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Episode 2 of 24

Exiting the A.S.A.P. Lane Episode 2: Fix Your Brain/Fix Your Life

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Today’s episode continues on the theme from the first episode--The Magic in the Brain. All the answers to dealing with the unprecedented level of stress that is part of life in the digital age lie here, and before moving on to other related topics, it behooves us to understand this critical point. Our guest Dr. Melanie Greenberg is very special to me. Her work and writings have had an enormous effect on my own understanding of this topic and her best-selling book, The Stress Proof Brain is featured in my book along with a profile of Dr Greenberg. She is a clinical psychologist in Mill Valley, California, an author, speaker and executive coach. In addition, she writes a blog for Psychology Today called the Mindful Self-Express. She treats the whole person, focusing on mind, body, and spirit. With her patients and in her writings, she stresses modern neuroscience along with mindfulness and other techniques. Her bio is extensive and I encourage our listeners to go to her website, for a fuller appreciation of her and her work than time allow today. So simply stated, yet, near the top of life’s greatest challenges. In a previous episode, we explored this topic and the magic that resides in the brain. Unfortunately, darkness also resides in the brain, and this is at the root of the global epidemic of stress and anxiety that is taking such a toll on both our mental and physical health. The toll includes more lost to opioid overdoses last year alone than the combined wars of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan alone. America is now second only to Mexico in obesity. The Center for Disease Control says that 4 out 10 Americans have a Body Mass Index that qualifies them as obese. In my new book, I call pills, alcohol, food, binge-shopping false wizards---means of coping by those who have difficulty with the pace of life today in the digital age.        In this episode you will learn: Many addictive behaviors such as drinking, smoking, taking drugs, overeating, and overindulging in shopping or sex are, at their root, attempts to avoid the uncomfortable emotions from stress. Emotional eating is directly linked to cortisol levels and stress. Studies show that persons under chronic stress can age prematurely, up to 10 years sooner than peers. Mindfulness has the potential to make not only individuals, but businesses, institutions and societies stress-proof. Your breath is the most common anchor in learning and adopting mindfulness into your life. Adult brains can be re-wired through a process called neuroplasticity. Mindfulness, practiced 30 minutes per day, can actually shrink your amygdala You can become the CEO of your own brain, keep your prefrontal cortex firmly in charge, and make your brain less reactive to stress. You can generate inner calm, build healthy lifestyle habits, and facilitate clear thinking. A stress-resilient brain is the best thing you can have for staying focused, fit, connected, and on top of your game. If I had to choose one tool, it would be mindfulness. Don't forget to subscribe to the show!