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When I was playing football in high school, my dad was my number one fan. He would drive from Ohio to St. Louis regularly so that he wouldn’t miss one of my games.

Then one day I got a call from my sister that he had been in a serious accident while on vacation in New Zealand and had suffered major brain trauma.

After three months in a coma and years of rehabilitation, my dad is alive and okay. But he’s not the same.

Not only seeing the change in my dad, but my own experience with a major learning disorder (which made school almost impossible for me) has made me fascinated with brain injury and mental disorders. Today’s class in  The School of Greatness is a deep dive into the world of the brain with one of the world’s leading experts, Dr. Daniel Amen.

I met Dr. Amen recently at an event Dave Asprey hosted about biohacking and health. His presentation was fascinating and I knew I had to get him on the podcast to learn about where brain injuries and disorders come from and what we can do about them.

Our resulting conversation was one of the most enlightening and powerful interviews I’ve experienced yet. Not only did it open my eyes to what years of contact sports probably did to my brain, but it motivated me to think about my brain health on a much more responsible level.

Dr. Amen has a prestigious background in psychiatry, neuroscience, and brain health, including founding the popular Amen Clinics and writing NYT best-selling books. He and his colleagues have built the world’s largest database of brain scans related to behavior (over 100,000).

But beyond that, he is a passionate champion for creating “brain warriors” – those of us who care as much about our brains as we do our bodies.

I have a feeling you’ve had an experience with brain disorders or injury yourself (or someone close to you). Prepare to be taught life-saving information by a man who knows more than almost anyone on this subject, Dr. Daniel Amen, in Episode 104.

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The School of Greatness Podcast

Dr. Daniel Amen on The School of Greatness

“You’re not stuck with the brain you have. You can make it better.”

Some of the Questions I Ask:

  • Are brain disorders more common than we think?
  • Can holistic treatments and medicine cure brain disorders completely?
  • How important is diet when it comes to a brain disorder or illness?
  • Should we all get brain scans to see what’s going on inside our heads?
  • What is the cause for so many disorders?
  • How much do alcohol, smoking, and drugs affect the brain and how can you recover from using those?
  • What are your daily habits and rituals to live a healthy lifestyle and create a healthy brain?
  • How important is breathing and meditation for the brain?

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Where impulse control is located in the brain (and what happens when that is damaged)
  • What foods cause our brain to shrink (and how I struggled with this early in my life!)
  • Why Dr. Amen recommends changing your diet before getting on medication

“As your weight goes up, the size and function of your brain goes down.”

  • How contact sports damage your brain
  • Why he advises always being on a rehabilitation program
  • Why we need to care more about how we operate on the inside than how we look on the outside
  • The impact of brain health in our relationships with our partners

“You want to be in love not with someone’s body but with their brain.”

Watch Dr. Amen’s TED talk on the most important lesson from 83,000 brain scans

  • How many people will have some kind of brain disorder in their life (and what those include)
  • What a low-fat high-sugar diet did to our brains

“Whatever’s good for your heart is good for your brain and whatever is bad for your heart is bad for your brain.”

  • About the high school course Dr. Amen created to teach kids about their brains (and how the kids have responded!)
  • How anti-anxiety medications affect your brain in the long run

“I have been eternally impressed with the brain’s ability to recover and heal.”

  • Why exercising too much can be as harmful to the brain as not exercising enough
  • What you can do to increase your brain’s health and protect it
  • What Dr. Amen considers the best forms of exercising
  • His typical daily diet
  • Plus much more…

“The concept of normal is a myth.”

Watch Dr. Amen’s TED talk on Change Your Brain, Change Your Life

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  • Music Credit: Dukkha by Kai Wachi x LUMBERJVCK

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Did you enjoy the podcast?

What I really want to know is: how has brain injury/illness/disorders affected your life? What are you going to do with the information Dr. Amen shared with us? Who are you going to share it with?

 “People here care more about their faces, boobs, bellies and butts than they do their brain.”

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