Life will go on, so let’s talk about it. Dr. Ken & Eric discuss the practical approaches to adjusting to life with a pandemic. Anxiety, panic, worry… to some degree is normal for everyone, but keeping it under control is just as important as eating healthy and exercise. Drop in and let’s talk about how we can still feel good and be safe!
So this is COVID files number five 4.5 was me and Dr. Akerman and I love our little part time co host Dr. Akerman that is a smart dude. He challenges me to tear apart the literature and it is and we’re gonna do more with him because it It allows us to critically eval the literature and he is very academic in his brain and he’s an incredible doctor. But the point five is kind of wearing me out every once in a while I just need like a whole number. Really bad at math and, you know, so this episode, we’ve been so busy doing so many things and we’ll get into that right now. But this episode, I realize I’m talking to all my staff. We’re talking to patients. And there’s an underlying theme here across the board. And it is I’m stressed, I’m worried, how does that affect my gut. And that’s what I’m gonna talk about today. We’re going to talk about ways to cope and be happy. This is gonna be a fun, you know, self help episode that based on science, always based on science, everything we do is based on science. So that’s what I want this to be. I want this to be all about the tricks, tips to stay healthy, to stay healthy and get happy. Because if you’re happy, then your other systems like your gut and your immune system are going to be better performing. So you didn’t even know that we’re going to do this episode, but that’s what we’re doing today.
Yeah, well, you know what, I’m pretty excited about it, and I can tell you one thing just off the top. Once we started doing the COVID recap, we kind of stopped a little bit as we got a little bit more serious and we abandoned a little bit talking of patients I mean our families I’m sorry, family and catching up and stuff like that. I gotta say, I know it’s a pandemic and and hearts out to everybody who’s suffered but for us personally been home, I got a senior who’s graduating, we got to put in a lot more family time. Sophomore kiddo in the house is hilarious, wife and I got a lot more walks and bike rides in. You know, I didn’t work for weeks didn’t make any money. But at the same time, I feel a little richer just by some of the extra family time.
So Stu keeps sending videos. So he’s gotten into the whole fact of taking some videos based on doing some stuff with us. And he’s got his kids doing stuff. They’re doing the Akermann News Network, he’s keeping them busy. And I realized I’m like, wait a minute. Both you Eric and Stu, have found a way to remain happy, keep your family engaged. And I’m like, that’s what this episode is gonna be about. Because you guys did it intrinsically, you naturally are able to find that and that’s what I want to talk about. But more on kind of a science level. So it was very hard to sit there and do some of those episodes when the pandemic was starting. And we’re like, hey, Eric, tell me about your family. And it’s like and then the next line is 1 million people have coronavirus this many people have died this. We’re getting away from that a little bit now, because we realized we were in a pandemic, we’re in this thing, but now it’s time to realize this may be a very slow exit from here and what you did and bracing your kids and what Stu has done, where he sat with his family, and they’ve, he’s turned little movie stars out of his daughters and they’re, he’s absolutely screwed because they’re gonna want to go to acting school now and all this other stuff. But that is the kind of stuff because when I sit with my employees that are stressed to the hilt single moms, they’re like, I’m waking up with panic attacks. Dr. Brown, how can I do something and so I was, you know, we’re starting to open up the economy here in Texas or open up, your governor Abbott’s letting more people get around each other. Now I’m getting all these patients calling me going I’m terrified. I have this disease. My employer now wants me to go back. How do I have to go back but I’m having panic attacks. What do I do? Well, let’s do a podcast on that. That’s what I thought.
This, to me, I think it’d be a great idea to do exactly that because inevitably we’ve got to move on. We can’t sit around and you just don’t want to get lost in watching the counts on television or keeping up with the next the next latest fad on what was one of the crazy things I heard someone saying using a hairdryer shoving that up your nose to blast away Coronavirus? I mean, we need to be practical.
Can I stop you right there? Is that seriously a fad? Because I’ve been doing that.
Well, I want to let you know that your nose hairs are…they’re beautiful.
I know at the very least I’ve not been clipping them so at least saves them back to a presentable level.
Yeah, I think we’re gonna have I think we’re gonna have some new fads come out of this thing. I think that some of the 70s hairstyles are going to come back. I haven’t had a haircut…
Oh my gosh, I am absolutely loving the crazy hair. I mean, this is awesome. My kids. Well, we’ll get into it. But basically you do these workouts you get sweaty and you realize how long your hair is. I’m just like, oh, this is awesome.
Well, you know, I’ve seen more and more people who’ve been wearing the mask in public Of course over time. I’m kind of curious if there’s are people who generally snack it while they while they walk or why they do things. But now that they’re in public, they had this maybe they’ll who knows maybe maybe maybe weight loss will be inevitable because people will have a social covering where…
There’s all kinds of things. So one of the things I want to try with this episode so that people are looking at this and go every time you do this get so bogged down with science, and it’s an hour. I talked to Stu about that. He’s like, man, I love doing this, but are we capturing the audience? I’m like, I don’t know. Let’s try and do a little quicker and see what happens. I don’t know. I personally just like sharing information and being totally honest about this this is not about trying to develop it. I mean I want my audience to be happy and we’re gaining a significant amount of traction but in this particular case, let’s see if we can not get too off track because you and I I do you’re always perfect but I always get off track so
It’s kind of hard but we’ll we’ll see…thank you though for…
So I’m gonna throw this out to you tell me something a little personal now that we’re not going to get too heavy what’s going on with the fam?
Fam is doing great. Gage is still bracing himself they he’s headed up to Texas Tech for this fall will be his, his first year in college. The orientation was moved to virtual orientation they have to do that. The level apparently trending in Lubbock currently is as it is apparently flattening out and for right now coming back down. So he’ll have an online virtual orientation. Mac is is wrapping up his sophomore year at school. And he just left the house to do a bike ride and for how far who knows? Or who cares. He in his in his brother have taken off and traded out their their terms to to get some bike riding in and that’s what they’ve been doing. Marie’s remained busy for her in her business, social media is people still keep up like that. So she actually saw a boom in business over time. And then…
Yeah. And actually, I went to work today for the first time. I didn’t think it was the first time in seven weeks it was nice.
Did the patient flop around and scream the whole time and be like, I’m not out.
Yeah, it was a little bit of a learning curve to remember how some of the buttons work but it wasn’t too bad.
Well so family’s doing great. We also have been doing pretty well during this whole quarantine. We’ve small setback, which is where the unrefined bakery comes in. Unfortunately, Loida was enjoying playing around with the kids a little bit and she hurt herself. And so we had to add a little small setback on that, but she’s doing awesome and…about it and won’t be able to drive for about six weeks, but we’re getting through it. I thought it was really cool. I walked into the garage and Lucas was with his computer with six other of some of the top level tennis players with a trainer there. And he’s watching all of them and he’s training them and he’s saying they’re they’re all in different parts of the country. It’s zoom thing. And Lucas is you know, I just took a picture of it. I thought that was just so beautiful that all the all these kids are still working out the trainer still riding them. And then I go back inside and my daughter is turned it so Lucas is like doing this virtual athlete thing. And Carla is sitting on the couch. She is the world’s greatest quarantine person. She was like cross stitching and becoming like a old grandma. I’m gonna just we call her. It’s really funny. So she is having no problems just sort of chillin with the school online school and all that. Yeah, so and then me personally, you and I have been busy I mean levels of busy that I have never done. For instance I did wellness mama podcast shout out to wellness mama and their team. Wow, that was cool.
Did that one and then you and I’ve been doing some other cool stuff you want to tell everybody about that?
Just tons of research. I mean there’s there’s always been the idea of what you wanted to do on researching polyphenols or even just other natural compounds and how they can make a difference. And ultimately, we were just forced into a lot of free time that we just didn’t know that we were going to have that we needed to dedicate to work and keep up with different things but it just turned into immense research, thrusting us all the way to just yesterday. We just received our first sample of what a point of care antibody test.
Oh so because of all the stuff that we’ve been doing and shout out to Angie Cook I mean
Angie Cook, without question…
She’s working as hard as we are and stuff yeah so because of this we have access to unique people that reach out to us like people that have a legit SARS CoV2 antibody test right there and what this is what is unique about this is there’s a lot of bad press going on right now. But these guys teamed up with a software company called remedy and what those two QR scans are that’s unlike anything else. So you can imagine it comes with a kit like this, I just poke a finger and then we can determine if you’re IgG IgM positive, go back to COVID 4.5 to learn what that means, but then we get it scans straight to the CDC and that is a game changer and because of all the work that we’ve been doing and the contacts that you know, we are in a position to work with a company that may frame what this country is going to do when they come back to work. So I’m super excited. And we’re always working really hard to do this. And there’s pros and cons to it. Please listen to 4.5. That’s what I love about Stu. He’s a scientist. And he says, And me, I say, we will we have to be the people that are going to help develop some of this data that everybody else can do, somebody has to jump over the fence. And traditionally, you and I have been fence jumpers. And sometimes we get bit sometimes we do right. So…
You know who else is fence jumpers, and really, really a lot of fun is going to be those that are on or that are part of the patient base that you’ve had that make up most of KBMD health that watch this show, because they’ve always been so, so energized of wanting to get involved, and this is going to be yet another opportunity to do exactly that. Hopefully
When we get these and when we’re cool with this, and when we’re ready to do this, we’ll do a zoom with my staff, we will all have this, we’ll do a point of care. They’ll all be in the office. So it is at an office, we’ll do a thing. All you do is pop this off, prick your finger, put it in, wait 10 minutes, and then it shows if you’re IgM or IgG positive. We don’t know yet if the IgG positive makes you immune. We’re hoping. SARSCoV1 in 2003-they were immune. But if we can start being part of the solution, that’s the deal, Eric, is that we’re trying to get past this. We’re working with scientists all around the world. We’ve had zoom calls with people at the same time. I mean, technology’s amazing. And that’s what we’re going to talk about on this show. Is that yes, we have this thing going on, but we also have all this crazy technology. We had a zoom call with like 20 people We had people in Argentina, we had people in Spain, we had people in Italy, we had all these people in United States and everybody is sharing knowledge. They’re just dumping it there. What can you do for this? How do we set up a protocol? How is this and everybody on that call had a little piece of the puzzle that led to a protocol that now the Argentinians and the Italians are having a protocol using polyphenols to potentially see if it can help COVID-19 and it was accepted by both Ministries of Health. They would like us to try and do something in the United States. It is just an honor. That, yes, my job stopped. And I became busier and made zero money. But I’m thankful that I have people like Angie cook on our team. I’m thankful that we have the rest of the team on KBS, Brandy, Anthony, Mike, Chuck, to trust us that where we’re heading is an incredible place. And the ultimate goal is that we may make a difference moving forward, might not, but we’ve got some science to back us. So that’s what I want to talk about today. How do we have science to back our mood? So that’s where we’re at.
Yeah, I love it. I love everything about it. And the cool thing is, is if we can be a part of even just the information gathering, you’re not gonna get anywhere without information. And the coolest part is we’ve got so many willing participants who have said I would like to partake in that. Great, I want to be a part of it too. So it’ll be a lot of fun.
You mean like on KB MD health Instagram, where I asked Paul to post your picture holding it and then you’ve been bombarded by instant messages.
They wanted to know how they can come and get their hands on a on antibody test and and I think everybody should call Ryan Frye. So if you’re a friend of mine, you should call Ryan Frye. That’s exactly you should call.
Alright, so let’s let’s jump into this because the ultimate thing is I want to make sure that if anybody’s having any stressful times over this, we’re going to talk about a few things and I’ve been looking at it I’ve always tried to talk, or I’ve always tried to teach myself a bunch of different things to try and control my anxious brain because I run it a little higher anxiety level than most people I would say. And time like this would be overwhelming if I didn’t have techniques that I’ve tried to employ. And so some of the things I’ve been turned on to somebody called Laurie Santos, who has a podcast but she also has a Yale courses, you look at our videos, and it’s all based on science. I’m a big fan of reading a stoic philosophy books like Ryan Holiday, and then ultimately trying to stay logical and finding techniques to do this. So that’s what I’m talking about today. We all have setbacks. We all have things that happened to us, but this particular period has turned everything upside down. People are feeling overwhelmed, they’re angry, they’re alone. So let’s do this podcast on some tips, tricks to reframe the perspective and gain control over your own brain. That’s what I want this one to be about.
Let’s try it. Let’s see what happens.
Exactly. Let’s try. Alright, so I wanted to do it in a couple, three different broad categories have been successful for me, right? So I’m not a psychologist, I’m not a psychiatrist. I just want to tell everybody what’s what’s kind of helped me a little bit. Okay, that’s all that’s all this is. So number one, learning from the Greek stoics. Now, I’ve mentioned a few times on the podcast that I’ll reference Ryan Holiday in the daily stoic and things like that Ryan Holiday’s an author who has been on he’s getting written multiple books. He’s written the book, the obstacle is the way and the daily stoic. I have the daily stoic where next to my bed where when I wake up, I try and read something and start my day off that way. There’s a guy named Bill Irvine who wrote a really cool book called the stoics challenge a philosophers guide to becoming tougher, calmer and more resilient. Now in this time, we’re having to postpone things and we’re having to, we got a text from Nick where he’s gonna be married, so are you gonna be able to get married. Do you make a plan? Do you do this? Do you have to postpone the wedding? And that’s just one stressor for somebody that’s going to get married. Now what about the guy that loses his job or the man or woman that loses their job? When Loida got hurt, in the hospital, they don’t allow loved ones. And, you know, she’s, she’s tough, she’s gonna be fine. She’s in shape. But what about the people that are dying of cancer that can’t see their loved ones because of social distancing? I just started thinking of all that, but about all of that. And then the stoic philosophy is not about ignoring the emotion. It is about skillfully avoiding negative emotions. So a lot of people think that stoics just don’t feel anything. That’s not the, that’s not the thing. It’s about avoiding the negative emotions. We have a lot more control than we think and ultimately, you’ve heard this a ton of times it’s been said, since we’ve been on Earth. Worrying about something that is out of your control is a waste of time. But we do it all the time. I do it all the time. I mean, it is so hard. And then I started thinking about that. And I remember jack aloka, the PhD that is in our group who I admire so much. He keeps referring to when your reptilian brain takes over. And what he means by that is when your logical brain gets overwritten by the reptilian brain, we have our reptilian brain, our brain stem, which tells us and keeps us from getting killed. Sometimes it becomes a wrestling match between your prefrontal cortex trying to tell you hey, dude, it’s all good. And your reptilian brain going no, it’s not we’re gonna die. We gotta run right now. And it becomes this wrestling match. And so it’s this battle between the evolved brain and where we’ve come from maybe 1000 years from now the reptilian brain becomes nothing. But right now we still have to deal with it. In other words, that’s the fight or flight. So if you’re listening to this and you’re like, yeah, I’m stressed out, it’s because your fight or flight is taking over. So let’s talk about how we can maybe get the reptilian brain to calm down a little bit and let your logical brain kick in. Are you following me?
Yeah I’m totally following you.
Alright, so we have about five seconds, generally speaking, to reframe any situation that you’re in. So if you get angry, then you have about five seconds to get control. So for instance, you’re working in your garage, drop a hammer hits your toe, what do you do, Eric?
First thing is, wow. probably say words I wouldn’t say on our show
And you should, that’s the cool thing. You can do that for five seconds.
I’m not gonna stop, I’m gonna do it. And younger me I think would be kind of miffed older me now I’m I was looking at…and I kind of assess the situation on how did it fall? I mean immediately because I want to find out if it’s going to keep falling or something else is coming.
That’s awesome. Yeah, so that is your cerebral cortex suppressing the reptilian brain that’s awesome.
I hope that happens that when I was younger, younger me didn’t do that younger me was very emotional getting kind of upset and want to move everything out of the way. Taking it out on a lot of inanimate objects, because it probably the desk is friends with other hammers that also have it in for my toe. And but now it’s now it’s far more logical I don’t I it’s, it’s probably something neglectful that I did. And if not, I probably won’t put myself in that situation anymore.
See, you automatically have these skills. So you know, like think about road rage and stuff something happens, escalates. Now you’re in a different situation. Now you’re in a worse situation. There’s a Buddhist philosophy that if you get hit with one arrow, then you ask yourself is getting hit with one arrow bad? Yes, it is, is two and three arrows worse? Yes, it is. Typically the second and third arrow are under our control. So you what you just said is fantastic. Younger you would have thrown the hammer through the window. Now you gotta fix the damn window, you hit the cat, the neighbor’s cat. now you got to deal with that. So that is one of those things. So it’s like this is training for life. I love that you literally have developed these skills without ever thinking them. You said a younger me would have done this, but me now looks for reason.
Oh, yeah. Younger me was was not very well equipped to handle hammertoe.
Alright, so here’s the two techniques. So if you’re listening, if somebody’s going, I don’t really care how Eric handles dropping a hammer my toe because I still throw the hammer. Here’s the two techniques. Stoic philosophers describe two very common techniques to help you. The first one is called framing. And framing is when a situation happens give yourself five seconds to throw those curse words out to be the, the let the reptilian brain out there, but you’ll be five seconds because more than that, then it becomes an emotion that you can’t control. Five seconds then frame it immediately when something happens. And there’s two very common frames and I’m not a stoic philosopher, obviously, but these are the ones that I use. Remember, this is how I try and control my my emotions. One is comedic framing. So if something happens, figure a way that it’s kind of funny. Even if it’s not you, it’s somebody else looking at it that’d be pretty funny if somebody else saw it. If I saw Eric accidentally drop a hammer on his toe. I would be like, dude, you’re okay. And you’re like, yea, like, dude, you’re so dumb you had like Vaseline on your hands and grabbed the hammer and you swung it, then it becomes funny immediately. Doing a comedic frame helps with that. And then the other one, which is much more in line with my personality, it’s easier for me to do. It’s called a story timeline. So basically, we’re in a situation so the comedic framing is really good for an immediate of that hammer drops on your toe, you figure out how to fix that. You figure out how to make it funny for yourself. But we’re in a pandemic. If you’re in a war. If you’re in a period, then this you can’t just make a joke of it and move on and be logical. And one of the things that the stoics have done is that they say focus on the story timeline. How will I be able to tell my grandchild about this event that’s going on right now. I want to be able to on the other side of this, how will I be perceived? Once again with my office when we sat and had a meeting, we’re like, do we furlough people. And Dr. Akerman said, before we even talk about that, how do we want to be perceived when this thing on the other side, we want to be known as bosses that treated their employees well, so let’s start with that, and work our way back. This is exactly what this is. This is how, how will I sit there and tell my grandkids, how I handled the war, the Stockholm paradox and in the book, good to great that you and I are reading in business, he was a prisoner of war for seven years. And he said the people that died were the ultimate optimists. He was an optimist, but a realist. In other words, I know I’m gonna get out of here, eventually. How am I going to tell my children about this story. That brings a certain amount of distance. And it allows you to have control of where it is. So when you want to give up…when you want to say I want to panic, just go, how will I be telling my grandchild…because I will get through this. How do I tell my 12 year old grandchild, that I went through a pandemic, and I lost my job, and I had friends that died. But this is what I did. And I kept going. So the stoics, use two different framings. If it’s a short term, use comedic if we’re going to be in it for a battle, a war, frame it so that you, you describe who you are older, telling your children that, which I thought was pretty cool. What’s your thoughts on that?
Actually, that is kind of transcendent to a bunch of different scenarios. I mean, I can remember before, before we had kids, right? You just thought there’s the idea the concept of kids these little people that you have no idea you don’t think of them really necessarily as a piece of you because they don’t exist yet. They’re just it’s a concept. I’m a kid, I’m a kid to my parents, right? So then suddenly you have them and you go kind of through a little bit. I think most people do a little bit of a panic phase, like, what do I do with this very, very fragile thing? Then when the interaction begins, you kind of learn a little bit about each other. You quickly realize that you’re creating memories. And I thought back to my parents, and how I wanted to be able to tell my kids how cool my parents were to me. But I started thinking, I want them to say how good of a dad I am to them.
So you automatically so you you’re you’re a very funny guy. So you automatically comedically frame things and you automatically have this story timeline. And you did it with two generations. That’s awesome. Think about my dad. How I was perceived by that? I want my kids to do this. You do it naturally. That may be one of the reasons why you’re you’re perpetually happy.
I don’t know, I guess so my, my parents were both kind of like that they can they can both tell stories about their families from two or three generations back as if they were almost there. And obviously they weren’t right. But they and it’s usually the funny stories that make its way up. Right. No. And who wants to tell the the bummers? They if those people are part of this narrative they usually probably don’t show up that much. But it make yeah, I don’t know. It’s kind of weird. But you you begin to frame things around the idea of what do I want them to carry forward because that ultimately will shape the way that you’re handling the situation of this.
100% so that comes very natural to you. Now I’m going to tell you one that probably is not natural to you, but is intrinsic to me, which is interesting. We’ve both had some loss, and for whatever reason, this particular practice grounds me and the stoics call it practice negativism. So what you just described was this positive thing I want to create this thing. It’s much harder to think about, but when you get really down on something, or if you get or if you’re starting to get down on something, then imagine that it’s not there and what your life would be, but not like imagine a little bit like get deep into it. So imagine what it would be like if my spouse died. And just go, no, not like, but like, think about like, it’s a form of meditation is what it is. So you stop for a few moments and you think about this. I hate my job. What would it be like if I was unemployed? What would it be like if I was broke and had no job? I’m really upset at my spouse. What would it be like if your spouse was deceased, and that person did not exist? And it’s an interesting thing because what it does, if you, if you really think about it, then when you see your spouse, you’re just like, loving you like because every day could be the last day sort of philosophy. And you this is something that a lot of people don’t like, but for some reason it resonates with me because I’ve had loss. And I sometimes think, you know, the job was tough today, but what if I didn’t have a job? And oh shit COVID showed up, but I didn’t have a job. Now I’m like, I miss my job. I miss it. I want to go back.
No, that that is I don’t, I won’t say I have never done that. But you’re right. That does not come quite naturally to me to just basically you’re saying to find something that’s bothering me today and just okay, well, now it doesn’t exist at all. Now, where are you?
Yeah, now Where are you? Cuz you’d be surprised because a lot of times that person that you think is annoying is really important in your life. That job that you are frustrated with is necessary in your life. Regardless, the goal here is to reframe so that you can take control, even if you don’t agree with it. All it is taking a step back and going, these emotions are making me stressed, anxious, and so on. So that I’m gonna take a step back and I’m gonna reframe the stoics call this reframing so that you can control that. So that is the stoic philosophy of how to do this. And, like, the stoic philosophy that I have garnered, that helps me.
Sure. That makes sense, though.
And you’re already doing it, which is interesting.
What can I say?
Yeah. All right. So one of the things that a few employees approached me and there’s some people that are, well, they’re having straight up panic attacks, straight up panic attacks right now people are flipping out and so I want to talk about why panic and anxiety is bad and as somebody who probably has a mild form? Or it could be a horrible form of panic disorder, but I have always been on the curve of having more anxiety than just being a chill chill person, let’s put it that way. I think you are a little more chill. I’m a little more on the uptight, anxious side. And so I want to talk about that, like why panic and anxiety serve zero purpose.
Right? And they, and they do, I don’t, I really don’t know what to make of them. It’s not something that’s really not something I’ve ever been accused of is being overly anxious or panicky, or someone who gets unnecessarily worked up. That’s not really my thing. I don’t know.
Yeah. And that’s a wonderful thing. And I was talking with one of our employees on Wednesday, and she was telling me that she has panic attacks and her daughter is starting to have panic attacks. And she would I loved it because she’s like, I’ll handle mine. But watching my daughter have a panic attack, I need to find some ways to get her out of it. So that’s how come I started thinking about this. I’m like, I’m gonna do a podcast on this and we’re gonna
And I believe they’re legitimate. No doubt it’s it’s, uh, I just wish I wish I had more sympathy, not only empathy for the position because I don’t really, I don’t know. I think that when I feel something kind of getting a little out of control, then I well, my dad got sick. I knew what was going to end up happening. But I prepared myself for the bad parts of what was happening with my dad is he was dying from cancer. And I compartmentalized the bad part of being the biology of cancer, and how he couldn’t out run him and when we’re, nobody would outrun it really where he was. The flip of it was is it left me with all the good parts which were just hanging out with him and talking about the times that we had together the memories and just kind of reliving some things together, which was great. But I didn’t, I didn’t associate my time or my conversations with him while just constantly thinking about his cancer, we, we just talked about the fun shit that we had done.
So I truly believe that your father had that framing mechanism in place because I know that he was in pain, but I know that he probably met with you and said, I want to be remembered like this. I don’t want to be remembered in certain ways. So when you would tell me about that, even in the last few days, you guys had a great relationship. And he grew up remembering somebody else he grew up remembering tell the story so it can be told again. So I think that’s cool. But for somebody that doesn’t have this and if you have this I feel for you because been there. I looked up a guy named Ethan Cross and He is an expert in this and he is an expert in how emotion regulates planning. So we’re in an era where a lot of people are experiencing anxiety that they’ve never experienced before. And it’s new to them. So when you have anxiety what happens is you will over focus on something and have poor decision making. You’re less logical. It’s one of the reasons why everyone else brought bought all the toilet paper. I mean, what the heck, that was crazy. There’s just no reason for that. We don’t have a shortage of it they’re there. But they didn’t sit there and think, oh, in the pantry, I’m lacking this and this and this. They panicked, they went there. And this is what happens. When you’re over focused on a threat there’s no mental space to work on a higher level. So if you’re all which is good, if you’re being chased by a saber toothed tiger, it’s bad if the threat’s not leaving. Does that make sense?
100% I mean, so, in an instant, it’s okay to have quick panic. But but prolonged panic is dangerous. I agree with that.
Prolonged panic. Prolonged anxiety does one thing and you know this and we’ve talked about this on other shows. It’s the fight or flight system, which means your sympathetic nervous system kicks in when the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, that leads to chronic inflammation, chronic inflammation leads to biological systems shutting down that leads to your immune system wearing out so if there’s anything you’re gonna get out of this, it’s that when you’re panicked, you’re predisposing yourself to the things that you’re panicked about.
What do you think that what do you think the correlation then would be between somebody who’s experiencing chronic chronic anxiety or I don’t know, frequent panic attacks and a lack of sleep? I mean,
It’s all of the above. So that’s what this is about. That’s what I want to talk about is as somebody who’s had significant anxiety, I mean, I grew up as a stutterer. I had I answered a question on a Reddit thing where somebody said, If anybody’s ever stuttered, what have you, what would you recommend? And I was like I, I did for the first 20 years of my life, and I worked through it, I tried to do it. And my anxiety led to stuttering. And then I realized I can, I will never stop stuttering unless I get control of the anxiety. And the anxiety is a thing because ultimately, you have to have emotional regulation. Everybody’s flipping out right now you have to have the ability to align how you feel to how you want to feel. So if you’re panicking, you need to have the skills to say, I’m panicking. I want to be in a better place. You’re not trying to turn it off. You’re just trying to reign it in. Like right now, it’s almost impossible to shut it off completely. You can’t be that like we were talking earlier about the stoics. They’re not turning off their emotions. What you’re doing is you’re trying to make sense of it. What this is doing is having some skills to try and have emotional regulation. Because having some anxiety is important. If we didn’t have some anxiety, we would have zero social distancing. And we would have a pandemic beyond any proportion. And we know this is bigger than anything that’s ever happened in most people’s lifetimes. So having some anxiety is important. It helps us help each other. But I want to talk about two really cool techniques. I’m going to call these brain hacks backed by science. So these brain hacks backed by science. So the first one that this guy Ethan Cross has written about is psychological distancing. And I think this is super cool. Because you and I do it to each other all the time. When we work together. We show up we’re like, hey man, what would you do with this? And it’s a problem that I can’t fix. You’re out that I throw it to you. You shopped work, and you’re like, I’m kind of torn with this MAC gauge this what school blah, blah, whatever whatever thing that you’re emotionally tied to, you go to a third person, and you’re trying to get a different perspective. And so it’s that it’s that, that third person perspective, because the person you’re talking to, essentially is somebody that doesn’t have or they don’t have the emotional baggage associated with it. So going back to the original thing, when you’re anxious, you can’t use your full prefrontal cortex to make a decision. Part of your reptilian brain is going, ah, I don’t want my son to go to the wrong school. Ah, I want this ah, or anything, you know, everything that you’re emotional about. So you go to a friend and you go, oh, I never thought of it that way. That’s odd.
What what’s what key thing applies to everyone all over the place. planet who, who ultimately will go and get advice on it, and that is finances, financial advice, our emotion is tied up with our belongings, our ownings, our homes are things that we want to invest in our vacations, etc. But the reason why over more and more time financial advisors have become such a great person to help us is because they can look at your finances without bias without emotion. And they can help you actually probably achieve more of what you want, actually, emotionally by showing you logically, how to move and utilize the money that you’re bringing in. That’s a really cool thing that you just highlighted there on how you wouldthrow that to a third person. That makes sense to me.
It makes total sense, right? So they’ve done incredible studies on this. So this guy Ethan Cross is the head of the emotion regulation department at University of Michigan, and they’ve done lots of studies that you’re not going to believe this. When you mentally refer to yourself in the third person, you can be more objective. They did studies where they took people and they said, we want you to apply for your dream job. And you’re going to be graded, you’re going to be evaluated by a team of judges. But they took half the people and they said, I, they had no idea what they were doing. They signed up for a volunteer thing. Apparently, public speaking is more stressful than pain. So like you don’t shock people or things like that. So they were, they said, you have 10 minutes to prepare a public speech. You’re going to go in front of judges, you’re going to be filmed, and you’re going to be critiqued on this. They took half of them and they said we want you to start with I am going to give a speech which will determine the course of my life. The other half. Eric is going to give a speech or Ken is going to give a speech you refer to yourself in the third person. All right, Ken, you’re going to give a speech. It’s going to change your life. Let’s see if we can do this. Shockingly, they did an incredible job when you can separate yourself and refer to yourself in the third person. So even though you go to somebody else, psychologically, linguistically, when you say Ken, how am I going to handle this COVID crisis? Okay, Ken, you’re on call. You just got 10 consults. We got this using these words. internally. Don’t say it out loud. Because people will find you weird that’s the only thing
What are you doing here? I’m here to watch Eric do some stuff. He’s pretty good guy.
Yeah, just out loud. Be like Ken’s scoping like a beast now watch Ken take this polyp out. Yeah, no, yeah, don’t do that. But it is certainly a technique. And so there’s something that’s kind of cool about that. Where it you separate yourself and you take control of your emotions. I am not experiencing this. Ken you’re going through this problem? How are you going to figure it out? It’s a very unique psychological thing that has been proven in multiple studies. So little hack. When I start when things start getting way out of control, mentally, it’s all right Ken, we’re sitting in this podcast and this thing is shitting the bed. What do we do now?
No I do I find that to be useful. It makes sense to me, but I won’t say it out loud kind of like you recommended I think.
Yeah please don’t but you can actually do that with like, he was talking about like in children’s learning. If you have a child that struggles with doing homework and stuff, don’t go up to them and say, why aren’t you able to do this? Just go hey, how would Batman handle this?
Let me ask you a question. So when when you were an intern and you are working, I know that you did er work do you remember how you watched yourself run your first code? Remember that?
Oh yes, yeah, totally.
I kind of remember getting into a system where it wasn’t that I wasn’t present, but it felt like I was watching myself do the training right? And systematically just calling for the things just as I had learned, but and really more of how I memorize to go through the own algorithm they taught us to do and so when I asked for things where I needed someone to chart something, or if we needed to met or we needed to change team members or anything else like that, it’s a really calm conversation. It’s not really heightened. It’s not screened, I think we’ve both been a part of some, some codes that have not together but codes to get that have been kind of in disarray or kind of crazy. Yeah, those those are not desirable. you need you need to be able to have someone kind of run the code that knows what the next part is, is being that part or playing that role for I kind of just saw myself doing it rather than I’m doing it. Does that make sense?
Oh it makes total sense. My first code at the VA when I was an intern code happened. A little voice next to me was just like, you know, you got this stay calm. It’s time for Epi. All right, let’s go ahead and do this. And let’s do that. And I thought it was me. But it was the it was the senior nurse next to me the whole time. I was like, my inner voice is awesome. But basically, it was a cool, established VA nurse going do epi do this.
Was it a guy or a girl?
No, it was a girl. It was Janice and she was awesome. And I learned early on that they knew way more than I did. So I just did what they said.
Well I didn’t know if you thought that you just had a really sexy voice to…
Alright. So to make sure that we stay within the 30 minute time zone here, we got to keep moving. All right. So technique number two, is temporal distancing. We kind of heard about that last time the stoics use this, basically don’t think how you feel now. But how will you feel two years from now? I mean, we’re in this COVID crisis, right? If I look at you and Eric, I’m like, Eric, we’re gonna get through this. There’s going to be vaccines, there’s going to be herd immunity. There’s gonna be antibody testing. We’re gonna be able to fix that.
You’re gonna be there are gonna be answers.
Yeah, there’s going to be answers. The stoats took it to a new level where they said, think about the next generation and how you’re going to tell your grandchild. Ethan Cross is talking about no, just think about it, like in two years from now. So you can integrate the both so right now what I’m telling myself is, Ken we’re going to get through this in two years we will be stronger. So it is a we being all of us are going to be part of this. Ken, I’m talking to myself objectively and we know that this language is a conduit to control your emotions. The language is a conduit to control your emotions. So my final hack on how to do this, so we went through the stoic philosophy, we went to the Ethan cross, how to do these linguistic things in your head? Well, then I put it all together. And I realized, you know that I’ve been trying to have a prior to all this whenever we when I actually had free time, when I was working full time and had more time. I tried to teach myself some neuro linguistic programming NLP, right, and that’s what Tony Robbins does. That’s what some of these great motivational speakers do. And one of the things is that if you are prone to panic attacks, then you have the ability to linguistically train your brain to bring yourself back down and there is a technique called anchoring. Do you know what anchoring is? Did we ever talk about that?
I do remember, the gentleman that visited with us in Arizona briefly talked about that, but that honestly, I don’t know anymore. Oh, wait, wait. It’s an emotion that you tie back to a sensation or something like that, like you pinch something when something occurs or maybe you make tap yourself on a knee. It’s like a Pavlovian thing with the…something is that right?
Look at the big brain on Eric. Yes, absolutely. So as it turns out, it and you can do this if you’re listening to this or any of my panic attack listeners. You this is another slightly meditative technique, but it is a mind training technique. And so if you can think about an emotion so Eric, tell me about a happy memory.
Oh, tell you about a happy memory. A goodness gracious. I remember.
I mean a deeply emotional happ…like when you think about it, you just immediately just go, man, that was awesome. Yellowstone. I mean, you’ve you’ve told me so many stories.
Like I don’t want to give too much credence to one of…the young one I can still remember without question when I when my dad and my mom got me a drum set. My dad taught me how to play drums and then one, one Christmas Day, then I had one and I was pumped. And I knew that I was tying myself to that instrument forever. And I loved that moment.
So if you practice and you stop and meditate on that moment, and what I mean by meditate, it’s not like a difficult thing. Just stop, cut everything out and think about it. And then put a physical tie to it and I’m not an NLP specialist, but this is what I’ve done. So when I want to get amped up and get happy, I hit my chest, which is what I believe Tony Robbins does. So I have a particular memory in my head where when I’m want to get myself revved up, you’re going to go on stage, you’re gonna give a speech, you’re going to do something where you want to be really revved up. I hit myself in that emotion because I’ve practiced it allows me to amp up my my mood immediately no matter what I’m in, because you’ve trained your brain to do that. So when you sit there and think about this, and you just go okay, I’m a little down now, I want to be up, then you they talk about anything, anything you do that is not too obvious. So the neuro linguistic people talk about touching their fingers together. They talk about that I hit myself because I want to make it obvious to me. So when I want to amp up, I hit here and my memory is of a very exciting memory. That’s called anchoring. And if you want to calm down, then you think of another memory that is very tranquil. So my memory when I want to calm down is me and my family in Barcelona, Spain, eating at a Michelin star rated restaurant with young kids and we’re killing it. And every single time I get super stressed, and I just think, oh my god, it’s overwhelming. I can’t do this. I rub my thigh and I just see my family in front of me. And we’re eating this incredible meal. And we’re in Barcelona, Spain. And it’s really hard to be anxious and calm at the same time. And if I’m not there again, so that’s what anchoring technique is. So it is something that has to be practiced. Yeah, I’m not saying anchoring. Like wolf of Wallstreet, like, umbaumba, that was a little too much anchoring with some. I just realized I was hitting my chest and I was like, that’s not a little Matthew McConaughey right there. I need to step it down a bit. Not that I mean anchoring in a different way, where like I rub that. So if you’re anxious and prone to panic, there’s this technique called anchoring. And if you need it now, then there’s these, these are the things that I use physically in moments that I try to make sure that if I’m aware of it, and then there’s the whole breathing techniques, meditation, exercise, emotional gratitude, all these other things that are out there. But those are all practices. Those are all things that seemed general. What I wanted to do today was say, this is what I do to try and stay calm that anybody can do. And that’s kind of where I’m at with it. And what I want the next episode to be is for our soldiers, our frontline workers.
Because the next episode will be about long term safety. I want to dedicate the next episode to our frontline workers. Eric, would you please describe what we’re doing for our frontline workers right now,
Man, it’s as this is incredibly exciting. So just huge kudos to to you Ken because for a really really long time, you’ve known the benefits of polyphenols. And we’ve had all this research just kind of sitting on the fringe and huge thanks also to Angie for always giving us new updates. But the the pandemic just thrust us right into the middle of we’ve got to start swimming through this information. And then as you began to assemble it, suddenly with the help of of Angie really digging through and finding some cool stuff. We found that the polyphenols themselves actually function as great natural antivirals and anti microbials. And it just so happens that we have polyphenols and Atrantil and it just so happens that we want to give back to people that are fighting hard for all of us. So we have a pilot program where for the people that are working in a role where they happen to be a frontline worker or frontline healthcare worker, they can simply go to Atrantil.com/frontline, let us know that. And then they tell us where they work. And we’ll send them a complimentary bottle for a month. But even more than that, keep them up to date with the latest in research out applies to them, and then hopefully begin to recruit some other healthcare institutions. To help us spread this it’s this is not an opportunity for us to to make money this is an opportunity for us to hopefully keep healthcare workers available to us, not just for COVID if it happens to come back, but in the future, when the next pandemic occurs when the next new virus makes its debut. We want to see if we can’t make a difference and help people naturally and what better way then to arm the people they will take care of the sick.
Yeah, absolutely. And once again, we as we always stayed on this show this, this show is not about to give medical advice. We’re not here to tell you what to do. Talk to your doctor about everything. This is a show of information. And what we’re trying to say here is we are not making any claims. We are not saying that we can do anything but the science speaks for itself. We are talking about the class of molecules called polyphenols. And these polyphenols have been shown to improve immunity. They’ve been shown to improve gut health. They’ve been shown to decrease inflammation they’ve been shown to mitigate cytokine release all these other things, which is why we sat there as a team, the KBS research team that developed Atrantil and I was very honored to be part of a company that I’m very honored to be part of an office that didn’t furlough anybody. I’m very honored to be part of a company that said we are willing to front the costs on this and help the frontline workers. Because I’m on it. My kids are on it. My staff is on it. And we’re I I have a motral obligation to say why and the you know, the reason why is because we’ve got science that backs it. We’re gonna have this polyphenol page that will actually show it. So, next episode is going to be dedicated to the frontline workers and we’re going to talk about cool things like what’s your decontamination routine? I’m asking everybody so if you know anybody that is in healthcare or if you watch this show, hit us up. Tell me what your decontamination routine is. I know that Laura your your partner crna she’s got a cool thing which comes in the garage and she’s got a robe there and she gets naked, puts the robe on, puts the clothes in a bag, shoves it in the wash, doesn’t hug her kids goes to the goes to the shower decontaminates and does this and there’s a whole process a decontamination station. We want to put everybody’s best advice together. Next episode will be our frontline worker heroes episode. How do we help you to help everyone else because you guys are amazing. Oh, shoot, Eric, you’re amazing. You’re a frontline worker, Look at you.
Yeah, I don’t want to take credit like that. I mean, because because Laura still spins significant time in the hospital system also. And full disclosure, I really don’t have to do that that much anymore. I did for a long time and you know, avenue different avenues take us different places and then it’s number one, thank you, but you actually put in a little bit more time in the hospital. I don’t want to take credit away from those who are actually getting just, you know, much much more exposure and braving much choppier waters than myself.
Oh dude, Stu and I were talking about that, you know, he’s from New York and he’s got, you know, when his friends do rotations and they think they might be exposed, they don’t go home to their spouses, they go get a hotel room. That’s brutal. I mean, that’s, that’s honorable, but when you’re in it, I mean, you know, I’m just it’s, I’m just happy that maybe we can at least improve somebody’s gut health to improve their immune system. That’s what I’m hoping for, maybe, because I’m seeing data from Argentina and Italy and different places that these molecules can do more.
Definitely. That would be it would be, it would be awesome. We have a long way to go before we get to the end of the road on what’s to be discovered in natural supplementation and how it can actually benefit us.
Yeah, it’s super cool. So this is awesome. This is our first abbreviated podcast, we went. We were aiming for 28 minutes, we went 32 minutes a little overboard. So it’s, it seems like you and I can’t do anything with that, but it’s important. It’s an hour’s worth of material. Because I’m looking at the clock and I’m like, wow, we’re an hour. So it is what it is. So just to recap Episode Five is all about coping and being happy. Learn from our Greek stoics. There’s different techniques, you can listen to the episode on that. You can also sit there and reframe things, make it comedic, make it timeline, practice a little bit of negative negativism, so that you will miss the things and if you’re anxious and panicked, you will not think right. And ultimately neuro linguistic programming will help you stay calm, a little different from what we normally talk about, but I think it’s important.
I think it’s important to most of all, be safe, like and share. Come back and see us. Hug your family. Tell them that you love them. And we’ll hopefully see you soon with some great info. Thank you so much for tuning in.
Absolutely. Eric, thank you so much for everything that you do as a crna because you’re you’re intubating people and stuff you’re right there. So thank you for what you do.
Well thank you for what you do and making certain that we have have awesome opportunities to explore some science that may just benefit everyone. So I appreciate it.
And I want to thank Angie Cook for everything she does for us.
Heck yeah and and you know, while we’re giving shout outs are going to be home. You were talking I know we’re going a little bit longer here, but you were talking about stuttering.
No, we’re pretty much doing our normal time.
Yeah, we’re doing our normal stuff. Since since Ken brought up his stuttering if anybody was paying attention we lost a great icon. Right the very beginning of this pandemic and that was Bill Withers and he had a stuttering problem growing up also. And if you’re just interested in just want to get caught up on his story, go to Amazon Prime I know has it you can probably find it somewhere else if you don’t want to shop with Amazon. But look for his video version of still bill documentary. And that’s named after one of his albums named still bill but. Incredible recap of this man who did not care about the fame as much as he just wanted to make great music he just wanted to write songs I mean he was…an awesome documentary. So still bill fought until the day that he died to help kiddos who suffered from stuttering and just really, really cool. So great pick me up anyway.
All right, everybody, Episode Number COVID five a little more lighthearted. Thank you for everything that you do all our frontline workers, tune in next week. Share this with anybody who works in the hospital system because we’re going to go around and work diligently to figure out how to protect everyone.
Alright, y’all take care.