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TMHS 534: The Impact of Fear And Anxiety – And Reframing Things For A Healthy Mindset Moving Forward!
Fear, anxiety, and worry are natural human emotions that we all experience from time to time. However, perpetual and excessive fear have become prevalent in our society. Prolonged stress can suppress the immune system, ramp up inflammation levels, negatively impact sleep quality and so many other essential functions in the body.
Now more than ever, we need tools help us navigate our fear and anxiety. That’s why I put together this compilation episode with some of the world’s foremost experts on how stress impacts the body and strategies to reframe our mindset. We need logic, composure, and empowerment more than ever, and I hope that’s what you’ll take away from today’s show.
You’re going to learn about emotional health, and how to manage your emotions in a beneficial way. You’ll also learn about the direct impacts that stress and fear can have on the body, and how to identify and categorize your coping mechanisms. This episode is packed with expert insights, so listen in and enjoy the show!
In this episode you’ll discover:
- What emotional agility is.
- How we can reframe our thoughts, emotions, and the stories we tell ourselves.
- Why it isn’t healthy to always be positive.
- The link between disease and stress.
- How stress impacts the immune system.
- Three fundamental processes that occur in your body when you’re stressed.
- An exercise for navigating fear-based newspaper headlines.
- The role that expanded awareness plays in mitigating fear.
- What anxiety actually is.
- How the body’s stress response system works.
- The power of listing out and categorizing your coping mechanisms.
- Why anxiety can be a self-help tool.
- The importance of being mindful of your media diet.
- How to detach and unplug from fear-based narratives.
- Two questions you can ask yourself to get clarity.
- Why contribution can be an anecdote to fear.
- The difference between healthy fear and disempowering fear.
- Why the authority of your own conviction is so powerful.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- PiqueTea.com/model — Use code MODEL at checkout for 10% off!
- Organifi.com/Model — Use the coupon code MODEL for 20% off!
- Foursigmatic.com/model — Get an exclusive discount on your daily health elixirs!
- CDC: Underlying Medical Conditions Among Adults Hospitalized with COVID-19
- How to Navigate Negative Emotions with Dr. Susan David – Episode 444
- What Is Stress Doing to Our Immune Systems with Dr. Bruce Lipton – Episode 445
- Why the World Is Facing Great Challenges Now with Dr. Michael Beckwith – Episode 415
- The Surprising Science of Anxiety with Dr. Wendy Suzuki – Episode 509
- Taking on the Psychological & Social Fallout from COVID with Abel James – Episode 480
- Use These Tools to Rise Above Fear with Jim Kwik – Episode 521
- Healthy Fear vs. Oppressive Fear with JP Sears – Episode 428
- Master Your Mindset with Dr. Michael Beckwith – Episode 495
- The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton
- Good Anxiety by Dr. Wendy Suzuki
- Limitless by Jim Kwik
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- Eat Smarter
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!
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. Now more than ever we need tools and strategies to help us to adapt and to overcome the rampant degrees of stress that we're exposed to today. A study published in the peer review journal, Brain Behavior and Immunity, investigated the dynamics of psychoneuroimmunology and COVID-19. They found that psychological stress appears to increase severe reactions to COVID-19 infections and COVID-19 infections appear to exacerbate psychological stress, it becomes a vicious circle. What the research has really uncovered and pointed to was that in this field of psychoneuroimmunology, that, again, we've got mountains of data on, stress elicits an inflammatory response that if unchecked, can cause severe derangement to our immune function.
This is not something to glance over and it's not being talked about, and this is something I highlighted very early on, on this shift that's taken place in our society with COVID-19 arriving on the scene in our lives, and as this is played out, as I've shared multiple times here on the show, the CDC did a big meta-analysis, looking at the data from 800 US hospitals and over 540,000 COVID-19 patients, and they found that the number one risk factor for death from COVID-19 is obesity.
This is something that, of course, it's been on people's minds. We're not addressing it, we're not doing anything to actually improve this underlying susceptibility, but this is well-known. But what isn't well-known is what the CDC reported, and this is something we'll put in the show notes for you, again, published by the CDC, the second leading risk factor for death from COVID-19, these are the exact words, is "Anxiety and fear-related disorders." Fear is killing us. It's creating an underlying susceptibility that should be front page news, because truly what have we been inundated with the past year and a half? Even prior to that, just this constant bombardment of things to be afraid of. And yes, we can have rational approaches to safety and rational, healthy fear, we're going to talk about that today. But most importantly, what happens when we have fear without context? When we have fear without tools to help us to bring a logic to the table when we shift our brains? Because what fear does is it shifts the function of our brain overall to more primitive parts of the brain, that prefrontal cortex, the more evolved human part of our brain that makes us who we are, that's responsible for executive function, for social control, for distinguishing between right and wrong, for forethought, being able to map things out and look at, hey, if I do this, then this is going to happen.
All of these higher order functions, that part of the brain starts to lose a lot of activity and heightened activity starts to take place in areas of the brain like the amygdala, which, again, it's an important part of our evolution or when the amygdala... We call it an Amygdala Hijack, takes place, when the amygdala takes over this part of the brain is driven by emotion. Logic is put into the passenger seat. Emotion takes the driver's seat, and as you very well know, sometimes we can make a permanent decision on a temporary emotion, and we want to be able to put the right driver back into the driver's seat where logic and empowerment and good judgment are reigning supreme, and to do that we've got to have tools to help us to adapt to the, again, bombardment of fear and concern and stress and... Again, there is a place for these things in our life structures, but when our lives become driven by fear, it literally breaks down our brain, breaks down our bodies and devastates our immune system. So today, I wanted to provide you with some specific tools and insights about the impact of fear and anxiety from some of the leading voices in the world. And also, tools for reframing things for a healthy mindset moving forward.
Again, if the so-called mainstream media isn't going to provide these tools and these insights, we are going to do it, we are going to be the ones to make it happen, to employ these things in our lives and to share these tools with the people that we care about, so again, we can put the right driver back into the driver's seat and make logical healthy decisions and drive our society forward.
Now, before we get to our first expert, you've got to know in a deeper level than ever that what we put into our bodies has a deep impact on our psychological disposition, and we want to provide our bodies with, and our brain and our nervous system with the raw nutrients that are utilized to conduct healthy function. When deficient in these things, this can create automatic dysfunction in and of itself, and this is something not being talked about. Simple nutrient deficiencies can cause a degradation to not just our immune system function but our cognitive function as well. And certain nutrients can up-level our cognitive function better than many of the other things that have been studied. One of the most calmative nutrients with a long tradition of use and scientific efficacy is found abundantly in a certain type of green tea. Green tea contains a unique amino acid called L-theanine, and it's one of the rare nutrients that can gracefully dance its way across the blood-brain barrier, and in doing so L-theanine is able to increase the activity of the neurotransmitter, GABA. Right now, GABA plays a powerful role in reducing anxiety and making you feel more centered and relaxed.
This is definitely helpful today now more than ever, and also, it's incredibly helpful when you want to be productive. And another way that L-theanine works to improve focus is noted in the peer-reviewed journal, Brain Topography. The researchers observed that L-theanine intake increases the frequency of alpha brain waves indicating reduced stress, enhanced focus, and even increased creativity. The researchers indicated that two to three cups per day appears to carry the greatest brain benefits, and the most remarkable source of L-theanine is found in a specific type of Matcha green tea. Sun Goddess Matcha green tea from piquetea is actually shaded 35% longer in its growing process, which dramatically increases the L-theanine content and is crafted by a Japanese tea master. Now there's only about 15 Japanese tea masters in the world, and this is the first Matcha green tea that is quadruple toxin screened for purity, because Matcha's become something that's a little bit more popular now and with that comes people that are doing things in a low quality fashion, not adhering to the standards, especially when it comes to teas, they're often, unfortunately, coming along with pesticides, heavy metals and other environmental toxicants. And so, pique goes above and beyond again, quadruple toxin screened for purity. No preservatives or artificial anything.
It's my favorite green tea by far, nothing else even comes close. Head over to piquetea.com/model. That's P-I-Q-U-E-T-E-A.com/model, you get 10% off store-wide, including their remarkable Sun Goddess Matcha green tea and their other green tea formulas. Head over there, check 'em out, it's piquetea.com/model. And now let's get to the Apple Podcast review of the week.
ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled, “Easier to understand health knowledge at your fingertips” by Sidney Tevis. “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, thank you so much for leaving me that review over on Apple Podcast. And listen, if you're yet to do so, please pop over to Apple Podcast and leave a review for the Model Health Show. On that note, let's get to our topic of the day. Today I have a compilation of some of the foremost experts in the topic of fear and anxiety and specific tools for reframing things for a healthier mindset, for empowerment and for better health. Up first, we've got Harvard-trained psychologist, Dr. Susan David. And in this segment from her appearance on the Model Health Show, she's going to be sharing why our emotions, as stressed-derived as they might be, are actually offering us an incredible gift right now. Let's jump into this clip from the amazing Dr. Susan David.
DR. SUSAN DAVID: Emotional agility is basically the psychological skills that help you to be healthy with yourself, and really this involves a couple of components, the first is being able to be curious with yourself. So, we all have thoughts, emotions, stories, everything going on right now and the ability to be curious with ourselves is really important, and we'll explore what I mean by that. The ability to be compassionate with yourself, that what you're going through now could be exciting or it could be super tough, and for a lot of people, it's super tough, so it's about being compassionate, and it's also about being courageous. So, the short definition is it's about emotional health, what it means to be healthy as a human being, but there are some very specific ways that we can be healthy with ourselves, and these are about compassion, it's about curiosity and it's about courage with our thoughts, our emotions and with the stories that we experience every single day inside ourselves.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, and one of the things that you really did for me was helped to change the way that I was labeling things, even for myself. I was doing it at micro-levels, but our emotions are so varied and beautiful and wonderful and provide a lot of great feedback but we tend to have this concept that we need to be happy, if we're not happy, there's a problem, and I think that right now a lot of folks are kind of feeling that right now, they're not happy, and so they're kind of identifying the problem and not really looking at what this emotion... Or what our emotions, the feedback that it's giving us if that makes sense.
DR. SUSAN DAVID: Yeah, so Shawn this is critical, this is a really important part of emotional agility, which is, if you think about our thoughts, so we might have thoughts like, I just can't take it anymore, this is ridiculous. We might have emotions, emotions might be things like loneliness, stress, discomfort, anger, frustration, you know, the full range of emotions that we're experiencing, and then we've got stories, some of our stories were written on our mental chalkboard when we were five years old, stories about who we are, what kind of people we are, what kind of life we deserve, what kind of love we deserve, and the way we deal with our thoughts, emotions and stories drives everything, it's critical to how we love, how we live, how we parent, how we lead and indeed how we deal with a pandemic. So, what you talk about, which is so critical, is that one of the narratives that we have in society is that we've got to be positive, that even in the shadow of illness and death, that we've got to be happy looking for silver linings, grateful.
All of these narratives that we have. And what I really do in my work is push very strongly against this idea that we've just got to be positive, and there are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that when you are experiencing difficult emotions and you try to force positivity, what you're basically doing is you're not living in the world as it is, you're living in the world as you wish it would be. And if you are feeling something that's difficult right now, that is what you are feeling right now and trying to pretend otherwise is not actually dealing with the reality.
And you might say, "Well, what difference does it make?" Well, it makes a couple of really, really important differences in terms of our well-being. The first is that we know that people who pretend to be happy or try to be happy, or try to be positive, what actually happens is they are very often doing something, which is called emotion suppression. What this means is that they're feeling upset or lonely and they're saying, "Well, at least I've got a job, I should be happy or at least I have... I should be happy" and so they're pushing these difficult emotions aside. And we know that when we suppress our emotions in an ongoing way, actually what it does is that it is predictive of higher levels of depression, higher levels of anxiety. A second reason why we don't want to just force positivity is that when we do this, it's denial. It's avoidant. And so, we are not then actually developing skills that help us to say, "Gee, what I'm struggling with is this, and this is how I need to navigate the situation", so you're not actually in a situation where you then are able to come up with solutions and strategies to what it is you're facing.
So those are some of the reasons why forced positivity is so destructive, but we know that people over time who try to just "Put on happy" actually become less happy, that there is a real decrement in terms of people's capacity. And Shawn, just by the way, this is not only in terms of oneself. We know that when people try to force others into happiness, actually what it does is it is detrimental to the relationship, it's detrimental to how we develop skills in our children, and even if you're a manager or a leader, we know that when managers and leaders try to push aside the difficult emotions of their team, when they say things like, "Oh, let's just be optimistic. Let's just get on with it", actually what's so fascinating is the team's blood pressure increases. The team doesn't even know that the manager is doing this, but they actually have this physiological effect, and really what this does is it leads one to experience others, when there is the suppressed emotion as being false, inauthentic and difficult to actually relate to. And so, it's no surprise then that forced positivity, as I've already mentioned, impacts on people's well-being, but it also actually impacts on people's relationships as well as their capacity to actually achieve their goals because it is avoidant.
Shawn Stevenson: This is so good. So, we tend to, in our culture, force positivity upon ourselves and force it on other people. "Just cheer up", don't worry, be happy." "Get over it" and we're not using the vital and valuable information, the feedback that our emotions are giving us.
DR. SUSAN DAVID: This is profoundly important. Everywhere we go on social media, it seems like people are telling us to find silver linings, just be positive. And the opposite of that is, if you somehow aren't positive, you're bringing me down, you're toxic and therefore I need to do away with you. That is the messaging that is in our society, and really what I want to promote is that this idea, we think that we are being positive and happy and that it's actually helping us to be more resilient and more successful, but actually what we know is that it actually lowers resilience, and I don't just mean this in us as individuals or as in relationships, I really mean us as a society. When we cannot go to difficult emotions, when we can't learn from difficult emotions, we fail to actually develop skills to navigate a simple truth. And the simple truth is that there is pain in the world and there is difficulty in the world, and when we just force positivity, we are bypassing that reality, and therefore, we aren't actually able to show up to ourselves and others. And Shawn, you know what you point out is this really important aspect of "Why?"
And Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin first described that emotions are functional, that emotions help us to communicate with others, but also with ourselves. And so, when we push aside our difficult emotions, we struggle to develop skills that help us to adapt and therefore thrive in the world, because our emotions are critically important in helping us to adapt. And if there was ever a time that we needed to adapt, it's now. It's in the shadow of uncertainty.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, this is so good. So important. This is why I wanted to have this conversation with you specifically, is that I think many of us feel that, of course, there's something kind of off with the world, but we can think that there's something wrong with us because we feel fear or because we feel uncertain or because we feel sad or anger. I've heard a lot of people who say they've experienced rage during this time, and it might be uncharacteristic, and so we might go and just pretend those things aren't happening and try to get back to normal, find something to be happy about when actuality, you're sharing that this is giving us an opportunity to develop some kind of capacity or character trait.
DR. SUSAN DAVID: Absolutely, it is profoundly, profoundly important, and I'll give you an example of what I mean here. Of course, when you go on social media and you see things like just be positive, or even beyond that, things like, "Oh well, if you didn't use your time in quarantine to dust off your screenplay or write a book, it's not that you didn't have the time, is that you lack the discipline." And so what’s really started to happen is this idea that somehow hustle culture and pushing through and positivity have become conflated with success, that you can only be successful if you are doing these things and it is the opposite, and we can explore some of the reasons for this, but the first thing that I would really encourage anyone who's experiencing difficult and tough emotions right now to do is to not try to do away with them. Don't hustle with your difficult emotions or think that you shouldn't have them. Your emotions were designed to help you to adapt and to deal with threat, and if there was ever a time that we in humanity, in society have been threatened, it is in the shadow of illness and death. So, if you are feeling difficult emotions right now, there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, they are normal and expected.
Shawn Stevenson: Up next in our compilation is the person that I turned to first. When COVID arrived in our world, I went to Dr. Bruce Lipton, the author of The Biology of Belief, cell biologist and the pioneering voice of epigenetics. He is the person who pushed and impressed upon culture the field of epigenetics. And I wanted to find out, what does Bruce have to say about what's going on in the world. And it was an incredible gift to be able to bring him on to share his insights with everyone. And in this clip from our conversation, he's going to be detailing the biology of fear and the consequences of excessive stress. This is all something we need to be intensely aware of right now, how is all of this working within my own body? So, let's check out this clip from the amazing Dr. Bruce Lipton.
Dr. Bruce Lipton: Well, let's come down to a fact of science so we get this clear. Less than 1%, less than 1% of disease is connected to genes. So, I said, "Where the hell is all the disease coming from?" And it goes, "It's coming from stress." And I say, "What's stress?" Now, this is really important because stress is anything that gets in the way of your destination. I want to have this, I want to go there, whatever, and then something gets in the way that provokes stress. And I go, so why is it relevant? Because stress is the cause of disease of 90% of the people. And I say, why is it that relevant? Again, that's not genetic, that's a perception. I am stressed because I believe I'm stressed and therefore my cells are going to respond to my stress, whether it's real or not. The cells can't see it, they only are based on what I believe. So, stress interferes with the immune system, let's do stress right now because the whole worlds in a stress situation. So let me give you the three fundamental things that happen when you're in stress. What do we recognize stress for?
And I go, because we're being threatened, that's what stress means. Something's threatening you. Let's go back thousands of years, and I say, what was the stress? I say saber-tooth tiger. I go, oh, okay. I say, well, what happens when the saber-tooth tiger is chasing you? I say, you got to run like hell. I say, well, what organs in your body do you use to deal with stress? I go, arms and legs. Escape. So, I say, now here comes the next point, if I'm going to need those organs to escape from the tiger, then here's the most important thing, I need to give them energy, because without energy the muscles aren't going to work. So, I say, what provides energy? I say blood, so I go, oh, why is it relevant? Now here it comes. When I perceive a stress, stress hormone's function is to provide as much blood to my arms and legs as I can get, 'cause I need all of that energy to run away from the tiger. So, I say, well, where is it getting the blood from? I say, well, the heart's pumping the blood. Yeah, but it's pumping it all over the body. So, I say, well, when the blood is in my gut what is the function of the organs? Lungs, gut, all those organs in there, I say maintenance of the body, health of the body, fixing the body and all that.
And I say, well, if you're running away from a saber-tooth tiger, do you think it's good to invest in taking care of your body at this point? I go, what a waste of time. If the tiger catches you, the hell with the body, it's not going to exist anyway. So, here's number one. When stress is perceived, stress hormones released into the body cause the blood vessels in the gut to squeeze shut. I go Why? Because when they squeeze shut, the blood is pushed to the outside. Arms and legs, okay? So, I say, yeah, but, net consequence, you shut down the blood vessels in the gut and you shut down the maintenance and health of the body. I say, yeah, but for how long? How long is it take to get away from that tiger? 10 minutes, 15 minutes? You're away from the tiger, stress is gone, everything's back in condition again. People can experience this when you get that stress moment, they call it butterflies in the stomach, they feel a queasy.
I say, what's the queasy? It's the blood vessels squeezing shut, you can feel them, it's like fluttering. Okay, so number one, stress shuts down blood flow to the gut because it's going to make sure the blood goes preferentially to the arms and legs. Number two, and this is critical now, the immune system uses tremendous amount of energy. Most people when they get really sick don't even have the energy to get out of bed. So, I say, well, let's say I have a bacterial infection and a saber-tooth tiger is chasing me, how should I split my energy? Again, to hell with the bacterial infection if the saber-tooth tiger catches you, the infection doesn't mean anything anymore. It's the tiger's problem. So I go, okay, so what does it mean? Fact, stress hormones shut off the immune system to conserve energy to run away from the tiger. Okay.
And I go, "Wow, so stress hormones shut it down." I go, "So much so." Listen, medical doctors use stress hormones therapeutically, meaning if they want to transplant an organ from a person A into person B, and you put that organ, the foreign organ into the recipient, the immune system of the recipient is going to say, that's foreign and try and destroy it. And I say, well, what good is the operation if I just take the organ and put into somebody else and the immune system messes with it? And I go, hits is why medical doctors give, patients are going to receive a transplant, they give them stress hormones, because when they give them the stress hormones and then do the transplant, the recipient's immune system is not going to be working and it will sustain the transplant, how effective of shutting off the immune system? It's used therapeutically to shut off the immune system, okay?
So that's number two, we compromise growth and health, we shut down the immune system, I call the third consequence, adding insult to injury and I go, "What do you mean?" Well, the brain has in the forebrain, this is conscious part of the brain, and in the conscious part of the brain that's creative, okay, and I go, "That's great," and I said, "What about the hindbrain?" And I go, "Oh, the hindbrain is reflex reaction." And I go, "if you're being chased by a saber-tooth tiger, do you want to have consciousness running the show, or do you want to just have reflex reaction carry you away?" And the answer is, conscious is too slow.
Or I say, oh, you're in a car, spinning, it just starts to get out of control, I said, if you stay in a conscious mind when that car is going out of control, here's my model.
All you're going to do is you're going to just get lost, I say, the moment the car goes out of control, guess what, stress hormones shut off that immune system, pushes the blood. When I squeeze the blood vessels in the forebrain, it pushes the blood to the hindbrain where reflexes are going to work. So what? I go, we become less intelligent when we're under stress, because consciousness is too slow and when you're running. So I go, so what's the issue? Historically, the stress response was to be used for a short period of time, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, you escape the tiger, no more stress. And I go, and what about today? And I go, oh, I got a little problem here. 24/7 365 stress. The system was not designed for that. And this excess stress is responsible for up to 90% of disease on this planet, not genes. Genes, less than 1%. And all of sudden, I say, why is this important? Because if you tell somebody, genes caused that, then that gives them, oh, I'm not responsible, the genes did it and I go, no, because if you feel you're not responsible, you shut off your control and that's the point, I am in control.
Shawn Stevenson: Man, this is so powerful. What really struck me the most was when you said, "We become less intelligent when we're under stress," and I think this is one of the most well-seen things right now with people in fighting, it is a big lack of intelligence and even empathy and compassion and these higher order things are going to get put on the back burner.
Dr. Bruce Lipton: Yeah, let me give you an example about the difference between growth and protection, 'cause that's what it comes down to. A stimulus provokes us to do something. If it's a good stimulus, you move to it, like love, food, something you want, that's a stimulus we move to that stimulus. And then I say, but when you move to it, you go open armed, why? I want to take it in. If it's love, I don't want to close myself down, I want to assimilate it, if it's food, I got to open myself up, take it in. So, growth means you go to the stimulus, open, okay?
But what if the stimulus is negative, a threat of any kind, I go, oh, I don't go to the stimulus, I go away from the stimulus. Do I go with my arms open? I go, no, you close yourself down because of protection. So, I say, so what's the difference? Growth, go to a stimulus, arms open. Protection, go away from the stimulus, arms closed. I say, why is it relevant? And here's a simple conclusion, you can't move forwards and backwards at the same time, you can't be open and closed at the same time. So basically, it says if you're in a stress mode, you've shut your system down and growth's shut down.
That's okay for a very short period, but if it's chronic, you've killed yourself, essentially. And I say, so why is it relevant? And I go, look at today's world. Every time you turn on TV, "Be afraid, be very afraid. Go hide in your house." And I go, "Wow, that just scary as hell," I say, why is it relevant? I am getting stress hormones dripping into my system every time I watch that damn TV, I'm getting stress hormones when I read a paper, go, and surf the Internet and I go, and what is that doing for you? And I say, it is compromising your health, and I go, oh, I say, that's where disease comes from, not from the genes, but you shut yourself down and then as I said, you become less intelligent, then what do you do, defer to the boss. Who's the one that's going to protect me? Whatever they say, I'm going to do, why? I'm not thinking, I'm just going to do what they say 'cause they know, I don't know. I go, "Oh my God, have we just screwed the world big time." I go, why? Because the planet is on 24/7 stress. Any compromises to your health, have compromised your immune system, okay?
And I go, so what does that mean? Now listen to this, in America, 40% of US citizens have two or more, actually 2.7 chronic diseases, 2.7. One chronic disease, 60% of Americans have, but 40% of Americans have 2.7. I go, so why is it relevant? They're compromised before the damn virus even showed up and I go, well, why is it relevant? Because when the virus shows up, are they weakened because the virus is so strong or are they weakened because their immune system is under stress? And I go, that's the one, And I said, but you blame the virus and then everybody is now afraid. Healthy people are afraid." And I say, so what's the relevance? Well, you got them scared to death. I said, oh, you scared them. I say, what's the result of that?
You've messed with their immune system. You've already compromised their immune system because the stress hormones function shut off the immune system. The more you scare them, the worse the consequence of the COVID is. Quantum physics is the most valid science on this planet. It's the one that's been tested the most and verified to be more truthful than any other science. And I go, so what? Because what's the first principle of quantum physics? "The mind is the creator of our life experiences" and it says, your consciousness is creating your life. And I go, why is that relevant? Because if you change your consciousness, you can change your life. It's it's like you don't have to wait for life to change from the outside, it's you on the inside. And so, we have been systematically disempowered. You have been manipulated by a belief system and then belief controls genetics and belief controls your biology. And if you start with a negative belief, you only end up with a negative biology, it's the only way it happens.
Shawn Stevenson: Often times we don't realize that we're outsourcing our thinking to external forces. And taking back control of our minds, it isn't just some superficial thing. On a very practical level, this can be much easier said than done, because of how our brains are wired. And so being able to grab control, take the reins of our brain in a sense, can be very difficult when our brains and our nervous system and our physiology overall, our biology overall is unhealthy, is imbalanced. Because the excessive stress, the chronic levels of inflammation that tens of millions, hundreds of millions of Americans are experiencing, and I say that very specifically because it's noted now that we have about 240 million of our citizens are overweight or obese.
And one of the biggest tie-ins here is excessive inflammation in the body, because our body fat, as our fat cells grow, which our fat cells are actually pretty amazing and they're an adaptive force, they're always seeking to adapt to the environment, and part of their adaptation is growing in size. They can actually grow a thousand times their size, which is just nuts. But what happens as our fat cells are expanding with getting filled with contents, is they're setting off an inflammatory response. In essence, it's signaling to our immune cells that these fat cells are infected. And we're seeing this carry over not just with systemic inflammation, but also with neuroinflammation, inflammation taking place in the brain. A research is now indicating that metabolic disorders and excessive body fat directly contributes to brain inflammation and brain inflammation contributes to carrying excessive body fat. So, addressing this, getting our brains and our physiology healthy is at the utmost importance for not just biological health, but for psychological health.
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And now for our next expert. This is again somebody that I turned to... These are the top two guys that I turned to, Dr. Bruce Lipton and Dr. Michael Renard Beckwith. Michael Beckwith is a best-selling author and founder of Agape International. And in this segment, he's going to share with you how fear inhibits our higher faculties and how expanded awareness can help us solve our biggest challenges. Check out this clip from The Amazing Dr. Michael Renard Beckwith.
Dr. Michael Renard Beckwith: That's the virus of the mind, first of all, is fear. And fear diminishes your perspective, blocks your perception, inhibits wisdom, guidance and direction. So, the world has taken a nightmare pill where they're living in the vibration of a worst-case scenario and all the things that come with that. From the higher perspective, we're in a deep cleansing, which means that we're in a great clearing right now. You can see when you look out on the world events, things that would have taken years for us to discover, we now find out the next day, like politicians would tell a lie, you wouldn't know that for five years, they got away with it. Today, you can see them lying right in front of you, you know they're telling a lie.
So, things are much more transparent. So right now, we're in a situation where you're looking at the death of an old paradigm and the birth of the new, but the old paradigm is very loud and trying to hold on. And the new, you have little buds of the new springing up, but they're not as loud as the old. And so, I always like to say that those who are waking up and are embracing a higher order of being, love, compassion, generosity, service, there's no superiority or inferiority around humanity, we're all sourced from the same source, people who are awaken to that, I like to say that we are the reporters of the new paradigm that's yet to be.
And the other individuals are reporters of the status quo and that which is dying. So, when you turn on the news and you look at the reporters telling you something, they're actually reporting from a status quo, an old paradigm, and it inundates people's minds. People actually believe what they're looking at, even though they forget that we live in the most censored, one of the most censored countries in the world, and you're only going to get what powers that be want you to see.
So, when we ask what's going on, there's a lot of flux, lot of turbulence. So, what looks bad, and it is terrible, death, mayhem, police brutality, politicizing of COVID-19, making a political football rather than dealing with some serious science behind it, it's all a part of an old paradigm trying to hold on. And the first thing that has to happen is individuals have to know how to handle fear. They have to know how to navigate with that. They have to know how to not allow it to run them. Sometimes what I ask people to do is to take out a newspaper, read it from front to back, put it away and then pick it up six months later and read it. And you'll see all the things that was the top headlines, and everybody was concerned about this, has generally faded and something else is taking its place. And what is taking his place is another fear-based way of looking at life. So, we have to understand that these things do pass. Now the way that you're describing this is, there's the universal perspective, millions of galaxies, multi-dimensional universes, the cosmos is always expanding, the eternal presence that we're living in.
That's timeless. And then there's time. And so, our role is to bring the timeless into time, meaning creativity, innovativeness, resourcefulness, poetry, generosity, those are timeless, it means you've gone to a space outside of time and you've brought something into time. That's what a soulful artist does, they bring something into time. So, most people lose their perspective, and they live primarily from fight or flight, they're trying to save their life, they're into the survival frequency, they lose their perspective of the cosmos, of their connection to the timeless. So, this is what spiritual practice is all about. It's not about magical thinking, wishing that something wasn't happening, or burying your head in the ground and pretending that a bad thing did not happen, it's about understanding that in this universal perspective, there aren't any problems. There are only ideas and solutions and spiritual prototypes, and we have to go there and get them and bring them here. There's a solution for everything. There cannot be a problem and not be a solution. That's an impossibility. But you don't get to the solution from fear or being time blinded. The solution comes from your expanded awareness.
Shawn Stevenson: No compilation of expert voices would be complete without hearing from a neuroscientist. Dr. Wendy Suzuki is a world-renowned neuroscientist and best-selling author, and in this clip, she's going to be sharing with you what anxiety actually is from a neuroscience perspective and how anxiety can be turned around and used as a gift of empathy. Check out this clip from Dr. Wendy Suzuki.
Dr. Wendy Suzuki: So, anxiety is simply defined as that worry for an imminent possible event or worry about uncertainty. So, look around, pandemic, Delta variant, what could be more uncertain than that? And fall coming with us and school going back and all of that. So, not surprising, that base definition of anxiety going up.
And before the pandemic, 90% of the population raised their hands when asked, "Do you feel anxiety during the day?" That has clearly gone up, and so this is something that we're not suffering all alone. Look around the room, 90% plus more people in this room are feeling the same feelings as you are. So that's the important place to start. So where does it stem in the brain? It stems from our stress response system. This is an evolutionarily ancient system that was developed, and this is a key point in the book. The stress and anxiety response system was evolved to protect us. It is a protective mechanism, and I'd like to say that over and over again, because all of us, including me, it's like, oh, stress, anxiety, just get it out. Just make it leave. But this is one of the key messages in good anxiety, at its core, it is protective. How can we reshape and re-funnel the activation energy in stress and anxiety to help it protect us more, get back to that core feature?
And so how do we do that? Everybody's heard of the fight or flight response. It is under-girded by a part of the nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system that's automatic... If there is a danger or a possible danger, what happens, your heart way goes up, your respiration goes up, all your blood leaves from your digestive and reproductive systems, goes to your muscles to allow you to either fight or run away.
And that happens whether there's a lion coming at you or whether there's a big worry of global warming, pandemic, all these things, even the threat of that possibility, that anxiety can activate the same system. So that's where we're getting tripped up in our modern society. Way back 2.5 million years ago, our ancestors had the same system, but they weren't bombarded with stress and anxiety every single day, there's an occasional lion that might come our way and we can run and get rid of it and then go back to normal. Today, 24-hour news cycles, Instagram feeds all the time reminding us of the beautiful clothes and the beautiful life we don't have and all of the dangers in our world, which are real. And so, it's activating our stress system to an overload and that is not healthy, that is not normal and good anxiety gives you a huge list of tools to start to address that overload of stress and anxiety.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Oh, my goodness, so powerful. I love the detail that you gave, the ancient human example and then a modern circumstance, and really what I took away from that is a very clear indication that this overwhelming fear, stress, anxiety, those very important systems that we have, they can respond to what is an eminent real threat and to what is imagined as well, and your brain doesn't know the difference. Is that right?
Dr. Wendy Suzuki: Yeah. Your brain and your bodily response does not know the difference. So, you can be worried about global warming even when we're not experiencing it, even though we are, and that will give us the same fear response. And again, it's protective. We're getting ready to move, to act on it, and that's the other problem. A lot of these issues are... There isn't the lion to run away from. And so, what I've talked about in the book and what I've given tools for is to help you turn that worry into some kind of action to dissipate, to use that energy in a positive way. Why am I doing that, because that is what the system was evolved to do and it gives you a way to dissipate that, it decreases your anxiety, it uses that activation energy but in a way that is beneficial for us.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. So, this experience... So first of all, I want to reiterate this. Our experience of anxiety is actually biological feedback.
Dr. Wendy Suzuki: Yes.
Shawn Stevenson: And it's giving way to a new change in perception, in action and our issue, though, and I want to ask you about this, instead of addressing this critical feedback that the anxiety is giving us, I also want to mention this too that the anxiety can be the superficial thing that we see, but it can be something that's unconscious potentially that's driving the anxiety.
Dr. Wendy Suzuki: Yeah. Sure.
Shawn Stevenson: So, it can be used more of an investigative tool, right?
Dr. Wendy Suzuki: Yes. Yeah.
Shawn Stevenson: But in our society today we often utilize things to basically suppress it.
Dr. Wendy Suzuki: Exactly.
Shawn Stevenson: And so, what are some of those things that we tend to do? Like drinking, for example, or maybe being on social media and potentially making it worse.
Dr. Wendy Suzuki: Right, right. So, we talk about this in the book as different categories of coping mechanisms. Everybody has their coping mechanisms from potato chips to chocolate to Netflix watching and there are definitely more positive coping mechanisms. If you turn to meditation if you turn to calming breath work, positive, positive coping mechanisms. Alcohol is a common one that one can indulge in every once in a while, but too much that becomes a negative coping mechanism because it feeds some of those negative feelings and also going back to the importance of sleep, it can diminish your sleep, that makes your brain and your emotional regulation much more poor and that does not help with your stress or anxiety at all. So, there are different categories we talk about and one of the exercises is to take a look and list out your particular coping mechanisms and start to categorize them. A lot of this book is helping you step back and take a look at what you were doing in your life around anxiety and be more mindful about that and learning from it. And as you were saying, I think anxiety can be one of the most powerful self-help tools that we never knew we had. Imagine that it goes from the thing that you want to throw out the door and never see to something that actually could help me learn about myself, make my life less stressful if I just learn how to learn from it.
Shawn Stevenson: This is so good. So, what could anxiety be trying to tell us, for example, what are some examples? If we're feeling that just existential angst or feeling impending doom... You describe a lot of the different feelings that people get. You mentioned there's a garden variety, daily anxiety, and there's more severe instances, but they're all giving us biological feedback.
Dr. Wendy Suzuki: Right. Exactly.
Shawn Stevenson: What could anxiety be trying to tell us?
Dr. Wendy Suzuki: Yeah. So, I think the easiest thing to understand is what are... It tells us more about what we value, what we really love and what we need in this life. And throughout the book, you will learn all about my own personal anxieties because they are the examples that I turn to. And so, one of the anxieties that I talk about that has been with me for a very, very long time that people don't initially appreciate because I'm a speaker and a teacher is that I was a very, very shy kid, it was social anxiety that I had. I didn't like to speak out, I was very awkward in social situations. I was never one of the cool kids, I was the wallflower.
And even in class, I love learning, I love school, but I found it hard to raise my hand and jump into those conversations like I wanted to and that really taught me about how much I wanted to be a part of social interactions, even though I was afraid to do it, and over the years, I've learned how to speak out, how to become a good and effective teacher and speaker, and those were things, that fear, is something that I needed to get over. But it's really taught me how much... Ever since I was a young girl, I valued those friendships, those social interactions, and it's changed the way that I appreciate my friends, my family, as I started, as I...
In fact, this has changed as I wrote the book. And I'll just bring up one of the other things I learned from that particular anxiety, which is I realized it was one of my special gifts that came from my form of anxiety, because I was working hard to figure out what are those lessons that come from anxiety? And I was like, "Oh my God, I've been doing this all of my teaching career", because... So, what have I been doing? I have been spending extra time and effort making sure that the shy students in my class, the students that didn't raise their hands like Hermione Grainger and Ron, "Pick me, pick me, pick me," I love those students too, but I was concerned with the ones that were too shy to do that, that still wanted to interact with me, they wanted to show me what they knew. How did I know that? Because I wanted to show my teacher what I knew, like see what I am thinking about and see how I understand this. And so, I spend the time before class and after class and during office hours making sure that there are safe spaces for the less bold students to come and just chat casually so that I could get their insight and kind of take the pulse of the class that way.
Why do I do that? It takes a lot of time. I do that because I know how they feel. That form of empathy comes from my anxiety and everybody has that. What is your worst anxiety? You know how that feels, and you can turn that around and make that into a gift of empathy that is unique and special to you. And once I realized that I'm like, okay, that is the core, that is the lesson, that is the learning that teaches me about myself, but also gives me gifts to give to other people.
Shawn Stevenson: Up next in our compilation, "Looking at the impact of fear and anxiety and how to reframe things for a healthy mindset moving forward", we have New York Times bestselling author and health and wellness expert, Abel James. Abel is going to be talking about how fear is connected to a form of hypnosis and why you need to be mindful of your media diet in a simple way that you can unplug right now. So, check out this clip from the remarkable Abel James.
Abel James: One of the things you learn is that we're running on autopilot. 95% of the stuff that's happening with you is happening without you realizing it. And when you're in a state of fear, especially a perpetual state of fear, you cannot think rationally in the same way that you can when you're in a different brain state. Your physiology is different. You cannot process emotions and data the same way that you can when you're not in that fear of state. So anyway, we have been conditioned to be in a fear of state for over a year now, from all sorts of different directions, and there are a few different articles I've read about how...
If you look across the different countries over the past year with the pandemic and all of this, it's been about 50-50 good news, bad news. In America, though, the media environment puts out 90% bad news. So, when you are being conditioned... We don't realize that those little ads that are following us around the internet, buy this mask, or buy this hat, or the billboard that you're driving down the highway and just catches the corner of your eye, "Buy a Big Mac, it's red" or "You're not a man, if you don't buy this jewel for your wife." These things affect us, and they are something that we wouldn't have had to have our shields up against historically speaking as humans. So, knowing that we're in this environment, be very careful with your media diet, with what you are exposed to. If you're in that state of fear, you're going to be conditioned and almost hypnotized into a different state, and what I'm seeing is essentially hypnosis. It's like a mild hypnosis among the population such that you have these bubbles of people who are living in a completely different reality than other people. And if your reality is being dictated from the top down, that's a very dangerous place to be. It's a very dangerous place to make decisions from, so do what you can to detach...
One of the reasons we live in the middle of nowhere is because we can. We can just go out there and you see how little a lot of the stuff that seems like it matters on the internet, you see how little it actually matters when you might get eaten by a lion or you'll die if you stay out all night because it gets cold up here in the mountains. That stuff is real. The internet isn't real. A lot of the fear, a lot of the messaging, it's just virtual still, and if you turn it off, you'd be amazed by the mental space that you get back. It's so worth it, even just a few minutes a day. Don't go on anything, turn it all off. Go away, go on a walk. Not with your phone. Go on a walk by yourself with someone you care about, with your dog, have an actual human moment.
Shawn Stevenson: Next up in our compilation, "Analyzing the impact of fear and anxiety and how to reframe things for a healthy mindset moving forward", is one of my good friends, I've known him for well over a decade. He's a New York Times bestselling author and accelerated-learning expert, Jim Kwik. Now this conversation blew me away because of seeing how Jim is able to take what he's been teaching for decades and loop that in, tie that in with our current circumstances.
How what he's been teaching is related, he took this topic of fear and anxiety and implanted that into his remarkable data set and is providing some very practical insights, and in this clip, he's going to be sharing how you essentially create a mental algorithm for fear and anxiety, plus a practical way to reduce fear exposure and boost feelings of empowerment. Check out this clip from the one and only Jim Kwik.
Jim Kwik: When we're in our survival brain, we're held hostage from our rational brain, our ability to make good decisions, our ability to see things clearly, and people know that, media knows that, politicians they know that, and we're not going to make very solid choices in our life when we're in that survival place, when we're in fear, everything's going for just be able to live, and so we get irrational, we start hoarding toilet paper, we start doing things that just... Start seeing people through a different lens, which could be a big challenge, and even outside of just the current world events, when people have fear. In Limitless, I talk about how limits are learned, and fear is the limit, it's a constraint, there's a border or some kind of boundary that we're bumping up against, and it could be anxiety around taking a test, it could be fear of public speaking, it could be a fear of starting a business or getting into a committed relationship where fear holds us back.
And so, in Limitless I have a quote from a French philosopher and he says, "Life is the C between B and D." And people are thinking I'm speaking in code, but B stands for birth, D stands for death, life C stands for choice. I really do believe that these difficult times, they can define us, these difficult times can diminish us or these difficult times they could develop us, we decide. So, some choices that we're working with clients, like little choices that they could make to be able to get over fear, to mitigate fear so they're not in that fight or flight where, like you mentioned psychoneuroimmunology, where they're more susceptible to colds, to the flus, to viruses. Because if you're chronic stress, we talk about how it shrinks the human brain and then there's different things that people could do to manage and cope with stress, chronic fear. It's a big challenge.
And so how do we manage it? And so, some choices... First of all, I have had this global... I think symbols are very powerful in the human psyche. I think metaphors are a wonderful way to learn. Metaphors are kind of a short cut when you're comparing something you don't know to something that you do know all of a sudden, and you make a connection that wasn't there before. The metaphor I'm using is one of big transformation, is that of a butterfly, very simple. And a lot of... While the beauty is in the butterfly, the growth happens in the cocoon. And a lot of people feel like they're in a cocoon the past couple of years, they might be physically distancing themselves and they might be alone, they might be alone with their thoughts, they might be working at home or living at work, they don't know, or their kids are in and out of school, they're alone with their doubts, they might be feeling alone, mental health challenges are on the rise.
And so, while you're in this cocoon, how do you come out of it? 'Cause while the beauty is in the butterfly, the growth happens in the cocoon. And so, it's a struggle to be able to get out so that you develop strength and commitment, character, and the things that... Capabilities, to be able to soar to new heights. Here are five or six things that people could... Choices that they can make, going back to the decisions, and we can riff on this with your listeners on what they could do to just empower themselves so they could have their sense of agency back where they're not giving away this kind of... Or where they feel like they're a victim and this is happening to them where they could, as you talk about, control the controllables.
So, I'll make 'em easy, I'll make 'em all Cs, right? So, during doing this time is a wonderful time first to get clarity, clarity is power. Because it's really hard to stop somebody who knows where they're going and why they're going there. You know what I mean? But a lot of people that were we're living, there are forces out there that try to confuse you with their messages, with manipulation of data, and a confused mind doesn't do anything so you're mobilized, just like where fear could lead to freezing or fleeing. And so, clarity. And so clarifying questions, I believe questions are the answer and they're an amazing tool that we could use. One question is something simple like, what's most... Just start basic. Solitude is a wonderful time for self-reflection, and so maybe it's asking yourself, What's most important to me in life? What's most important to me in my health? What's most important to me in my career?
Zero base thinking, if I was to start over, what's really important to me in my security and my personal freedoms and the things that matter to me most? And I always tell people, it's not just time management, it's priority management, that the most important thing is to keep the most important thing, the most important thing, right? And so, what is most important to you? Maybe it is your freedom, maybe it is growth, maybe it is love and family, maybe it is contribution, maybe it is safety, maybe it is adventure. So that's your north star. 'Cause sometimes when we're going 100 miles and as many people do, we're just burning, driving that car going really fast, we don't ask ourselves, "Hey, am I still going in the right direction?" 'Cause we just do it every single day, and we know this through studies that upwards of 40% or more of our behaviors are just habitual, they're unconscious, we're on autopilot.
But like Dr. Stephen Covey, who wrote Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says, you don't want to climb the ladder of success really efficiently and get to the top and realize the ladder's leaning on the wrong wall. So, the second question I would ask besides what's most important to you in these areas, what's the most important to you, where you're going to live, what's most important to your kids' education is, are my actions aligned with those values? That's the congruency and the integrity. The most fulfilled people and the happiest people, those cultivating those emotions to be able to dilute the fear that's out there, they're on purpose. And so, a lot of people feel burnt out because of fear. Because they're burning on all cylinders and their hormones are all out of whack. They're staying up late at night because they're on social media scrolling through all the crazies that's going on.
And I would say that sometimes we don't feel burnt out 'cause we're doing too much. Sometimes we feel exhausted and burnt out because we're doing too little of the things that really matter, the things that light us up. The things that make us come alive. And so, I would really hone in on those four or five things that are most important to us and take some time to pause and just ask yourself, and then have this conversation with our your kids, have this conversation with your significant other, find out what their values are also as well, and are we doing things every single day to meet those things.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, I love this so much and thank you for pointing out to have these conversations with our kids as well. Kids are some of the people who are unfortunately struggling the most right now with this time, it's kind of a massive, big social experiment. And so, finding out what is their biggest value, what's most important for them, what's their priority and asking these clarifying questions, what's most important to their health, what's most important to their happiness? And the same thing with our significant other. And there's something healing, of course, just having these conversations, period. The thing about you man, you help to bring out what's kind of rattling around in our minds to the surface, so we can get a good look at it. And I want to reiterate this point, that clarity...
So, we've got our clarity question, so it might be, what's most important to me in life, and for you, it might be your family. But are your actions actually demonstrating that that is your biggest priority? And if not, wouldn't this be a good time to adjust to make that the reality? The same thing with our health. And when we seem like... When it may seem like the world has taken something away, for example, your priority with your health is working out, going to the gym, but the gyms are closed down, the parks have got the caution tape up around and you're like, "They're taking away my ability to exercise and to be healthy", but this is an opportunity for us to find a way, get creative because chances are, this isn't the first time that something abnormal is going to happen in life, and so I think it also develops that skill set of resilience.
This is so good, man. So, clarity is number one. It's amazing. This is so, so important.
Jim Kwik: Yeah. So again, we're talking about the choices. Life is a C between B and D. These are small choices, and you don't have to spend hours on this, but that's... I think part of success is just getting to know yourself as you're evolving through this life, whatever cycle that you happen to be in, and part of that, it could be journaling, it could be your own meditation, it could be talk therapy, right, self-awareness really is a superpower. The second C I would say, in no specific order, is care. Again, something your show is all about. That self-care is not selfish and all the things that we talk about. And it's not just eating the best foods and optimizing your sleep or going to the... Getting body work done, it also is caring.
Part of self-care is realizing when you say yes to somebody or something you're not saying no to yourself, and a lot of people, they're burnt out because they have too many tabs open and it's still taking up a lot of space. It's requiring a lot of energy, people are over-committing all the time to things that they can't fulfill on, and so there's kind of a breach with your own commitments and your own trust with yourself. I would also say that part of self-care is making the choice when you say yes to something like all that craziness that's out there. It's interesting, like a lot of us are on social media, right? And there is an algorithm to social media, clearly. And one of the algorithms is, whatever you engage with, you get more of, right? So, if you just happen to be really into, we mentioned this before, but cat videos or whatever, that you just engage, you like, share, comment, watch all the cat videos, then they're going to show you a lot more cat videos, and that's going to be your perception, that's going to be your newsfeed.
Well, your mind has a similar algorithm. Whatever you're consistently engaging with, they're going to show you more of. And media marketing knows this. If it bleeds, it leads. If something is threatening part of your brain, let's say they make the look, it's hijacked and you have to pay attention 'cause that's your survival, so you have to pay attention to what's dark, threatening and scary. And the challenges, if that's what you're engaging with, just like the cat videos, they're going to show you more of it. Your mind is going to see literally in your observation, in your perception, more of that darkness, scariness, the threatening things because that's what you're engaging with. You're training your nervous system saying, "This is important." And the challenge, though is that leaves you very little bandwidth for hope. That leaves you very little bandwidth for opportunity. That leaves you very small bandwidth for solutions. Further things... Leaves you with less bandwidth for gratitude, the things you can be grateful for. And so just reminding... With care, part of it is just, it's like self-love, it's falling in love with that person in the mirror that's been through so much but is still standing and making self-care a priority for you, your family, your team also as well.
And that's why you're we're always feeding our minds with great podcasts like yourselves, with books and with great conversations and then people. And again, it could be 10 minutes, just like the other ones, it could be just like going for a 10-minute walk with your dog that day. Something that... 'Cause little by little a little becomes a lot.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, yeah. Okay. This is, I mean for me, obviously, this is like my center point.
So, I want to connect these together with fear. This becomes like a force field, in a sense, because your... You have the opportunity to train your brain to basically tune into what you care about it, right? So, if you're telling your brain that I care about cats and Beyonce, which is my wife's explore page on Instagram, then that's what you're going to see more. But this is happening in the "real world" whether we realize this or not. What are you tuned in to? You get to demonstrate or tune your brain into, basically instruct your brain on what you care about, so that's very powerful. And that self-care and feeding our brains intentionally the things that provide that resilience and that self-care, that force field of positivity is something that's within our power as well to defend us against fear.
Jim Kwik: Exactly, 'cause a lot... There's a huge cognitive load that's spent when we're scared or fearful, and stress, fear burns a lot of energy, right? A lot of brain glucose.
So, insulate yourself with the best force field ever, that's the second C set. The third one, I would say, again, we're talking about little choices that you can make to help kind of rewire your life or your nervous system for confidence, for courage, for peace of mind. I would say the third one is contribution. Fear is something that we all experience, and just like when we talk about in Limitless that limits are learned, a lot of fears are learned. Like they say... Somebody told me that, and I don't know if this is true, but the two things, like the two natural born fears that we have, fear of falling and fear of loud noises, now I don't know if that's accurate, but pretty much we could all accept that most of the other fears are learned, the fear of public speaking, it's not something like we're born with, it's something that we learned. And for me, that was a big...
That was one of my big fears, which is ironic because that's all I do for a living. And so, what I would say is contribution, how... Even with me, if I have a fear of public speaking, what I think about is that one person in the audience that I want to contribute to and that takes my focus and my awareness off of my own anxiety or butterflies, and I put my attention on service contribution, and where your focus goes that's where your energy is going. And once I do that... Literally, Shawn, I'm pretty introverted, kind of pseudo really shy because of my learning disabilities growing up and my traumatic brain injury, I was very self-conscious, my superpower was hiding growing up, that was really good, we were talking about, trying to...
Shawn Stevenson: Hide and seek, where the hell is Jim?
Jim Kwik: Yeah, exactly. I would sit behind the tall kid in class, I would always shrink down, I'd be invisible, boy, I'd be able to talk... 'Cause I never had the answers. And I didn't understand what people were talking about in school. I didn't want to be picked for sports 'cause I don't want to... I had a fear of just messing up and making mistakes and letting people down, fears that we take on into adulthood. And so, I would say that when it comes to contribution, it focuses your energy on service, I think we learn so we could earn, so we could return...
We donated 100% of the proceeds to Limitless to charity, hundreds of thousands of dollars to build schools for children in need in Kenya, Guatemala, Ghana to Alzheimer’s research for women, and as we know that women are twice as likely to experience Alzheimer’s than men, in memory of my grandmother who I lost when I was going through my learning difficulties, but going back to contribution, I feel like that's why we're here, everything in nature, it has to grow, but it also has to give, otherwise it's eliminated and I think that's important. And you don't give to get, you give because it's who you are. But I think contribution is one of the antidotes to fear and so... And it doesn't have to be huge. It could be making food for frontline workers; it could be contacting a neighbor that might be alone. And just little things like that make a difference.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Man, I love this, that's so powerful because... I don't know why I didn't even think of this that you would bring this one up, because fear has a tendency to make us withdraw, and if we intentionally put forth contribution, it's literally, it is an antidote. It's the opposite of what Fear drives us to do and that's really remarkable, Jim.
Jim Kwik: So, the question here would be like, how can you take some of your time, your talent, your treasure to make a difference? I think when we're making a difference, it's something... It gives us fulfillment, it gives us joy and again, these are emotions that could drown out the fear and the negative self-talk and all those sensations where we feel immobilized, it gives us our power back again. A lot of this conversation is about getting your agency back, 'cause when we're in a fear, we feel like we're at the effect, we feel like we're a thermometer, a thermometer just reacts to the environment, and as human beings sometimes we react to the environment, we react to politics, we react to what's going on in the world, the economy, how people treat us, but in actuality, the strongest, most successful, happiest fulfilled people, the ones that have joy, they identify more with the thermostat, a thermostat doesn't react to the environment, it gauges. So, be a thermostat, gauge, know what's going on in the world, right? But then you set a temperature and the environment reacts to you, right. And you set a goal, you set a vision for what you want to do and a mission, how you want to disrupt things and make things better and then make it the way you see it.
Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely amazing and essential. I really want to reiterate what Jim was talking about in proactively feeding our minds things that are empowering. It's not just, you are what you eat. It's you are what you breathe, you are what you drink, you are what you think, you are what you are exposed to. We're taking in the world around us, so let's proactively feed our minds things that keep us empowered, especially right now more than ever. And also, to be a thermostat rather than a thermometer, be a light, be a source of inspiration and empowerment and courage and beauty. When you step foot in a room, you make that room better. Everywhere you step is blessed, let's take that mantra and that mindset forward as we move throughout the world. We don't have to be so susceptible to the world around us because we bring it with us, we bring empowerment with us, and we out-picture that everywhere that we go. Now again, Jim has been somebody who's been in my life for many years, and so much of the incredible impact and success that I've seen has been related to Jim over and over and over.
The Model Health Show would probably not even exist in this form had it not been for an event that I was speaking at along with Jim Kwik, that's where the seeds of The Model Health Show were planted, and I'm so grateful because I'm here today. Millions of listeners downloads every month, and the impact just keeps growing and growing and growing, and I just want to thank you so much for being a part of this movement. Now obviously, sleep, this is something that I've talked with Jim a lot about, he's a fast-thinking, high energy person and so optimizing sleep was a struggle for him at certain times of his life. So, he's worked with some of everybody to help him sort it out, from Tony Robbins to yours truly, and so just finding real practical things in getting grounded and improving his sleep has just been another tool in his superhero utility belt. And good sleep and immune health go hand-in hand as well because our nutrition plays a major role in our sleep quality. This is widely overlooked. Because your body can't even do the processes of what we refer to as sleep, which is a very strange phenomenon, but efficiently and effectively going through our sleep cycles. This is not going to be taking place if we don't have the raw materials, the specific nutrients that build sleep related hormones and neurotransmitters and those pathways overall.
So, this is why good sleep nutrition is so important. Now, we've talked about that many times here on the Model Health Show, and of course is featured in my latest book, Eat Smarter, we've got a chapter really dedicated to good sleep nutrition. But there are also specific nutrient sources that are proven, we're talking centuries of documented use and now our current modalities of science and clinical testing have really demonstrated its efficacy. A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior found that Reishi, medicinal mushroom, Reishi has been found to significantly decrease sleep latency, increase overall sleep time, increase sleep efficiency, improving non-REM and deep sleep time. Now again, good sleep is critical for good immune system health, but also Reishi directly impacts the immune system in a very, very remarkable way. Research published in The Journal of Pharmacological Sciences found that the polysaccharides in Reishi have extensive immunomodulating effects, including promoting the function of antigen-presenting cells, humoral immunity and cellular immunity.
Another study published in Immunological Investigations reveal that Reishi can significantly improve natural killer cell performance. Listen, if you don't utilize Reishi right now, if you don't understand how powerful this is, just every step along the way in immune system support and also improving sleep quality, man it's just... It's a no-brainer to add this to your regimen. It's something I like to have before bed, maybe 30 minutes, an hour before bed, winding down, have some Reishi tea in the evening. And also, there's a great Reishi hot cocoa that my youngest son is his favorite thing. And where I get these, it is dual extracted, this is key. If it's not dual extracted, you're really missing out on these benefits. It's from Four Sigmatic, go to foursigmatic.com/model. That's F-O-U-R-S-I-G-M-A-T-I-C.com/model, you get an exclusive discount, you're going to get at least 10% off when you pop over there to foursigmatic.com/model.
Reishi should be one of those things, those top tier, top five things added to your regimen right now to fortify immune system function. And now we're going to move on to our next expert, an insightful voice. And this individual, he might be making the biggest direct impact of anybody out there right now that we've featured here on the show because of his content creation. His illustration of the issues that are going on in the world and his sense of humor. Humor provides a bridge for connection, provides a bridge for learning. It creates a softer place to land for people who are struggling with certain ideas about what's going on in the world. And so, he's an absolutely brilliant human being, brilliant creator, and I'm talking about none other than JP Sears. In this clip he is going to be sharing the difference between healthy fear and disempowering fear. So, let's check out this clip from the amazing JP Sears.
JP Sears: At the heart of it all, in my heart, I am such a fan of humanity. I love people. I love people who disagree with me, I love people who agree, I love everything in between. I love people, so I'm a fan of Team Human. Now I think what unfortunately works against Team Human, and it's always self-inflicted, is when we live in fear. And that video, "What it's like to believe everything the media tells you, “My intention behind it was to help liberate people from their fear. And if a fish doesn't know it's swimming in water, we got to wake it up to realize it's in water and let alone what kind of water it's in. And the late great Ram Dass once said, "You can't get out of a jail you don't know you're in." And we're... With what the media tells us, and I'm not here, tin foil hat, conspiracy, like, "Ah, they're out to get you." I'm here to call a spade a spade and suggest that the mainstream media, it's fearmongering and it's a business model. It's not far-fetched, in my opinion, that the headlines, be they spoken or written, online, in print, on your TV, the headlines are meant to evoke a fear response inside of your psyche. And that gets your attention and that's survival reasons.
If you're out in the wild, if something is scary, like the bushes move in an abnormal way, that gets your attention. It's human instinct, we want to focus on what scares us so that we can discertain how to protect ourselves from that scary thing. Fight, flight, freeze, whatever the heck it's going to be. And thus, the media gets our attention with the scary headlines and like, "Hey, by the way, it's been three minutes, here's the latest death count." Well, okay, now 30 seconds later, "Here's an updated death count, by the way, scrolling on the bottom of the screen." So that's coming at us not only 24/7 but 24/7 from 360 degrees of angles. How good of a life are we going to live if we're in constant fear? That's not in our best interest. Now, I think if... I'm going to get off my soapbox in a second here. But not yet.
I think fear is such a healthy emotion when it serves us. If I hear a crash through my window, cool, I'm going to be afraid, like "What's going on?" It's going to help alert me to a situation that is meaningful and beneficial for me to deal with, but when we are constantly being inundated with fear, because we plug into the source of fear, we're glued to the headlines and getting our news from the news, which I like until... That's like getting financial advice from broke people. Then we're always being indoctrinated with fear that's not actually giving us helpful, meaningful information about how we can live a better life for ourselves.
So, with that video, and probably dozens of videos I've made in the past six months, the intention is to help people realize the jail that they don't know they're in, the jail of fear, and given that fear is a human emotion, and I think a beneficial human emotion when it's a fear that serves us... It's one thing to be afraid, it's another thing to view life through the lens of fear and make decisions from the place of fear, because we know, like in the old examples of someone yelling "Fire" in an old movie theater, the panic kills more people than the actual fire does. So, I think it's very human of us to be afraid, yet it is perhaps disempowering of us to make decisions from the fear and view our lives and everything else exclusively through the lens of fear. So yeah, men, I'm doing my best to help people wake up to the fear that they don't know they're swimming in.
Shawn Stevenson: For our final segment in this compilation, "Looking at the impact of fear and anxiety and reframing things for a healthy mindset moving forward", we're looking at another conversation, a separate conversation that I had with somebody who is a really good friend and mentor in my life, Dr. Michael Beckwith. Again, Michael Beckwith is a bestselling author and founder of Agape International, and in this clip, he's going to be talking about, he's sharing with you where your authority truly resides. Check out this clip from the amazing Dr. Michael Beckwith.
Dr. Michael Renard Beckwith: What I see is that we're in the middle of a great awakening and you're seeing the crumbling of the old paradigm and you're seeing the emergence of what's happening new both in the same space and the same time. In Newtonian Physics that can't exist, you can't have two objects in the same space, same time, but in quantum reality, you can have everything in the same space at the same time, but they are vibrating at different levels. So, you have the old paradigm "Fear, fear, fear, fear, worry, worry, worry, worry, lack, limitation, scarcity, not enough, not enough jobs, not enough this, not enough that... " That's not real. That's made up.
And so, what's happening is a crumbling of the old, where people are going to be forced to really get a sense of who they are and stop leaning on external things like governments and politicians and things of that particular nature. I tell people, "The only authority you have is the authority of your own conviction." That's the authority. You can't outsource your authority to someone out there, those people work for you. You don't work for them; they work for you. And so, your attention has to be on what kind of life you want to live and how that can assist you to live that life. Now if you don't have a vision, then they're going to tell you what your vision is. If you don't have your own possibility for your own life, then you're going to listen to these people and they're going to run your life, you see.
So, the idea is that we're in a great awakening, everything is shifting, the world of phenomena is moving really fast, and there's an emergence taking place. There's people becoming more sovereign, people taking their authority back, people that are saying "Hell no," it's very similar to the vibration during the Vietnam War. People woke up and said, "Whoa, wait a minute, we're going to go kill these people we don't know? Why? This is... Why are we doing this?" And nobody could give an answer. You know what I mean? So, it's a stream of consciousness that's happening, and again, you don't see it 'cause it's not on the news, but there's many people that are coming to an understanding that their own authority is here.
It's their connection to the universe, not connection to a party, Republican, Democrat, Independent. It's connected to something else, and I think that's a precursor to something breaking down, to something else emerging. We have our inner authority connected to the presence. We begin to have a vision to the kind of world we want to live in, we start to walk in that direction. Again, the reporters are reporting from the old paradigm, we're seeking to report from something new that's emerging, that means you have to see the invisible in order to do the impossible. The highest frequency always wins. That's a law. The highest frequency is more powerful than the lower frequency. A thought that emerges from a field of fear, worry, control, domination, manipulation, has less power than a thought that's emerging from a field of love.
Shawn Stevenson: Thank you so much for tuning into this powerful compilation. As Michael Beckwith has shared, thoughts and actions emerging from a field of love are more powerful than thoughts and actions emerging from a place of fear. Where are you creating from? Where are your thoughts residing? Now, again, we can all have moments of fear, moments of uncertainty, it's a part of life. But predominantly, those thoughts, those actions that emerge from a presence of love are going to outweigh, they're going to outpower anything else. So, let's evoke more of that today. I appreciate you for tuning into this episode, if you've got a lot of value out of it, please share it out with your friends and family on social media.
Of course, you can tag me, I'm @Shawnmodel, S-H-A-W-Nmodel on Instagram and Twitter and I'm also at The Model Health Show on Facebook, and of course, you can send this directly from the podcast app that you are listening on. Spread the goodness, spread the education. We've got some powerful epic master classes and amazing guests coming your way very soon, so make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.
And for more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.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 appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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