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TMHS 361: 10 Ways To Upgrade Your Emotional Fitness
Whether you’re trying to advance your physical fitness, career, or relationships, the way you think and operate emotionally will determine your results. If we want to change the course of our lives for the better, we have to learn how to build our emotional intelligence.
On this compilation episode, we’re going to cover how to cultivate and improve your emotional intelligence. You’ll hear interviews from ten of the top experts in the realm of emotional wellness. You’re going to learn insights and strategies that you can use in order to reach your goals and become your most authentic self.
We’re highlighting the importance of building emotional intelligence, how to overcome obstacles like comparison syndrome, how to build empathy, as well as how to truly channel your authenticity. So listen in, take good notes, and apply the tactics that resonate with you!
In this episode you’ll discover:
- The role emotional intelligence plays in having a successful and productive life.
- How being too focused on happiness can actually make you less happy over time.
- What we can learn from our negative emotions.
- A simple tactic for overcoming envy and comparison syndrome.
- The difference between EQ and IQ.
- How reading fiction can make you more empathetic.
- The relationship between our body and how we perceive emotions.
- What sympathetic overdominance is.
- The importance of listening to understand (vs. listening to respond).
- How failure and success are interlinked.
- The key to recovering from your mistakes.
- How health marketing perpetuates a cycle of shame.
- The dangers of assigning morality to food.
- What it truly means to be authentic.
- Why carrying a sense of purpose is so important for your emotional fitness.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Ettitude.com/Model ⇐ Use the coupon code MODEL for 10% off your organic sheets!
- Easemagnesium.com/model ⇐ Get an exclusive 15% off here!
- Themodelhealthshow.com/phenomenal ⇐ Join me at Phenomenal Life 2020!
- Embracing Change and Gaining Emotional Agility with Dr. Susan David – Episode 185
- How to Beat Anxiety and Become Unstoppable with Craig Ballantyne – Episode 322
- Emotional Intelligence with Dr. Daniel Goleman – Episode 237
- 10 Ways to Increase Your Mental Power & Get Smarter Now – Episode 356
- The Paradox of Progress with Mark Manson – Episode 343
- The Microbiome-Emotion Connection with Dr. Jillian Teta – Episode 349
- The Comfort Zone Myth with Drew Manning – Episode 299
- Weight Loss, Breakthroughs, and Accountability with Drew Manning – Episode 110
- Thinking Faster and Better with Jim Kwik – Episode 318
- Coconuts, Kettlebells, and Breaking the Wagon Mentality with Noelle Tarr – Episode 306
- Healing Yourself Through Humor with JP Sears – Episode 315
- Emotional Agility by Susan David, PhD
- Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
- Fit2Fat2Fit by Drew Manning
- Coconuts and Kettlebells by Noelle Tarr and Stefani Ruper
- Daniel Goleman – “Social Intelligence” | Talks at Google
- Shawn Stevenson – “Sleep Smarter” | Talks at Google
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
You are now listening to The Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson. For more visit themodelhealthshow.com.
Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today.
I am so excited about this episode, we're talking about a subject matter that was totally transformational in my own life and it's something that has really gained a lot of steam in conventional conversations today.
And companies and individuals alike are seeing that this is really a huge component in overall success, whether we're talking about success in our relationships, our careers, even our health.
And this is the topic of emotional intelligence.
And today we're doing a compilation with some of the very best experts on the planet and talking about some of the insights and strategies regarding different aspects of our emotions and our emotional wellness.
I think you are going to get a ton of great insights and nuggets. I love doing these compilation episodes because we had so many incredible individuals on this show and sometimes you might miss an episode or you might hear something again with your updated knowledge because this is a thing and I really want to share this with you.
When I was really working to transform my own life and to transform my own thinking, I would find these different audiobooks and different programs and different books and I wouldn't just listen one time or hear something one time and think, "Oh I got it, I got it now."
No, I would replay these things over and over and over again, go back and reread things until I truly understood it.
And they say that repetition is the mother of all skill, right. So the things that we do repeatedly, it really does ingrain itself and become a part of us in many ways.
So we're talking about literally laying down more myelin in our brains and insulating those connections that we make, the more that we repeat a behavior.
And so even if that is the consumption of a behavior, so I love those messages when people hit me just like, "I listened to episode 2 or 3 times," something like that because those are the things that I did that truly did have a deep impact on me that is to last for many, many years.
And so even today, when you relisten to some of these clips from these experts, you're listening with updated knowledge, you're not the same person that you were when you might have heard it the first time, and it might strike you in a different way, it might hit your soul in a way that really compels you into right action or a new way of being.
And so again, that's why I'm really excited about this and I love doing these episodes. And so today, again, 10 experts we're talking about emotional fitness, because that's really how we experience the world, is through our emotions, it's through these feelings that we get.
And a lot of times we're not even chasing a goal, we're chasing the feeling that comes along with it.
So this is a big player in many different areas of our lives and, of course, we want to dive in and talk about what that all looks like today.
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Now, here's what's really remarkable is that they are moisture-wicking, this means that— a lot of folks sweat when they sleep, so it's moisture-wicking, because getting sweaty and gross is not all that great, plus they are being hypoallergenic that really helps in that department as well.
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They're also anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, self-deodorizing as well to create a really healthy sleep environment. They are breathable as I mentioned, moisture-wicking, and they are thermoregulating sheets.
Listen, as you know, I wrote a book called "Sleep Smarter" and one of the things that I talk about in the book is this incredible thing that the human body does, called thermoregulation is always looking to regulate, self-regulate its temperature.
There's a natural drop in our core body temperature at night to facilitate great sleep. We know what it's like when we're sleeping when the temperature, when it's just too warm, and it's causing the sweating, it's just, it doesn't feel good when we're too hot trying to sleep.
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And now let's get to the Apple podcast review of the week.
iTunes review: Another 5-star review titled "Easier to understand health knowledge at your fingertips" by Sydney Feibus.
"Shawn provides health and nutritional information in a way that's much easier to understand than the average health podcast. And it's much more data-driven. He covers so many important topics and misconceptions, and I'm grateful for all of the time, effort and research he puts in for each episode."
Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, Sydney thank you so much for sharing that and I appreciate that acknowledgment. Listen, if you've to do so, please pop over to Apple podcasts and leave a review for the show.
Please let everybody know what you think about The Model Health Show and just whatever app you're on, listening to the show if you can leave a review for the show please do.
And, of course, if you're hanging around the studio with me and watching on YouTube, make sure to leave a comment below the video and let everybody know what you thought of the episode.
Alright, so on that note, let's get to our powerhouse compilation with the top experts in the world on various aspects of building your emotional fitness.
First up we have Dr. Susan David and she's one of my all-time favorite guests. She wrote an incredible book called "Emotional Agility" and her research has led her down an incredible path of discovering how important it is to really take ownership and being able to modulate and understand our emotions.
And so in this clip, I asked her about a really important subject, because obviously today, we have a lot more conversation about some of the negative emotions that we experience as humans.
And I pose a question to her of whether or not experiencing these negative emotions is even a bad thing. So check out this conversation with Dr. Susan David.
Dr. Susan David: It's really interesting, one of the things that I talk about in "Emotional Agility" is this idea that every newspaper, every which way we are turning, we are effectively told that positive thoughts create our reality, that we shouldn't have negative thoughts and that we should be happy, happy, happy all the time.
What we know is that this actually is not really supported by what is effective. So, for example, thinking negative thoughts and even feeling negative emotions are actually, as we explored earlier, just part and parcel of who we are as people.
When we start stepping into the space, when we try to push our thoughts aside, control our thoughts, wrestle with our thoughts and argue with our thoughts, what we are doing is we are paradoxically entering into that space of busy mind, where we aren't breathing into being with and just connecting with the who we are right now.
So I am not against happiness, I'm actually a very happy person, I've done a lot of work in the field of positive psychology; I've written a book on happiness.
But what I think is really fascinating is we know that when people become overly focused on being happy and setting a goal around happiness that they in a really interesting way over time become less happy, which seems surprising, but if we think about it what it can often do is it can often lead us to then ignore critical pieces of information that are important to us.
So, for example, if I feel guilty about not spending enough time with my children and I just push that guilt aside, then what I'm doing is I'm losing a key opportunity to learn from that emotion and to maybe make key and important changes in my life.
So one of the things that I talk about in "Emotional Agility" is how we can enter into a space with ourselves that I called "showing up". "Showing up" is the idea that we make room in our hearts for all of our emotions rather than judging some emotions as being good and some emotions as being bad.
And that when we are able to do that, we can actually learn from our emotions. I've never met someone who is depressed, who isn't at some level concerned about how can I better be in the world.
I've never met someone with anxiety and social situations who isn't at some level concerned about belonging. I've never met someone whose idea is stolen in the workplace and who's very upset about, who isn't at some level concerned about issues of equity and fairness.
So beneath our emotions even the difficult emotions, we can learn from them and we can learn some stuff around what it is that we value, that is meaningful and important.
Shawn Stevenson: All right, in this next clip, we are specifically talking about a negative emotion that a lot of people might experience today more than ever.
Now historically, hundreds of years ago, if somebody was flossing in the kingdom or in the tribe you might get a little peanut butter and jealous, you might have a little bit envy, but today you get to see everybody flossing.
And it seems like everybody's on 10,000 with their flossing now today because they're showing their highlights, because of our access to seeing the lives of just about everybody through social media.
And so this experience of envy, where we deem to be this negative emotion, it can really get its grips in us and jealousy and things along that line. And I do feel that can be a very disempowering emotion for us but it's still valuable.
All of our emotions, all of those things that we feel, we feel it in our bodies are valuable and giving us valuable feedback.
But in this next clip, we're hearing from somebody who has found a way to really flip envy over on its head in a powerful, remarkable way.
And this guy's been just a huge impact in my life, he's been the catalyst for many things that I've been a part of and that I've even created, because he's been in this field of personal development and fitness online, he's like one of the first people to do it.
And I'm talking about my friend Craig Ballantyne.
And so again, in this clip he's talking about this growing emotion today of envy and how to actually flip it on its head. Check out this clip from the one and only Craig Ballantyne.
Craig Ballantyne: But the comparison syndrome has been around since the dawn of time too. That's—
Shawn Stevenson: He's got more goats than me!
Craig Ballantyne: Right, right, he's got everything more than me and it's just like, I got to go and get more. So we are driven, but we need to harness in ambition in the right positive direction for things.
And so for me, what I found was so much of my anxiety was rooted from any time it was internally focused, whether the drive was internally focused, whether the worry was internally focused, whether my thoughts were internally focused, that caused the problem.
That was like the wheels are spinning in your head, the anxiety engine is revving. Any time I got out of my head, things were better. So the problem was solved.
So instead of me thinking, "I want, I want to have as much as Shawn"— No, "How can I go and help Shawn have more?"
I mean, that is hard to do, because envy for me, envy is even stronger than comparison syndrome.
Actually in the book, I think I mention and definitely my in workshops I teach about how I have a black heart of envy, and it is embarrassing, it is shameful, I hate telling people this, but man, back in the day, back in my anxiety days when a friend of mine would come to me and say, "Hey, you know, I've had success with this," I'd be like, "Man I wish that was me, that should be me." I am the old guy, I am the godfather, you know, this should be me.
And it's ridiculous, so I flipped the script as soon as I started feeling that I write that person a thank you.
You can stop this stuff from bothering you and flip it around, so it goes from internal "I want, I want," I'm comparing myself to other people.
No, no I'm going to flip around and I am going to make that person better. Because at the end of the day, the person you are comparing yourself to, the person you are envious to, your life is not going to be better if they have less.
So how can you in your mind switch it, flip the script, every single day, any time you feel down, any time you have a negative emotion, how can you flip the script? That's one thing I try to help people with.
Shawn Stevenson: All right, next up we cannot have a conversation about emotional intelligence and emotional fitness without talking about the man who has actually brought that term into public awareness.
And I'm talking about Dr. Daniel Goleman. He literally wrote the book "Emotional Intelligence" and he's been featured everywhere from Oprah to some of the biggest talks at Google and he's just had a huge impact on my life personally, and I'm so, this is one of those very special moments for me to be able to have this conversation with him and to connect because he's had such a huge impact on me.
And in this clip, he is going to be talking about what emotional intelligence is versus conventional intelligence, our IQ, right this intelligence quotient versus EQ which is our emotional quotient, our emotional intelligence quotient.
And specifically he's talking about why today more than ever, this is really being seen, our EQ as an important powerful determinant of success, specifically in business and, of course, in our relationships and every other area of our lives is the ability to cultivate and grow our emotional intelligence.
Because unlike your IQ which is taught to us that it's something that is static and not changing, which that's not actually true, but more so your emotional intelligence is something that we outwardly know it is something that you can improve on, it is something that you can take to another level and it will improve your life.
So check out this clip from the incredible Dr. Daniel Goleman.
Dr. Daniel Goleman: Well, you know when you're in school, you are told that it's how well you do on your tests, how well you do on your exams, how smart you are, your IQ, which is the secret to success.
What they don't tell you is yeah, that's true until you get out of school. Then you get into a career, you get into work, you're dating, you're doing things that where IQ actually is not the critical factor.
I just saw a study that showed that after an IQ of 120 it doesn't predict success at all. What starts to predict success are competencies that are built on emotional intelligence.
How well can you get along with other people on the team, for example?
How well can you keep pursuing a goal despite setbacks and obstacles?
This doesn't have to do with IQ, it's about managing your emotions and about sensing emotions in other people and handling your relationships; that's the essence of emotional intelligence.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow, I think one of the lectures I saw a while back was maybe it was a talk at Google, and you were talking about an example where you had a room full of all of these top-level, maybe it was like Fortune 500 guys and just asking, "How many of you were like the valedictorian of your class?" There was like two people you know, out of 200 or something.
Dr. Daniel Goleman: Exactly, exactly. And what that shows is that IQ, after you're out of school, does not predict career success.
And companies themselves have done studies that I've looked at that are really telling, they want to know what sets the stars apart from average here in our company.
And these studies have been done by huge and middle-sized companies around the world and they found that it isn't your IQ, it's how well you are aware of yourself, how you can use that to manage yourself, you don't let your emotions rocking so much you can't keep focused.
You sense what other people are feeling and you put that all that together to manage your relationships, that's what makes people a star in the workplace. They don't tell you that in school. So it's important to understand that for life.
Shawn Stevenson: Alright, next up I've got a clip for you that came from the master class episode that I did talking about 10 specific ways that are clinically proven to improve or increase your emotional intelligence, it is a compilation episode that we have here today, but this is something from an episode that I did and I think you'll get a lot of value out of this because it's something that is really unexpected and something that changed my life, really.
And it's something I kind of took for granted and that I've been consistently employing in my life ever since understanding this research.
And again, it's in this episode and we'll put all the past episodes for you in the show notes, but in this episode, there were some things that were just like really unexpected and there are some things that might be kind of nonobvious but they were painted in a more accessible way.
So let's check out this tip and this is again, from the top 10 list, this is the first one that I shared in this episode and it's something you can take with you today and add to your superhero utility belt of ways for you to improve and cultivate more emotional fitness. Let's check it out.
Shawn Stevenson: Number one here on these 10 different strategies and tips for increasing your emotional intelligence, your EQ is to read more fiction. Read more fiction. I know this sounds crazy, check this out.
According to studies at the York University and University of Toronto, "Individuals who often read fiction appear to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and view the world from their perspective."
Now, this effect is probably because novels, short stories, unlike nonfiction, get inside of the heads in a way of multiple characters, helping to like, we come up with this stuff ourselves, just from reading the words on the page, their motivations for an objective and this is like from an omniscient viewpoint, this kind of omnipresent viewpoint, you're seeing all of this stuff.
If you're getting into The Game of Thrones books and The Harry Potter, their whole universe, you start to have these feelings and understanding about all these different characters.
So this develops that muscle and for me personally, this was huge, because there was a time that I just stopped, I just was not a fan of fiction, I just stopped.
And it was because I just didn't feel it was productive, I wanted to learn about food, give me the next nutrition book, the next book on human physiology, like just I want to consume that information and things like this really change me.
Reading fiction, again, help to open up creative faculties that I didn't know were closed in a way, change my thinking, changing, shifting over what's even happening kind of with my nervous system, rather than just kind of being on and hyper-focused all the time but it just opened up and changed the way that my brain was working.
So this is a strategy, a tip, if you are like I used to be and thinking that reading fiction is just not productive, maybe this might be something to consider and to add into your repertoire. So this is one way that we see proven to increase your EQ.
Shawn Stevenson: Alright, I hope that you enjoyed that clip and recently I just got back from an incredible trip to Portugal and it was my first time in Europe, and we went through the Amsterdam airport, which is this huge, mega huge airport, mega huge hub for a lot of different destinations in Europe.
And while I was there, I walked by a couple of bookstores in different parts of the airport and front and center what do I see— this is Europe, there are a lot of different language books but I saw this man's book right there, as soon as you walk in the door. And this is Mark Manson, multi-time now, New York Times best-selling author.
His very first talk, his very first interview for his latest book was here on The Model Health Show.
And on this clip, he's talking about how our the motions are actually deeply connected to our physical state, and they can influence each other.
So check out this clip from New York Times best-selling author Mark Manson.
Mark Manson: So here is one of these kinds of crazy things I came across when I was reading about like the neuroscience of emotion.
So various thoughts and functions in our brain, if I raise my right arm, there are places in my brain that will like light up and kind of show that.
What's interesting though, is that if I have an emotion, if I start feeling kind of sad, there will be some things in my brain that light up, but there's also a fully physiological response and we all know this intuitively, we just don't think about it.
It's like when you're sad, you're not just, it's not just the thing that occurs up here, that you slump over, your limbs feel heavy, maybe you get kind of like a feeling like there's a rock in your stomach.
If you're angry, there's like this momentum to your movement, you stand up straight, your face contorts.
And so what they find is that actually the whole nervous system gets involved with our emotions. And a lot of different, our digestive track it's involved with our emotions. So it's a full-body response.
And what's fascinating is that for a long time, if you look at like NLP and some of like the old-school self-help stuff, one of the things that you always find is they say that like if you want to change your emotion, change your action.
So if you want to feel more active and happier, it's like you need to get up and like jump up and down and scream and you'll actually change your emotional state simply by just doing some physical actions.
And so there's this one to one relationship between our body and how we perceive our emotional states.
And so this is why I describe emotions as actions because it's when you understand that the feeling brain is in charge, you start to understand that all these things like if you have a problem with procrastination that's an emotional problem.
If you have a problem with sleeping in too late, that's an emotional problem. If you have a problem with overeating, that's an emotional problem.
All of our actions that feel outside of our control, the reason they feel they're outside of our control, is that there is an emotional issue going on, there's some, the feeling brain is driving somewhere without us knowing or wanting it to.
And that is fundamentally an emotional issue that needs to be investigated and resolved.
Shawn Stevenson: Alright, that was a clip from New York Times bestselling author Mark Manson and what an incredible insight.
And this is something I've been studying for quite a while, is the fact that your motions influence your emotions, and vice versa, our emotion is really influenced by our motions, our physical body. And just to understand that we have the power to physically change our state, it will change our emotional disposition.
You can fake it till you make it in a sense when you're saying it's very difficult to be unhappy and then put a smile on your face and then still remain in that unhappy state.
You might just bring it down a fraction of a point, but just changing our physical state can change what's happening with this kind of emotional cascade within our bodies, because really our feelings are all chemicals, every single thought or feeling that we have has correlated chemistry that takes place in our body. So even changing our thoughts can change our emotions.
It's very, very powerful to understand that where today we're living in a culture that's telling you that this is all outside of your power, you don't have any power to change your state, your emotional state.
And of course, we do have issues, we have physical issues that can influence the degree that which we can change our emotional state.
But all of us, if you're living and breathing have the power to change what's happening with the way that we feel.
And so understanding that that sometimes if you're even feeling just a little bit down, a little bit low energy, just getting up and as you mentioned just doing some jumping jacks, or matter of fact do a couple of burpees, I've never seen anybody do a burpee and they're just like, "You know what, I super feel like shoplifting now."
These crazy thoughts and emotions that might come up for us, just doing some forms of exercise and movement can immediately change our state.
I don't know why says shoplifting, but just you can insert any kind of negative behavior. But then again, you might be a negative responder and you're like, "Burpees do actually make me want to steal candy," or whatever.
But anyway, you get my point, which is truly being able to tap into this power that we have, because a lot of times when we say that we're down like we physically express it you know, but a change in our physical state starts to change that cascade.
It doesn't solve the problem, I'm not saying that, but we do have the power to influence it.
So, by the way, speaking of energy, the energy currency of the human body in this kind of energy exchange is happening via what's going on with our mitochondria.
The energy power plants are creating ATP which is a currency of exchange that our body uses that we feel or have the experience of energy, is through that currency exchange. So ATP adenosine triphosphate.
Now here's the thing that you don't hear very often, is that for to be active the active ATP it's bonded with a magnesium ion, so this is how important magnesium is, and crazy enough, it's the number one mineral deficiency in our culture right now.
And people don't know about this, and this is something that can be addressed relatively simply. Food first, eating more magnesium-rich foods is definitely a great idea.
Supplementation, for a lot of folks today, I would even recommend taking a supplement because it's so important and we're so deficient and here's the thing about is that magnesium gets zapped in use so quickly, it's a still kind of a stress buffer, a stress response, mineral in our bodies and so it gets used a lot for a lot of the different things that our body is going through.
So with that said, taking an oral supplement might not be the best idea for a lot of people because even if you take a little bit more than what's known as your bowel tolerance, right, because magnesium when you take an oral supplement, it pulls more water to your bowels and it can cause an evacuation or a.k.a diarrhea.
So I said it will accent but, it can cause poopy pants or running to the bathroom or whatever you want to call it, and is that sexy? Is that is that cool?
Probably not, and especially the situation circumstance you might find yourself in, some people could have some stool softened up a little bit, for sure, but for most of us that's not what we're looking forward supplementing with magnesium, kind of the side effect of having diarrhea, just trying to get our magnesium levels up.
Because a lot of times you can't take enough of an oral supplement to get your levels where you want to be.
The solution is topical application of magnesium on your skin, all right. Now there's a ton of products out there now because companies are now well aware of the fact that this really does work to get our magnesium levels up, but a lot of them honestly, they're just not that good, they flake up on your skin, they're not absorbable to the level they could be.
The one that is 99.9999 percent absorbable it's from a super critical extract, like we're talking about like Dead Sea salt, just something that's natural, so it's not synthetic.
Real high quality topical magnesium, the one that I've been using for is getting close to 10 years now is Ease magnesium from Activation Products.
All right, so that's easy E-A-S-E magnesium. Go to easemagnesium.com/model and you get 15 percent off their incredible topical magnesium.
So obviously, you know, this is a component of energy, but also magnesium is a component of— when we think about energy, it's not just energy to like get up and go runaround, it's also the energy systems for your body to move hormones and neurotransmitters for things related to relaxation and sleep, because magnesium is a big part of your body's relaxation response.
This is why so many people find that this topical magnesium helps them to sleep better at night. So this is one of my favorite things, pop over there, check them out, easemagnesium.com/model for 15 percent off, and I think you're really going to enjoy it.
Easemagnesium.com/model, people use it for muscle recovery, for healing injuries and things like that, accelerating the healing process by providing that additional magnesium.
It's really great, pop over there, check them out, easemagnesium.com/model. Let's get to our next incredible expert here on this emotional fitness compilation.
Next up is another one of my favorite people Dr. Jillian Teta and she's talking about in this clip how your gut and stress literally are connected to your emotions, super fascinating stuff here in this clip.
So let's jump over and check out this conversation with Dr. Jillian Teta.
Dr. Jillian Teta: so our enteric nervous system, it's fully responsible for digestion, right? It is actually independent from the brain and the spinal cord.
So it's independent from your central nervous system, and this is good because if you've ever had a spinal cord injury, like you still can digest your food.
Like those neurons aren't running up through the spinal cord. However - here's the big however - even though the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system are independent of each other, they have a bi-modal, two-way communication system, always.
So they are in relationship with one another, and not only are they in the relationship, they're like in a second-to-second continuous conversation.
So again, that's where you get that bad news, and like you instantly feel it in your gut. Your gut doesn't have ears, like it didn't hear it, right?
And so this is how, through this connection if we get chronically stressed, or we've been stressed our entire life because we have a history of trauma, or abuse, or PTSD, or we're getting ready for a show, or like some event and we're over-dieting and we're under-sleeping; all of these things imbalance the central nervous system via the sympathetic (AKA fight or flight branch) and the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system.
And I know I'm getting a little science-y here, but it's really important to break this down, because I think that people hear the word 'stress,' and like they go to sleep.
Because we use stress so much as a term that it almost means nothing at all. It can feel very gratuitous, and it's also important to qualify types of stress.
So I'm not talking about a stress like, "I got a bad grade on a test." I'm talking about like real human trauma, or what have you. So what happens with our sympathetic and our parasympathetic nervous systems - fight or flight, rest and digest - the two are going back and forth like a dance. Right?
So it's like we need times where we are like awake and alert, and we maybe need stress hormones to get through, and then we also need our rest and digest time where our body repairs itself, makes antibody, digests our food.
And the two are going back and forth like a seesaw, like a nice little dynamic dance. When we are chronically stressed, it's like an elephant is sitting on one end of that seesaw, and a little chihuahua is sitting on another. Right?
So we get stuck, and that's called sympathetic over-dominance. And what begins to happen then is that that sympathetic over-dominance sort of like imposes itself on the second brain. Right?
So there's not as much time for rest and digest, maybe your stomach acid production goes down, maybe your digestive enzyme production goes down, maybe you start to feel like bloated and uncomfortable in your gut all the time.
Maybe you're like, "Wow, I never had reflux before, but now like everything's repeating on me and I have heartburn." Maybe you're starting to get constipated.
Then if you're experiencing pain in your gut, that feeds back up to the central nervous system, and you experience anxiety, or unease, or disquiet, or whatever with all of those things. And this is going on constantly.
Shawn Stevenson: For next clip in this emotional fitness compilation, we have this guy's one of my best friends and he really just took the game by storm, the fitness world by storm, and even major media, like he was like on The Tonight Show and Dr. Oz and all the stuff because he had the audacity, he was a personal trainer, but he had been fit his whole life and he really wanted to better relate to his clients because they would just tell him like, "You don't understand what it's like, you don't understand what it's like, you haven't been in my shoes, you've never been in a situation."
And he decided that he was going to gain 70 pounds to experience what it was like to go from fit to fat.
And then after that that, and he documented everything which was super new on the Internet at that point, to document your days like that and he gained his weight and he shared his story on a very early episode of The Model Health Show, we'll put that his first appearance in the show notes as well.
But from there, he had to get back to where he was, so he went from fit to fat to fit, that's what the title of his book is, that's what the title of his podcast is, and that's really what his brand is, fit to fat to fit, and this is Drew Manning.
So New York Times best-selling author and just one of my favorite people and in this clip, he's going to be talking about developing the emotional muscle of having empathy for other people and also a powerful insight on vulnerability as well.
So again, other components of our overall emotional fitness, let's check out this clip from Drew Manning.
Drew Manning: Sometimes we listen to respond rather than listen to understand.
Sometimes there's a difference and I think that's where some people struggle with and so how do you get empathy, like for me, I did something crazy that I don't think is necessary for everybody to have empathy, but like you said, asking questions first and listening to understand instead of listening to respond, like, "How am I going to respond to this question," as humans we do that all the time.
I know if someone is giving me a statement they're trying to prove a point to me, I'm like, "Oh what, I'm going to say this and that's going to cause them to be confused, and I'll totally win this debate."
We do that, we listen to respond instead of listen to understand and I think that's how you start to build empathy, you don't need to do anything crazy like fit to fat to fit, although that worked for me.
But be creative, go spend time with people and talk to them, ask them questions and listen with a true heart of wanting to understand where they're coming from, and I think that's how you're going to help them rather than tell them what to do.
Eat less, work out, what's wrong with you, just do it right? That doesn't work. I promise you, it doesn't.
Shawn Stevenson: And also sharing your experience as well, like your story, your points of struggle, I think this so valuable in communication. It brings you onto same wavelength, it's on your arm. Can you share what that says?
Drew Manning: It says "Vulnerability is strength," and thanks for pointing that out, because I was going to bring that up as you were just mentioning that.
Shawn Stevenson: It's vulnerability, Paul Blart segue.
Drew Manning: I love it man, we're going to go watch that movie again. I learned this from Brene Brown, I'm a huge fan of her books, changed my life.
Vulnerability breeds vulnerability, so the more vulnerable you are with other people, the more vulnerable they will be with you, the more trusting they will be of what you have to say.
But if you can't be vulnerable with other people, it is going to be hard for them to open up to you as well.
So be the leader in that and be vulnerable with them and it's scary, because you're telling people your weaknesses, you're telling people the things that you don't want people to know sometimes.
And it's really scary because society, culture tells us to keep those things hidden, no one wants to know those things, those things will make you look weak, and that's the mentality, that's the lie that I grew up with and took me 30 plus years to figure that out before I changed my life.
And so shout out to Brene Brown, man she she saved my life with some of these things, and that's why I have that tattooed on my arm.
And I think that can be a powerful tool in health and fitness but also just in life in general.
Shawn Stevenson: All right, another thing that really gets us emotionally out of whack sometimes can be when we mess up, can be when something doesn't work out and we make a mistake.
That can lead to a lot of the emotional turmoil. The question really is how do we adjust and recover from the mistakes that we make in our lives?
And really how do we actually start to identify and you might be shocked to find out how mistakes are actually valuable for us and our emotional wellbeing and our development as human beings.
And this clip is from my really, really good friend Jim Kwik, and he's sharing, he's first of all an accelerated learning expert, speed reading expert, he's taught millions of people how to learn better and learn faster from just everyday folks wanted to do good on their exams to the very top, top media personalities like Will Smith and just in the name, the client list Hugh Jackman just goes on and on and on and on.
And in this clip, he's going to be sharing with you some really powerful insight on how we can actually recover from mistakes that we make. So check out this clip from the incredible Jim Kwik.
Jim Kwik: So my first comments on when it comes to mistakes are we've all heard this before, but in order to learn you have to make mistakes, that's how we learn because there's no such thing as failure.
People think failure is the opposite of success, but I feel like, and you and I, the people that we get to spend time with and we get to interview for shows and such and our personal experience, failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of success, right?
And I feel like there's no such thing as failure, there's only failure to learn because if you're getting feedback then you know what to do differently.
And I just did a podcast episode with Beth Comstock who's the former vice-chair of General Electric, which is all about imagination and she has a new book called Imagine it Forward and The Power of Imagination and we were talking about Edison who started on General Electric and he was a great marketer, but obviously, you have all heard that he tried, he was like, "Oh, I didn't fail thousands of times to make the lightbulb, I succeeded in learning what not to do." And so it's a mindset.
So I would say first start with making more mistakes and fail forward and give yourself permission, but the big thing is how do you recover from a mistake?
And I would give everyone, I like acronyms you know this because we have talked about this on other shows, on how to remember names and speed read I use acronyms.
What I would say is put the mistake behind you and make it old and so the acronym is OLD. I want everyone to think about a mistake that they are holding onto because I think a lot of us have regret and they live in the past.
But I always tell people, "If you're living in the past, then you're dying in the present." Because you're always looking in that rearview mirror and then you can't be here, right and so you learn from the past but you got to live for today and then you could lead your legacy tomorrow.
And so remember OLD, and so the O in someone as everyone right now, I make this interactive because this way we don't make this theoretical, you make it relevant to you. Think about a mistake you're holding on to, you want to make it OLD; the 0 is you need to own it, you need to own that.
And here's a few things that allow you to own it. The A is you need to be accountable for it. So I'm going to give you a few As. And here's the first A. Be Accountable for it, because you need to take responsibility for it.
You and I have talked about the time I have spent with Stan Lee, the co-creator of all these amazing Spiderman, X-Men, Avengers, and he told me in the car one day, he was like, "Who's your favorite superhero?" I was like, "Spiderman." He's like, "With great power comes great responsibility."
And in my mind, because I had the learning difficulties I reversed things I was like, "Stan, you're right, but the opposite is also true— with great responsibility comes great power." When we take responsibility for something, even our mistakes, we have great power to make things better.
And so the first thing is you to become accountable for it. Now, another A is just acknowledge that you're human, acknowledge that it is a mistake and that you made it. Because some people deny, they deny that they made that mistake and that's a challenge also as well.
So you need to be able to acknowledge it in order to be able to— because some people what you resist persists, and they fight with it, and they try to defend it.
But if you fight for your limitations, you get to keep them. And so just acknowledge it. Another A is Apologize.
Apologize if you've hurt somebody, if this mistake costs somebody else outside of you, apologise to that person, you can keep it brief but be clear and apologize in a way that is sincere, obviously.
Shawn Stevenson: Mean it.
Jim Kwik: Exactly, because people and we all have this radar, we know if something is sincere or not but apologize for it because that's a way of owning it.
You apologize for it and explain if you need to why it happened and explain how it's never going to happen again. If you will.
Shawn Stevenson: And if you really mean it, you're not expecting the other person to necessarily do anything differently, it's you are apologizing for yourself.
Jim Kwik: Absolutely.
Shawn Stevenson: And the potential for healing.
Jim Kwik: Absolutely, I agree with that completely.
So you're accountable for it, and you acknowledge it, you apologize for it and maybe you need to apologize to yourself, also.
Because forgiveness goes along way. I've spent a lot of time especially with my brain injury going through spec scans and having my brain analyzed, neurofeedback and one of the best ways to get into those deep healing states, the number one way that I found from personal experience is forgiveness.
And studies done in self-compassion say that when you don't beat yourself up, because a lot of people, they are really hard on themselves, they ate that cupcake or they didn't work out that day or they were a little short with their child or whatever it is, and they beat themselves up.
And we find in the studies that actually kindness goes farther, when you're kind to yourself meaning that you say, "I'm only human, I had a long day and I did make a mistake," but you're kind with yourself as opposed to beating yourself up, you're more likely to follow through in the future.
So the O in old is you make the mistake OLD, is you own it. You're accountable, you acknowledge it, you apologize for it. The L in OLD stands for, of course, Learn from it. The whole idea behind making mistakes is that where is the gift in this?
And I ask that myself all the time when there's a mistake that's made either by myself or somebody around me, is where's the gift? And usually, the gift comes from a new distinction that you have or a new learning.
And so when I'm doing this, and I'm making a mistake, and I have made a mistake, what I'll do is I'll even journal about it a little bit because I was like,
"What was my intention here?
What was the environment that allowed this mistake to happen?
Was I multitasking?
Was I taking on too much?
Was I exhausted and I didn't sleep the night before?
What created this environment for this mistake to happen?
Did I not have enough information?"
And so I think that reflection is very important because otherwise what happens is you don't handle the D. And so the O again is you own it, the L is you learn from it and a big part of it for me is I journal about it because I like to write about it and reflect on it, otherwise there's no learning from it.
And then the D stands for Don't repeat it. Don't repeat it. Because if you truly learn from it, then you're not going to repeat it because the first time you did, it was a mistake, but the second time you do it— it's a choice.
Because a lot of people they say and you've heard this phrase in self-improvement forever, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result."
And I don't know if that's insanity, maybe it's just poor memory because you don't remember the lesson that came from it, and I feel like a lot of people repeat mistakes and the D says Don't repeat it, because they don't remember the lesson or the pain they came, so they end up dating the same kind of person, they make the same kind of mistake with their health over and over again, or they hire the same person or they again wait and procrastinate on their taxes or whatever those things are.
And in order to not repeat it, I would say a few things. Maybe I'll make them, 49:35 maybe a few Ps, and I did a whole episode on this I went deep in it about making mistakes. P is like prepare next time when you learn it and you journal about it and prepare for the next time.
I would say Plan, when you know something the situation could come up in the future, plan ahead and that would prevent you from making that kind of mistake, because these thought experiments using your imagination to project into the future and really imagination is really rehearsal, when somebody is fearful that they're going to make a mistake, whether it's public speaking and you know this, like a lot of people, one of the big fears is people when you when I go to events, even people like backstage you know a lot of our peers are really scared to go on stage and do their work, but they're so mission-driven, they have a moral obligation to do it, so that's the motivation.
But preparation is just a signal to your mind, fear is just meaning you need to prepare more. And so I would say the D is don't repeat it, because if you really do own it and you really did learn from it, then don't repeat that because then it's a choice.
Shawn Stevenson: Next up in this compilation of how to identify and to develop our emotional fitness is a clip from a really incredible conversation that I had with the person behind, the co-host of Coconuts and Kettlebells and also the bestselling book and this is Noelle Tarr.
I was really blown away at the knowledge bombs that she was dropping in our conversation.
And in this clip she's going to be sharing why one of the most prevalent emotions experience in our world today revolves around shame.
And specifically in this clip she talks about addressing the shame cycle regarding food and we know that food is one of those things, it is big part of all of our realities.
And so how to break this shame cycle surrounding our food?
So check out this clip from bestselling author Noelle Tarr.
Noelle Tarr: Shame is everywhere. It is really pervasive, as I mentioned before, in marketing of diet programs, and 21-Day Fix Yourselves things, and flat bellies in seven days, whatever it is.
Basically what is being projected to us is that the way you look, a certain feature about your body, the way you're eating, the way you're doing fitness isn't the way that you should look, or isn't the way that you should be pursuing fitness.
And because you're not doing that, you should feel shame about that. There's something wrong with you. You're a bad person. You're not worthy.
And when we feel that shame, it's a terrible feeling. Shame and guilt just doesn't feel good. If we think about how pervasive it has been, especially for women in the post-partum period about "get your body back."
Shawn Stevenson: The snapback. The snapback.
Noelle Tarr: Yes, and get rid of your cellulite, get rid of your stretch marks. We've been told over and over again that these things are bad or wrong to have, when in essence they are not.
But you should feel shame about having those stretch marks, or you should feel shame about having five, ten, fifteen extra pounds of "baby weight."
And so when we feel really bad about that, and we feel the shame, we desperately want to get rid of it. And so the way to get rid of it is to either— usually it's one of three things. It's beating ourselves up, so just harsh self-talk.
It's bringing in the restraints, again, on our food. So, "Gosh, I have cellulite, I look terrible." Or, "I ate that cookie," or whatever. "I need to just- I'm just going to stop eating all desserts."
Or, "I'm just going to fast in the morning." Or it's— which I used to do a lot— which is, "Well, I need to work out extra tomorrow. Instead of running five miles, I'm going to try for seven or ten."
And so in essence, the shame cycle is this idea where we have decided that something about us is wrong, or we're doing something "wrong," or we are bad, and so we need to restrict something.
And the example in the book is hamburgers. It's like, "Okay well Paleo says I shouldn't be eating hamburgers, so I'm just not going to eat any hamburgers.
Hamburgers are bad. They're bad. They're morally bad, and I'm not going to eat them."
And so the more you try to restrict something, the more you push something away that you have decided is bad, then you kind of always— you think about it all the time.
It's just always on your mind because you've given it more power. You've essentially given it more space in your mind because you're trying to restrict it because you've decided that it's bad.
And so when, eventually you will, as we've talked about this with the wagon mentality, when you eventually do eat a hamburger, it's sort of like you feel shame and guilt because now you're a bad person because you've engaged with hamburgers.
And to remedy that shame and guilt, we say, "Oh, now we're not going to eat hamburgers and fries." Or, "Oh, we're going to work out extra." And we do the same thing that got us in the situation in the beginning.
And so it's just this constant cycle, and so many women and men go through it on a day-to-day basis. And I think that really where it starts is giving morality to food, where we decide that food is either good or bad, and how we engage with it makes us a good or bad person.
So our worth, our morality rests on whether we engage with a good or a bad food, and where these labels came from is the real problem.
It comes from these kind of extreme, one size fits all diet plans that says whatever, all of a sudden pineapple is bad.
Or there was a phase for a while where liquid smoothies are bad, any sort of liquid food is bad. And I had to like work with clients on that because they were like, "I love smoothies, but I know they're bad."
And I'm like, "Hold on, wait a second." So it's whatever somebody says is bad, and so we have decided that we are a bad person when we engage with that.
And so it really starts with saying, "Look, food doesn't have morality. Your morality is not reliant on whether or not you engage with certain foods or not."
Your worth is not reliant on that, and we have to see food as neutral.
And yes, absolutely, certain foods are more nourishing than others. There are foods that are going to serve your body better than others, but you're not a bad person if you engage with non-nourishing foods.
Shawn Stevenson: And finally in this compilation of these incredible experts from very different dynamic backgrounds and sharing their insights on how to cultivate and improve our emotional fitness, we have somebody who just I absolutely love JP Sears.
I follow him on social media, he's one of the few people that I make sure that I don't miss anything that he posts, is so amazing, he's actually a stand up comedian now and he started off in then life coaching space and he started off in the fitness space and he just kind of parlay that into like he really found what his gift is, it's inspiring and educating people through comedy.
And so our conversation was just so powerful, it was so awesome to have him here in the studio with me hanging out. And so in this clip he's going to be talking about one of our strongest emotions which is fear.
Specifically, the fear that can surround us having the confidence that we really need to be ourselves.
Alright, so check out this clip from the one and only, JP Sears.
JP Sears: Authenticity isn't something we do, it's not a strategy; it's a state of being. So the idea— like the marketing strategy of like, "Come on, like authenticity is trending, so let's do authenticity." Well, it's not a facade.
Doing authenticity as a strategy is incredibly inauthentic. It's just a facade. So being authentic is different, and truly, I think we're the only ones that can decide, "Am I playing the role of authenticity?
Or am I really being my authentic self?" So I think we're really the judge and jury, though I think the energy that we express through our thoughts, words, and actions also reveals the truth to our audience.
But yeah man, I think if however we're doing our authenticity, if we're not getting scared by it, we're probably not doing real authenticity.
I think real authenticity means we're allowing the mystery of who we are to express itself, and I do mean those words very intentionally; "the mystery of who we are." Because I think who we think we are has nothing to do with who we actually are.
So when we think, "Yeah, I know who I am." It's like, "Well, maybe we know who we think we are, but who we really are, I think we don't know it until we notice ourselves expressing itself with feeling in whatever we're doing.
So I think that's very scary, because as children, I think we're all adults dressed up, we're all children dressed up in adult suits.
As children, we're used to getting validation by being who we think other people want us to be. That's how we get the currency of approval.
We read our mom and dad, or teachers. Like, "Oh teacher, you want good grades? Cool, I'll get good grades, and you'll validate me", but you don't necessarily validate me for being myself. Sometimes being myself is I'm going to stand on the desk and dance and sing.
So not only do you not validate me, you invalidate me. You like punish me if I'm being myself too much. So we're used to the comfort of doing what gets us approval, acting like other people and the way they want us to be.
So I think as kids, a pattern that's not just true for me, it seems to be part of the human condition, we develop the pattern of actually fearing our authentic self because it's the one thing that gets very little approval, very little acceptance.
Granted, sometimes our mom and dad or families will recognize our brilliance, and validate that from time to time, and that's beautiful. Some people never.
But regardless, we don't know how people are going to react. We don't know if they'll even see us when we're expressing our real self.
So the fear of abandonment, or maybe they're going to criticize us. The fear of overwhelm comes up.
So in other words, I think when we're about to risk presenting our real self, it's going to have some butterflies in our stomach.
I remember when I was making my first comedy video, which was very much an authentic part of me coming to light, I was scared.
I thought it was going to be bad for business, thought people were going to judge me, didn't think they'd think it's was going to be funny, so it was a very scary thing for me to do, yet I did it anyway.
And I think the best gift we can ever give ourselves is be ourselves, and we have to have the courage to do that.
I think the courage means, "I'm willing to be afraid in the name of allowing my real self to show up, even if I don't know who he is, but I'll greet him when he shows up, and I'll give him a darn hug, too."
Shawn Stevenson: Alright, I hope that you enjoyed this powerhouse compilation of tips and insights on how to cultivate, how to identify and how to improve your emotional fitness.
And again, every one of these clips you can get the entire meal, the entire episode in the show notes, so if something really jumped out at you and you want to go back and relisten, definitely pop over there and do that right now.
Now, in closing I want to share again, I mentioned earlier on that the conversation with Dr. Daniel Goleman was really something special for me.
I remember watching a lecture of his many years ago, his talk at Google and even seeing that talk— first of all, it had a big impact on my thinking in talking about emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and I started to identify some things that I was doing unconsciously, it was like an unconscious competence that was doing right in relationship to the clients and patients that I was working with at the time. And also some things that I could improve on as far as my communication.
And seeing that talk at Google I was just like, "I want to do that one day." I saw, like that is such a cool thing and just the vibe of it and sure enough a few years after that I found myself at Google headquarters and I did a talk at Google.
And if you happen to not see the Google Talk, I'll put that in the show notes for you as well. It was a big inspiration for me.
And in that episode, if you want to go back and listen, he shared that one of the most important emotional connections is this— carrying a sense of purpose.
Our sense of purpose is really tied to the value that we bring into the world and being able to invest value into our relationships and also contributing our gifts and our time and our talents to the world, these are all things that help to really cultivate our sense of purpose.
And he shared how important that is for our overall emotional intelligence, is just us feeling like we have that sense of purpose.
And so hopefully, some of these things have sparked you into thinking differently about yourself and your value and your ability to communicate with others and with yourself.
And also the need to increase your exposure, to get yourself around people who inspire and uplift you and help to really bring these things forward in your life, because a lot of times our gifts and our talents and our capacities, our strengths can be dormant, they can be latent, and but they're in us.
Nevertheless, they're there but sometimes we need the right conditions to help to identify those things.
One of the most powerful ways to go about that is to see it in somebody else, there is a statement that real recognizes real, so if you can see it in me then it's there in you, that's the only way that you can see and you can acknowledge it.
And this is why I'm such a huge advocate of getting yourself in the environment, getting yourself around the people and around the environment, the conversations, the ideas the insights physically to really help to deepen that connection and really spark that transformation in our minds because yes, repetition is a mother of all skill but there's another way that we really lay down more myelin and literally change our brain, is an emotionally charged event.
That's another way to go about it and the most powerful way to do that is to go to a live event. So what do you have blocked out on your calendar for 2020?
Listen, I'll tell you right now where I'm going to be, I'm going to be at Phenomenal Life and I want you to be there with me.
The Phenomenal Life events are literally that, they're phenomenal life events, and in 2020 this is going to be going down in Mexico.
So not only are we going to have incredible powerhouse workshops from some of the most successful people on the planet, but we're also going to have epic excursions and parties, things that we're going to be doing and hanging out, so it's not just the educational part which what you get there is going to be more powerful than anything that you've ever been exposed to, but also that ability to fellowship and to have a good time and to hang out and to really get connected to people who are like-minded individuals. There's nothing more powerful than that.
So I want you to come hang out with me and Eric Thomas, the number one motivational speaker on the planet.
And he could quite possibly be the number one person, he's just such a great human being and the rest of our team and it's just going to blow you away. So head over check it out, themodelhealthshow.com/phenomenal that's where you can pick up your tickets, do it asap, this event always sells out.
So go to themodelhealthshow.com/phenomenal, get your tickets now come hang out with us. Again, thank you so much for tuning into this episode today, I hope you got a lot of value out of this.
And knowledge is not power, it's potential power, it's when you apply it that it becomes power. And so hearing from all these experts today and having these nuggets of insight, let's go and put something into practice today, even just one thing, put it into practice and apply it, and think about it, contemplate on it and see how it impacts your life.
I appreciate you so much for tuning into the show. I've got some epic powerhouse episodes coming your way very soon, so make sure you stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.
For more after the show make sure to head over to The Model Health Show.com, that's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well.
And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome and I appreciative that so much.
And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to have to transform your life Thanks for tuning in.
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