Does it ever feel like you’re getting in your own way?
Though we have more convenience, entertainment and abundance than ever before in human history, it’s clear that our collective mental health is struggling.
But here’s the good news. We can actually reprogram our brain to break toxic habits, overcome trauma and optimize our mental health.
Ready to learn how?
I’m grateful that returning to the show today is Dr. Caroline Leaf, a Communication Pathologist, Audiologist, Psycho-Neurobiologist, Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscientist, podcast host, as well as the best-selling author of a number of books, including her latest book, “How To Help Your Child Clean Up Their Mental Mess” and it’s excellent.
Dr. Leaf was one of the very first in her field to study neuroplasticity and how the brain can change with directed mind input. And today she’s here sharing her findings from her research along with tools you can use to help yourself and your family calm emotions, heal traumas and optimize mental health for a lifetime.
On this show with Dr. Caroline Leaf, we’re talking about:
- How to train ourselves to tune in and rewire the networks of our brain in 5 easy steps
- How to help children and teenagers work through traumas and overcome mental health issues
- Powerful benefits of enjoying routine activities as a family
- How to use play, drawing, writing and the creative arts to correct unhealthy thought trees in our minds and brains
- Why the biomedical model of mental health has made things worse over the past 4+ decades (and what to do about it)
- And tons more…
Let’s go hang out with Dr. Caroline Leaf.
Where To Find Dr. Caroline Leaf'If we're going to help with the mental health crisis that we have in children today, we have to start with ourselves.' ― Dr. Caroline Leaf @DrCarolineLeaf Click To Tweet
Dr. Leaf’s brand new book “How To Help Your Child Clean Up Their Mental Mess” is now available for purchase from all major bookstores including, ChristianBook, BAM, Barnes&Noble, Amazon, Baker Book House, Target, Audible and more.'It's okay to be a mess, but how can we manage our mess?' - Dr. Caroline Leaf @DrCarolineLeaf Click To Tweet
Dr. Caroline Leaf also created the first ever brain detox app called NeuroCycle, where she gives you therapy to manage stress, anxiety, depression and toxic thinking, walking you through the 5-Step NeuroCycle process right in the palm of your hand, and even has a parent add-on.'What can we do today to make us feel better?' - Dr. Caroline Leaf @DrCarolineLeaf Click To Tweet
'We have to feel it to heal it. If you numb it, you don't fix it' - Dr. Caroline Leaf @DrCarolineLeaf Click To Tweet
If you haven’t read Dr. Leaf’s other bestselling books, be sure to check them out, they are fantastic. You can get Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess, 101 Ways To Be Less Stressed, The Perfect You, Switch On Your Brain, Think Learn Succeed, Think & Eat Yourself Smart and more on her website at DrLeaf.com or from your favorite bookstore.'Why are we using a system that doesn't work and makes things worse?' - Dr. Caroline Leaf @DrCarolineLeaf Click To Tweet
Alright, here’s the full conversation with Dr. Leaf.
Understanding the Mind-Brain-Body Connection
Abel: Welcome back, folks. Returning to the show today is Dr. Caroline Leaf. Dr. Leaf is a Communication Pathologist, Audiologist, Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscientist, podcast host, as well as the bestselling author of a number of books, including her latest, “How To Help Your Child Clean Up Their Mental Mess.”
Dr. Leaf was one of the first in her field to study neuroplasticity, or how the brain can change with directed mind input.
Dr. Leaf, thank you so much for joining us once again.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: So good to see you again, Abel. Thank you for having me back on your show.
Abel: Absolutely. I enjoyed reading through your most recent book, and one thing I wanted to start with because you hear so many people talk about the mind-body connection, and yes, very important, but they skip over the brain part.
So maybe you can talk about how you spend a lot of time focusing on the mind, brain and body, as kind of separate units that are obviously connected, but you can’t skip over the brain.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: Absolutely, not so. So that’s very insightful, and you’re quite right.
People either talk about the mind and the brain as one thing, or they talk about the mind-body and forget all about the brain.
So it’s 3 things, mind, brain and body.
And we call that psycho-neurobiology.
So I’m also a psycho-neurobiologist, which is the field of research that I’m in, where I look at the connection between the 3 and how they work together, and how they work backwards and forwards and influence each other and that kind of thing.
So mind is, do you want to define the difference? Shall I define?
Abel: That would be great, yeah.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: Ok, perfect.
So the easiest and also most difficult to understand is mind.
So mind is our aliveness.
The fact that we can communicate today, that your viewers and listeners are able to process our conversation, the fact that you do what you do, the fact that you’re alive and can process.
Aliveness is our mind.
Our mind enables us to be alive and to experience everything about life that we experience.
Without our mind, we’re dead.
So that’s mind. It drives our functionality, it drives our experiences, it drives our body, it drives how the brain works, and it drives how the body works.
So the mind is essentially embodied in the brain and the physical body.
And the brain is easy to understand. It’s a physical organ that is very complex.
People often say it works like a computer. It’s way more intelligent than a computer.
At this stage, even AI only really simulates the functionality of the level of equivalent of one neuron.
And we have 80 to 100 billion, and we don’t even understand that. So the brain is very complex, but the brain is only as functional or effective or useful, and the body, as we have our mind under control.
Ok, so in other words, the mind is the driving force of how the brain and body function. If we died, the mind is not working, therefore the brain is disintegrating and so is the body.
But if the mind is alive, we can talk, we can communicate. We are making 800 to a million new cells every second.
We are driving our heart, it’s pumping blood. All of this is driven by our mind, our genes working, our lungs working. Everything about us is driven by mind.
But the mind can’t work alone.
The mind needs a physical substrate.
And the two physical substrates are the brain and the body.
And then how the three show up. When the three connect, that’s when we show up as humans in life.
So at the moment us talking is us showing up. It’s a mind-brain-body connection that’s enabling us to show up and have this conversation.
Abel: But we’re still at the mercy of our brains and the patterns that are running in there, and how it’s been programmed from childhood.
And so, you hear a lot of people talk about mind over body, where you can just overcome your limitations with brute force, but our brain doesn’t necessarily allow us to do that without doing some longer term work, right?
Dr. Caroline Leaf: Absolutely. And you’re quite right.
There’s been so many fallacies around and myths around that have actually really caught people’s attention.
Things like “The Secret” at one stage, that book that sold, I don’t know, 30 million or something. Books saying that, “Oh, we can just attract things to ourselves.”
And it’s not in brute force, as you said, it’s not quite that simple.
What it is is that the mind does drive the brain and the body, and the brain and the body do respond to other responders. They’re not the driving force.
It’s like if you turn on a light, the light doesn’t turn itself on. You turn the light on.
So the light is not self-generating. The brain and body are not self-generating. They are reliant on the mind.
But as you quite rightly say, we are from childhood, we are experiencing things that we are through our mind, that are being built into the brain as networks.
And those become very alive, very dynamic patterns that are organically growing daily as we are relying on them in this mind-brain-body connection way.
And the more we use them, the more we think about those patterns, the more we operate in those patterns, they organically grow and they get stronger.
And so therefore, just shear brute force willpower, imagining this, visualizing, those will not do the trick on their own.
You have to be very organized and sequenced in how you rewire the networks of your brain and the changes inside every cell of your body with your mind.
So your mind does the work, your brain and body respond, but it takes time to unwire, you know, what we have wired in.
And it’s not only in our brain, it’s in our every cell of our body.
So brain and body collectively we have 37 to 100 trillion cells.
So every time we, like this conversation is building into our mind as these gravitational fields and electromagnetic light forces also building into our brain as tree-like networks, also building into every cell of those 37 to 100 trillion cells of our brain and body collectively as changes in the DNA, and well sort of the switches on top of the DNA as well as in this, what we call the cytoskeleton of every cell that kind of holds the cell together.
We have changed memories being built in there, different to the brain, but still a memory.
And that’s why I say the mind embodies.
So memories are built in clusters that cluster together in the brain in thought trees, cluster together inside the cells as changes in the cytoskeleton, cluster together as fields inside the mind.
And all of that together is driving how we function.
So it takes time to reorganize that whole process.
And so one attempt or two attempts, or even, you know we hear the myth of 21 days to form a habit.
It was just an idea put forward by a plastic surgeon back in the ’60s of something he observed with certain healing taking place after surgery.
And he was right to the extent that our physical body makes stem cells from some cutting from surgery in clusters of 3 weeks.
And then he immediately said, “Oh, then that means our mind heals in 3 weeks,” which was the wrong deduction, but it entered popular myth.
And even so, even 21 days is not going to re-change things.
It requires very organized, very directed, mind-driven neuroplasticity over specific sequences, over specific groupings of time in order to rewire.
And even then, you can’t eliminate what’s happened to you. You can’t change because whatever has happened to you has happened. It’s your story.
But you can change what it looks like inside of you and how it plays out into your future.
Ok, so it’s not as simple as, “I just think of this and I attract it to me,” or whatever. It’s not quite like that.
So good for the insightful question and statement you made there.
Abel: Thank you. And there’s a downside to neuroplasticity, which is happening all the time.
It’s very empowering that we can kind of rebuild our brains and our patterns, but at the same time, if we don’t manage it or we don’t take an active approach to knowing that it can run away from us, all of a sudden, you mentioned in your book, unmanaged stress of adults becomes the unmanaged stress of children.
And this is something that we don’t often realize is happening.
Children are very astute.
They notice when you’re frazzled and you’re out of it before you do oftentimes. And so maybe you can speak to that a little bit.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: Absolutely. It’s such a good question.
95% of what is going on in our environment daily—from the time we wake up till the time we go to sleep, from day one when we’re born, till whatever age you’re at now—95% of everything that’s going on around us is going into our brain and body and mind on a non-conscious level, which is a very intelligent level.
We are designed as humans to take in our environment in order to survive.
But a lot of what we take in in our environment is maybe not so good for us.
So that affects us.
And then our mind-brain-body connection is very much on our side, and it works to protect us.
So our mind-brain-body connection looks and evaluates pretty much when we’re sleeping and also while we’re awake.
What have we focused on and what are we wiring in?
What’s going in that’s good for us?
What’s bad for us?
Let’s get rid of that.
And we get this communication happening, and we can train ourselves to tune in and rewire that and change that.
So to come to your question, ok, I just wanted to lay that foundation.
So you specifically just remind me of the question again.
Abel: Well, the unmanaged stress of adults become the stress of children. They notice it first, but then it does rub off on them as well.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: Ok, thank you.
So our children, they are non-consciously, 95% of what’s going on in the environment, including how you are feeling as an adult, as a parent, as a caregiver, whatever you are, is going to be picked up by that child.
If you don’t explain why you, obviously on the level that they’re on, why you are feeling the way you are or reacting the way that you are, your children will take that into themselves and think, “Ok, my mom is anxious or my dad is anxious.”
They may not say those words, but “There’s something wrong, must be something I’ve done.”
So the younger they are, the more they will think it’s something they’ve done.
And even older children will think that, too, but they’re able to reason a little bit more, and think, “Well, maybe there’s another reason.”
But generally a child will then, they think it’s their fault. That’s the one aspect.
The other aspect is they’ve picked up your stress.
So, they basically wire that in, and therefore they start feeling it, but they don’t understand it.
And that’s why they very often look to be the cause to themselves.
And that’s why it’s so important that we as adults, it’s probably the single most important first step if we’re going to help with the mental health crisis that we have in children today, and there’s many reasons for that, which maybe we can talk about.
We have to start with ourselves.'If we're going to help with the mental health crisis that we have in children today, we have to start with ourselves.' ― Dr. Caroline Leaf @DrCarolineLeaf Click To Tweet
And I often get asked this question, if I had to solve the mental health crisis in children, they ask, “Where would you start?”
And it would be related to your question.
It would be starting with the adult.
Because of the fact that the children are picking up on our stress and our reactivity and the way we are running our lives.
And they’re using that as a model for their life.
We’re suppressing or pretending things are ok when they know it’s not ok, as you said they’re very astute. That’s the model.
They’ll start, “Ok, well, then I must hide how I feel. I mustn’t feel those things. I must suppress them. It must be something wrong with me.”
And it creates a whole lot of mess inside the mind-brain-body connection which affects mental health.
Abel: And especially post-pandemic. A lot of us are spending more time online than ever.
And you mentioned in your book, as well, more time online pretty much equals increased loneliness and isolation, which the adults are dealing with, children as well.
Some of that has been corrected to some degree in the time sense, but much of it is still a mess, as you say.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: It is and there’s such a lot of debates around social media and technology and things, and there’s so many good aspects to it, too.
Thank goodness, we can talk via technology.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: It is the aspect. At least during the pandemic, going online helped people to actually have contact with other people.
So there wasn’t that physical, but at least there was that contact.
But if we get into that pattern, we do, as humans need not to just have technical contact. We need that physical contact, too.
So, on the one hand, the isolation was helped with technology over the pandemic, as we know, having Zoom calls and connecting and whatever.
But to have that as a pattern of behavior is not the healthiest, because there are very special dynamics that happen when we physically are face-to-face with a person.
I mean, you know yourself, Abel, when you do an interview with someone live versus like this, it’s a whole different dynamic.
Abel: It is.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: It’s a whole different conversation and that kind of thing. It’s just different things that happen. And we need that.
And yes, isolation accounts for I think it’s almost 50% of the cardiovascular issues that we’re seeing in our country.
And it’s like crazy that the surgeon general released a report, I actually interviewed him about this on the, basically the problem of loneliness.
And people are talking about this all the time.
But loneliness is not just from the pandemic, and it’s not just from social media.
Loneliness has also come from the philosophies that we adopted around 40 years ago. Which was that we’re kind of almost seen as machines.
Because of the advent of technology and seeing inside the brain, there was this very neuro-reductionistic focus on, well, the brain is what’s driving our humanity, which it actually isn’t.
It’s only playing a part in that process.
The mind is the bigger part.
But if you just look at the brain, it’s a physical thing.
You think, “Ok, well if something is wrong with a person’s functionality, then I can just fix a part of the brain that’s causing that.”
And it isn’t quite that simple.
But that’s been the philosophy and that’s also contributed to a lot of the isolation, a lot of the mental health challenges and things.
And a lot of the people trying to find some level of satisfaction and things on social media and that kind of thing because it’s driven people to basically think, “Well, if there’s something wrong with me, there’s something wrong with my brain and I can’t do anything about that.”
So we see a huge wave across TikTok and all kinds of things of people saying, “My ADHD. My depression, my this.”
It’s very biomedical, it’s very reductionistic, and it’s almost dehumanizing.
But it’s an attempt to try and connect.
It’s attempt to try and understand, but we’ve gone about it the wrong way.
So that’s contributed a lot, to misuse, mismanagement off from social media and all these things.
If we don’t manage our mind, we’ll mismanage everything that comes after.
Abel: Right, and the way that a lot of the modern end, internet and social media specifically is engineered, is to take advantage of the subconscious part of our brains, largely. And our brains being essentially comparison engines.
Or at least we’re wired to look around and see where we stand and whether someone is in a one-up position or one down.
Sometimes that’s something that even though it’s normalized for most people to spend some time looking at that, the dehumanization or the kind of propping up of your own position and idealizing your own life, putting the best version on Instagram or TikTok is something that wouldn’t happen as much if we were able to spend time in the same room where our brains are processing, “Yeah, this person says that they have a perfect life, but I can even pick up a little bit of anxiety from them that’s rubbing up on me right now.”
And so maybe you can speak a little bit about making sure that families and humans in general do prioritize at least some amount of in the same room activity with each other, which is very important for our brains, bodies and our minds.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: Oh, absolutely.
Totally, and that interaction as we’ve just said, that family time, it should be just like if a child is seeing friends during the week to try and make sure that is every week and that it is a certain amount of time.
And it’s just planning your life around, “We are going to eat dinner together.”
Or, “We are going to do this together.”
“We’re going to go on the weekend and do this together.”
“We are going to have 10 minutes where we just physically together.”
It’s just making that decision to do that and to get into that routine, it is extremely important.
And once you start doing it, it’s so satisfying that it’s really easy to do it, you know.
It’s like, we have various routines we set up, we always go for a walk at like 6:00 in the morning with our dogs on the beach and whoever is with us.
We’ve got four adult children, and two that are married and we’ve always got, whoever is with us comes with us.
So it’s sort of just making decisions to prioritize.
Over meal time we’ll sit together.
And most of us, we’re all talking about this now. So it’s really good that we are mentioning these kinds of things.
What I want to just mention, as well, related to this is, it’s the mind that’s making all these decisions.
So the brain is very reliant on the mind.
So it’s not that our brain is driving us. I know that it’s so easy to think it’s the brain that’s driving us.
It’s actually the mind-brain-body connection driven by mind that is driving us.
So we as humans are, we’re messy and messiness is ok as long as we manage it, but there’s a level of messiness that’s very normal, which is like, we don’t quite know what’s coming up.
We don’t quite know what’s coming up in the next conversation.
We may get into a face-to-face conversation over dinner, physically with our family and have an argument or whatever, because we don’t quite know and then we resolve it.
There’s all this, this messiness of unpredictability, of human responses and humanity and that kind of thing. That is all mind stuff.
It’s not that we are driven by a network in our brain.
What is happening is that we have a network that has been set up in the mind-brain-body connection.
So we try and talk about it as mind-brain-body connection, that there’s a network being driven.
But your mind, if it’s a messy network, you’ll operate in a messy way.
So if you’re always used to just getting triggered by that person and you start snapping back and that’s just what you’ve done for so long.
It can feel like the brain is driving you, that’s often the language we use.
But what’s actually happening is it’s the mind-brain-body connection network that has been established between the three that is to a certain extent in your non-conscious, not even your subconscious.
So subconscious is just a portal, it’s a doorway.
That is in essence driving you, but if you just stand back into your wise mind and you observe yourself and you observe your behavior, “Hey, I got triggered again by that same situation and I never, I don’t want to do it. And I keep telling myself I’m not going to do it, and I’m triggered again when they say it in this way and they do this or they do that, or my kids do this, and I’m reacting that same way.”
It’s not our brain that’s driving us, it’s the mind-brain-body connection that’s driving us.
Standing back and observing it, immediately gives you a level of autonomy over that situation and enables you to then say, “Oh ok, well this is how I’m functioning on my emotions and behaviors and perspectives and how my body feels, but look at the impact. Do I want this impact?”
And that, what I’m saying now, just stand back and observe and the analysis type thing, that’s mind work.
That is the mind saying,”Ok, this is the pattern that’s wired into my brain, and if I don’t watch it, that’s what’s going to drive me. But I can actually stand back and observe myself and I can decide I don’t want that anymore. I really do want this relationship to improve. I don’t want to be triggered constantly.”
But that’s mind work.
It’s wise mind working with messy mind to look at the mind-brain-body network that is driving us in the wrong direction.
And that may sound elaborate, but it’s actually quite important that we realize that because it gives us a sense of empowerment that I’m not my brain.
There’s almost this thing that when you say the word “brain,” people feel, “Oh gosh. Ok, I have no control. It’s this high functioning thing, and if it’s broken, that’s it. I’ve just got to learn. I’m just, my brain is this program thing.”
But it’s not.
I want to tell people that your brain is constantly changing.
And this is a big part of the work that I did back in the ’80s and have continued.
I still do clinical trials and the hope is that, “Oh, well, if our brain is always changing, what changes it?”
Why is our mind changing our brain?
Because your mind’s helping you experience life.
And if this is happening all day long, can I drive the direction of the change?
That is the nice thing to know.
And if I don’t drive the direction of change, what happens?
Well, I’m going to keep repeating the same patterns.
And the hope is this beautiful thing that you want to teach kids from very young.
And that modeling thing that, everything you’ve asked up to this point is a situation of us literally being able to stand back and observe our own functioning, our own thinking, our own words, our own all those things, and say, “Well, if I don’t change this, I make it stronger. I’m practicing it. I’m getting more triggered down the line. I’m going to be more reactive to my kids down the line. I’m going to be more anxious and more stressed and make my kids more stressed or whatever. Or I could change it.”
That’s the beauty of understanding the mind-brain-body connection and mind-driven neuroplasticity.
Abel: Well, maybe you can speak a little more specifically to the trauma response, which we’re kind of talking around a little bit.
But you mentioned trauma reorders neural networks, thoughts and sensory pathways so that a person’s mind, body, and brain will continue to respond as if they were in a really dangerous situation, even if they’re not anymore.
And so oftentimes we might realize that this is happening a little bit, but probably we don’t realize the amount that it’s happening and how often it’s happening, the degree to which it’s happening.
And we also might not know how to correct that over time, which you offer a lot of solutions in your work.
So maybe we can talk about that next.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: Yeah, that’s a great question. And it’s a good one to bounce off what we have been saying.
So all our responses, everything that we’re experiencing is changing on mind-brain-body connection.
As I said, everything’s always changing.
So if it’s a healthy experience, we’re going to have a healthy response. We’re going to wire in a healthy network.
You know, here’s a healthy looking tree that I’ve got over here, which is kind of representing what thoughts look like because our experience has become thoughts.
This conversation is becoming a thought in your brain that looks like a tree.
Or we can have an unhealthy experience. And here, I’ve got a toxic looking tree.
So, and it also wires into your brain.
This is proteins and chemicals and vibrations and all that good stuff.
And the great news is that we can change. We are not stuck in either of these responses.
Now this is a great response. Whenever you have something that is good and wonderful, like this conversation is healthy, you want to really focus on the stuff here and build this into your life and grow it. Think about all that stuff.
So whenever you have something great, you want to grow that, you want to think about it more and that kind of thing. So that response is a good response.
But this is a trauma. So this could be bullying at school or this could be an abusive relationship, or this could be something going on at work, or this could be a political socio-economic situation or poverty or racism, or that’s broad, but down to the specific thing that a person’s going through.
It’s still an experience, it’s still processed by the mind into the mind-brain-body connection.
But now this is distorted proteins and genes that are, things that are vibrations inside the proteins, which are the information not functioning well.
So this is a branch of memories that are not healthy and will produce the trauma response.
So if you think of a plant or a tree, they have a root system, a trunk and branches.
The actual original experience, the traumatic experience, like the abuse, whatever it may be, would be the roots.
It’s the source, it’s the origin story, it’s the what happened.
And it’s all the memories, all the details. And they cluster together.
That then is processed by the individual’s unique way that they think, feel and choose according to their age.
So if it’s a child of maybe two or three that’s abused or something, whatever age we’re at, we are going to interpret this based on who we are in that moment.
And that then produces how we understand what has happened to us. And that’s what the branches are.
This is all the, how I see myself, how I’m thinking about myself, my emotions related to this, my self-talk, how I’m going to function.
And in this combination is how we then show up in life as a human connecting with others.
And this may be a child who’s maybe difficult at school, can’t concentrate, is fighting with other kids. Or an adult who can’t form relationships or stay in a relationship long enough or doesn’t have enough trust because of what they’ve seen and what they experienced and all kinds of things.
So there is this part over here, this experience, this part over here produces that trauma response. And we can categorize the trauma response into different levels.
And it’s, fight or flight that everyone’s heard about, and there’s four different types of trauma responses. Flight, fight, freeze and fawn.
And there’s probably more, but they categorize it into that. So that’s the general category.
So if you are in a situation that triggers something like this, so maybe you’d push this down and you don’t deal with it and it’s not processed and it’s causing disruption in the brain and body because this is not only in the brain, it’s in the body too in a different form. It’s in the mind in a different form.
And if it’s never goes away, it builds and it builds and eventually it’ll explode in your life in some form or another.
Extreme levels of reactions that make you feel extremely depressed or whatever.
So we have to deal with this, but it often takes a long time, because in the moment this produced a coping mechanism, which was maybe the flight or fright or freeze or fawn.
Fawn, for example, would be something like people-pleasing, because that’s how you coped. That’s how the child got through the day and got through their life at that time.
But the trauma responses aren’t necessarily sustainable. So they start showing up in cracks in our day-to-day life.
And those “cracks,” for want of a better word, or those disruptions in our life are the things that we need to look at.
And we can train ourselves, as adults, we can train, my youngest patients who are 2 and 3 years of age, you can teach this to a child to be able to stand back and observe our emotions.
How am I showing up? And that “how I show up” is in a cluster of four categories…
1 – My emotions, how I’m feeling.
2 – What does this feel like in my body?
3 – My behaviors in terms of what I’m saying and doing and how I’m saying and doing that and the all the when, what, where the details around that.
4 – And then the perspective of my life, attitude, how I’m looking at life in that moment.
So in each of those four categories, there’s lots of information that we can take. You can break that down into lots and lots of detail that’s applicable in that moment.
But we can teach ourselves that essentially, we can do one of two things. We can stay in that trauma response and have that and that trauma response is coming from this whole thing and it’s just going to get worse and more invasive in our life as life goes on.
And it won’t just stay in one area. It’ll cross over into multiple areas, which a lot of people can talk about and eventually everyone crashes because these are volcanic in nature, they will explode eventually.
Or, we can actually say, “Right, ok, I’m going to go through a process of observing how I am showing up, looking at the particular patterns that are the most dominant and starting to break those down, deconstructing them and reconstructing them.”
“I can’t change that abuse that happened, but I can change that wiring.”
You can change that, what that network looks like inside of your brain. So instead of it being that ugly tree and this very erratic pattern in your mind and actually damage proteins inside the cells, you can actually change that.
And that’s mind work to change the body and the brain.
And it’s that that I’ve spent my life’s work understanding, the stuff that I’ve tried to explain as simply as I can is, how do you take the good stuff and grow it and build more good stuff in to optimize functioning and build resilience and unmask resilience and all that stuff.
And how do you find the toxic stuff that are the patterns in our life that are disruptive from the experiences that we’ve had, and the 95% of stuff that we don’t even know we are absorbing but we’ve just never actually known how to deal with these things popping up in our mind that we think, “Wow, where did that come from?”
Well, it’s come from some experience you’ve had.
We can then start training ourselves as a lifestyle to focus on those things that are disruptive and then slowly but surely follow a mind-driven neuroplasticity system to change that.
And that we can do.
That’s what my life’s work has been.
You can actually do that, which is amazing. It’s hard, it takes time, but it’s very doable.
Abel: And some of it involves play, drawing, writing, creative arts, especially for kids, but for adults as well.
So maybe you can talk about what we can do over time to correct some of these unhealthy trees in our minds and brains.
How To Do a NeuroCycle and Rewire Your Brain in 5 Simple Steps
Dr. Caroline Leaf: Absolutely, absolutely. So I’ll give you the cliff notes version because there’s all the detail in the book.
And I’ve got an app as well called the NeuroCycle app where I literally give you therapy and walk you through the process. We’ve got a parent add-on in there.
Abel: Yes. That’s right.
So I’ll give you the big cliff notes version and then show you what we’ve got to help parents with children to make it even easier.
We’ve got a couple of tools that go with that book.
Ok, so essentially what we want to do is, we want to learn how to stand back and observe ourselves.
So when we are in a situation and we, let’s say the child comes home and they’re throwing a tantrum or they’re withdrawing to the room if they’re older kids or even younger kids, or they won’t eat or whatever behavior change.
Now, in the moment, we all have bad days. So if it’s just a one-off thing, you can still use the system I’ve developed to help manage that one-off moment. That’s easy to fix.
So the system I’ve developed to help do this and I’m going to explain what the system is, I’m giving you the big picture then I’ll dive into the detail.
The system I’ve developed called the NeuroCycle.
It’s not replacing therapy or anything that you’re already doing, it’s just showing you how to put all the things you already do into the right order so that you can rewire the brain like we discussed at the beginning of this interview.
So if there’s an in the moment situation that you need to handle now, it’s not a pattern, it’s just an in the moment situation, you still want to use that and give the children and yourself as adults the tools to manage that situation so it doesn’t develop into a problem.
Ok, so that’s very important.
So you can use the NeuroCycle in the moment and then you can also use the NeuroCycle when you identify something good, you can build it as well and you can use the NeuroCycle for those trauma responses we were speaking about.
So it’s got multiple applications.
You can even use it for learning schoolwork and learning university or learning new work in your work environment.
Because all it is, is a system for how you’re going to get stuff into your brain in the best way and into your body to make your brain and body healthy and to make the mind-brain-body connection healthy.
And it’s also how you can look at the patterns in your life that are disruptive to your daily functioning in your relationships and so on, and just and breaking those down. So that’s the big picture.
Ok, so time-wise, let’s start with the trauma stuff.
Let’s say that there is a big trauma, there is a pattern in your life. You don’t even know what the trauma is or maybe you do know what the trauma is, but you’re still stuck. Ok.
Either way, you’re not going to fix that in one day or 21 days, like we already said.
What the research has shown, and I still do research in this area. I’ve got papers, scientific papers that I published. We’re busy finishing off one at the moment. We just finished one recently. In other words, this is science.
This thing is scientifically based and still being researched.
But what we see from the research is it takes between 60 days to around about 250 days, and even more to be able to rewire that mind-brain-body connection from that trauma response.
So the more complex, the more intensive, the more time intensive that the trauma was, then generally it takes longer to heal.
Fortunately, if you were, let’s say an abuse happened for five years, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to take you 5 years to heal.
It’s going to take you a lifetime to deal with the little things that come up, but you can get to a place of healing within around about 250 days, which is almost a year.
You’re going to get to a point where you feel like you’ve got that big trauma under control.
Also, more good news is every grouping of time, which is around about the these 60-day blocks, you’re going to feel massive change.
So you’re not going to feel, so let’s say it’s a really big thing, and the first block of 60 days where you do the NeuroCycle daily in this planned and guided way, you’ll feel, definitely feel a positive change, but you’ll still feel like something needs to be done.
And then you do another one and another one.
Each one is going to reveal another level to you.
And it becomes a lifestyle journey.
Because as I said, so many of these things, depending on how long it’s gone for, has maybe interfered with other areas of your life.
In addition, life still happens.
So in addition to the trauma that you potentially experience, you’ve had others since then.
So they kind of get woven in and whatever.
So in other words, we are always working on something, and it might not always be such a huge thing. It might be just a bad habit that we’ve developed.
Now you’re teaching people how to eat well, and that takes six cycles of 63 days, and maybe even multiple cycles of up to 250 days, which is almost a year, sometimes 2 years, to get someone into a healthy way of managing their physical health.
I mean, you know that from your experience, and we know that it’s not a simple thing to just change.
Ok, so then what do you do each day, or in the moment, if it’s an in the moment situation?
Well, what is the NeuroCycle?
So the NeuroCycle is a 5-step process that’s preceded by a bit of brain preparation.
It’s very scientific. I’m going to simplify it.
There’s a whole bunch of science in this book. But in the children’s book, I’ve made it really, really simple for the parents so that they can understand it for themselves and then how to explain it to kids.
Because as I said, you can teach kids as young as 2 about thought trees, and I mean, they understand this stuff pretty well.
So first, you first prepare the brain.
Why do you need to prepare the brain? And you’ve got to prepare the mind-brain-body connection, not just the brain.
If you’re worked up, if your child comes home from school and they’re worked up or you, they had a fight with a sibling, or there’s something going on, or you’ve just had a bad day, or you’ve just had an argument, or you’ve just read a bad email, your neurophysiology, your psycho-neurobiology is going to be a bit off-whack.
Then it’s really hard to concentrate, and that’s when we’re at our most reactive.
So we want to calm down those emotions and behaviors.
We want to get those signals under control.
We want to get our neurophysiology under control.
So that’s brain preparation.
Sometimes you’re in a really, really bad state, something bad has happened, and you may have to, in your brain preparation, do some decompression, and then a little brain preparation exercise.
So that always comes before. Don’t just try and dive into a NeuroCycle, because it’s very, it’s very, it’s quite hard work. It’s very easy, but it’s hard work.
And you’ve got to have your cognition, you’ve got to be consciously involved in the process, and very deliberate and intentional.
You don’t want to be in a reactive state.
So the kinds of brain prep that you could do are things like breathing.
And one of the most effective ways of breathing, we all know this, and it’s not something that people don’t know, there’s millions of breathing exercises out there, and I have lots of examples in my books, and my app, and so on, and great ones for kids.
A great one for parents and kids that’s quick, and that works, and it’s effective, is the 10-second pause.
So that’s breathing in for 3 counts, set your whole stomach, literally put your kids’ hands on their stomach like a balloon blowing up, and then you breathe out for 7.
But you’ve got to really force it out, that, “whew.”
And as you do that, 6 to 9 times, which is about 60 to 90 seconds, you’ll almost feel high.
You’ll be pushing a lot of oxygen to the front of your brain, which is evidence that your neurophysiology is getting under control.
Because we know from the science that when you’ve got this feeling at the front of your head, you’ve got good blood flow and oxygen which will help chemicals to calm down, and your stress axis, and all that kind of stuff, too. So there’s a lot of neurophysiology there.
Ok, so then you would move into the 5 steps.
The first one is gather awareness, the second one is to reflect, the third one is to write, the fourth to recheck, the fifth is an act of reach.
And each of these steps is doing the most phenomenal stuff in your brain.
So if you skip from step 1 to step 5 and you don’t do the 3 steps in between, you won’t get the same benefit. If you skip all first 4 and just do 1… in other words, you’ve got to do all 5.
They take you between, if you’re working on a pattern over time, so something that’s an established pattern, like a trauma response, I would recommend somewhere between 5 and 45 minutes a day.
5 for a child, but they get into this, and they can often go up to 15 minutes.
And up to 45 minutes max for an adult.
Not longer, because you’re not trying to solve it all today.
It’s solves bit by bit, you cannot solve it, and you cannot rewire it in a day.
You have to do a little bit each day, that’s the most effective way that doesn’t drain you.
Your brain gets tired, your conscious mind gets tired. Your non-conscious mind is never tired.
So you have to discipline yourself to give your brain and your conscious mind a rest. And that’s why I said limit the time.
So there’s a lot of science behind each of these principles that I’m telling you.
Gather awareness is very specific. If you think of the word gather, when I gather, there’s an indication that I’m choosing.
So I’m not just becoming aware, that would be more brain preparation. You know, all these awareness and mindful awareness, and all that kind of stuff.
That is to give you an analogy, awareness versus gather awareness. Here’s an analogy to understand that.
Let’s say that you’re a pilot. We all know we’ve all flown in a plane, and you see that there’s the engineers in there, then they go out, they’re doing a checklist, and then the co-pilot is filling in a checklist.
In other words, there’s preparation that’s being done. Ok, that would be your brain prep.
Then the pilot takes off, ok, and then as the pilot takes off, they’re flying into the air. That’s the awareness, ok.
That’s very specific to gathering awareness.
So the first one where you’re doing just the checking, you’re becoming aware, you’re going to fly. But as you take off, that’s gathering awareness. You’re specifically leaving at this time, from this place, very detailed. That’s what the gather awareness is versus just a general awareness.
Once you are gathering awareness—and I’m going to tell you how to do it now just to complete the analogy—if I stop there, I just become aware of, for example, I’m feeling like this or this is going on or I’m reacting like this and I don’t do anything else, I’m going to get worse.
That’s what the research and the science shows.
If I add a layer of “Oh, I feel,” and you say, “I feel these emotions,” and you stop there, you’re going to get worse.
So meditation alone and just identifying emotions alone will make you worse.
What’s the analogy?
It’s like if a pilot takes off but they don’t know how to fly the plane. What is going to happen? They’re going to crash. That’s what we see happening.
So what we have to do is become aware, then we have to gather awareness, then we have to fly the plane. We have to go beyond awareness.
And then we have to land the plane. The plane, it’s going to eventually run out of fuel. You can’t keep going.
So that’s the analogy around the NeuroCycle.
We prepare, we then take off, we then fly, and then we land.
So the taking off is this gathering awareness.
And to gather awareness, you take off, you become aware of your emotions, which are signals, they’re not sicknesses.
Depression is not a sickness, it’s a signal that’s giving you information.
You become aware of your behaviors, what you’re saying and what you’re doing and how you do it.
You’re going to become aware of your bodily sensations and you’re going to become aware of your perspective.
So it’s four questions that you ask yourself as an adult, for kids, you simplify it.
I have tables, I have graphs, I have a character called Brain-ee that we created, we’ve even got a little toy.
And you’ve seen throughout the book, Abel, that there are all these little image that come up all the time throughout the book.
So Brain-ee is a character. The child is learning to manage their brain, so they respond very well to that analogy.
Kids also love to play, so they can use the play therapy to say how they’re feeling and they can use the toy.
But also, Brain-ee is a superhero who walks the mental health journey with you and his superpower is the NeuroCycle.
And children respond very well to that concept. So that concept is throughout the book.
So that’s why you’ll see Brain-ee throughout the book. So if a child’s not reading yet, you can point to Brain-ee.
So every concept has a version of Brain-ee doing something that is linked to the concept. We even have a coloring book that’s got all these different scenarios that the kids can color in and draw.
It’s got a blank page on each page so you can make notes, you can draw extra things and so on. So that’s kind of the concept.
So when we talk about gathering awareness, there’s pictures of Brain-ee, for example, reaching up and pulling a branch off a tree, because what we’re doing is we’re becoming aware of our thought trees.
Because this is how we’re showing up. So we can say something like, you pick up the child from school and they’re feeling very sad and they’re throwing a tantrum and they kick in the back of the seat and they won’t talk to you, there’s a bunch of stuff going on there.
So you can say, “Oh, I see that you,” but if the child doesn’t respond to you identifying with him, you can say, “Oh, I see that Brain-ee is sad today, and Brain-ee is cross and Brain-ee is kicking the chair.”
So you’ve just identified behavior, you’ve identified an emotion, you’ve identified a perspective.
And you say, “Maybe Brain-ee’s got a sore foot or a sore tummy.”
Or maybe they’re hunched over, “Maybe Brain-ee’s got sore shoulders or something.”
Or you say, “I see you,” and you can actually label it for them, for the child if they’re young.
As, or depending, sometimes you’ll do it for them, sometimes once they understand the system, you can just prompt with questions.
And I give you tables in the book of the kinds of questions to ask.
The point is that there’s a picture of Brain-ee pulling down one branch of the tree, which is “How do I feel?”
Another branch of the tree, which is “How does this feel in my body?”
Another branch of the tree, “What am I saying and doing?”
Another branch of the tree, “How am I looking at life today?”
And I give you ideas to use boxes of cut-out pictures and sunglasses and all kinds of ways of making this super simple. You’ll see all the ideas.
But the essence there is that you’ve now, what this has done is it’s in the brain, you have disrupted that pattern, and before it gets worse.
And you are enabling and empowering you and the child to be able to manage what’s going on.
Because it’s all this high energy, and energy is never lost. It’s going to transfer.
So, the fact they’re kicking the seat and throwing a tantrum or not eating or whatever they’re doing. Or your teenager going to the room. Or you as an adult, shouting at your kids or shouting at your husband or wife or whatever.
That’s energy being transferred.
So we want to manage that energy. If we just leave, it’s just going to get worse.
This gathering awareness is saying, “Ok, I validate. I see you feel this way. I see.”
And that systematic process brings that thought into the conscious mind and neuroscientifically it weakens it.
So now you are getting autonomy, empowering yourself.
And then you’d move through the other steps. I’ll go through them very quickly.
Reflect. The reflect is now taking, ok, those four signals, let’s think about why.
I wonder why Brain-ee’s got a sore tummy? Why is Brain-ee kicking the chair?
Or, “Why you’ve got a sore tummy?”
You know, like it’s starting to ask the questions, and then they would either answer, or you may have to, depending on where they’re at in the emotional state, or whatever, but eventually they’ll get to the point.
Sometimes you answer, sometimes they answer, sometimes it’s a combination.
And with yourself, you obviously want to do this with yourself, too.
You’ve got to teach yourself to do this, so you practice on yourself first and use it for yourself first and that kind of thing. Then you would write that down.
So now, let’s say that you’re in the car and you’re driving, you obviously can’t write that down, but you could have a piece of paper or a little notebook in the car with some crayons or something, and say, “Do you want to just draw a picture for me while we’re driving home of how you’re feeling and where you saw whatever?”
And that keeps them occupied, even if it’s scribbles all over the page.
Or if they’re older and they can draw something or they just write words or if they don’t want to, that’s also ok.
The third step though is writing.
Let’s say that you’re at home and you’re in an ideal situation, you’re at home then you can grab a notepad and I’d recommend getting those big art pads because there’s a lot of room to write on them and always date.
Date everything so you can track over time these patterns, because we forget stuff.
I mean, we forget when we saw this and when that happened. And if you start identifying an underlying trauma, there’s a good chance that you’re going to need therapy.
So the third stage is to write it down.
Now, that writing could be when they’re very young, dramatization, or it could be just scribbling or it could be drawings or it could be a combination of drawings and words, wherever they’re at.
You could even have a whiteboard or a blackboard or paint a wall in your house where you always do this kind of stuff, so that they know that that’s the safe space to go to.
The fourth step is to recheck.
And what you, in the recheck, you are in a very reflective mode where you are going back and looking at what have you written down.
Because what you wrote down is what you gathered awareness of and what you reflected on, plus more.
Because when you start writing, so much comes up because writing creates a whole different psycho-neurobiological reaction that enables you to start diving deep inside yourself.
So the recheck is, “This has happened, what can we do about it?”
What’s the antidote? What’s the pattern? What’s the trigger? With obviously age appropriate language, but it’s a very insightful step.
And then you close off, you land, that’s all the flying of the plane.
You land the plane with the last step, which is the active reach.
And that’s some kind of action that seals the deal for the day. Full stop at the end of the sentence kind of concept, and anchoring thing, which is aiming you to move in the right direction.
It’s a situation of, we can’t solve this all today but we saw that this is what happened.
“You’re very upset because little Johnny took your lunch at school today, or teased you about your new glasses.”
“And so, I understand that made you very sad.”
“We can’t fix this all today, but at least we know why you’re sad,” and you can give them comfort and all that.
That recheck enables you to do all this kind of interaction where you are helping them to feel that way.
And then you would move to something like, “Ok, what can we do today to make us feel better?”'What can we do today to make us feel better?' - Dr. Caroline Leaf @DrCarolineLeaf Click To Tweet
And something like, “Let’s look at all the really smart people that wear glasses.”
And you could maybe just pick up a magazine or go online and just go and Google “people that wear glasses.”
And show them, “Well, look at all these people,” that you know, it’s something so simple.
Then you can say, “Ok, if when you feel sad, just think of all those people that wear glasses.”
I mean, that’s how simple an active reach is.
It’s something that’s positive and constructive, that kind of wraps up the day and says, “We’ll do this some more this tomorrow, we’ll work on this.”
Because probably there’s more than just being teased for wearing glasses. There’s probably more to this picture, especially if there’s been a change in pattern in the child over a period of time that you’ve noticed that they’re not sleeping or whatever.
And I have, in the book, I have all these different chapters of different things. You can look for trauma and identity and social problems and labeling and things that can cause these big sort of patterns in our lives.
Same steps, but you’d help yourself.
So a quick example, let’s say that this pattern is happening in your children and you’ve got other children, and you’re working and you’re busy and life’s busy and whatever. It can be hard not to be reactive, you know?
Oh gosh, this is happening again. You just, “Can you just stop crying?” You know, we do all do that.
It’s ok to be a messy parent. We’ve got to give ourselves grace, but it’s not ok to stay messy. Big message.
It’s ok to be a mess, but how can we manage our mess?'It's ok to be a mess, but how can we manage our mess?' - Dr. Caroline Leaf @DrCarolineLeaf Click To Tweet
So let’s say that you do yell at the kid because they’re driving you nuts because you’ve got all these things. Again, just that, “Stop crying. I can’t handle it. I’ve got so much going on.”
You can then stop there, and say, “Ok, I’m so sorry.” Gather awareness of yourself.
Gather awareness. “I’m so sorry. I yelled. I said nasty things. I didn’t mean those, but I said them and I know that hurt you.”
So you talk about, “I felt frustrated. I said ugly things. I felt that this keeps going on and it made my tummy sore. And why did I do this? Because it keeps happening and I don’t understand why. You know what?”
And you can go to the blackboard.
“I think that something’s worrying you and I didn’t react right to you. I didn’t say the right thing. So I want to help you.”
And then you can recheck it and then do a little, “Ok, let’s practice a new way of functioning.”
You can do that in 1 minute with them.
You may have to do it with yourself before you even do that. There may be 3 stages.
There may be, “Let me just look away for a moment. Let me quickly run through these 5 steps and get myself to a place where I don’t yell anymore.”
Then you go over to the little analysis of yourself, then you go to the child, or whichever combination.
But that’s just an idea of kind of how it works.
Abel: That’s amazing. You’ve packed so much into this interview.
Maybe you can just speak in 60 seconds or less, about how this shows up in people’s lives as opposed to the route of labeling, diagnosing and then medicating, which may cover up the symptoms for a while, but it’s not really correcting much, right?
Dr. Caroline Leaf: No, and I have a whole chapter related to this.
So to give you the 62nd version, labeling and diagnosing and medicating mind stuff started around about 50, 60 years ago and grew into prevalence in the last 40 years.
And it’s one of the main factors that’s contributed to the increase in mental health problems in children, because it’s invalidating.
We can’t take the huge complexity of a situation that’s happening in a child’s life, even if we don’t think it’s complex, for the child it is very complex to be teased at school about a new pair of glasses.
There’s a lot of stuff involved there. And that could create a consistent pattern. You can’t just shove that in a label.
A label also implies diagnosis.
Diagnosis implies there’s an underlying biological cause.
So the whole model, biomedical model of mental health for the last 40 years, which has actually made things worse.
Research shows it’s made it worse.
This biomedical model is saying, the line between something like diabetes and depression has been blurred.
Depression is now seen as an illness.
Depression is not an illness.
Depression is one of the four warning signals that’s telling you something about what’s going on.
So if I just take your big story and shove it in a label, assuming there’s a neurobiological cause, which has been disproved by the way, it’s not a chemical imbalance, it’s not a biological cause. It’s life’s circumstances that have changed your brain, sure. And there’s a resultant change in our functioning, but that’s not the cause. That’s the result.
And yes, it will make you feel horrible and make the situation worse in a feedback loop, but you’ve got to go to the real source.
The real source is not a problem in the brain with your kid.
That real source is what’s going on in their life.
And so, just slapping a label on is initially comforting because you think, “Oh, this is why my child is like they are.”
But that’s an empty gift. You open it, now what?
And the child feels worse.
And the research shows they do get worse with the label and the medications aren’t fixing.
Medication, the implication of a medication is that it’s fixing, like insulin for diabetes type 1.
An antidepressant, or Ritalin, or a stimulant, that’s not fixing anything. It’s not putting back something that’s broken.
That’s that mechanistic thing I spoke about at the beginning.
All it’s doing is numbing the brain to the point where it seems like you feel better because you’re not feeling all that, “Ah.”
But we have to feel all that “Ah,” because that’s how we go through it.
We have to feel it to heal it.
If you numb it, you don’t fix it.'We have to feel it to heal it. If you numb it, you don't fix it' - Dr. Caroline Leaf @DrCarolineLeaf Click To Tweet
It’s like surgery. If you don’t get cut up, you can’t get healed. You have to get cut up, feel the pain, and then heal.
Learning a new sport, training yourself to eat differently. All these things are initially painful. We’ve got to apply, keep applying that principle back to the mind.
So, you know, that’s where the labeling side has been a disaster and is one of the main reasons that we see now 40 years later that mental health in children is worse.
I don’t think it’s all due to social media because every generation has had to deal with change.
The social media is not the problem. It’s how we’re managing social media. It’s how we’re looking at the impact of life on our children and how we’re teaching them to manage it.
You teach a child to manage mental health, you’re not going to see what we’re seeing.
And the last comment about that is, I know I’ve gone on longer than 60 seconds, but this is so scientifically relevant. That if this system of labeling and diagnosing and medicating or drugging—it’s actually a drug not a medication—worked, then we would see an improvement.
What we’ve been doing for 40 years should have led to an improvement if it was the right way.
But it’s not the right way because it’s not better. It’s worse than it’s ever been for children and adults.
So the system hasn’t worked and the science tells us the system hasn’t worked.
So we have to ask ourselves, “Why are we using a system that doesn’t work and makes things worse?”'Why are we using a system that doesn't work and makes things worse?' - Dr. Caroline Leaf @DrCarolineLeaf Click To Tweet
And that’s why I want to empower parents and adults alike, how to understand their own mental health and manage their own mental health so that they can, you know, make the system work for them and not against them.
Abel: Brilliant. Dr. Leaf, thank you so much for taking the time for this interview. What is the best place to find your work, your books and everything that’s coming next.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: Probably on social media. So my social media handle is Dr. Caroline Leaf and you can find out everything there.
Abel: Awesome. Dr. Leaf, thank you once more for coming on the show. It’s a pleasure every time.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: Thank you so much. It’s been so great talking to you again.
Dr. Caroline Leaf: Bye. Thank you.
Where To Find Dr. Caroline Leaf
Dr. Leaf’s brand new book “How To Help Your Child Clean Up Their Mental Mess” is now available for purchase from all major bookstores including, ChristianBook, BAM, Barnes&Noble, Amazon, Baker Book House, Target, Audible and more.
Dr. Caroline Leaf also created the first ever brain detox app called NeuroCycle, where she gives you therapy to manage stress, anxiety, depression and toxic thinking, walking you through the 5-Step NeuroCycle process right in the palm of your hand, and even has a parent add-on.
If you haven’t read Dr. Leaf’s other bestselling books, be sure to check them out, they are fantastic. You can get Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess, 101 Ways To Be Less Stressed, The Perfect You, Switch On Your Brain, Think Learn Succeed, Think & Eat Yourself Smart and more on her website at DrLeaf.com or from your favorite bookstore.
Before You Go
Here’s a 5-star review that came in for The Wild Diet book from Andres, he says:
“Excellent book. Abel James was way ahead of the current movement. The book is enlightening, very nicely written, and backed up with solid evidence, which was also very well explained. I will be recommending this book to my clients!”
Hey Andres, thank you so much for leaving this review for the book. All of your reviews for the podcast, books and other projects that we work on help other people find the show.
So if you have a quick minute, I really appreciate reading all of your reviews, positive or negative.
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What did you think of this interview with Dr. Caroline Leaf? Did you find the examples and suggestions from Dr. Leaf helpful? Have you tried using the 5-step NeuroCycle process in your own life or with your children? Drop a comment below to share your thoughts!