body movements, my language. So that was like getting that, that was writing. Then the fourth step is it was a big mess. Let's make sense of addicts, do a mental autopsy. Why was I like that? And that's where I got to the point where I realized, okay, it was because I work at EG. I work at BG because I hadn't resolved something from the night before. And something that she had said had triggered my concern about that particular issue. So now I had all the reasons. So what's my first step act of rejection. Okay, well, I fix it now, but I want to get the best out of this orange theory.

Speaker 2: I want to keep my mindset correct. So I don't lose my benefits here. And my active reaches to catch your eye, which I did. She was doing in your cycle at the same time. According to this big smile forgiveness happened, we both did our workout afterwards. It was a race to see who could say, sorry, first. Now there's an example of real life action. We are caught that I become so self regulated that I can manage and catch. And I say that in my research, you can become 81% in control of these emotions. And just getting honestly, 10% control. You will feel like a different few human it's that out of control, that that center I've got no agency that took be hate.

Speaker 1: There are so many points in there. The one thing that really struck me about it was the fact that you now have that ability to realize all the other reasons that this was firing instead of Lincoln to her and her behavior and just blame her. And many of us just fall to that, the fault this person did something to me, this person wronged me. It's this person's fault because that's easier than taking ownership and responsibility of the unmanaged mess that you have going on. And that toxic forest that you've just continued to let grow without dealing with. And that metaphor of a mess. You know, many of us wait until spring cleaning, or it just gets so overwhelming that we have to do it. And you bring up a great point that this is something that you're actively working on. You know this, but you still have to actively work on this. And, and that's really what I wanted our audience to see. One is a real life example and two, that this is something that we have control over, but we have to work on much like going to see the trainer go into the grocery store to pick the right foods, not the wrong foods. We have to do the exact same thing mentally to succeed.

Speaker 2: Absolutely. You've nailed it. The, and it's, it's, it's a process. It does take time. It does take work and that's exactly, but you can become more self regulated and we see from neuroscience, you can actually do this every 10 seconds. When you consciously awake, you can want it to everything you're doing every 10 seconds. I am not asking you to set your watch. That's not what I'm doing. It's the concept. The concept is that when you conscious, you actually are able to monitor like we are with each other. We can see each other's faces. That's what we should be doing all the time. As we speaking, what is the con, the way you've constructed your sentence and deliver that? What impact has that had on that person? Did they understand you? Did they misunderstand you? Have you upset them? Can you adjust your communication? We can get so fast that they email.

Speaker 2: How did you respond? How's this make you feel? Or you making assumptions. You know, it's constantly living in that. Watch your signals re ask them. You can do it in five seconds. Once you're in that system, you can regulate like that. And then when you're doing that, it's so much easier to deal with the big stuff, because in the regulating, the little things you start seeing, Oh gosh, this is a pack. I always get upset when I get that kind of communication or there kind of trigger seem more depressed than normal. I'm really getting achy about these things. Like what does, since it's out of me, it's wrong. I don't know what's true. What's going on. So as soon as you stop making that, you can recognize those. It's also cycles from the past. We have stuff that passes through epigenetic through the generation. And we say things like, Oh gosh, I'm dealing with my mother did one being with my father did, or, you know, that's a pack net cost to the sperm and the ova, literally these things pass through.

Speaker 2: And they, but they don't mean that you're going to do them automatically. It just means that you have the potential, but you can walk those out too. You can rip those out and be conceptualized. So the process is to embrace and process and reconceptualize and reconceptualize is not express. Why was it not the situation, the new situation. And then you just, you know, that could get us something. You just completely covered it up with a Z. You're not putting a bandaid. That's abandoned approach. What you're doing is you're saying, this is the situation. This is how I should be. This is the mace. This is the argument. This is why I got the, this is where I should be. So now I'm going to do X. I'm going to put them together. Reconceptualize is the recognition that I have done something wrong, but I can manage it.

Speaker 2: I can change it around. I can see it from another angle. So it's like taking an ugly old house. This is a really easy example. And you buy a house, you're going to renovate it and you take photos and it's ugly. And it's moldy corporates and terrible lighting and just awful dark. And you bash the whole thing down because it's a great neighborhood. And you rebuild this beautiful new space. Now you're living in this beautiful new three constructed, but you still remember how it was, but you're living in the new space. So you've changed how the past plays out into your future. You get read to views, traumatized, bullied, war, trauma, whatever. That's terrible stuff. That's the origin. That's the source of that's the root. Everything starts there. This is your interpretation of that. So basically what you're doing is you are deconstructing and you reconstructing that into this.

Speaker 2: An example of this root concept is that right now we talking about mental health, some of that stuff. So people not taking our words and at 400 billion actions per second are converting those words into these little protein trees in your brain. That our thoughts, the roots are what I'm saying. And our discussion is X. The source this over here is the everyone's listening and watching. It's their interpretation of what they're hearing in terms of what it means to them in terms of the life experience. So we all interpret this differently. That's how uniqueness. So this is great. This is healthy, but if it's toxic and you've been abused, then this over here is we're into this. The origin is the source. This is your interpretation of it. So therefore this is going to be how you see yourself. Maybe that's rape and abuse. As a child, shame can form relationships.

Speaker 2: It's so toxic because it shouldn't have happened. So you blame yourself because you don't know how to make sense of it. As a child, this shows up it anxiety, maybe suicidal thoughts and battling with relationships low. Self-esteem just not whatever, because it's just so painful, but that can be changed when you face it. So for the big stuff like that, you need to work on the five steps in a more systematic way. And then you do the five steps slower over 15 to 45 minutes daily. And in the first 21 days, you're going to take this, identify it, embrace it and reconceptualize it. So you, the five steps is helping you look at the signals to find the roots, the signals, and you're going through the five steps consecutively each day, something new is revealed. And then I've shown in the research. What happens like at each time point.

Speaker 2: So by day 21, we have four gamma peaks, which means that we are actually deconstructive, you've got the new house. So we've actually not changed it. The cost is in there. You can still talk about your past, but you've changed how it's playing out into the future. You've now managed that you own it. It doesn't own you, you control it. The pain is still there, but it's different. It's more like this is part of who I am. It's terrible. That you've disconnected. And then, but it's small in the forest. This is small at 21 days, this is too small. It does not have enough energy to get from the non-conscious, which is massive through the subconscious, which is a bridge into the conscious mind. And only when something's in the conscious mind consistently, then you're going to have a behavior change. So if you just bolt us and do nothing, you're not going to change your behavior.

Speaker 2: You're still going to be stuck. And that's when people say things like I've done the work, but I'm still, then it's another 10 years of therapy. You know, this is what happens. I mean, I was interviewing someone the other day who had extensive childhood trauma and religious trauma and all kinds of just one thing after another, and literally went to therapy for that 25 years, the majority of deck was just constantly going to circles until he actually realized he had to go the whole route, which was the extra 42 days as well. And also quite just be talking in circles, you've got to be deconstructing and reconstructing. It's, you know, it's a very organized systematized process. So you do that for 21 days, and then you get this little sort. And then from day 22 to 63, which is another six weeks, you just practice step five. It takes a minute of your day to 42 minutes, over 42 days. It's nothing. And that gives this thing enough energy to automatize it, which is the scientific word for making it a habit, which means that it's a very intelligent driving force, but it's strong enough now to impact your behavior

Speaker 1: In those situations, upon reflection, you know, looking at your behavior, looking at the reaction it caused in your daughter and feeling regret. That's one thing, many of us are walking into a situation where we know we may be triggered and we know we may get a negative reaction from the past. How do we prepare ourselves for those moments where we might be feeling anxiety, or we might be fearful, or that trauma in the past is holding us back from achieving the success that we want.

Speaker 2: My answer's going to be, you're going to have to neuro cycle, you're going to have to be going through the process. So one of the things you recognize to get to that insight that you've just delivered, you would have gone through a level of insight to find your triggers in the fourth step, which is the recheck that's when you start unpacking your activators or your triggers, and that's when you start developing the antidotes. So while you in that process, if possible, you don't want to get into those situations that will trigger you until you've got to the point of this thing, at least at this sort of three week, preferably at a 63 day Mark. And it's not always realistic because you probably living. It's very often, they'd be living with the actual perpetrators or, and then just how often it's unintentional. You can have two people that love each other in a family or in a work environment, but there's certain patterns from your past that they do something that triggers those.

Speaker 2: So this process of the neuroscience will help you identify those. And once you've identified them, then you can, let's say that there is a good relationship, but they trigger you because of just, maybe it could be a body movement. It could be a sound, a tone in the voice that then brings back the memory of that. And if you haven't processed that, have you surprised that you actually don't even know why you're being triggered? That's a lot of you get what we call a lot of Delta activity in the brain, the conscious brain. So in your wake, if you've got suppressed that you have way too much Delta in the conscious brain. And that means that you're going to have too much over here, down the middle and on the sides over here, you're going to have very hard bursts of high beta. And when there happens or wisdom drops and your impulsivity increases in a triggered state that fires up like crazy, that pattern that I've just described and that's in your brain is still controlled by your mind.

Speaker 2: So you can still get that under control. I mean, you can do a quick neuro cycle. You can do a teen second force breathing exercise, which I'll give you a bunch of techniques, what to do in that. So you can still gather yourself, but it does take a bit of practice. But the key there is to get to the point where you recognize what those triggers are. And then one of your active reaches may be maybe day 21. You will date 1815, or whatever you see, Hey, that person's facial expression or their intonation is triggering this. So you then can talk to that person say, actually, when you do this, this is what happens. Do you mind? I know it's not, you it's like your fault, but that is a trigger for me. So I have to do this in order to cope with that. And if you're going to be honest, so that's, it's those conversations that then can help in as you progress through and become healed over time, it might take multiple 63 days cycles. Those triggers become less and less troublesome and your antidotes become stronger and stronger and eventually can get to the point where you can, even if that is a triggering environment, you can be more in control. So there is hopefully

Speaker 3: This is what I think it is so important to understand the neuro cycle and how neuroplasticity works. Because with the technology that we have, everyone is using the emotional triggers and tools to get our attention because they know it works and we're being bombarded more so with these triggers than ever before in our history. And because of that, we have to be able to clean up that mental message, as you said, because we're being bombarded by these things constantly. And if you don't understand what those triggers are, as you mentioned, it's going to bring your positivity up and drop the wisdom and where you're behaving in a manner that you wouldn't normally yeah.

Speaker 2: You'll show up badly

Speaker 3: Haven. And it was so interesting about that as you're mentioning the triggers and some of your resources I brought up were emotional triggers of always and never. And, and these words that marketing uses, that's a direct example of marketing, understanding emotional triggers and using them. But without being marketed to 24 seven, while we're standing in front of our computers, we rarely encounter those sort of emotional triggers unless we're in a heated conversation with somebody in our life. But as we go about our day, there's nobody trying to get our attention in that manner. But the minute we open our laptop, it's straight in our face and we're going to find the capacity to go after our goals and our desires. We're going to have to learn how to manage our mind.

Speaker 2: Oh, absolutely cool. It drives everything. I love the point that you made in it's so relevant because we have to manage technology, which is one of the contributing factors to people dying younger, because we just are bombarded and we can discipline and control it. But no one's teaching it. No one's saying this is what you do. You know? And people say, give yourself a cell phone, fast of technology fast. It's not just a one off thing. It is actually, how do you manage it? Exactly. It's the whole mindset like the gym and you know, the exercise and it's the mindset I'm going to go in. And if I see something's triggering me, I'm not going to look at that feed. You know, if I'm seeing an article or a bunch of articles have left 15 minutes and I've been scrolling through and I'm getting mad begging as the triggers, that's not good for you.

Speaker 2: So I'm going to help you do, you know, you can select one, whatever. There's so many ways that we can manage that. That's where the neuro psych was fantastic because you can quickly pick up with the technology triggers are, and you can kind of catch those and get them under control because it just translates as you do every time you do it, the more you do it, like anything, 63 days of neuroscience, if you are, and you're a cyclist seriously, and your self regulation has increased to the point where you, it's almost like unrecognizable, people will turn around and say, I have what you have. I mean, literally that's what people have noticed as they start doing this. And there's this, that acceptance that you can make a mess. Okay? But as long as you do something about it,

Speaker 1: And when you clean up that mental mess, you actually are a better person in every relationship in your life. It's your responsibility to manage that mess. It's not put it on. Others expect others to just deal with you. You need to deal with yourself. Our last question for you. We love asking every guest who joins us, what is your X factor? What does that mindset or skill set that makes you so successful?

Speaker 2: I think, you know, my answer it's self-regulation, that is key because if you self-regulate, you can see what you're doing and you can manage it. So self regulating my thinking, feeling choosing. So it's my management. That's my expecta. It's absolutely changed my life. Going from being a therapist, teaching

Speaker 3: People in a therapeutic context to actually applying it in my life as a woman and mother, a wife. And just in the work that I do that has been transformational.

Speaker 1: Thank you so much for the great examples and the props. We're so excited for everyone to enjoy the video version of this podcast. This is such a great conversation.

Speaker 3: If anyone's just listening. The picture of the damage, rotten tree is going to bring in my, in my mind, and it's such a good vision

Speaker 1: Show representation of what's going on. I'm ready to start pruning my forest. Thank you so much, doctor.

Speaker 3: Thank you so much. It's been great talking to you. Thank you. Thank you. [inaudible] I gotta say her excitement came through on this podcast and I hope our listeners were able to follow along. There was a few things that she was holding up and those in YouTube will be able to see it. One was a skull that had a brain and the other was a tree and there was a few other pieces. She held up her book and I hope that translated to you guys out there in podcast land.

Speaker 1: I know it's one of our favorite subjects neuro-plasticity and how we can actually rewire our brains for success. And I love that she's so open and honest about her own mental mess as we all have it. And it's so aspirational to know even the experts struggle with these things, but it's all about learning the tools to be more successful.

Speaker 3: Hey Jay, we got a shout out here from a place that I've never heard of before, and I'm going to have to do some researching, but I'm going to read it to you. It's from Joe Tate. And she says, Hey guys, I hope both of you are well and happy. I just wanted to say that I've discovered your fabulous podcast and absolutely love listening to it. I'm listening all the way from isle of man. You've maybe not have heard of this gorgeous little Island, but just wanted to let you know that you are making a difference in far away places. Well, thank you, Joe Tay. Then as I said, I'm going to be reading up on Allah man, a J what do you know of this far away destination?

Speaker 1: I'd have to Google it to be honest, but I'm excited about the fact that the podcast is worldwide. And we have so many listeners all over the world who share their praises. We would love to hear from you wherever on this globe. You are, you can share your thoughts, feelings, or ask us [email protected] or find us on social media at the art of charm on your favorite social platforms, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter,

Speaker 3: Be sure to tag us. We'll definitely share it.

Speaker 1: That's right. If you had a favorite part of this show, take a screenshot and tag us at the art of charm. We love sharing it with our audience and seeing what parts of each episode you enjoy.

Speaker 3: Are you tired of settling for anything less than extraordinary? Do you know that you deserve more from your relationships career in life? Well, you can work directly with, to unlock your

Speaker 1: X factor, to succeed in business love in life. Hidden inside of you is the potential to build your dream life and extraordinary career relationships and lifestyle. You just need a way to unlock it

Speaker 3: Because let's face it. You deserve more than that.

Speaker 1: Unsatisfying work, lackluster relationships, or even worse, boring nights and weekends. It's time to unleash your inner superhero.

Speaker 3: Join our X-Factor accelerator and get mentorship from me and Aja for an entire year. From promotions and raises to engagements. We are proud of our X-Factor accelerator members.

Speaker 1: We can't wait for you to join head over, to unlock your X-Factor dot com to apply today. That's right. Unlock your X factor.com to apply, to join our incredible mentorship group today, before we go, could you do us and the entire team here, a huge favor, open up Apple podcasts and leave us a review rate this show and let us know how much you enjoy the podcast. It means the world to us, and it helps amazing guests like Dr. Lee find us.

Speaker 3: The art of charm podcast is produced by Michael Harold and Eric Montgomery until next week. I'm Johnny

Speaker 1: And I'm a J have an Epic week.

Speaker 4: [inaudible].

Check in with AJ and Johnny!

AJ Harbinger - author of 1175 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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