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Joy Tote Bag Dimensions: We should be living a very long time. Because we spend our lives purposeful. It's war and we're going to lead you to a better life. Tana Amen: Well and purpose is double-edged. So if you think about purpose, it's like if I have purpose I'm going to live longer just because I'm doing something purposeful. But the flip side of that is that when you have a strong purpose, you tend to make better decisions. For example, I have this thought in my head that I really want to be here for my daughter.
That's a major part of my purpose. Whether it's because of the work we're doing or because of my daughter, or whatever it is, that drive is very, very strong. That keeps me making better decisions. Because if I make bad decisions, I won't be here for her. Daniel Amen: And that's very important. If you stay with us, we're actually going to talk to you about how to create purpose in your own life. Tana Amen: But I see a lot of, I've seen this a lot where even some of the moms will go out at lunch time and they love their kids.
I know they love their kids. They're taking good care of their kids. But they'll drink at lunch and then get in their cars and drive. And I'm like See to me, those are connected. Does that make sense? Tana Amen: I would be afraid to do that. I would not do that because I would be afraid of the consequences and not being there for my child. Daniel Amen: Forethought. That's frontal lobes. We're going to talk about them next.
How do you know if you have purpose in your life? Answer these five questions:. Tana Amen: I like this. But I'm going to push back on number one. So what I've done in the past and what I hope to do in the future, many people have really hard past. They've either made bad decisions or they've been a victim of something in the past. That does not mean that you cannot shift that into being very, using it as fuel for purpose in the future. Certainly I know a lot of people that almost the more painful their stories are, and we've written a lot about them, the more driven they are to be purposeful.
Daniel Amen: If I think about it, I was beaten up a lot as a little kid and anxious, smaller than everyone else. I can focus on that and you grew up in a lot of chaos. You can think about that and be really upset. Or you can think of the amazing times you had. And you had amazing times with your mom and with your grandmother. Certainly, I got to hang out with my grandfather who made fudge.
That was awesome. Where you bring your attention, often determines how you feel. We're going to talk about that in mastering your mind. Tana Amen: And the other thing is, if you do have something in your past, an unresolved trauma or you were a victim of something, or you made bad decisions.
You were the person making bad decisions. Do something empowering to pull yourself out of that. I think about it as an unresourceful state. That is going to drag you down. That is not going to give you purpose, thinking about that and dwelling on those awful things in the past.
For me, I love doing what we do. I practice karate because as somebody who grew up in that chaotic environment, there were some physical things that had happened. I like feeling empowered. Those things take me out of that. They put me in a more resourceful state, almost instantly. I think being proactive is really important. Daniel Amen: In an upcoming lesson, we're going to talk about embracing change and learning from the failures. So if you had a learning mindset, then they become incredibly important to you. I want to talk a little bit about the addiction cycle.
That's where people engage in actions that increase dopamine. We talked about the two neurotransmitters. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that increases the feeling of pleasure. It works in the pleasure centers. It increases focus and motivation. When it's too low, people feel sad. They feel unmotivated, hopeless, helpless, worthless.
When it's too high, they feel anxious, agitated, can be aggressive, confused, even psychotic sometimes.
Serotonin, on the other side, they balance each other dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin, when it's healthy, it helps you feel happy and optimistic. It helps you sleep. When it's too low, people get depressed, anxious, obsessive. And when it's too high, they feel apathetic and passive. These two counterbalance each other. Most addictive drugs are not boosting serotonin, although ecstasy does that. But most of them boost dopamine. So you feel high. You feel pleasure. You feel awesome. Tana Amen: And so the dopamine, that gives you drive.
And the serotonin is like, "Oh, don't worry. Be happy. Daniel Amen: Correct. So the addiction cycle, is you engage in actions that increase dopamine. So you mentioned pornography.
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You also mentioned methamphetamines. You mentioned cocaine.
The more you do it, the more you press on your pleasure centers-. Daniel Amen: Well and love, new love presses on that too. That's why I tell people don't get married in eight days after you've met someone. Let the cocaine effect wear off. The more you engage in a behavior that dumps dopamine, cocaine, for example dumps dopamine into your brain. It begins to wear those pleasure centers out.
They get what we call tolerant. So it actually takes more and more cocaine, pornography, new love, in order to feel normal. That's the important thing, it takes more and more of that behavior to feel-. Daniel Amen: Same thing.
They're looking for that. They're looking to turn their brains on. They get that pleasure rush in their brains. So you engage in the behavior. You feel high. When dopamine wears off I really want people to go for the dopamine drip. Daniel Amen: Rather than the dopamine rush or the dopamine dump, you want to go for the dopamine drip.
So living with purpose is sort of a dopamine drip. We get a lot of great stories from people who follow our work. That's sort of like a dopamine rush. But you want a consistent, low-level, positive feeling, in order to keep those parts of your brain healthy. So when dopamine wears off from, you have a dopamine squirt or a dopamine splash.
We'll have to find the right word for this. It wears off. So you feel flat, sad, depressed. And so you reengage in the dopamine behavior, like gambling. Even if it's bad for you. Even if you've had negative societal consequences. Your wife has left you. You've been arrested. You have to file for bankruptcy. Shopping for some people. It's like, "Oh, I found that thing.
Obviously not you. Daniel Amen: And so with intense stimulation, the pleasure centers need more and more excitement in order to feel anything at all. We actually have two conditions that you wear out these pleasure center quickly. So people, unless they get treated, and the treatment we use, is dopamine enhancing supplements or dopamine enhancing medications, they tend to be excitement-seeking, conflict-driven. They tend to drive fast. They tend to use stimulants like coffee or cigarettes. Tana Amen: Or do the kind of things that I workout like I do and go practice karate because I like dopamine.
As we've talked before, there's seven different types. But the classic type, they're just-. Tana Amen: The thing I like about exercise is it actually increases all of the good neurotransmitters and hormones. It increases serotonin, dopamine and the endorphins. So you feel balanced.
You feel good. That's why people always say, "Oh, I feel so good when I exercise. Daniel Amen: The other condition we should talk about for just a minute is Parkinson's disease. I have this one patient, who was the father of one of my college friends.
Just the nicest religious man, calm, sweet, moral. When he got Parkinson's-like syndrome, he started to fall in love with Jerry Springer and Dr. He just waited for their shows to come on. I think it's like why? He needed that dopamine splash in order to feel normal.
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Families having sex with each other. Tana Amen: I don't know. Someone please tell me. I got drug to these horror movies when I was nine years old. Daniel Amen: So is Saw, one, two, three, four, five, six and 3D. Are they dopamine drips? Or are they dopamine dumps? Tana Amen: They just scare the hell out of me. Daniel Amen: Right, I mean going to a spectacular movie. We just watched Good Will Hunting. Fabulous movie. Daniel Amen: How to protect your pleasure centers to feel lifelong joy. I'm going to give you some principles. You have to limit the use of constantly stimulating devices and activities, such as smart phones, gaming, shopping, pornography, scary movies and high risk activities.
Tana Amen: So we should probably not gloss over that too much. We gotta give them something to do instead. Daniel Amen: Especially something you love that does not endanger your brain. Such as karate but without [crosstalk ]. Tana Amen: I gotta tell you, there's nothing that feels better than going and just beating the hell out of bags. It's just fun. It just feels good. It's like therapy. Daniel Amen: So karate, dancing, swimming, tennis, table tennis, meditation protects your brain, while boosts activity in your pleasure centers.
You want to make time to laugh.
Humor enhances the pleasure centers and doesn't wear them out. Connect meaningful activities and pleasures, such as volunteering for activities you love. For example, I love table tennis and enjoy keeping score for others during tournaments. I'm doing something purposeful, that I love. Start every day by thinking of three things that you're grateful for. Small dopamine drip. Tana Amen: See, I actually think that really works. It sounds so trivial.
It sounds so minor. And it's not. It actually really works. You do that consistently for a week, it will, I promise you, you'll start to feel better. Daniel Amen: And then reach out to them and tell the person you appreciate them with a text or an email. So you're building a bridge of gratitude. Daniel Amen: Seek pleasure in the little things in life, such as a walk with a friend. Holding hands with your spouse. A great meal. Or a meaningful church service. So positive things that activate dopamine. Meaning and purpose, lasting love, volunteering, relationships, new learning, traveling to places where they speak English and [crosstalk ].
Tana Amen: Seriously, we're not having therapy on their right now. He does not want to go vacation anywhere out of the US anymore. He's just done. Daniel Amen: Pumpkin seeds increase dopamine, as does green tea. Gratitude, appreciation. Winning by striving to be your best. Losing when it motivates you to practice and be better. And digital discipline. Potentially negative things that activate dopamine, jumping out of airplanes, repeatedly falling in love.
High-risk sports like helicopter skiing, marital affairs.
People do that as a way to stimulate their brains. Daniel Amen: If they were married to you, it's absolutely dangerous. Video games, pornography, cocaine, methamphetamines, alcohol, fame. The prayer for some of the young celebrities I see is Dear God, please don't let me be famous before my frontal lobes are developed. Daniel Amen: Losing when it causes pain. Undisciplined digital behavior. Scary movies and gossip. Tana Amen: I don't understand the winning by hurting other people. How does that stimulate dopamine?
Daniel Amen: Well but, there are people whose pleasure centers have been worn out. Or they get pleasure by hurting people. It's not that uncommon. That's why I like those movies.
Daniel Amen: He's had three ways to create meaning, purposeful work, or being productive. Asking questions, such as, "Why is the world a better place because I am here? Loving the people who are central to your life is purposeful. I have a cool story coming up. Courage in the face of difficulty shouldering whatever difficult fate we have, and helping others shoulder theirs. In the face of difficulty, Frankl.
Said, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing. The last of human freedoms, to choose one's attitude in any given circumstances. To choose one own's way. Daniel Amen: He encouraged his patients to see meaning in life's moments and to direct their focus away from painful moments to ones that were more appealing. So for me, and for you too, it's writing.
Creating this podcast or courses. Tana Amen: Well and even things like, helping Chloe our daughter, helping her when she's really struggling with something. That brings me joy, being able to be able to do that is wonderful. Daniel Amen: Experiential values, mountain climbing, sports, traveling, going out to dinner.
Attitudinal values, looking for meaning in situations, even ones that appear meaningless. There's a story about Frankl treating an older man who could not stop grieving the loss of his wife. I'll be like that. He asked the man, "What would have happened if you had died first and your wife would have had to survive you? Daniel Amen: "Oh," The man replied, "For her this would have been terrible. How she would have suffered.tranenmethe.ga
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And it is you who has spared her this suffering. Daniel Amen: "Now you have to pay for it by surviving her and mourning her. But shook Frankl's hand and left his office. Frankl believed we can find meaning in difficult situations. It's like, why for years were people-. Tana Amen: That was very powerful. I want to stop for a minute and think about that. If you just think about that for a second. I know so many parents. They just have this terrible fear of something happening to their child. I can't think of anything worse.
But if I were to stop and think about my child having to raise herself. There's a lot of ways to spin it. A, is what happens to you in life. B, is your interpretation of what happens to you in life. And C, is how you act. And C, actually has nothing to do with A. It's the B stuff. It's how you interpret what happens to you. Daniel Amen: So how can you know your purpose in five minutes? There's this great Ted talk by Adam Leipzig. It has 10 million views. He's a very successful guy who went to his 25th college reunion at Yale. And he said, he made an astounding discovery.
Despite being on their second spouse, and their second house. Which makes sense, given the research we've discussed. To know your purpose, Leipzig said, "You have to know the answer to five simple questions. Daniel Amen: Question number 2. What do you love to do? For example, writing, cooking, designing, speaking, parenting, teaching, crunching numbers. Tana Amen: Parenting. I love being a wife.
I love to write books. And I love to teach people. And I love karate. Tana Amen: That's a crazy question. Because I not only do it for the people that I'm trying to help. I do it for you.