Seeing Is Believing? No, it’s the other way around! Plus many more fascinating facts about our minds with Nate Christensen, APCC

Nate Christensen, APCC, makes his record fourth appearance on The Virtual Couch to talk more about our minds and the stories they tell us to try and make sense of the world. Nate and Tony discuss several fundamental discoveries from Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius’ book The Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Science of Happiness, Love and Neuroscience as well as Daniel Kahneman’s book Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement

Take advantage today of the Relationship Mastery Pack that Tony mentioned on the episode Get thousands of dollars in relationship tools for one special Black Friday price featuring Tony’s brand new parenting course: 3 Keys to Positive Parenting – Bring the Positivity without Messing Up Your Kids Even if You’re Not Sure Where to Start! Go to to sign up for thousands of dollars worth of relationship tools for less than the cost of one therapy session.

With the continuing “sheltering” rules spreading across the country, PLEASE do not think you can’t continue or begin therapy now. can put you quickly in touch with licensed mental health professionals who can meet through text, email, or videoconference often as soon as 24-48 hours. And if you use the link, you will receive 10% off your first month of services. Please make your mental health a priority, offers affordable counseling, and they even have sliding scale options if your budget is tight.

You can learn more about Tony’s pornography recovery program, The Path Back, by visiting And visit and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs and podcasts.

Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the “uh’s” and “um’s” that, in his words, “must be created by wizards and magic!” because it’s that good! To learn more about Descript, click here


[00:00:02] Hey. Come on. Take a seat.

[00:00:21] Hey, everybody, welcome to episode two hundred and ninety six. The Virtual Couch, I am your host, Tony Overbay. I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified mindful habit coach and all those wonderful things. And with me in studio today is your friend and mine. Nate Christianson. Nate, welcome back to the virtual couch.

[00:00:36] Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity to be here again.

[00:00:38] Is this your fourth? I think it is you. Now you win. Really? You win the virtual couch. Wow. Dr. Jennifer Fitness, Vice three I think one of my daughters is three, and I think you were the first four time guest. Yeah. So I got you, this fidget spinner. Thank you. Congratulations, my

[00:00:53] Daughter.

[00:00:53] Thanks you as well. Yeah, and that one, actually two out of the three spinners light up with an LED. Really? Yeah. Yeah, one of them doesn’t. So I am so excited to have Nate on here. But before we get to that, I am going to do a tiny bit of business. This is Thanksgiving week and there is. I’m involved in a Black Friday sale, which is something I’ve never done before. I talked about it on last week’s podcast, but I had Nate Bagley on world renowned relationship expert and Nate has a bundle of courses and I was counting them showing off to Nate this morning. I think there were 16 courses that people can get, and the 16 courses are everything from overcoming perfectionism and breaking generational cycles and self-guided couples healing trust. All of these wonderful things, and I am unveiling a brand new parenting course and it is called and I really thought this was so clever. But when I’m reading it now, I’m so anti shame, and I worry that this comes with some shame, but I thought it was really clever at the time. Ok, so it’s three keys to positive parenting. And then here’s the part that I think is clever, but I worry bringing the positivity without messing up your kids and because we are all messing up our kids. And so I really feel like I need to say without messing them up as much as you possibly could. Yes, and I mean it. Funny, but not really. But I do.

[00:02:06] I mean, when it comes to parenting, we’re imperfect, right? We are. Yeah. And that, I think is something that’s interesting because my wife and I were talking and you and I didn’t even discuss this beforehand. But like, we’re trying to minimize the damage, right? That’s really what we’re trying to do. Yeah, it

[00:02:20] Is. It really is. And I had this aha moment I did. What I thought at the time was a bit of a throwaway episode on birth order, and I called all my kids the night before. And here’s what birth order says. Does this resonate with you guys at all? And I felt like three out of the four kids ended up very emotional and I thought, Oh my gosh, this is real. And am I a crummy parent? But anyway, we’re going to talk about that on this course. Getting on the same page as parents working together not to allow your buttons to get pushed. And I’m going to talk about how to work together with the tapout method and demystifying are you authoritarian or authoritative or permissive and all of those wonderful things? So the big key is I’ve got a link in the show notes, or you can go on my Instagram page and there’s a link there that you click through. But it’s 16 courses and it’s one hundred and forty seven dollars. So which is less than the cost of going to one therapy session? Go do that. It’s Black Friday sale. I think it’s the twenty sixth through the twenty eighth or something like that.

[00:03:11] So that bit of business and then this is a very purposeful plug and you’ll see why. I forget to talk about so much that I have had people ask me if they still sponsor the virtual couch, which I’m grateful that they are such a ginormous company that they probably don’t even notice that I forget to mention them. But if you are looking for online counseling, go to virtual couch and get 10 percent off your first month’s treatment and find the therapist for you. And you can be on board within 48 hours. And I’m not giving this justice because it is merely Segway to say that if you are local in my area or in the state of California or and you are looking for a therapist and you like Nate’s vibe, Nate is open for business. I am. Yeah, and you’re starting eight, starting to fill up two. Because all good therapists there’s. I love that the negative stigma around therapy is seeming to be dissipating. And so there is a great need for therapists. And Nate is a great therapist and you are really enjoying this. Am I right?

[00:04:04] Oh yeah, I love. Yeah, this is amazing.

[00:04:06] Yeah. And what’s the main? Who are you looking to work with?

[00:04:10] I would say my core competency areas of competency are depression, anxiety, managing ADHD, addiction or compulsive behaviors. I can do other things, but those are the areas that that I feel very comfortable in getting my experience in education and things like that.

[00:04:24] And I love talking about addiction. Nate joins me every week on the Path Back group call and and takes a real active role there. And so I feel like I still get a lot of people that are looking for help with overcoming. Turning to pornography as a coping mechanism, and that is something that you can help with.

[00:04:41] Yeah.

[00:04:42] Yeah, exactly. All right. There is our business today. We’re releasing this on Monday, so hopefully you’re getting ready for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. And I told Nate this morning, I’ve done now three or four of these episodes on the week of Thanksgiving, and I just enjoy. I enjoy fun facts. So Nate doesn’t know what the fun facts we are finding because I literally just googled them. And this is twenty twenty one Thanksgiving fun facts. And then we’re going to get to today’s topic and we’re going to talk a lot about the brain today. So I realize that this is we’ll get through this as quick as we can. But fun facts about Thanksgiving. Three hundred and twelve dollars is the average person spending over the upcoming five day Thanksgiving period 10 hours and two minutes the length of time. The average American male will need to spend on the treadmill to burn the 4500 calories consumed at the average Thanksgiving meal. Oh boy, do you indulge on Thanksgiving?

[00:05:28] I love Thanksgiving 4500 calories. Wow, it’s a fair amount, right?

[00:05:32] Yeah. And I think that’s I wonder if that’s even underestimating because I go big, I go really big on Thanksgiving. I think it’s a wonderful time to just stuff yourself.

[00:05:43] I mean, I don’t disagree. There’s just something incredible about Thanksgiving, but I’m sitting here looking at the 10 hours and two minutes and really thinking about how much I’m eating, because that’s

[00:05:52] A lot does a fair amount. I have I’ve never talked about this. I have an absolutely unscientific, I’m sure, incorrect theory that at some point, do you consume so many calories that your body is just passing them through, like it can’t possibly absorb the amount of fat I’m bringing into my body?

[00:06:05] I don’t even know nearly enough about the way the body absorbs nutrition to even. I think to answer

[00:06:12] That because I’m making it up, I really am. Another one twenty six million dollars amount of property loss caused by residential building fires each Thanksgiving, and I thought, Boy, this is supposed to be fun facts and I don’t know who threw that in there. I don’t know if this is a I didn’t google this to see if it’s sponsored by the insurance industry. I’m not really sure. And then six hundred and $4 million estimated amount Americans spend on Thanksgiving turkeys with forty six million turkeys volunteering for holiday service.

[00:06:37] I’m sure I’m sure they had their wings up. I take me

[00:06:41] Because it says the word killed. I didn’t look through these facts before, and these are getting to be a bit distressing.

[00:06:46] I think we just lost half of your audience.

[00:06:47] I did hang in there, everybody. We’ll go quick. Forty six percent share of people celebrating Thanksgiving. You try to avoid having to talk about politics during dinner. That makes sense. Yeah, that does. And this year, there’s anticipation that sixty five percent share of Americans expect COVID 19 to impact their Thanksgiving celebrations this year, but only 15 percent expect the impact to be significant. And then there’s let’s just get to this. Four U.S. towns are named Turkey eight point one billion calories will be consumed by Americans at Thanksgiving. And then there’s our treadmill graphic again, 10 hours and two minutes and the world’s most expensive Thanksgiving dinner. One hundred and eighty one grand in 2019, New York City’s old homestead steakhouse. So that is an expensive dinner.

[00:07:30] Yeah, that’s shocking.

[00:07:32] Ok, all right. That wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be.

[00:07:35] Lost on the killed turkeys that are volunteering their volunteering.

[00:07:39] They are OK. So let’s get to today’s topic. Do you want to tell us what are we talking about today?

[00:07:44] Sure. So my wife is in graduate school, and one of her teachers recommended a book that’s called Buddha’s Brain and I believe it was published. Twenty twelve is by Rick Hansen and Richard Mendez, and my wife thought I would enjoy it. She actually bought it for me, not for her, because her professor said, You know, if you really want to like, explore the neuroscience of the brain and how we can kind of hone in and not only limit the weaknesses of the brain because they have some some pretty major weaknesses, but really utilize the brain and its strengths and create a more peaceful way of living. And so my wife was like, That sounds like my husband. So she got that and I got it, and I wasn’t really sure what to make of it. And within the first few pages, I was just hooked. I was super interested.

[00:08:34] So when he text me and when I was going to speak in Utah, I said, Hey, do you have any just stuff, the brain things and the screen screenshots and pages of the book and sent it to me. And I think when we’ve Nate’s really good at explaining in previous episodes talking about how the reward center works of the brain and when we get on these group calls for the path back, I will often just say, Nate, what do you think about that from a brain standpoint? I mean, Nate is becoming this expert in explaining things about the brain now, whether he is explaining them correctly or not, I don’t know because he sounds so confident, but I really feel like you really do love this stuff and understand the mechanics of the brain.

[00:09:09] Yeah, and the truth is, as I’m kind of a naturally a little bit of a skeptic, so when someone can put the science in front of me and help me understand like how that relates to to our lives and our behavior, that helps me a lot more. I was actually discussing this with my wife the other day. There are concepts in here that that I don’t know what to call them like. What are those people that motivational speaker? Oh yeah, yeah. Have been spouting since I was young, and to me, I was like, Yeah, I don’t know, just because you say it doesn’t necessarily mean it works for me. And then I read this book and there’s a whole bunch of science supporting and I’m like, OK, well, I just was dead wrong about that. But I need I don’t know why I’m just such a skeptic. I need some information more than just somebody saying, Hey, do this. It works well.

[00:09:57] Ok, what I like about that is because I, as you’re saying that I feel like that resonates as well, and sometimes I feel like I’m almost putting down motivational speakers, even though I go yesterday. Literally, I went and did a motivational speech to a whole bunch of business owners. And but I feel like I wonder if some of it is that reactants that psychological reactions are being told what to do. Because I feel like even when somebody is motivating you or a motivational speaker saying you just got to. Do this, and I feel like we still just have this inherent when somebody’s telling us what to do, even if we’re having this mixed signal. Ok, I want to do it. But but should I? And so I do wonder sometimes how much reactants does play into that because I try to deliver the message, sometimes even from a Hey, what would it look like if you got to just you got to get up and you got to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and you got to just think positive thoughts and you’ve got to work. What would it look like if you weren’t telling yourself that you’re a giant piece of garbage?

[00:10:45] Yeah, and that’s a great point. It’s sometimes it’s not the message, but the delivery that’s kind of off-putting, especially when it’s something really simple. And I mean, I say really simple, but some of these concepts are very difficult to incorporate in our lives. So for me, I was diagnosed at a fairly young age with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety, so I have always recognized I’m a negative person and I felt like there was something wrong with me. Right. So when people are like, Hey, just do this, you know, my first reaction is, yeah, I don’t know if I can do that. Yeah, like, I’m wired a little different.

[00:11:17] Well, I appreciate that because then I feel like when then people, if you’re starting with that, yeah, something’s wrong with me and I’m broken. And then when somebody is saying, no, you just need to. And I feel like you’ve got natural reactants kicking in. Ok. No, I don’t. And then but does it still play into that man? What is wrong with me? Yeah. Ok, now we’re getting somewhere. And I really do feel like semantics are important. And I am telling you, I was talking with a couple that I’ve only been working with for a little while this week, and I told them at the beginning, I’m going to be really annoying with semantics, and they’re going to think this doesn’t matter. And so some of the examples I like to give or when somebody says, OK, he’s never there for me and he always comes home and says, and I just right there, never in all ways, then I feel like the brain already is like locked onto this track of saying, I can think of a time where I did right or. And so I feel like the semantics are important. So even if the if we change it to well, I feel like most of the time or I feel like often I feel like the guy is still going to be listening more than you know, what he needs to do is he never comes home on time and he’s always late and he needs to understand. I feel like there is so much in that one little sentence. Yes, it is going to just put somebody into reactants and negative and what’s wrong with me? And oh yeah, will you? So semantics?

[00:12:28] How about that? No, I’m sorry. I agree. No, I agree. I agree. I mean, especially if we’re trying to to solve a problem. And as you know, all or nothing types of thinking coming out verbally is, I mean, it’s bad for us to think and is bad for other people to to try and troubleshoot or problem solve.

[00:12:46] So Nate, you should never do that. I just don’t you? And I told you an absolute no, that’s a double negative. You will do it. Yes, OK. All right. So let’s get to these points. Ok. You have three big points that we want to talk about today.

[00:12:58] Yeah. And so I first need to start by asking people to keep an open mind, OK, because I look back at myself. And if I was listening to this podcast and I was feeling really depressed, I might have some resistance to some of these things. So I’m just asking you to just keep an open mind if there’s some of these things that kind of make some sense that might be interesting to you. You can get the book, I think, on Amazon for about 10 bucks. Yeah. So I would recommend reading it if if any of this sounds interesting, there’s a lot more to it. I just pull cherry picked three things that really applied to me. And so somebody else might read it and be like, OK, well, those were interesting, but I really like this other thing that didn’t even come up

[00:13:34] Now, and I didn’t even tell you this is on the fly here, but and I would love. I like how you’re framing that. And if you do have questions or you feel like you are different or this doesn’t apply, I really would like for people to shoot me an email through my Tony over site. And I think it would be fun for us to come back and maybe even have a question and answer. Oh yeah, because the last time we were on and we talked about attachment styles and that sort of thing, I got a lot of feedback and I remember I was forwarding some of that to you and and I meant to do that then because I really like the interaction. I know Nate would like it as well because I love how vulnerable and open Nate is about the struggles that he’s had or the diagnoses that you’ve been through. And so if you have ever just felt like the therapist is up on their high horse and they don’t understand, then please reconsider. And but I would really love you to send questions or comments or how this applies to you. And then Nate and I can tackle that down the road.

[00:14:22] Yeah, that’s that’s a great idea. So the first point is going to require just a little bit of background. Ok, so I was reading just early on in the book and I had some questions about consciousness and consciousness at a basic level is our perception of ourselves and the world around us. And so I was trying to understand how the brain perceives ourselves and perceives the world and how that might relate to mental health and things like that. So I started I was looking at videos online and I ended up on on YouTube, where I was doing some search things and I ran across some videos by a neuroscientist by the name of Neil Seth. And he’s out of the UK. He has a bunch of tests. I think a couple Ted talks and he has a bunch of videos. And so I kind of went down that rabbit hole. And one of the first videos that I watched really opened my eyes to something that I hadn’t fully considered before. And what he was talking about was some research. Should they were using fMRI scans, functional MRI scans, and

[00:15:27] Those are the ones you can view things live.

[00:15:29] Yes, it’s a real time so they can watch what the brain is doing as someone is behaving or viewing something and and it’s fascinating. Several of the researchers talked about how we’ve learned more about the brain in the past 20 or 30 years than we knew in all of human history. Yeah. So the information is just coming in leaps and bounds. We’re learning so much more than we ever had any idea about. And so he was talking about basically this. They put together a subject study where they were showing people photos and what they would do is they would show them pictures of faces and they would show them batch of faces or they would show them homes in a sequential match. And what they found was they were looking at the brain to see how quickly it would take for people to identify whatever it was that they were looking at. What they found was if I showed you a series of faces and then showed you a house, yeah, I mean, everyone knows what a face is and everyone knows what a house is. Yeah. It took longer for the brain to identify house after it was expecting to see a face. Wow. And so what the researcher really believed that that showed was the idea that you’ve probably heard. I’ll believe it when I see it is completely backwards.

[00:16:43] So it’s not. I’ll believe it when I see it. Ok. Oh, OK,

[00:16:47] I’ll see it when I believe it. Which is which is fascinating. Like, our brain is trying to recognize what it sees. Wow. And then it can create an image. And I was like, OK, well, that’s really interesting. What does that mean? Like, why does that happen? And it talks about this in this particular thing in the buda brain, which is our brain fills in the gaps of everything that’s around us. Like, I can see your office and perceive the entire thing. But apparently the way that our eyes work in our brain works is I’m getting bits and pieces of this whole thing. But I’ve been in this office so many times that that my brain is filling in all of the gaps.

[00:17:25] Yeah, I’m laughing, I guess. I said on this podcast called the Sad Dads Club last week and I was thrown out. I was trying to sound smart and say all these things about therapy and psychology, and one of the guys really got excited and talked about, you’ve heard the one where you’re looking through and then they say, OK, where was the gorilla? And you say there was no gorilla, right? And then you go back and look and you’re looking for the gorilla and then the gorilla is right there. It’s wild. Yeah. So this is kind of what you’re talking about.

[00:17:50] It’s exactly what I’m talking about. Just a couple of days after that happened, my daughter and I were at my parents and she she likes fruit and she asked for a nana she was sitting at. They have an island in their kitchen. She was saying. The island asked for Nana and their fruit basket is over by the like the bread bowl, which is over. Or I don’t know what do they call those things that hold the bread

[00:18:10] And I’m already thinking of my next joke.

[00:18:11] Oh. Anyway, so the fruit basket is over. On the other side of the kitchen, I look over the fruit basket, it’s not there and I’m like, OK, I’m sorry, they don’t have Nana’s. So we come back a couple of hours later and she asked for another nana, and I realize that the fruit basket was sitting in the middle of the island. Oh, and I never saw it because I thought that it was somewhere else. But I mean, I scan that kitchen multiple times, but I wasn’t looking for it. And because I wasn’t like intent, being intent where I was looking, I wasn’t getting all the data, my mind just filling the gap. There’s no fruit basket there. It’s never there. I don’t know why it was there, but I didn’t even see it and was right in

[00:18:47] Front of me. The joke I was trying to make was the guy sitting on the couch right now, but there’s not one, but that wasn’t as funny as I want it to be. But I’m now going into this world of confirmation by once you buy a particular type of car now, oh my gosh, everybody has that car. But the cars have all existed before. So you now OK instead of? I’ll believe it when I see it, I see it when I believe it. So now I believe now. Now there are a lot of those cars now. Yes. Ok. Yeah.

[00:19:10] Ok.

[00:19:11] So the over in the corner in the fetal position?

[00:19:15] Well, and I think that there’s a really strong I’m sure you can see it already. Really strong application with mental health. Oh man, which is we talk about schemas and core beliefs, which is once we have a belief about something, that’s what we see everywhere. Like, if if I have an interaction with somebody and my perception is, is that person doesn’t like me? Yeah, my my automatic response to any interaction is going to be potentially negative. And again, the clinicians that wrote this book talked about this very thing, which is most of our interactions with people are neutral. And if you apply your own negative because you perceive that there’s you guys have a problem, yes, to anything neutral, that neutral is not negative. Yeah. So you now have, let’s say, for the average person, 80 percent of their interactions are neutral. If you’re bringing your own negative belief about that person or, I guess, past possible negative experiences, how many experiences that are not negative or now negative?

[00:20:10] Ok, my mind just got blown by in three different other directions where I did a podcast episode last week talking about how we like the people that we like or why we like the people that we like and it was on. There’s this assumption that before you meet the person, you have this perceived view of friendship. And it’s one of those don’t meet your heroes lives because then when you now start to interact with them, then if, yeah, if you’re neutral and here’s where part B of that went is. I’ve been talking a lot lately about we bring all of these of these childhood insecurities into adulthood. And so then we when we are looking, you and I talked about this off the mic for a while this morning. When we’re seeking that external validation, we want somebody to basically make our make us feel good about ourselves. But that’s a tall ask when there are so many variables in between that and then when somebody says something that doesn’t validate us, then we feel criticized. And when we feel criticized, our natural defense is to defend our ego by then either shutting down, getting angry, verbal gaslighting. So all of a sudden, now we’re going into things, even if it’s neutral and we’re seeing what we what we see, what we believe, and then we have this cognitive bias and we’re going in neutral and then somebody says something, and we take that as a perceived slight, which is criticism. And then we shut down. We have to really be aware in order to even just have very positive interactions. Yes. But I sound like I’m being negative, but in a good way.

[00:21:32] I mean, I don’t think it’s negative to to understand something and to realize and this is this is one of these things that that I feel like there was I wrote down a couple of different studies that I feel like help us realize what is happening in our life. So if we realize that our brain is only getting part of the picture and that we are filling in the gaps and that these gaps can be emotionally charged, yeah, at some point do we have to acknowledge. That we may be looking at our world, perceiving our world and believe that it’s all input. Ok, yes. Not realizing that we are, that we are creating some of the input, like we’re completely unaware that we are filling in the gaps.

[00:22:23] Absolutely.

[00:22:24] And so how does that again? How does that pertain to mental health? How many gaps are we filling in? But our belief is everything is coming at us. Yeah. Like, I’m unaware that I’m doing anything to anything that I’m seeing. I just feel like everything’s happening to me, not being aware of how my thought process, how my brain is actually participating in what’s in what’s coming

[00:22:49] Out, which then yeah, because then I feel like that gets away from what I am really recognizing is so important is the the view of curiosity instead of the view of criticism or being so reactionary now. But I like what you’re saying. I think we’re programed that way, so we have to be very aware is this I know we’ve got so much cool stuff to talk about here, but I think this is one of those things that I’ve asked you to talk about on our group calls a couple of times because when we do bring in input, we’re naturally going negative because if we get that wrong, we die. What was the

[00:23:20] Oh, you’re talking about? So you’ve probably heard of the negativity bias? Yes, which is basically if you have a positive experience or negative experience, the negative experience hits harder, which is which is true. And to be honest, they talk a lot about this in the book, and it was almost a little depressing how bad or negativity bias is. And we can talk a little bit about that. That was going to be the next point. You’re right, OK? But like, I wanted totally want to get into that because I think it’s really important.

[00:23:48] So we’ll get to that in a second. Ok. You’re right, because I just looked on the notes and you’re right, that is a huge piece because I talk about these two studies that, yeah, this is interesting.

[00:23:55] So I thought that this really showed how we kind of project how we feel into what we do and we’re not even aware of it. Yeah, OK. I actually ran into both of these watching. Again, I’m not like trying to shamelessly plug YouTube or I don’t have a sponsorship deal or anything, but there’s a lot of really interesting stuff on there. And so Robert Sapolsky is a professor at Stanford and and he was giving a talk, and he mentioned a couple of different studies that I thought really illustrated this well. And the first study that he mentioned was I took a bunch of people that were to rate job candidates and sound like they have people that were sitting in hard, wooden, uncomfortable chairs and people that were sitting in regular comfortable chairs. And what they found is the people that were sitting in the hard, comfortable chairs right in

[00:24:41] The heart, the hard chairs, not the comfortable chairs.

[00:24:42] I’m sorry, the harder they say. Hard, comfortable. Yeah, it’s amazing. Hard wooden chair. Ok. Ok, thank you for the people sitting on the hard wooden chairs rated the job candidates worse than the people sitting in the soft as a cushion. Yeah, basically. So if you’re going for a job interview, bring everybody a donut to sit.

[00:25:00] Ok, so I your biggest takeaway of that today?

[00:25:04] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Or just bring comfy chairs for everybody. So, OK, well, that’s interesting. Well, how about how about another one? This was a kind of interesting study again. So some researchers were looking at judges and how frequently they end up giving people, granting people parole when when they’re in prison, for whatever reason, and they were looking to see what kinds of things people can do in order to be granted parole. Ok. And so they were just searching and searching and searching and searching, and they could see some trends. But they weren’t sure what exactly the reasoning behind that was. And what they eventually found was the judges had about a 60 percent chance of giving granting someone parole right after they ate, and there was almost a zero percent chance of granting someone parole right before they were to eat again. And the irony in all of this is when the researchers approached the judges about some of the reasons behind, you know, why did you grant this person parole and not this person? The judges spouted all sorts of case law. They completely believed that everything they did was based on objective logic, and they were completely unaware of the fact that they were thinking about Chick fil A. Yes. So interesting, right?

[00:26:22] Yeah. And that when I was reading your notes on that too, there’s a book called Noise by Daniel Kahneman. And he just there’s a couple of things he talked about, he said. For example, when judges are passing down sentences on days following a loss by a local city’s football team, they tend to be tougher than on days following a win. And and he also said if employers rely on only one job interview to pick a candidate from similarly qualified group, the chances the candidate will perform better than others are about fifty six percent. So you’d be just as successful picking the candidate from a hat so it’s wild to see the impact. And again, that is almost scary. Yeah, so talk about bringing a donut, bringing a donut to sit on and bring a donut for the guy to eat big bowls. Yeah, oh yeah. So everyone going into court bring a donut to sit on in a donut to eat. Yeah, you’re probably good.

[00:27:06] I mean, you got a 60 percent chance to get your parole man. So, yeah, so those I just thought were two really good illustrations, and I loved your illustrations as well that how we feel impacts the way that we act and we may not even be aware of it.

[00:27:21] I think about this when my wife gave me some really hard truth a few years ago of, Hey, we’re not really quite sure which version of you we’re going to get when I come home. And I thought, but I had to sit in my differentiated self and say, Tell me more. But she was absolutely right, and I found it. It was almost when when I had ended a day. Ok, if I’m being super honest, I don’t. No one from the IRS is listening, but when maybe somebody paid in cash, I walk home and I’m like, Hey, kids, let’s go out to dinner, right? You know? But at the end of the day, if that wasn’t the case, then I’d come home and they’re like, We going out to dinner. I think, Jeez, guys, am I made of money? And my wife said, that’s a little bit of a mixed message. And I thought, Indeed, it is. Yes.

[00:27:55] Yes, yeah. You know, and this isn’t a semantics issue, but you can probably see there’s a way to to word that which is unfortunately, no one gave me cash today. Yeah.

[00:28:06] If I’m going to, but I have to own up to my own stuff there. Right. But instead, I viewed that as criticism, and then I went to great lengths to defend my fragile ego, right?

[00:28:15] Right. Which we all do. Yeah. Yeah. Ok. So that was the first point, which is basically that we project much of our reality and we are unaware of it. So just becoming aware that we’re projecting that reality is is a big part of moving towards towards a more peaceful existence. Yeah. All right. The next point that I thought that was super interesting was the brain is naturally avoidant of pain, both physical and emotional. And this is super fascinating. I’ve been really interested in this and I think that there’s a strong connection for what we do. And this as well, which is our brains apparently are not great at differentiating between physical and emotional pain. There, the pain center processing centers for emotional and Physical Pain overlap.

[00:29:04] This is so wild if you think about this really

[00:29:06] Crazy, isn’t it? Yeah. Why would they do that? Those are two very different things. Yeah. Now, I mean, I think that people are aware of this. Why else would we have the saying sticks and stones will break my bones? Words will never hurt me. I mean that the reason that saying exists is because words can hurt, and we’re trying to help people realize that. I don’t know that saying maybe isn’t the best because words do feel pain free, but we’re trying to maybe convey that, hey, someone saying something mean to you isn’t the same as somebody stabbing you with a knife.

[00:29:37] Yeah, but we’re still going to feel,

[00:29:39] Oh yes, right? Yeah, we’re absolutely going to feel. So the big idea for me with this is is, are we able to? Conceptualize which pain truly poses a danger for us and which pain is just not feeling good. It’s just uncomfortable and I have some there were some theories that people I did a little bit of digging online to see if people could figure out evolutionary like evolutionarily. Why would our brain need physical pain and emotional pain to fill the same? And one of the one of the people wrote something I thought was an interesting possibility, which was for thousands of years we were very tribal. Ok, and if we were jettisoned from the tribe, yes,

[00:30:24] We would die. Abandonment is death.

[00:30:25] Yes. So their thought was if we have to have the tribe to survive and we have to be able to connect with people. And if if we upset people too much and they’re like, you know, you’re not worth it, you need to go somewhere else. And that’s going to be death. Then our brain is trying to help us understand, well, it’s not the same as putting your hand on a hot stove.

[00:30:45] It gets my same implication.

[00:30:46] Yes, it might feel the same because they’re both harmful. And I had a thought about, let’s say you lived in, I don’t know, a farm in Oklahoma 150 years ago. Yeah, a severe cut could kill a person back then. Yes. Doctor, nurse doctors a hundred miles away. We don’t have the same kind of medical care that you can get to the grocery store. You can’t just drive down to the emergency room. It could fester. You could lose a wound. I mean, there’s a lot of possibilities. And so maybe for our brains, it just hasn’t caught up to all of our advances. So we perceive an emotional wound, perhaps in the same way. Yeah, it’s potentially this. This could end up in death.

[00:31:25] Ok, what’s funny? And I know I was a tiny distracted. They were seconds. I was looking up. Some notes from episode Sue Johnson, founder of emotionally focused Natalie’s Love since book. She said, This is where I was. I remembered this quote, she said. It’s now clear that there is a literal neural overlap in the way we process and experience relational physical pain. Both pains as experiments by psychologist Naomi Eisenberger of UCLA to test our alarm systems designed to grab our attention and focus our resources on minimizing threat. The threat and hurt feelings arising from triggers such as rejection by a loved one is emotional loss and separation. And in mammals, perhaps because of their need for extended maternal care. Isolation is a clear danger cue, and it registers as a physical threat to survival. And that’s where she said the neural overlap explains why his researchers found Tylenol can reduce hurt feelings and emotional support can lessen physical pain, including that of childbirth, cancer treatment, heart surgery. So our need for connection with others is shaped, our neural makeup and the structure of our emotional life. So that’s wild.

[00:32:22] It is wild and it’s interesting. You bring up Sue Johnson. We had to watch something in grad school that she had done, and she talked about how and some of her experiments. What they found was that people that had a stronger emotional connection was couples. Would the people that were experiencing pain would report lower pain than people who had a strained connection? So there seem to be some kind of and that’s what they’re talking about. There are some kind of emotional strength that reduced physical pain.

[00:32:53] So this is perfect. Now, if you’re listening to this and you are thinking, I don’t have that in my marriage, I feel like this is where we talked earlier about cognitive distortions and all or nothing thinking of hang tight. Don’t go there. This newfound awareness is what then often is the cue to go start to seek help.

[00:33:10] Yes. Right? Yes. Yes. And for a lot of people, I’m going to pose this question to you because I don’t really know to what extent with your practice, with your experience about how many couples come in that you see eventually leave you in a better place, your relationship is improved.

[00:33:28] Oh, it’s such a good question, because I don’t know if you had this when you started out in therapy. We feel like we can help everybody, right? And that’s and you realize, Oh man, not necessarily or not at all. And but the fact that people are taking action to go to therapy, there’s some pretty fascinating data that shows that that is such a big step. And there was, I remember a training I went to a long ago couples symptoms reduced by up to as much as 40 percent in just setting up the therapy appointment. Really? Yeah, I thought that was interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever found that study again, so I may have made that one up in my mind. Now that it sounds memory works. Yeah, I do remember the training and where I was at with that, but I find that I really have broken things down if you find, but now there are variables here, so you have to have a connection with the therapist. And because then if you don’t have that connection, there’s data that says the modality doesn’t necessarily matter, but there are also real. Going to somebody that knows what to do with with a couple is incredibly helpful and then emotionally focused. Therapy is a framework, and I’ve found that if you can get couples to now start to communicate in that framework, that then I think it becomes a real big version of people not knowing what they don’t know.

[00:34:35] And so then there’s a lot of aha and awareness moments of that. They don’t need to seek that external validation or that when their partner is expressing something that it’s coming from a completely different place that their partner comes from. So it isn’t an attack and. This is a very long answer to your question, but I feel like the I feel like if I’m looking at, I think I’ve worked with over a thousand couples now, and I think that I would say 60 to 70 percent of couples that just didn’t know what they didn’t know. And they leave with far more awareness and connection in these new tools. And then they are in a much better place. Yeah, it’s great. The problem is I because of the work that I put out there, I do work with a fair amount of people that are concerned about potential personality disorders or personality disorder traits. And so that’s where you learn pretty quickly. If it’s a matter of they don’t know what they don’t know or if maybe it isn’t necessarily a healthy, mature or viable relationship, right? So I do feel like I see a little bit more of that than most couples therapists, because that’s what I put out there on my shingle. Yeah.

[00:35:36] Gotcha. Gotcha. And I can’t imagine, like all of the complications that bring a personality disorder into a relationship, can can brain you.

[00:35:44] What’s interesting, and I know this isn’t the time for this right now, but in the podcast I do waking up the narcissism. I really am trying to almost change the conversation even around the word narcissism, because the actual personality disorder of narcissistic personality disorder isn’t as large as we think based on the amount of information we hear about narcissism out in the world, right? But we all start out as little narcissists, and so it becomes a matter of again, like we’re talking about now having some awareness and then really having some being able to confront yourself and then go seek help for the things that you become aware of. Yeah, yeah. Like that?

[00:36:21] I like that. Ok, so I want to throw something out there that that struck me when you first started talking, when you said 40 percent of couples see improvement just for making an appointment? Is that more evidence of what you believe?

[00:36:34] You see, I think that is spot on. That is, yeah, like the

[00:36:37] Partner wants to try and fix this.

[00:36:39] Yeah. So this is good. Yeah. So yeah, I really think it is a matter of fact. I feel like a lot of couples do come in and I will hear often we’re actually doing OK. And I that one is I get them talking for about 10 minutes and we get to the reason why they first set up the appointment. But I love just that initial point where they’re coming in here together, they’re seeing someone and then, yeah, I think that they feel like, OK, I see that we are going to work on this. Yeah, yeah,

[00:37:02] I think I botched that too. I think I said, I said it backwards.

[00:37:05] This is what I I’m

[00:37:07] Stuck on the original one. Still, yeah, what? I’ll believe it when I see it.

[00:37:11] I didn’t even notice. I saw what I believed or I believed what I saw

[00:37:16] Was

[00:37:17] A little confusing. So the part that I was, I think when I was going earlier to is the part where the brain is naturally avoidant. And so what? And tell me, I think now I have made up this version of what you share about input. So input comes in and then we either send it to a place of unicorns and rainbows, or we send it into the depths of despair.

[00:37:38] Ok, not correct. That’s not correct. Ok, well, so when input comes in, I dare you it. Actually, I’m sorry. Did I just invalidate? Yes, you did. I’m so glad you’re differentiating.

[00:37:47] I am. Tell me more.

[00:37:49] Ok, so one of the fascinating things is that the book talks about is when input comes in, it goes two different directions. Ok, so the first direction that it goes is towards the hippocampus, and the hippocampus is trying to figure out if we have a problem or not. Ok, and the other place that it goes is the prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal cortex is slower acting, and this is why the negativity bias is scary. The reason it goes to the hippocampus is it’s it’s basically going to figure out if there’s a problem or not.

[00:38:19] So we’ve got to fire up the amygdala and get out of here.

[00:38:21] If the hippocampus says, Hey, we got a problem, it goes right to the amygdala, and that’s when it’s still in the prefrontal cortex had having gone the other direction to figure out exactly what’s going on now, they use the example of a stick on the ground. If you’re hiking and you see, Oh

[00:38:33] Yeah, this is my favorite one looks

[00:38:35] Just like a snake, right? Yes. So your body immediately. You don’t even know what it is, but your hippocampus is already identified. Hey, that looks like that could be a problem.

[00:38:45] So you’re jumping in even aware that’s what’s so cool about this.

[00:38:47] You know, you don’t have any idea what it is. The prefrontal cortex is still trying to figure out what it is. It doesn’t act as fast, but our danger system is fast. It’s way fast. I don’t know way faster, but it’s faster than the prefrontal cortex. So we jump back. Our heart is racing our blood. You know, body just released a bunch of cortisol. We got blood going to our limbs ready to to fight that snake or run away from that snake. And we don’t even know what it is. Our prefrontal cortex still hasn’t figured out what it is, but we are ready to run. We are scared. So we have to understand like we have the capability to be afraid of something without even knowing whether or not we have a reason to be afraid of it. Absolutely. So on that level, do we understand in many cases, emotion hits before logic hits?

[00:39:31] No, we don’t. And this is amazing, and I’m grateful that the people doing the yard work outside of great time, great time. So I hope that doesn’t pick up on the microphones. But you know, this morning, it’s always dark here, and I go turn off the white noise machine. But there was a shadow because a light in a closet was on and it was really funny because I. Immediately reacted, and I felt it, yeah, but then it’s a shadow, right? It’s more often than we think, right?

[00:39:55] And so that’s what we have to realize is our brain is going to the negative like almost immediately. And then we have to figure out, OK, is this actually a problem or is this just a hey, be careful situation? Most of these tend to end up being, hey, be careful situations, and we need to understand where our brain comes from. Our brain comes from. Who knows how many thousands of years of a very, very dangerous world.

[00:40:23] It’s a don’t get killed device. It is not a make jokes device. Matter of fact court jesters. We had to have them back in the

[00:40:29] Day, right? We had to have professional comedians help us feel happy because,

[00:40:34] Yeah, because they just stunk. Yeah. And if they had a bad set, they got killed, right?

[00:40:39] All right. Yeah. Yeah, you know, you don’t want to. You don’t want to go on stage of stink.

[00:40:42] No, you know. Hey, hey, how about that difference of men and women, right? And if it’s one boo from the king, the guy’s dead? Yeah, yeah.

[00:40:48] That’ll really get your amygdala going.

[00:40:50] Well, how were they funny? I think that’s why they wore silly costumes and just chain bells in their hands or whatever. People thought that was funny. I mean, is that what

[00:40:58] They actually did or is that our conception of

[00:41:01] Perception? It’s what they put on a deck of cards?

[00:41:03] Yeah. Ok.

[00:41:04] Ok.

[00:41:04] Anyway, yeah. So back to the back to the topic at hand. So what we need to understand and the researchers talked a lot about this is that our brain has an inherent negativity built in based on is what you said are don’t get killed device brain.

[00:41:20] Yeah. So that’s a bless its heart. Like it means, well, it’s

[00:41:22] Trying to keep us safe. The problem is, is it’s not completely rational. So let’s just say I don’t know if I came up with this example or someone else did or I read it in the book, but I think it works. So if you go back a couple of thousand years and you’re living on, I don’t know, a tribe in Africa, there’s dangers everywhere. Yeah, and if you are out and you’re looking at, I don’t know, there’s an impala and you want to kill this thing and you want to take it back. We’re not talking about the car. Yeah. Yeah, you want to kill the car, OK? Yeah.

[00:41:50] Ok, so deer ATV, right? Yeah. I didn’t even know that was a car. And every time I go rent one, I feel like I get an impala. Ok? Ok.

[00:41:56] So we’re going to go see if we can get food for our tribe and we’re going to take it back and we’re going to have a party and everybody’s going to eat and it’s going to be great. Ok, well, let’s say that you now think you see a lions stalking that impala? Yeah. And so the question is, is it worth trying to get that food? Because if you get the food, everybody is going to eat and it’s going to be great. If the lion gets you, you die. It is over.

[00:42:19] You have one shot.

[00:42:20] Exactly. So that’s our our brain is basically wired to be more afraid of a negative consequence than it is to push us towards a positive outcome.

[00:42:32] That’s a great example, because we would be great to have a feast. But if you miss that one time, you’re gone

[00:42:38] Right and you don’t know tomorrow, you might find in Nepal and there may not be a lion around. Yeah, so there’s always more like the brain is always going to convince you that there’s going to be more opportunity in the future. But if this is a negative thing that has the worst possible outcome, there’s nothing. There’s there’s no tomorrow.

[00:42:55] But then we’ve taken that into everything from, I don’t know, I’ll be in a better position to write the paper tomorrow.

[00:43:00] Exactly. Ok, exactly. So what we do is we have this fear of a bad outcome which will prevent us from pursuing something that we may want if we perceive that there could be a negative attached to it. And some very interesting examples are how many people like dream of, I don’t know, being especially with kids. Apparently, YouTube stars now one of the most popular careers for kids to choose. But how many people end up never doing it because they are afraid of putting themselves out there? They don’t want to get criticized because again, emotional pain feels like physical pain.

[00:43:32] Oh, I feel that one. Sometimes with the emails that come in. Yeah, yeah, human.

[00:43:36] Yeah, like, man, I listen to that podcast you and they did. It was terrible.

[00:43:39] Yeah, right? You know, and you get the ones like, get on with the thing, stop talking about this right now. I realize, Oh, bless your heart. When you have your own podcast listener, then you can not promote things to pay for the car and look at me now justified. But you’re right, it is that emotional pain is right there.

[00:43:55] Yeah, that’s the thing to understand. We need to understand as much as possible that is this fear rational? Is this fear? Maybe this fear would have been rational a couple thousand years ago, a couple hundred years ago. Is it rational today and twenty twenty one? Is it rational? And yes, I acknowledge that putting ourselves out there is uncomfortable with my wife and I do a podcast and it’s it’s very uncomfortable for us both because we’re quiet and we like to just do our own thing. And so it’s it’s it’s difficult to put yourself out there, but our brain is doing that.

[00:44:26] That’s natural to our brain. It is, and that’s where I feel like and by the way, please go subscribe to working change by Nate Christensen, right, and his wife, Marla. I mean, it’s really good, you guys. I mean, thank you for nice job.

[00:44:36] We’re very early on, so we’re still

[00:44:38] Going to do. But and this is where I love and I know we aren’t talking about this today and but acceptance and commitment therapy, because once we are aware and we acknowledge that the brain is saying, yeah, people might say bad things then. We don’t even there’s we can’t say don’t think that we can’t say what’s wrong with me for thinking that because you’re a human being right? And then you can invite those thoughts to come along with you. While you do said difficult thing, especially if it’s something that really matters to you. And then over time, your brain. Finally, just because as it becomes this new neural pathway, your brain finally says, OK, go ahead. Do your podcast, right?

[00:45:07] Yeah, yeah. And I love that you brought that in. It was perfect timing because the third point? So the first point being, we project much of our own reality. Second point being, our brain is naturally avoidant. And so we’re going to naturally fear physical and emotional pain and our. And the last point that I really took from this book is you can imagine being called Buddha’s brain is that mindfulness holds the key. So I actually want to throw it to you. Are the mindfulness like think like, how do you see this applying so well to these issues that are brain inherent brain?

[00:45:40] So and this is funny. Yesterday, I did go do a motivational speech to a bunch of business owners, and they wanted me to talk about anxiety or last night on our group call with the path back. I feel like all roads lead back to mindfulness. Yeah, because and I talk about the physiology that’s going on, and I think you so summed up so many things that lead into that as well. But I will just tell you this and I say this whenever I can. When I get a client, a new client, I say I will work in within the first session or two. Please start a mindfulness practice and I say to myself, and this is not scientific data. Twenty five percent of the people are going to never do it. They’re like, OK, no, I’ve heard it. Whatever 50 percent are going to do a little bit of it so that they get the concept and they’re going to feel like, no, that that it does help. But they don’t even know what that means, that it can help. And then twenty five percent are going to say, I am paying you, I will do what you’re asking and they will start a mindfulness practice. And I just this is oversimplified, but they will seek they will find the Promised Land much sooner than those that don’t embrace mindfulness practice because when you everything you just laid out, so we’re the brains that don’t get killed device. When our heart rate starts to get elevated, our brain floods with its cortisol right, and that, in its most simplest form, shuts down the prefrontal cortex as your amygdala fires up. So you are your gaming your system to begin with so your body gets into this fight or flight, which then shuts down the rational part of the brain.

[00:47:01] And so then you get in this vicious loop of the more, and now you notice I’m anxious, and that makes me even more anxious in my heart rate to raise more. So a mindfulness practice and again, man, see, I’m on my soapbox now. Anyone listening saying I’ve tried it and I just can’t. I can’t stop my thoughts. I can’t clear my head. No one can. And I feel like that’s the biggest fallacy of mindfulness and that the mindfulness practice. I love this app called Headspace. This British guy, Andy talks me through some into the nose out to the mouth breaths. Yeah, it lowers my heart rate, and then he goes silent. And what happens in that silence is, I think, all the things I think I still can’t believe I do this after this many years. I have so much to do today. Maybe I don’t need to do this anymore. And then he comes back and he says, OK, let’s just go back and focus on your breathing. And so then through the nose after the mouth silence again, Brant, my brain goes crazy. Then he says, OK, come back and focus on a sound. And then I hear the white noise machine are there have been times I’ve been doing it and I hear the guys doing the lawnmower outside. And so what you’re doing is you’re training your brain that when you start to think and worry and ruminate because those things will elevate your heart rate, which will then get that cortisol going, that when your brain starts to notice you are doing that, you have practiced that.

[00:48:08] When I notice that I come back to breathing and I come back to listening and that when that happens and it’s exactly what you said about the I like that the logical part. I always say the visceral reaction or the emotional part of the brain is so much faster than the logical part that what you’re training your brain to do is this guy. When his heart rate starts to spike or elevate, he’s going to do the breathing thing. So let’s go ahead and start doing the breathing thing because we want to be as efficient as we can because we want it uses less electrical activity as we can because we want to live forever. Your brain saying all that stuff. So then I was sharing last night on this group call and then I think this will be a great way to maybe end with the part that you were talking about. But I was I joke often now I don’t think I can get. I almost feel like I can’t get angry anymore. And it’s kind of weird because and I had this happen again. Drove down to L.A. last weekend to spend some time with one of my daughters, and I’m six hours on the freeway and people do not drive kind and and I’m just noticing it. Oh, I’m noticing that car cutting me off or, oh, I’m noticing the person behind me and I’m noticing I’m wanting to give them a break check. That’s fascinating. Instead of like, Oh my gosh, and this is that and it’s just, it’s so cool. So you had an explanation for that based on this book, right?

[00:49:18] Well, they have a series of, I guess you could call it, labels if that makes sense for that kind of changing the way that you operate. And it’s both the way that you think and the way that you behave. And so the there’s like four stages and the actual terms they use the first stage being most natural stage, like not the happy place they call unconscious incompetence. Ok. And then that would be the example that they. Use is what if your partner tells you to ask you to get milk the way home and the partner forgets and you’re sitting there and you don’t have milk and you’re like, OK, I’m mad, I told you to do this or I asked you to do this and you didn’t do it. It feels like a slight for me, and I don’t get my milk and I’m just upset. Yeah, so that’s what they call unconscious incompetence. The next step they call conscious incompetence. And in that stage, you forgot the milk and I am upset about the milk. But I also realize that I’m upset and I’m holding back the anger. But I’m stewing inside, so I maybe not acting upset, but inside I’m upset.

[00:50:31] And you ask funny about that, too. That part, I feel like a lot of people get to that part and stop. And so that’s where and I think we even talked about this on the group call last night of the awareness doesn’t feel as cool as we want it to feel, right because it’s almost like, well, I didn’t I wasn’t even aware before. Sure, I would get mad. But now I’m aware that I’m getting mad. But I don’t. I can’t. What do I do with that right?

[00:50:52] Yeah, right? So you’re just sitting in your feelings and you don’t want to act out towards the other person, but you just don’t know what to do with these feelings. So the next stage they call conscious competence, and that’s similar to the to the last stage you’re stewing in your emotions. You don’t feel good, but you’re challenging. Is this kind of the CBT stage of everything, which is the idea that, yeah, but you know, they do a lot for me. They usually bring the milk. And so you’re kind of arguing with yourself at that point, OK? And then for them, stage four are kind of this higher stage is the idea that the reaction doesn’t even come up.

[00:51:28] And I love just you’ve got the book right here. And when you were showing me this before, I feel so validated that the reaction doesn’t come up and I feel like this is there’s so many things that one does not know until they know, right? And so this is the part where that alone is, where I say, I beg of you to start a daily mindfulness practice and it takes longer than you think to get to the place where you get to this stage for. But I feel like people will say, but you still get mad right? And I don’t think so because I’m not aware of it, right? Because I don’t think it comes up.

[00:51:58] So it’s interesting they call this unconscious competence. Wow.

[00:52:02] So at this point, I’m not aware that it’s not happening, right?

[00:52:05] Yeah. So that’s the place that for an obviously, the Buddha brain really espouses the idea of mindfulness, and that is the pinnacle. Ok, so that’s where we can get to through years of effort and things like that to a point where we’re not even feeling reactive to something we know we don’t have the milk. Yeah, we might even wish we had the milk, but we’re not angry about it.

[00:52:28] No, we’re not. We’re just noticing it. Yeah, and that’s the cool part. So I do remember I feel like a very human experience, as I did several months of Headspace and I enjoyed it. But I just thought, this is what I’m supposed to do, almost a checkbox item. And then I went back and I started again. They’ve got these. They call them the basics, and it’s three 10 day programs. So I went back and I think I’d gone a few months after doing it for several months, and then I didn’t do it. And then I said, I’m going to do the basics again. And I remember it was 20 or more days into this second round. So we’re months into this now. And I remember at one point where I’m doing the thing, where he goes quiet and he’s just saying, and it’s silence, and I’m just my mind is going so fast. And then I remember there comes Andy’s voice, and he says, Come back to your breath. And I remember I still remember this clearly that I didn’t have to do anything. My I just was there and I thought, Oh, there it is.

[00:53:21] Yeah, that’s that’s what we’re looking for. And so that was amazing. And so whether you get it, when I was talking to these guys yesterday at this event, I said one of the simplest things I do and I do this before I go to bed every night and do it and have fun at church, I’m waiting for something to happen or whatever on. I count one on the breath and I count two on the out breath and then three on the breath, and I just try to get the ten. And it is amazing how some days I can’t see you’re getting to four or five six, then you’re thinking about things. And when you notice you’re thinking, you just notice it, oh, I’m noticing that I am not counting and you come back to counting and some days you’re at 15 or 16 and you just blew right past 10. But I feel like that’s a nice practice that is breathing to lower your heart rate and then noticing thought and coming back to present.

[00:54:02] Yeah, yeah, it’s beautiful. And I love that getting to that point, like once we understand, I didn’t even mention some. Like all of the interesting things, I’ll throw that out now. Like, yeah, we process like faces that are showing negative emotion faster than we process faces. They’re showing positive emotion like we are constantly looking for problems. Our brain is like everywhere, looking for problems. If we can get away from that, if we can be present with ourselves, the breathing activities, we’re now mindfulness. I really like this definition. I think it came from the book was focusing your attention. Yeah. So focus your attention on things that are that matter are important to you. Like the chance of you and I sitting here in a car, coming through your office and wiping us out is next to nil. So I don’t need to be in my fight or flight right now, is it possible, I guess, but it’s so infinitesimally low that. And even if it did happen, how what am I going to do? No, it’s going to hit and it’s going to be over.

[00:54:59] Well, it’s funny and I love your example, too. There’s a I share the wall with Dr. Nick the chiropractor, and when I start to podcast right now at seven thirty six and I have to turn the white noise machine back on. And so I find that anything after seven, I will notice that I am starting to worry about Dr. Nick showing up, and I don’t have the white noise machine on and then I and I’ve had to do it while we’re talking. And then I notice it and I bring up myself back to the present. Now, if I hear his door open, I’m going to go running out of the room to go turn the white noise machine on. But I just like that example where it’s I am. It’s almost as if I am looking for trouble and I’m looking for something. What if Dr. Nick comes in? What if that happens? What if? And it’s like, Ah, interesting. I’m noticing that I am going there and then back to present with you.

[00:55:41] Yes. So all of this about is trying to chill our brain. Our brain will drive us crazy. And if you think of, I sometimes use the example of like a wild stallion, like just a free like horse. Yeah, they’re very powerful and they’re very beautiful. I think that that’s a little bit like our brains. If you can get them and break them of there and do and have them do what you want it to do, yeah, you can do incredible things with it. If you just let it do what it wants to do and you’re on its back, it’s going to go crazy. That’s good, and you’re going to feel completely out of control because you’re not in control. If your brain is just doing all of this preprogramed stuff, which is not good for us.

[00:56:23] No. And then once we recognize that we are reacting, then that’s the opportunity. We have to then take action in a different direction. Nate, I think our goal is the standard now or I think we went over, but I think it was, Oh dang, I’m sorry. No, I think it was gold, my friend. Yeah. Nate Christianson, thanks for coming back here on the fourth time and want to have a fifth plane soon? Go find Nate’s podcast Working Change and reach out with questions, comments, your thoughts. And if you’re interested in working with Nate, how did they get ahold

[00:56:50] Of you so they can reach out to me and my email? Nate Christianson counseling at Gmail

[00:56:55] Or send me a message.

[00:56:56] Yeah, it might be easier with Tony because there’s so many spellings of christiansen and like, there’s a lot of potential errors.

[00:57:02] So just go through contact form Antonio dot com and I’ll forward things to Nate and have an amazing, wonderful Thanksgiving. Have fun with your 10 hours on the treadmill. Oh boy. And taking us out, as per usual, the wonderful, talented aurora Florence with her son. It’s wonderful.

[00:57:17] And I was. Compressed emotions flying.

[00:57:27] So sent out the other end, the pressures of the daily grind, it’s wonderful. And plastic waste and rubber ghost, I’m floating past the midnight hour. They push.

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