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    GUEST SERIES | Dr. Paul Conti: How to Improve Your Mental Health

    By focusing on quick fixes and superficial solutions, we neglect the deeper needs of individuals and fail to create a supportive system that benefits everyone. It is important to prioritize empathy and holistic approaches for a better society.

    enSeptember 13, 2023

    About this Episode

    This is episode 2 of a 4-part special series on mental health with Dr. Paul Conti, M.D., a Stanford and Harvard-trained psychiatrist currently running a clinical practice, the Pacific Premiere Group. Dr. Conti explains specific tools for how to overcome life’s challenges using a framework of self-inquiry that explores all the key elements of self, including defense mechanisms, behaviors, self-awareness and attention. We also discuss our internal driving forces, how to align them and ultimately, how to cultivate a powerful “generative drive” of positive, aspirational pursuits. Dr. Conti also explains how to adjust your internal narratives, reduce self-limiting concepts, overcome intrusive thoughts, and how certain defense mechanisms, such as “acting out” or narcissism, show up in ourselves and others. The next episode in this special series explores how to build healthy relationships with others. For the full show notes, including articles, books, and other resources, visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman BetterHelp: https://betterhelp.com/huberman Waking Up: https://wakingup.com/huberman Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Improve Mental Health (00:02:19) Sponsors: BetterHelp & Waking Up App (00:05:26) Structure & Function of Healthy Self  (00:16:25) Agency & Gratitude (00:21:14) Aggressive Drive, Pleasure Drive, Generative Drive (00:30:00) Physical & Mental Health Similarities, Verb States (00:37:05) Sponsor: AG1 (00:38:32) Lack of Motivation, Drives (00:43:06) Video Games/Social Media & Distraction, Generative Drive (00:51:46) Asking Better Questions, Psychiatric Medicine, Physical Health Parallels (00:59:10) Sponsor: Eight Sleep (01:00:30) Self-Reflection & Structure of Self “Cupboards”, Trauma & Agency (01:08:53) Feeling Stuck, Defense Mechanisms & Sublimation, Character (01:13:58) Self-Reflection & Function of Self “Cupboards”, Self-Awareness (01:19:24) Defense Mechanisms & “Acting Out” (01:26:43) Salience, Intrusive Thoughts (01:31:24) Self-Reflection, Behaviors & Strivings; Roadmap Forward (01:38:25) Internal Narratives, Childhood (01:44:44) Internal Narratives: Self-Scrutiny & Overcoming; Trauma (01:55:18) Time Required for Change, Understanding Intrusive Thoughts (02:03:13) Self-Reflection on Internal Drives; Envy (02:09:56) Generative Drive; Strong Aggressive Drive & Envy (02:21:50) High Aggressive Drive & Social Relationships, Narcissism (02:28:43) Narcissism, Destruction, Envy (02:37:18) Narcissism & Childhood, Change (02:41:26) Engaging with Narcissists, Disengagement (02:44:47) Demoralization, Learned Helplessness (02:49:34) Self-Inventory of Drives, Optimization (02:56:09) Social Media & Salience, Generative Drive (03:03:21) Rational Aspiration (03:13:16) Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Social Media, Momentous, Neural Network Newsletter Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac Disclaimer

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Self-inquiry and self-awareness are essential for improving mental health. By recognizing and addressing our internal narratives, we can overcome hindrances and make positive changes in our lives.
    • Self-awareness is crucial in actively deciding how we engage with the world, and analyzing our behavior provides valuable insights into ourselves.
    • Engaging in active states of agency and gratitude can bring about inner peace and happiness, and these states are attainable by consciously seeking them out in different aspects of life.
    • By finding a balance in our drives and fostering gratitude, agency, and generative drive, we can experience joy and fulfillment in the smaller moments of life.
    • Humans are motivated by more than survival and pleasure; a deeper generative drive compels us to make things better, driven by goodness, love, and a desire to improve the world.
    • By examining various aspects of mental health such as generative drive, aggressive drive, and pleasure drive, individuals can identify areas of improvement and work towards a healthier self, bridging the gap between psychiatry and general medicine.
    • Understanding the connection between psychiatry and overall well-being requires active engagement and specific actions, considering individual circumstances and factors to improve mental health.
    • Excessive reliance on external sources of pleasure can hinder personal growth and lead to frustration. To achieve fulfillment and purpose, individuals need to explore their intrinsic curiosity and address the root cause of imbalance.
    • Understanding oneself, addressing external factors, and finding fulfillment in meaningful activities are essential for a balanced and fulfilling life. Medication and therapy should be used in conjunction with self-reflection for mental well-being.
    • It is crucial to ask better questions and explore various approaches to therapy and medication in order to achieve lasting change and holistic well-being in mental health.
    • By focusing on quick fixes and superficial solutions, we neglect the deeper needs of individuals and fail to create a supportive system that benefits everyone. It is important to prioritize empathy and holistic approaches for a better society.
    • Recognizing and understanding our values is crucial in making decisions that promote our overall well-being, even when it means stepping away from financial security.
    • By addressing conscious mind issues and tapping into our potential for growth, we can regain our sense of agency and overcome the impact of trauma.
    • Self-awareness allows individuals to understand their desires and goals, but it is essential to take action and overcome fear in order to achieve them.
    • Recognize and prioritize internal voices, surround yourself with supportive mentors, and understand defense mechanisms to make better choices and live according to your own truths.
    • Acting out may provide temporary relief, but it can lead to further deterioration of mental health if not recognized and intervened upon in a timely manner.
    • By being aware of our internal and external focuses, we can better understand our behaviors and thought patterns, allowing us to make conscious choices and address intrusive thoughts for personal growth.
    • By being self-aware, examining defense mechanisms, and making behavioral changes, individuals can overcome Intrusive Thoughts and work towards a happier and more fulfilling life.
    • Embracing humility and gratitude allows us to prioritize our well-being, make choices aligned with our values, and find joy in taking care of ourselves. Childhood experiences shape our beliefs, emphasizing the importance of compassion and positive reinforcement in interactions with others.
    • Our early experiences, whether direct or indirect, play a significant role in shaping our beliefs and choices. It is important to recognize and challenge these narratives to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves.
    • Reflecting on our internal narratives can help us challenge and let go of false beliefs, leading to personal growth, healthier relationships, and career satisfaction.
    • Understanding and questioning our unconscious beliefs and childhood trauma can lead to positive change and the reduction of negative self-talk. Consistent effort and open-mindedness are key.
    • By recognizing the lack of actionable information in intrusive thoughts and redirecting our attention, we can lessen their impact and build a more positive mindset over time.
    • Understanding our internal narratives and drives is essential for personal development and allows for better control over emotions and reactions.
    • Our drives are influenced by both nature and nurture, but they are not fixed. By recognizing and understanding our drives, we can work towards achieving a state of balance and fulfillment, with the generative drive leading the way.
    • Recognizing the harmful effects of excessive aggression, we should choose behaviors that foster constructive and positive interactions, promoting goodness and pro-social interactions.
    • Acknowledging and addressing passive-aggressive behaviors is essential for fostering productive collaborations and maintaining a positive work environment.
    • True happiness and contentment stem from gratitude, agency, and well-being, not from seeking control and external validation. Envy and aggression can lead to destructive behaviors and a lack of happiness.
    • Narcissism is driven by feelings of vulnerability and the constant need for validation. It hinders meaningful connections and prevents the development of healthy relationships, ultimately causing harm to oneself and others.
    • Narcissism, with its desire for superiority and control, can result in destructive behavior and toxic environments. Recognizing and addressing narcissistic behavior is crucial for a healthier and more productive environment.
    • Understanding the origins of narcissism and envy can help identify behavior patterns and potential solutions, although change typically necessitates external influence.
    • Changing a narcissist's behavior requires professional treatment and setting strong boundaries, but there is hope for improvement if they seek help and prioritize personal growth.
    • Being aware of our levels of aggression and pleasure, and finding a healthy balance between them, is essential for overall mental and emotional well-being.
    • Evaluating our drives and actions helps us determine if we are making positive contributions, avoiding excessive pleasure-seeking or aggression, and seeking healthy ways to satisfy our desires.
    • Social media has the potential to be both a useful tool and a harmful addiction, so it is crucial to use it responsibly and maintain a balance with other meaningful activities.
    • Understanding oneself and setting clear goals are essential for improving mental health. By focusing on introspection, cultivating agency, and practicing gratitude, we can make positive changes and enhance our overall well-being.
    • True fulfillment comes from appreciating the process of growth, self-awareness, and striving for improvement, rather than solely focusing on achieving material possessions or shortcuts to success.
    • Balancing aggressive and pleasure drives with the generative drive is crucial for personal growth. Understanding and navigating relationships is essential for self-reflection and overall development.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Understanding Mental Health and Cultivating Wellbeing

    Understanding and improving mental health requires self-inquiry, self-awareness, and the cultivation of the generative drive. Dr. Conti emphasizes the importance of assessing our internal narratives and recognizing how they stem from our childhood experiences. Hindrances to mental health, such as intrusive thoughts, can be overcome by implementing specific protocols. The structure of a healthy self consists of the unconscious mind, which is a complex biological supercomputer constantly influencing our thoughts and behaviors. By delving into the unconscious mind and understanding its workings, we can strategize and make positive changes in our lives. The ultimate goal is to achieve a sense of wellbeing, agency, and gratitude, allowing us to feel good and do good in our lives.

    Exploring the complex aspects of our mind and behavior to find empowerment and gratitude in our actions.

    Understanding ourselves requires examining the various aspects of our mind and behavior. We have Defense Mechanisms that can either be healthy or unhealthy, forming a nest around our conscious mind. The character structure represents how we engage with the world. Self-awareness is crucial, as it allows us to actively decide how we will engage in the world each day. Defense mechanisms and salience play a role in shaping our options and attention. Analyzing our behavior and striving for what we want provides insights into ourselves. It is like exploring ten cabinets, with some holding valuable information for understanding ourselves. This process requires humility and respect for the complexity of our internal workings. Through understanding, we can find empowerment and gratitude in our actions.

    Finding Peace and Joy through Agency and Gratitude

    Peace, contentment, and delight emerge from the verb states of agency and gratitude. These states are not passive, but rather active ways of expressing ourselves. They interact with a generative drive within us, aligning with our desire to create and make things better. While we may find moments of happiness in meditation or rest, we also find it in action, doing the things we love or taking care of others. It's important to understand that these states are not something we can simply sit down and place ourselves into. They require effort and can be challenging. However, they are accessible to everyone in various domains of life, if we actively seek them out.

    The Role of Drives in Motivating and Shaping our Experiences

    Our drives, such as aggression and pleasure, play a crucial role in motivating us and shaping our experiences. A healthy amount of aggression, which refers to a strong sense of agency, empowers us to move forward and actively engage with life. Too little aggression can result in a lack of self-determination and progress, while excessive aggression can lead to harmful behaviors. It is important to find a balance in our drives, ensuring that they serve us in positive ways. Additionally, the delight and contentment we experience in life are intertwined with our generative drive, the desire to nurture and create beyond ourselves. When we are in a state of gratitude, agency, and generative drive, we are more likely to find joy and fulfillment in the smaller moments that make up our lives.

    The Three Drives That Motivate Human Behavior

    Humans are driven by more than just survival instincts and pleasure-seeking behaviors. While the drives for self-preservation and pleasure are important, they do not fully explain all human behaviors and choices. There is a deeper, generative drive within us that compels us to go beyond ourselves and strive to make things better, even if it is not directly related to our self-interests. This drive is driven by a goodness in our hearts and a desire to love, nurture, and improve the world around us. Understanding these three drives - self-preservation, pleasure, and the generative drive - can help us assess and understand the overall health and well-being of individuals, as well as uncover imbalances that may be causing problems in their lives.

    Exploring the Pillars of Well-being: Physical and Mental Health

    Understanding and addressing both physical and mental health involve recognizing and improving upon the major pillars that contribute to overall well-being. Just as physical health requires factors like endurance, strength, and flexibility, mental health also encompasses various aspects that need attention. The conversation emphasizes the importance of looking into different areas such as generative drive, aggressive drive, and pleasure drive to determine how they affect an individual's psychological well-being. By examining these components and their expressions, individuals can identify areas of improvement and work towards a healthier self. This approach brings the fields of psychiatry and general medicine closer together, as both require a deeper understanding of the underlying factors and a more holistic approach to achieving optimal health.

    Taking Action for Mental Well-being

    Understanding the connection between psychiatry and overall well-being involves taking action and not just relying on insight and understanding alone. Both physical and mental health require active engagement and specific actions to achieve desired states of health and happiness. While drugs can be powerful tools, their appropriate role needs to be understood to avoid going astray. When someone expresses a lack of motivation or enjoyment in life, it can indicate unfulfilled pleasure drives and the need to explore what activities or changes might bring them joy. A holistic approach that considers individual circumstances and factors such as environment and personal preferences is essential in addressing and improving mental well-being.

    Finding Balance and Fulfillment in Life

    Sometimes individuals may find pleasure and contentment in activities like social media, video games, or indulging in food and alcohol, but if these activities become excessive and prevent them from progressing in life, it may indicate a lack of balance in their generative drive. This can lead to a sense of frustration and a feeling of being stuck in a monotonous routine, despite external success and financial stability. It is crucial to explore one's intrinsic curiosity and desire for their chosen path to ensure personal fulfillment and a sense of purpose. Understanding and addressing the root cause of imbalance is essential for personal growth and development.

    Self-reflection, understanding, and fulfillment as the key to a meaningful and balanced life.

    Understanding oneself and asking better questions about one's life and choices can lead to a better understanding of one's own needs and desires. It is important to recognize the role of external factors, such as frustration and dissatisfaction in one's life, and how they can affect one's mental well-being and behavior. While medication and therapy have their place in addressing mental health issues, they should be used in conjunction with self-reflection and understanding. Redirecting thoughts and taking medication alone may not provide the necessary solutions. By examining one's generative drive and finding fulfillment in meaningful activities, individuals can achieve a better balance in their lives and overcome difficulties. Ultimately, the key to a fulfilling life lies in understanding oneself and navigating towards personal happiness and fulfillment.

    The Importance of Inquiry in Mental Health

    Better forms of inquiry are crucial for mental health and overall well-being. Just like different types of exercises (cardiovascular, strength training, flexibility training, etc.) are necessary for physical health, asking better questions and exploring various approaches to therapy and medication are essential for mental health. Relying solely on one form of treatment, whether it be cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or medication, can lead to limited results and potential harm. It is important to understand that mental health is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires a comprehensive and personalized approach. By expanding our perspectives and exploring different avenues for improvement, we can truly help individuals achieve lasting change and holistic well-being.

    The Consequences of Prioritizing Short-Term Solutions

    Our society tends to prioritize short-term gratification and immediate solutions, often neglecting the long-term consequences and the true needs of individuals. By focusing on quick fixes and superficial parameters, we fail to address the deeper issues and provide adequate support to people who are struggling. This not only harms individuals but also has a negative impact on society as a whole. It is important to step back and take a broader perspective, understanding that we are all susceptible to being in a position of need at some point. By prioritizing genuine understanding, empathy, and holistic approaches, we can create a better system that truly supports individuals and benefits everyone.

    The Struggle with Money and Personal Well-Being

    The person in question had a deep intrinsic overvalue of money. Despite being aware of this, it made it difficult for him to step away from a job that brought in wealth. Money itself held significant psychological meaning for him, and he struggled to detach from it. Additionally, the person's defensive structures became twisted and distorted over time, leading to denial, avoidance, rationalization, aggression towards himself, and self-harm through alcohol. However, it is worth noting that the person previously had healthy defenses, indicating that it is possible for him to regain that state. This conversation emphasizes the importance of recognizing our values and the impact they have on our decisions and overall well-being.

    Overcoming trauma and regaining self-confidence through understanding and leveraging healthy defensive structures.

    Trauma, whether big or small, can have a significant impact on a person's sense of self and agency. When individuals experience repeated negative events or feel that their efforts are not being rewarded, they can become demoralized and lose confidence in their abilities. This can lead to a perceived loss of functionality and a sense of brokenness. However, it is important to recognize that the ingredients for success and happiness already exist within us. By acknowledging and addressing the conscious mind issues, such as overvaluing certain things, and understanding and leveraging healthy defensive structures, like sublimation, individuals can regain their sense of agency and tap into their potential for growth and achievement.

    The Importance of Self-Awareness in Personal Growth and Agency

    Self-awareness is crucial for personal growth and positive agency in the world. The individual in the conversation demonstrates an understanding of their desires and goals but struggles to take the necessary actions to achieve them. They have a clear sense of what they want, such as a feeling of contentment and taking care of themselves, but are hindered by their defensive structure and fear of change. Building a sense of self involves recognizing the "eye" within oneself and becoming aware of one's thoughts, emotions, and actions. This can be achieved through various methods, such as daily affirmations or defining one's roles and responsibilities. Ultimately, self-awareness enables individuals to make better choices and lead more fulfilling lives.

    Developing self-understanding and agency for personal growth and decision-making.

    Self-understanding and agency in the world are crucial for personal growth and decision-making. It is important to recognize the internal voices that influence our thoughts and actions. By examining these voices and discerning their value, we can determine which ones we want to prioritize and allow inside our heads. Having supportive and encouraging voices, like those of kind mentors, can be beneficial, while negative and critical voices may hinder our self-confidence and decision-making process. Additionally, understanding our defense mechanisms and how they impact our behavior can help us identify potential negative outcomes and make better choices. Ultimately, being aware of our own thoughts, values, and perspectives allows us to navigate life more effectively and live according to our own truths.

    Unhealthy expression of aggression through self-destructive behaviors can have long-term consequences on mental health.

    Acting out is an unhealthy manifestation of aggression that can be driven by negative situations and internal conflicts. It often involves expressing anger towards the world and oneself, as well as engaging in self-destructive behaviors like drinking or self-sabotage. Acting out is a way of snubbing the nose at the world and seeking temporary relief from frustration and unhappiness. However, it is important to recognize that these behaviors can have long-term consequences and can lead to further deterioration of mental health. Slow and subtle forms of acting out may go unnoticed, making it challenging for individuals to recognize the need for intervention until it reaches a point where significant changes or interventions are required to regain stability and well-being.

    The Power of Self-Awareness and Conscious Attention

    Self-awareness and focusing on what's salient to us internally and externally can have a significant impact on our behaviors and thought patterns. It is important to identify and understand what grabs our attention and what occupies our minds in different states of arousal. By noticing these patterns, we can gain insights into our thought processes and make more conscious choices. Additionally, recognizing what thoughts intrude on our attention and hijack our focus can help us address intrusive thoughts. However, it is not just about acknowledging their presence, but also exploring their origins to gain a deeper understanding. Ultimately, self-awareness and conscious attention can help us navigate through the challenges and influences that shape our thoughts and behaviors.

    Understanding and addressing Intrusive Thoughts

    Intrusive Thoughts can stem from various factors, such as trauma or current life situations. In the case of trauma, Intrusive Thoughts may be markers of underlying issues that have been pushed down, leading to guilt, shame, distress, and vulnerability. On the other hand, Intrusive Thoughts related to current situations can serve as reminders that action needs to be taken and changes in behavior are necessary. By focusing on self-awareness, examining defense mechanisms, and making behavioral changes, individuals can address Intrusive Thoughts and move towards achieving their Strivings. Ultimately, by cultivating a healthier sense of self and taking the necessary steps, individuals can experience a shift from intrusive and disturbing thoughts to a happier and more fulfilling life.

    Cultivating Humility and Gratitude for a Fulfilling Life

    A sense of humility and gratitude can lead to a balanced and fulfilling life. The individual in the conversation was able to prioritize their own well-being and make choices that aligned with their values, even if it went against societal expectations. Instead of seeking external validation or pleasure through unhealthy means, they found pleasure in taking care of themselves, doing meaningful work, and engaging in leisure activities. By embracing humility and gratitude, they were able to tap into their generative drive and make positive changes in their life. This story emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, agency, and finding joy in the choices we make. Our childhood experiences and narratives also play a significant role in shaping our beliefs and actions. Negative comments or messages can stick with us for a long time, highlighting the need for compassion and positive reinforcement in our interactions with others.

    The power of early narratives in shaping beliefs and choices

    Early narratives and experiences have a significant impact on our beliefs and choices in life. Negative stimuli, such as insults or criticism, tend to be more salient and can shape our self-perception. Additionally, overhearing narratives or witnessing parental reactions can influence our views of beauty, disgust, and societal expectations. These early experiences create neural pathways that become ingrained in our thinking patterns. It is important to recognize and explore these narratives, both direct and indirect, in order to understand how they have shaped our beliefs and choices. Seeking guidance from a trained clinician can be helpful, but individuals can also engage in structured self-reflection to uncover and challenge these early messages.

    The Power of Reflective Self-Scrutiny

    Reflective self-scrutiny can have a profound impact on our lives. By taking the time to examine our internal narratives and beliefs, we can uncover the false ideas that hold us back and generate tension. Many people carry ingrained opinions from childhood that shape their self-perception, causing them to believe they are unattractive or not good enough. However, by engaging in self-scrutiny, we can challenge and ultimately dismiss these negative beliefs. This process may not happen overnight, but it is essential for personal growth and building healthier relationships and career satisfaction. It is crucial to recognize the voice in our heads perpetuating these damaging narratives so that we can work towards freeing ourselves from their grip.

    Uncovering the Origins of Negative Self-Talk for Personal Transformation

    Self-awareness and understanding our unconscious mind are crucial for personal transformation and overcoming negative self-talk. By examining the givens and origins of our internal narratives, we can separate them from our true selves and work towards positive change. The process involves questioning our beliefs and uncovering unconscious patterns that may be causing harm. Childhood trauma often plays a role in shaping our negative thoughts, but by bringing these thoughts to conscious awareness, we can address them and make progress. Engaging in interested inquiry and being open to learning allows us to discover and challenge the underlying factors that contribute to our self-doubt. While it may take time, consistent effort can lead to the reduction and eventual disappearance of negative self-talk.

    Acknowledging and accepting intrusive thoughts for personal growth.

    Intrusive thoughts are a common experience, and one approach to dealing with them is acknowledging and accepting them rather than trying to push them away. It is not about eradicating them completely but recognizing that they hold no actionable information. Over time, as we redirect our attention and take away their power, these thoughts become less intrusive and eventually dissipate. Making this change requires effort, time, and a desire for improvement. It is important to understand that progress may take longer than expected, and it is crucial not to get disheartened or give up. With self-reflection, therapy, and a focus on positive actions, we can diminish the influence of negative narratives and move towards hopefulness.

    Embracing internal narratives for personal growth.

    It is important to embrace and understand our internal narratives, even if they are intrusive or create shame. Suppressing these thoughts or denying their existence is futile. By looking inward and examining what is going on inside of us, we can find answers and gain control over our emotions and reactions. It is not about blaming ourselves or others, but rather seeking understanding and growth. It is also common for individuals to fear that addressing these deeper issues will diminish their drive or success, but acknowledging and examining our drives can actually help us determine our well-being and make necessary adjustments. Ultimately, everyone has drives, and recognizing and understanding them is crucial for personal development.

    Understanding and Harnessing Our Drives for Well-Being and Success

    Our Aggressive Drive and Pleasure Drive can significantly impact our overall well-being and success in different areas of life. These drives are influenced by both nature and nurture, with nature determining the range of these drives and nurture playing a crucial role in shaping and redirecting them. It is important to recognize that these drives are not fixed and can be changed with self-knowledge and hard work. Ideally, we should strive for a state of health where the generative drive is dominant, with aggression and pleasure drives serving this generative drive. When assessing issues or challenges in life, it is valuable to consider the state of our drives and how they may be manifesting within us. High levels of aggression or pleasure drives, if not balanced by a strong generative drive, can lead to destructive emotions like envy.

    The Contrast Between the Generative Drive and the Aggressive Drive

    The generative drive, which is the drive for goodness and pro-social interactions, is in contrast to the aggressive drive. When the aggressive drive is too high, it leads to an unhealthy need for control, which can be expressed in various ways such as intimidation, manipulation, or passive aggression. This excessive aggression can harm relationships and hinder collaborative efforts. It is important to recognize that aggression does not solely refer to violent or physical attacks, but can manifest in different forms. By understanding the interdependence between individuals and the importance of social units, we can make choices and engage in behaviors that promote constructive and positive interactions.

    Managing Disappointment and its Impact on Collaborations

    There is a person who exhibits both passive and aggressive behavior when faced with disappointment. This individual struggles to handle disappointment and often reacts aggressively or with entitlement. This behavior negatively impacts collaborations and relationships, leading to a lack of success and potential harm to others involved. The person's aggressive drive and envy result in destructive actions and hinder scientific progress. It is important to recognize and address these behaviors in order to promote healthy and productive collaborations. Additionally, it is crucial to separate personal insecurities from professional interactions in order to foster successful partnerships and maintain a positive work environment.

    The Destructive Power of Envy and Excessive Pleasure Drive

    Envy, aggression, and an excessive Pleasure Drive can lead to destructive behavior and a lack of happiness. When individuals approach the world through the lens of envy and feel that they are not good enough, they may exert control over others and engage in destructive actions. This can be observed in academic settings or social interactions where individuals dominate conversations and seek constant attention. While some may view these individuals as empowered leaders, their behavior often stems from a deeper need to mask insecurities or fill a void. It is important to recognize that true happiness and contentment come from a sense of gratitude, agency, and well-being rather than exerting control and seeking external validation. These human problems transcend gender, intelligence, and achievement.

    The Destructive Nature of Narcissism

    Narcissism is rooted in vulnerability and a feeling of not being good enough. It manifests as a dominance of the room and an inability to tolerate back and forth human interactions. Narcissists constantly seek validation and attention because nothing ever brings enough goodness or pleasure. While their appearance of mastery and control may be seductive to some, it often leaves others with negative feelings and a reluctance to collaborate or be in their presence. Narcissism is counterproductive and destructive because it hinders meaningful connections and prevents the development of healthy relationships. Standing back and observing the bigger picture reveals that narcissists are not interconnected in their surroundings and lack supportive friendships or colleagues. Ultimately, narcissism is always destructive, whether it is enacted temporarily or ingrained in one's character structure.

    The Destructive Impact of Narcissism: Insights from a Basketball Game

    Narcissism can manifest in various ways and can be detrimental to both individuals and society. The metaphor of a basketball game where the narcissist expects everyone to pretend they are better than they actually are is a reflection of how narcissism can show up in other areas of life. The desire to maintain superiority and control can lead to destructive behavior, such as expelling people from a lab or creating toxic environments. Narcissistic individuals often surround themselves with people who support them or no one at all, as healthy individuals would not willingly choose to be around them. The lack of oversight or boundaries can enable narcissistic behavior to thrive, but it is important to recognize and address such behavior in order to foster a healthier environment in academia and beyond.

    The root causes of narcissism and envy

    Narcissism and envy often stem from childhood trauma and a deep sense of not feeling good enough. These unresolved feelings of insecurity and aggression can lead individuals to seek power, control, and destruction as a way to compensate for their inner vulnerabilities. This can manifest on both small scales, such as personal relationships or career settings, and on larger scales, such as global conflicts and wars. While it is challenging for narcissists to engage in self-reflection and modify their behavior, it is not impossible. In some extreme cases, individuals with narcissistic tendencies have been able to make changes, but it typically requires significant external factors or interventions.

    Dealing with Narcissism: Nurturing Positive Change through Professional Help and Self-Care.

    Changing the behavior and psychological framework of a narcissist is a difficult task that often requires professional clinical treatment. While it is important to approach the topic of personal growth and change with hopefulness, it is also crucial to recognize that certain aspects of pathology may necessitate a higher level of care. The majority of the time, dealing with narcissism requires a team of professionals who can employ various therapeutic modalities. For individuals engaging with a narcissist, setting strong boundaries and practicing self-care are essential. Disengagement may be necessary, but it can also be accompanied by the possibility of reengagement if the person seeks help and takes steps to improve their behavior and relationships. Ultimately, nurturing the generative drive is vital for promoting positive change.

    Understanding and Balancing Our Drives for Well-being

    Understanding the balance of our Aggressive Drive and Pleasure Drive is crucial in maintaining overall well-being. When either of these drives is too high, it can lead to unhealthy behaviors and difficulties in finding gratification. On the other hand, when these drives are too low, it can result in a lack of engagement with the world and a diminished sense of pleasure. This imbalance can lead to feelings of demoralization and even predispose to psychiatric problems like depression. By being aware of these drives and assessing our level of aggression, pleasure, and ability to experience pleasure, we can gain insight into ourselves and make positive changes to achieve a healthier balance.

    The Importance of Self-Reflection and Self-Awareness

    Self-reflection and self-awareness are vital in determining if our actions align with our desired outcomes. By taking an inventory of ourselves, we can evaluate the balance between our generative drive, aggressive drive, and pleasure-seeking. If our generative drive is dominant and we strive to be the best version of ourselves, contributing positively to the world, it indicates a good place. However, if our pleasure-seeking or aggressive drive becomes excessive, it can lead to dissatisfaction and dissonance. It is important to assess whether our actions are self-serving or destructive and seek healthy ways to satisfy our drives that benefit both ourselves and others. Acknowledging areas of unhealthiness, such as addiction, allows for a clinical evaluation of our behaviors and prompts a search for improvement.

    The impact of excessive social media use on productivity and self-perception.

    Social Media has the potential to distract and drain our generative drive, leading to a lack of engagement with the world and a decrease in productivity. While Social Media can be a valuable tool for teaching and learning, it can also be addictive and absorb excessive amounts of time and energy. This excessive use of Social Media can impact our self-perception and lead to feelings of inadequacy when comparing ourselves to others. Additionally, Social Media can take away time that could be devoted to more productive and meaningful activities. It is important to recognize the power of Social Media and use it responsibly, balancing its benefits with its potential drawbacks.

    Cultivating self-awareness for positive change

    Understanding oneself and the process of change requires rational aspiration. Similar to wanting to be physically healthier, we need to have clear goals and ideas of what we want to achieve in terms of our mental health and well-being. It's important to turn the lens inward and focus on introspection and inquiry. Rather than solely assessing others and their impact on us, we should prioritize cultivating our own experience and responses. This involves creating and cultivating our own agency and gratitude, which are powerful states to strive for. By recognizing the balance and imbalance within ourselves, we can make changes and ultimately improve our overall mental health.

    Embracing the Journey of Growth and Self-Improvement

    Our aspirations should be rooted in our present selves and the process of growth, rather than just wanting to possess certain things or achievements. It is important to recognize our current state and have a clear vision of where we want to be, but we should also appreciate the journey and the effort required to reach our goals. Working hard and striving for self-improvement brings a sense of fulfillment, contentment, and happiness. Mere possession of things or shortcuts to success do not bring true satisfaction. It is through the process of growth and self-awareness that we find empowerment, humility, agency, and gratitude, leading to a generative drive that is truly meaningful and powerful.

    The Importance of Balanced Drives and Relational Understanding for Personal Growth

    Having a balance of drives is crucial for thriving. Andrew Huberman emphasizes the importance of not allowing the Aggressive Drive and Pleasure Drive to overpower the Generative Drive. By understanding and applying this framework, individuals can anchor and orient themselves in times of struggle. It provides a clear and logical path for self-reflection and growth. The conversation also highlights the upcoming discussion on relational aspects of human existence, including building healthy relationships and addressing challenges like narcissism and personality disorders. This knowledge and forward map presented by Paul Conti offer an invaluable tool for personal development and navigating various interactions. Overall, the key takeaway is recognizing the significance of balanced drives and the potential for growth through self-reflection and relational understanding.

    Recent Episodes from Huberman Lab

    Dr. Gary Steinberg: How to Improve Brain Health & Offset Neurodegeneration

    Dr. Gary Steinberg: How to Improve Brain Health & Offset Neurodegeneration
    In this episode, my guest is Dr. Gary Steinberg, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon and a professor of neurosciences, neurosurgery, and neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine. We discuss brain health and brain injuries, including concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, aneurysm, and transient ischemic attacks (TIA). We discuss key and lesser-known risk factors for brain health and explain how certain treatments and medications can improve brain health and cognitive function. We also cover novel mechanisms to improve recovery after concussions and brain injury, including the use of stem cells, temperature (mild hypothermia), and vagus nerve stimulation. Dr. Steinberg also describes new advances in neurosurgery and minimally invasive brain augmentation. This episode ought to be of interest to anyone seeking actionable tools to improve their brain health and for those seeking to improve recovery after a brain injury such as concussion, stroke, aneurysm, or TBI. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/huberman ROKA: https://roka.com/huberman AeroPress: https://aeropress.com/huberman LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman Timestamps 00:00:00 Dr. Gary Steinberg 00:01:44 Sponsors: Eight Sleep, ROKA & AeroPress; Subscribe on YouTube, Spotify & Apple 00:06:16 Stroke, Hemorrhage & Blood Clot 00:10:25 Blood Clots & Risk Factors, Medications, Smoking, Cholesterol 00:16:19 Heart & Brain Health; Neurosurgery & Brain Function 00:23:27 Current Technology & Neurosurgery, Minimally Invasive Techniques 00:28:13 Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA); Spinal Cord Strokes 00:33:23 Stroke Risk: Alcohol, Cocaine & Other Drugs 00:38:24 Sponsor: AG1 00:39:55 Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Concussion: Sports, Testing & Recovery 00:46:45 Statins; TBI & Aspirin; Caffeine & Stroke Risk 00:48:31 Exploratory MRI: Benefits & Risks 00:51:53 Blood Pressure, Lifestyle Factors; Tool: Feeling Faint, Hydration; Sleep 00:59:52 Sponsor: LMNT 01:01:27 Chiropractic Neck Adjustment & Arterial Obstruction; Inversion Tables 01:05:16 Kids, Tackle Football, Soccer, Boxing; Mild Concussion 01:10:49 Nerve Regeneration, Stem Cells, Stroke Recovery 01:17:36 Stem Cells, Immune System, Activity 01:21:27 Injury & Recovery, Restraint Therapy 01:23:46 Neuroprotection After Injury; Mild Hypothermia 01:34:59 Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), Stem Cell Therapy 01:42:27 Scientific Advancements & Clinical Translation, FDA & Industry 01:47:40 Vagal Stimulation 01:53:17 Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, YouTube Feedback, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer
    Huberman Lab
    enMay 20, 2024

    LIVE EVENT Q&A: Dr. Andrew Huberman at the ICC Sydney Theatre

    LIVE EVENT Q&A: Dr. Andrew Huberman at the ICC Sydney Theatre
    Recently I had the pleasure of hosting a live event in Sydney, Australia. This event was part of a lecture series called The Brain Body Contract. My favorite part of the evening was the question and answer period, where I had the opportunity to answer questions from the attendees of each event. Included here is the Q&A from our event at the ICC Sydney Theatre. Sign up to get notified about future events: https://www.hubermanlab.com/events Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/huberman Timestamps 00:00 Introduction 00:15 Live Event Recap: The Brain Body Contract 00:32 Sponsors: AG1 & Eight Sleep 03:30 Q&A Session Begins: Napping and Sleep Quality 06:34 The Power of the Placebo Effect 11:31 Entering Rest and Digest State: Techniques and Tools 15:35 Muscle Growth, Learning & the Brain 20:13 Hallucinogens: Personal Experiences & Clinical Insights 27:28 The Misunderstood Effects of MDMA 27:42 Exploring the Potential of MDMA in Clinical Settings 29:25 The Complex World of Psychedelics & Mental Health 30:07 Ketamine: From Misconception to Medical Use 31:53 The Fascinating Science of DMT 33:11 Supporting Science: Funding & Future Directions 34:48 The Gut-Brain Axis: A Key to Overall Health 40:41 Sleep Patterns and Chronotypes: Personalizing Rest 42:50 Addressing ADHD & Focus in the Modern World 49:27 Closing Remarks & Gratitude Disclaimer
    Huberman Lab
    enMay 17, 2024

    Dr. James Hollis: How to Find Your True Purpose & Create Your Best Life

    Dr. James Hollis: How to Find Your True Purpose & Create Your Best Life
    In this episode, my guest is Dr. James Hollis, Ph.D., a Jungian psychoanalyst, renowned educator and author on finding and pursuing one’s unique purpose. Dr. Hollis is also an expert in the psychology of relationships and healing from trauma. We discuss how early family dynamics and social context create patterns of both adaptive and maladaptive behavior and internal narratives that, when examined, lead to better choices and a deeply fulfilling existence. We discuss discovering your unique self-identity and purpose through specific practices of reflection, meditation and conversations with others. We also discuss self-perception and the evolution of roles within marriages, parent-child relationships, and work. Throughout the episode, Dr. Hollis provides both basic knowledge and practical tools to help us assess ourselves and better understand who we are and what we really want in careers, relationships of all kinds, and society. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Mateína: https://drinkmateina.com/huberman Joovv: https://joovv.com/huberman BetterHelp: https://betterhelp.com/huberman Waking Up: https://wakingup.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps 00:00:00 Dr. James Hollis 00:02:14 Sponsors: Mateina, Joovv & BetterHelp 00:05:57 Self, Ego, Sense of Self 00:13:59 Unconscious Patterns, Blind Spots, Dreams; Psyche & Meaning 00:21:56 Second Half of Life, Purpose, Depression 00:25:37 Sponsor: AG1 00:27:08 Tool: Daily Reflection; Crisis 00:31:47 Families & Children, Permission & Burdens 00:37:27 Complex Identification, Self-Perception; Social Media & Borderline 00:41:55 Daily Stimulus Response, Listening to the Soul 00:45:40 Exiting Stimulus-Response, Loneliness, Burnout 00:51:19 Meditation & Perception, Reflection 00:54:58 Sponsor: Waking Up 00:56:15 Recognizing the “Shadow” & Adulthood 01:02:48 Socialization; Family & Life Journey 01:09:04 Relationships & “Otherness”, Standing Your Ground 01:15:51 Marriage, “Starter Marriages” & Evolution; Parenting 01:19:37 Shadow Issues, Success & External Reward, Personal Growth 01:27:59 Men, Alcohol, “Stoic Man”, Loneliness, Fear & Longing 01:37:33 Women & Men, Focused vs. Diffuse Awareness; Male Rite of Passage 01:44:31 Sacrifice, Relationships; Facing Fears 01:48:20 Therapy, “Abyss of the Self”, Repeating Patterns & Stories 01:55:17 Women, Career & Family, Partner Support; Redefining Roles 02:01:40 Pathology & Diagnosis, Internet 02:07:05 Life, Suffering & Accountability, “Swamplands” & Task 02:11:32 Abuse & Recovery of Self, Patience, Powerlessness 02:14:11 Living a Larger Life; “Shut Up, Suit Up, Show Up” 02:17:49 Life Stages; Despair & Integrity Conflict 02:25:00 Death, Ego, Mortality & Meaning 02:38:07 Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer
    Huberman Lab
    enMay 13, 2024

    GUEST SERIES | Dr. Matt Walker: The Science of Dreams, Nightmares & Lucid Dreaming

    GUEST SERIES | Dr. Matt Walker: The Science of Dreams, Nightmares & Lucid Dreaming
    This is episode 6 of a 6-part special series on sleep with Dr. Matthew Walker, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and a leading public educator on sleep for mental and physical health, learning and human performance. In this episode, we discuss dreaming, including the biological mechanism of dreams, what dreams mean and their role in daytime life.  We explore how dreams can enhance our creativity and emotional well-being and help us resolve various challenges and dilemmas. We discuss how to remember and interpret your dreams and the abstractions/symbols frequently present in dreams. We also discuss nightmares and therapies to treat reoccurring nightmares. We explain what lucid dreaming is and if there are benefits or drawbacks to this type of dreaming. Dr. Walker also answers frequently asked audience questions and discusses snoring, body position, sleep supplements, sleep challenges due to aging, menopause, stopping racing thoughts, and how to fall back asleep if you wake in the middle of the night.  For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman BetterHelp: https://betterhelp.com/huberman LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman Helix Sleep: https://helixsleep.com/huberman WHOOP: https://www.join.whoop.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps 00:00:00 Dreaming 00:01:13 Sponsors: BetterHelp, LMNT & Helix Sleep 00:05:06 Dreams & REM Sleep 00:12:20 Evolution of REM Sleep, Humans 00:17:13 REM Sleep & PGO Waves; Dreams & Brain Activity 00:24:26 Dreams, Images & Brain Activity; Sleepwalking & Sleep Talking 00:30:51 Sponsor: AG1 00:32:04 Dream Benefits, Creativity & Emotional Regulation; Challenge Resolution 00:41:27 Daily Experience vs. Dreaming, Emotions 00:45:08 Dream Interpretation & Freud, Dream Relevance 00:52:59 Abstractions, Symbols, Experience & Dreams; “Fuzzy Logic” 01:00:28 Sponsor: Whoop 01:01:36 Nightmares; Recurring Nightmares & Therapy 01:11:08 Targeted Memory Reactivation, Sounds & Nightmares 01:15:38 Odor, Paired Associations, Learning & Sleep 01:18:53 Fear Extinction, Memory & Sleep; Tool: Remembering Dreams 01:25:38 Lucid Dreaming, REM Sleep, Paralysis 01:32:33 Lucid Dreaming: Benefits? Unrestorative Sleep? 01:44:07 Improve Lucid Dreaming 01:49:30 Tool: Negative Rumination & Falling Asleep 01:53:41 Tools: Body Position, Snoring & Sleep Apnea; Mid-Night Waking & Alarm Clock 01:58:43 Sleep Banking?; Tool: Falling Back Asleep, Rest 02:05:53 Tool: Older Adults & Early Waking; Sleep Medications 02:11:25 Tool: Menopause & Sleep Disruption, Hot Flashes 02:15:06 Remembering Dreams & Impacts Sleep Quality? 02:18:32 Tool: Sleep Supplements 02:26:48 Tool: Most Important Tip for Sleep 02:30:56 Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

    Dr. Casey Means: Transform Your Health by Improving Metabolism, Hormone & Blood Sugar Regulation

    Dr. Casey Means: Transform Your Health by Improving Metabolism, Hormone & Blood Sugar Regulation
    In this episode, my guest is Dr. Casey Means, M.D., a physician trained at Stanford University School of Medicine, an expert on metabolic health and the author of the book, "Good Energy." We discuss how to leverage nutrition, exercise and environmental factors to enhance your metabolic health by improving mitochondrial function, hormone and blood sugar regulation.  We also explore how fasting, deliberate cold exposure and spending time in nature can impact metabolic health, how to control food cravings and how to assess your metabolic health using blood testing, continuous glucose monitors and other tools.  Metabolic dysfunction is a leading cause of chronic disease, obesity and reduced lifespan around the world. Conversely, improving your mitochondrial and metabolic health can positively affect your health span and longevity. Listeners of this episode will learn low- and zero-cost tools to improve their metabolic health, physical and mental well-being, body composition and target the root cause of various common diseases. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Maui Nui Venison: https://mauinuivenison.com/huberman  Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/huberman  AeroPress: https://aeropress.com/huberman  InsideTracker: https://insidetracker.com/huberman  Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps 00:00:00 Dr. Casey Means 00:02:18 Sponsors: Maui Nui, Eight Sleep & AeroPress 00:06:32 Metabolism, Metabolic Dysfunction, Medicinal Blindspot 00:14:17 Trifecta of Bad Energy 00:24:02 Western Living, United States, Specialization & Medicine 00:27:57 Insulin Resistance, Tool: Mitochondrial Capacity & Exercise 00:33:33 Sponsor: AG1 00:35:03 Tools: Walking & Glucose; Frequent Movement 00:44:25 Tools: Exercises to Improve Mitochondrial Capacity; Desk Treadmill 00:51:18 Soleus Push-Ups & Fidgeting, Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) 00:57:14 Sponsor: InsideTracker 00:58:21 Tool: Blood Test Biomarkers, Vital Signs & Mitochondrial Function 01:11:16 Navigate Medical System & Blood Tests, Consumer Lab Testing 01:16:46 Tool: Environmental Factors; Food, Life as a Process 01:21:58 Tool: Ultra-Processed vs. Real Food, Obesity, Soil & Micronutrients 01:32:03 Ultra-Processed Foods: Brain & Cellular Confusion 01:39:10 Tools: Control Cravings, GLP-1 Production, Microbiome Support 01:51:42 Ozempic, GLP-1 Analogs; Root Cause & Medicine 02:00:54 Tool: Deliberate Cold & Heat Exposure, Brown Fat 02:07:27 Tool: Intermittent Fasting & Metabolic Flexibility; Insulin Sensitivity 02:17:03 Tool: Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) & Awareness, Glucose Spikes 02:24:34 Tool: CGMs, Glycemic Variability, Dawn Effect, Individuality 02:33:10 Sleep; Continuous Monitoring & Biomarkers 02:37:39 Mindset & Safety, Stress & Cell Danger Response 02:44:04 Tool: Being in Nature, Sunlight, Fear 02:54:44 Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

    GUEST SERIES | Dr. Matt Walker: Improve Sleep to Boost Mood & Emotional Regulation

    GUEST SERIES | Dr. Matt Walker: Improve Sleep to Boost Mood & Emotional Regulation
    This is episode 5 of our 6-part special series on sleep with Dr. Matthew Walker, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and the host of The Matt Walker Podcast. In this episode, we explain the connection between sleep and mood, emotional regulation and mental well-being.  We explain the role of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in processing emotions and emotional memories and why sleep deprivation causes agitation, impulsivity and emotional reactivity.  We also discuss why sleep disruption is a hallmark feature of PTSD, anxiety, depression, suicidality, and other psychiatric conditions.  We explain protocols for improving REM sleep and other sleep phases in order to harness the therapeutic power of quality sleep to feel calmer and emotionally restored. This episode describes various actionable tools to improve sleep for those struggling with mental health or mood and those wanting to bolster their overall state and well-being.  The next episode in this special series explores dreams, including lucid dreaming, nightmares and dream interpretation. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/huberman LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman BetterHelp: https://betterhelp.com/huberman InsideTracker: https://insidetracker.com/huberman  Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Sleep & Mental Health (00:01:09) Sponsors: Eight Sleep, LMNT & BetterHelp (00:05:14) Emotions & Sleep, Amygdala (00:17:27) Emotional Memory & Sleep (00:25:48) “Overnight Therapy” & REM Sleep, Noradrenaline (00:29:13) Sponsor: AG1 (00:30:27) Sleep to “Remember & Forget”, Trauma; REM Sleep (00:38:27) Hinge Analogy; Motivation, Impulsivity & Addiction (00:47:08) Tool: Improve REM Sleep, Social Jet Lag, Alcohol & THC, Addiction (00:56:18) Sponsor: InsideTracker (00:57:23) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & REM Sleep (01:06:53) Noradrenaline & REM Sleep, PTSD & Prazosin (01:09:40) Addiction, Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR); Liminal States (01:16:46) Anxiety & Sleep, Mood vs. Emotions (01:23:50) Deep Non-REM Sleep & Anxiety, Sleep Quality (01:28:51) Tool: Improve Deep Non-REM Sleep, Temperature; Alcohol (01:34:56) Suicidality & Sleep, Pattern Recognition; Nightmares (01:46:21) Depression, Anxiety & Time Context (01:51:24) Depression, Too Much Sleep?; REM Changes & Antidepressants (01:57:37) Sleep Deprivation & Depression (02:01:34) Tool: Circadian Misalignment & Mental Health, Chronotype (02:04:05) Tools: Daytime Light & Nighttime Darkness; “Junk Light” (02:13:04) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

    AMA #17: Making Time for Fitness, Top Sleep Tools & Best Learning Strategies

    AMA #17: Making Time for Fitness, Top Sleep Tools & Best Learning Strategies
    Welcome to a preview of the 17th Ask Me Anything (AMA) episode, part of Huberman Lab Premium. Huberman Lab Premium was launched for two main reasons. First, it was launched in order to raise support for the main Huberman Lab podcast — which will continue to come out every Monday at zero-cost. Second, it was launched as a means to raise funds for important scientific research. A significant portion of proceeds from the Huberman Lab Premium subscription will fund human research (not animal models) selected by Dr. Huberman, with a dollar-for-dollar match from the Tiny Foundation. Read our Annual Letter 2023. If you're an existing Premium member, you can login to access the full episode. If you're not a member, you can join Huberman Lab Premium to enjoy exclusive content, including monthly Ask Me Anything (AMA) episodes, AMA transcripts, podcast episode transcripts, early access to live events and help advance human scientific research. Resources Foundational Fitness Protocol Timestamps (00:00:00) Introduction to AMA #17 (00:00:14) Exciting Announcement (00:02:16) Diving Into the Foundational Fitness Protocol (00:09:37) Flexibility in Your Fitness Routine (00:17:12) Optimizing Workout Times & Prioritizing Health (00:23:31) Closing Thoughts & Huberman Lab Premium Benefits In the full AMA episode, we discuss: Periodization & the Philosophy of Fitness Unlocking the Secrets of Sleep: Insights & Tools Chronotypes and Personalized Sleep Strategies The QQRT Formula: Quantity, Quality, Regularity & Timing of Sleep Exploring Naps & Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) Effective Learning & Note-Taking Strategies The Power of Teaching & Self-Testing in Learning Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac Disclaimer

    Protocols to Strengthen & Pain Proof Your Back

    Protocols to Strengthen & Pain Proof Your Back
    In this episode, I explain how to strengthen and build a stable, pain-free back and how to reduce or eliminate existing back pain. I explain the anatomy and physiology of the spinal cord and vertebrae, intervertebral disks and nerve pathways, and the abdominal and back muscles that together can be leveraged to stabilize the back.  Then, I describe protocols: “McGill’s Big 3” exercises, a highly effective psoas stretch, abdominal stabilization, breathing techniques, and protocols to reinforce essential supports for the back, including the neck, pelvis, feet, and toes.  I also explain how you can reduce and potentially eliminate back pain and sciatica using a specific type of bar hang, “cobra push-ups,” medial-glute strengthening exercises, and more.  Back pain greatly impedes one’s ability to enjoy daily activities; this episode provides zero-cost, minimal time-investment protocols to improve your back strength and stability and allow you to move through life pain-free and with ease and mobility.  For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman AeroPress: https://aeropress.com/huberman Joovv: https://joovv.com/huberman Waking Up: https://wakingup.com/huberman Plunge: https://plunge.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Back Health (00:03:47) Sponsors: AeroPress, Joovv & Waking Up (00:07:57) Back Anatomy: Spine, Vertebrae, Spinal Cord (00:12:07) Spinal Cord & Nerves; Herniated Discs (00:19:50) Build Strong Pain-Free Back; Bulging Discs (00:24:26) Back Pain & Professional Evaluation; Tool: Spine Self-Assessment  (00:34:58) Sponsor: AG1 (00:36:29) Tool: McGill Big 3 Exercises, Curl-Up (00:44:40) Tool: McGill Big 3 Exercises, Side Plank (00:53:13) Tool: McGill Big 3 Exercises, Bird Dog; Back Pain (01:04:10) Sponsor: Plunge (01:05:37) Tool: Back Pain & Oreo Analogy, Bar Hang (01:10:34) Time & Back Pain; Tool: Reversing Disc Herniation, Cobra Push-Ups  (01:21:28) Sciatica, Referred Pain, Herniated Disc (01:24:21) Tool: Improve Spine Stability, Strengthen Neck (01:29:23) Tools: Strengthen Feet, Toe Spreading (01:34:35) Tools: Belly Breathing; Stagger Stance (01:42:03) Tools: Relieve Low Back Pain, Medial Glute Activation; Rolled Towel (01:50:59) Tool: Psoas Stretching (01:57:00) Tool: Back Awareness; Strengthen & Pain-Proof Back (02:05:49) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

    GUEST SERIES | Dr. Matt Walker: Using Sleep to Improve Learning, Creativity & Memory

    GUEST SERIES | Dr. Matt Walker: Using Sleep to Improve Learning, Creativity & Memory
    This is episode 4 of a 6-part special series on sleep with Dr. Matthew Walker, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of the best-selling book "Why We Sleep." In this episode, we discuss the relationship between sleep, learning and creativity.  We explain why and how sleep before and after a learning bout can improve memory and performance for both cognitive tasks and physical skills. We also discuss how to use time learning and sleep, how to use naps, non-sleep deep rest states, and caffeine to optimize learning, and the mechanisms for sleep and memory consolidation.  We also explain the critical role that sleep plays in creativity and one's ability to discover novel solutions to challenges and problems.  This episode is filled with actionable information on using sleep to enhance skill learning and improve memory and creativity.  The next episode in this guest series explains how sleep benefits emotional regulation and mental health.  For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Helix Sleep: https://helixsleep.com/huberman  WHOOP: https://join.whoop.com/huberman  Waking Up: https://wakingup.com/huberman  InsideTracker: https://insidetracker.com/huberman  Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Sleep & Learning (00:00:59) Sponsors: Helix Sleep, Whoop & Waking Up (00:05:48) Learning, Memory & Sleep (00:09:32) Memory & Sleep, “All-Nighters”, Hippocampus (00:13:46) Naps & Learning Capacity (00:16:59) Early School Start Times, Performance & Accidents (00:26:38) Medical Residency & Sleep Deprivation (00:29:35) Sponsor: AG1 (00:30:49) Tool: Sleep Before Learning; Cramming Effect (00:35:09) Tools: Caffeine; Timing Peak Learning; “Second Wind” (00:44:25) Memory Consolidation in Sleep (00:55:07) Sleepwalking & Talking; REM-Sleep Behavioral Disorder (01:00:16) REM Sleep Paralysis, Alcohol, Stress (01:07:41) Sponsor: InsideTracker (01:08:46) Skills, Motor Learning & Sleep (01:17:03) Tool: Timing Sleep & Learning, Skill Enhancement (01:20:00) Naps; Specificity & Memory Consolidation, Sleep Spindles (01:27:21) Sleep, Motor Learning & Athletes; Automaticity (01:34:10) Can Learning Improve Sleep? (01:39:13) Tool: Exercise to Improve Sleep; Performance, Injury & Motivation (01:44:38) Pillars of Health; Dieting & Sleep Deprivation (01:49:35) Performance & Poor Sleep, Belief Effects, “Orthosomnia” (01:57:03) “Overnight Alchemy”, Sleep & Novel Memory Linking (02:05:58) Sleep & Creativity (02:11:09) Tools: Waking & Technology; Naps; “Sleep on a Problem” (02:20:51) Creative Insight & Sleep (02:26:18) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

    Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher: Vaping, Alcohol Use & Other Risky Youth Behaviors

    Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher: Vaping, Alcohol Use & Other Risky Youth Behaviors
    In this episode, my guest is Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, FSAHM. She is a professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine and a developmental psychologist at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Halpern-Felsher is a world expert in adolescent decision-making and risk-taking behaviors. She explains the huge increase in vaping (e-cigarettes) by young people. She explains why vaping nicotine and cannabis is particularly dangerous to the developing brain. We discuss the rise in vaping addiction, the unique social pressures and social media influences faced by youth that make quitting challenging, and interventions to aid them in quitting or reducing use. We also discuss the role of technology and social media. And, the use of alcohol, nicotine pouches, fentanyl, and other risky behaviors that adolescents face now. This episode should interest parents, teachers, coaches, teens, and families. It covers the current youth substance use landscape and also covers resources and ways to quit these addictive behaviors.  For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Use Ask Huberman Lab, our new AI-powered platform, for a summary, clips, and insights from this episode. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/huberman  Mateina: https://drinkmateina.com/huberman  LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman  Waking Up: https://wakingup.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher (00:01:40) Sponsors: Eight Sleep, Mateina & LMNT  (00:05:38) Adolescence (00:09:19) Household Conflict, Parents; Smart Phones (00:12:35) Smart Phones & Social Media (00:18:25) Vaping, E-Cigarettes, Nicotine & Cannabis (00:23:46) Adolescent Nicotine Use: Marketing, Flavors (00:30:41) Sponsor: AG1 (00:32:13) Nicotine Initiation, Freebase vs. Salt-Based Nicotine, Concentration (00:41:35) Addiction & Withdrawal; E-Cigarette Access (00:48:48) Vaping Health Hazards, Aldehydes, Flavors (00:56:32) Sponsor: Waking Up (00:57:48) “Just Say No”, Adolescent Defiance (01:04:21) Cannabis & Potency, Blunts, E-Cigarette Combinations (01:10:30) Psychosis, THC & Adolescence (01:14:11) Quitting Nicotine & Cannabis; Physical & Social Withdrawal Symptoms (01:23:05) Social Pressures, Quitting Vaping, Environment Concerns (01:30:08) Teen Activities, Social Media, Autonomy (01:36:28) Risky Behaviors, Alcohol, Driving, Sexual Behavior (01:43:27) International E-Cigarette Use, Regulation (01:46:10) Nicotine Pouches, Health Risks; Tolerance (01:53:25) Tools: Vaping Interventions, Decision Making, Harm Reduction (02:02:37) Fentanyl, Drug Testing, Recreational Drug Use (02:13:45) Tool: Organic Conversations & Risky Behavior (02:17:20) Long-Term Goals & Teens; Vaping, Pornography & Teens (02:24:08) Mental Health Crisis & Substance Use (02:29:11) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer