How to Use Meditation to Deal With Stress and Anxiety | Impact Theory | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "How to Use Meditation to Deal With Stress and Anxiety | Impact Theory".
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Hey everybody, today's episode is brought to you by our very own Impact Theory University. Enjoy the episode. Everyone, welcome to Impact Theory. Our goal with this show and company is to introduce you to the people and ideas that will help you actually execute on your dreams. Now, more than ever, it's important to learn how to deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy way. Now for me, meditation has been a life-changing tool as a means to tap into my desired mindset. And meditation has also served as a critical tool for many of our past Impact Theory guests. So on this special episode, we have included how some of our amazing guests have used meditation to dramatically change their lives for the better. For anyone who missed them the first time around, here is a brief summary of the extraordinary people you'll hear from on today's episode. Dr. Joe Despenza, neuroscientist and best-selling author. Dr. Shafali, clinical psychologist and international speaker. Robert Greene, author of multiple New York Times best-selling books. Vischen Lockiani, founder of the award-winning educational movement Mindvalley. Colin O'Brady, world record-holding explorer and one of the world's best endurance athletes. Molly Bloom, entrepreneur and best-selling author of Molly's game. Tim Story, top-rated life coach and motivational speaker. Ray Dalio, billionaire and entrepreneur. So get ready for the power of motivation with our first guest, the one and only. Dr. Joe Despenza.
Meditation And Mind Reset Techniques
I've talked pretty profoundly about proteins and like really at a deep level how we're signaling to our genetics to create these kinds of changes. What does that actually look like? Well, epigenetics, epi means above the gene and many years ago after the DNA helix was discovered by Watson and Crick, they said the blueprints of life. You know, all diseases are created from genes. Turns out less than 5% more like 1% of people on the planet are born with a genetic condition like type 1 diabetes or Tay Sachs disease or sickle cell anemia. The other 95 to 99% are created by lifestyle and by choices. You can take two identical twins, exact same genome. One dies at 51, the other dies at 85. Same gene, different environment. So all of a sudden they said we lied. That was wrong. It's not genes that create disease. It's the environment that signals the gene that creates disease. Well, okay. But that's not the whole truth too because you could have two people working side by side in the same factory. One gets cancer after being exposed to a carcinogenic for 25 years. Both working for 25 years, the other one has no cancer at all. So there must be some internal order that would cause one person to not get it while another one does. So is it possible then if the environment signals the gene and it does and the end product of an experience in the environment is called an emotion, can you signal the gene ahead of the environment by embracing an elevated emotion? We've done the research on this. We measured 7,500 different gene expressions in a group of people. It came to an advanced event for four days. And we had them doing a seated meditation, a walking meditation, a laying down meditation, a standing meditation. And at the end of four days, just four days, the common eight genes that were upregulated, two genes to suppress cancer cells and tumor growth. Two genes for neurogenesis, the growth of new neurons in response to novel experiences in learning. The gene that signals stem cells to go to damaged areas and repair them. The gene for oxidative stress was upregulated. We started seeing all these genes that are very, very healthy to cause the body to flourish. Imagine if people were doing that for three months. We also measured telomeres, the little shoestrings on the end of DNA that tell us our biological age. We asked people to do the work, meditation, five out of seven days for 60 days. Measured their telomeres that determine their biological age, 60 days later, 74% of the people lengthen their telomeres, 40% significant change, 20% a very remarkable change. That means that they got a little bit of their life back. If they lengthened by 10%, they got 10% of their life back. You're always honest about your own foibles and the difficulties in your relationship. You'll use your daughter as examples a lot, which makes it so accessible, which is really awesome. It also brings around to the reminder of who's doing the work, which ultimately is. What are techniques that any of us can use to figure that out, to get in touch, if we're going to. You've been so successful. I know you've worked very, very hard to get where you're at. As somebody who I won't say also, because maybe it's very different for us both, but I'm very ambitious. At times in my life, the process was ugly. There's no question. At times it's been really beautiful and really fun. How do you reconcile those things, which if you were to describe on paper, wouldn't necessarily sound. Being in touch with the true self, how do you deconstruct that and make sure you're on a good path? Well, it's my commitment to this work. I'm not doing this for the ego or the achievement. It comes. It's great, but I'm not fixated on it. So my ultimate point of it all is to be authentic and to uncover and deconstruct my own minds' toxicities so I can liberate myself. Because if I liberate, then only I have a hope to help liberate someone else. Do you have a process for that? And if it is meditation, like what form of meditation do you have? It's largely meditative, but not just checking out of intellect, right?
THE MEDITATIVE PROCESS (06:42)
Using the intellect to discern, using wisdom and the meditative process. So constantly deconstructing what I'm going through. If I'm triggered, I deconstruct. So active deconstruction, but meditation really. It's the pastna meditation that I do. It's insight meditation. Insight? It's insight into your true nature. And are you trying to create a quiet mental space to be able to hear intuitive thoughts? Yeah. It's really the most basic way of meditating. It's just bare bones. It's hardcore. It's just you sit, you follow your breath, and you follow your breath, and you follow your breath. And there's a science behind it. And through the witnessing of your breath, in the present moment, in the present moment, in the present moment, you learn to detach from your thoughts and you realize the imperman and nature of reality.
IMPERMENANT NATURE (07:26)
Because you realize your thoughts are impermanent. And the now is impermanent. So you begin to live in the impermanence of the now, fully. I know recently you had a stroke. And the way that you're approaching it has the sort of Milton Erickson written all over it, with rebuilding yourself, but with a writer's mind. And so you're paying attention to what it takes and what you're going through. Walk us through that. Like, what are you learning about that? What principles of the book are you applying to it? Well, you know, so if I talk in the book about overcoming your own nature, this is damn, and that was fucking slammed into my face. Right? I had to overcome my frustration, my lack of patience, my willfulness, the fact that I always have to do things myself.
Tools to Reset Your Mind and Confront Yourself (08:21)
You know, and then I had to confront the fact that I could easily have died, but I didn't. I'm alive. So I can learn from this. I'm learning a lot. And I'm going to rebuild my body. I'm going to rebuild it. I've come a long way. So like a month ago, I was pretty bad. I'm able to walk now fairly well. In four months from now, I'm going to be swimming again. In six months, I'm going to be jogging. I'm going to be back to where I was. Nothing will stop me. But I have to overcome all of my deficiencies and all of these weaknesses that I have built up over the years. Yeah, that is needless to say, that's a long, difficult road. How do you, or what tools do you use to reset your mind every day as you're going through this in parallowing that maybe to the check-off story in the book, and how what he overcame, and was really extraordinary being beaten by his father all the time, and that he goes on to be the guy that isn't bitter, was pretty extraordinary. What mechanisms do you use to reset every day? I meditate every morning. I've been doing that for several years, for eight years now religiously. And in those meditations, I confront myself. So I'm sitting there meditating, and my meditation is all about emptying the mind, but it's impossible to empty the mind. So as you're meditating, thoughts come to you, anxieties, worries, resentments. I've trained myself to question where they are. Each time I feel anger at my sibling or my mother or friend, for saying something that I misinterpreted, I go, that's your ego speaking. These people weren't saying something that was personal. You just have your ego, which is always getting in your way. Question it. So question my impatience, my frustrations, etc. The meditation has really helped me. A transcendent practice is any practice where you go out of the physical world and you go with it. So meditation, breathing in and out, box-breathing is a transcendent practice, but closing your eyes and just being grateful for your life is a transcendent practice. Closing your eyes and thinking compassionately about someone you love is a transcendent practice, and thinkation is a transcendent practice. You're going within. And then there's modern meditation, which is about becoming better at the world. Meditation is not about becoming better at meditation, it's about becoming better at functioning in the modern world. And so when you understand that transcendent practices are these beautiful things we can tap into to get better at life, you see meditation in a completely different way. Meditation helps you bend reality. There is a myth out there in the world that I call the hustle myth. It says that it's about hard work, that it's about working harder than the competition. It's about busting your back for 100 hours a week. I call bullshit on that, because I also see people who take, who focus on themselves first, who have a steady meditation practice, who learn how to tap into intuition and then how to visualize their goals. And they work significantly less, but get far better results. You can hustle or you can surrender into your inner space. And I'm a big fan of surrendering into your inner space. Hustling to me is an outdated, broken approach that leads to overwork, it leads to broken marriages, it leads to for relationship with your kids, it leads to aging faster, don't hustle, it's a myth. Alright, so I'm the king of hustle. So right now you're going to convince me to be, and I'm actually super open, I always want a better answer than where I'm at. So explain to me, and obviously I've heard you talk about this, but I have questions. Explain to me what it exactly means to surrender into something. So, let me give you an example. Now you said you're the king of hustle, right? But I would actually debate that. When I talk about hustle, I talk about the people who believe that you have to work an ungodly number of hours to be successful. There is a much healthier way. So there are two different types of people who are talking about entrepreneurship today. There's the type of people who talk about entrepreneurship purely in the physical sense. It's about the number of hours you work, it's about the number of phone calls, and of course, hard work has its place. But then you see the rise of books by people like Michael Singer who wrote the book, The Surrender Experiment. And if you read the book, it's kind of cool. This guy built a billion dollar software company, and he talks about how he did that by surrendering, by going within, by having a daily meditation practice. Now in your case, I believe you're doing it. You're also moving to that approach, but you're doing it unconsciously. When I listen to you speak at AFS and you spoke about how you sit down, you relax, and you thinkitate, and these ideas come into you, you're tapping into something. Tom, you're tapping into your intuition. That is a far more efficient way than trying to hustle to get these ideas. You're going within.
How to Learn From Vipassana Meditation (13:21)
So like getting into what you can learn through a post-meditations is very interesting to me. I've never done it. I'm super intrigued, more so after hearing your story than I've ever been. And what I want to know, because people listening right now, they don't understand what the journey inside the mind is. And this is one of the reasons that The Matrix is the perfect movie to me in terms of being a metaphor for human life. Because Morpheus says the very true quote, "No one can tell you what The Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." There's just no way to explain it, right? He tries at the beginning of the movie. It says, "It's all around you. It's everything you see." But you don't really understand what that means. So like when you say that the post-meditations is taking you inside the mind, it's this incredibly transformational thing that it helps you develop awareness. For somebody who is sitting at home thinking, "I have no interest in doing that, I'm convinced they have no interest because they don't understand what it means." How would you describe it? All right. I love that question. It's a fantastic question. One thing that I think is beautiful about it is that because our brains, as you said, are malleable or neuroplasticity, the experience is different for every person as well as it's different every time you go. So I've sat three 10-day post-med courses. I try to go every year, every other year, as well as some shorter ones after that. But you kind of start with the 10-day. And it's not as if the first time I was like, "I'm getting better at this." And the second time I was like, "I'm pretty good at this." And the third time I was like, "I'm awesome at this." It was like, even any given day in one of those 30 days that I've done it or any different moment, it's ups and downs. You're right in the cycle, which is a great metaphor for life. But trying to drill down a little more specific and rich detail for a person which is... And maybe to help frame that. So when you're having these ups and downs in the day, is it something like, "I'm shit at this. My mind is just running all over the place and I have no control and I can't empty my thoughts and I'm worried about them focusing." And then when you get into sort of a zone of really being engaged in the here and now, that's when it feels like you're doing it well. So I think in general, it sounds like I've measured a little bit of experience with meditation in some format, which is, there's no like being good at meditating. Like that's like a total fallacy in itself, which is, the entire practice of a... But Poissonna teaches you to not have either craving nor a version, which means if you have like this beautiful, warm, flow state vibration through your body, you'd be like, "I'm good at this now." Like whatever. But the second that goes away, if you start craving that good positive flow sensation, you're actually craving for something that's not there. The same conversely as like you're sitting there, like your back hurts, your knee hurts, your this, and you're like, "Oh my God, I'm terrible at this. My mind's racing." Always things like, "I'm bad at this." You have a version to the pain of that circumstance. Versus once you go through a full 10 day, what you start to realize is both of those things are going to come and go. There's going to be good moments. There's going to be hard moments. But both those moments are actually just objective. So, taking into an article terms for a second, where the meditation completely applied to this lesson, which is, "I got to a place in my mind towards the end where I could tap into flow states for a really long period of time." And as storms are raging on the outside of the external, like I said, 50, 60 mile per hour, it's blowing. It's crazy. Normally, it'd be like, "It's crazy out here. I can barely walk. The wind's blowing. It's so cold. I can get frostbitten in a second. I could ever." Or, I found the place in my mind through posture to go like, "Oh, it's really windy right now. The average temperature is minus 80 degrees. I'm out here all alone." Objectively, not wishing I was warm, not wishing I was cold, not wishing I was somewhere else, just like it is. Survival mode, I think, is comprised of this state where you have nothing to lose.
how to break out of survival mode (17:00)
And you can't live like that. Right? That's not a life. And so, two things happened in survival mode. One, I got pretty fearless. And two, I had this for the first time in my life, this strange brand of pure confidence. Because no one expected anything from me. And so, I think a lot had to do with that. Now, when I got out of crisis, my normal mind came back in. And I desperately wanted to return to crisis mode mind without the crisis. Interesting. And so, what I did is I pursued that with everything I had. I started reading a ton of books. I spoke to people that I respect in all different fields, spiritual people, neuroscientists, psychologists, elders I respect in a 12-step program. And I just, through trial and error, cycled through these different sort of ways to return me to this liberated, fearless, confident mindset because it was so powerful. You know, and it was so effective. And so, the answer to that is, I think you've got to figure out a way to get your own self out of the way. Because the only thing that's ever stood in between myself or anyone else and their ultimate dream is themselves, right? There's going to be obstacles, of course, but you can navigate them unless you think you can't. So, the two things, you know, there's just like a couple of things that I've found if I practice on a daily basis, that I can stay sort of in that flow mind, right? And it's interesting. One of them is meditation. And, you know, a lot of people, and like, you know, meditation stigmatizes this as a very spiritual practice or a practice to, you know, like calm you down or whatever. And I think those are great applications for it, but in my experience, meditation is an absolutely critical performance tool because it allows you to train your mind. So, the beautiful thing about peace, it's not a spot. Like, people say, "Well, I'm going to go to Marbé Espéin. That's where I find peace." Or, "I'm going back to Egypt. That's where I find peace." That's cool. That probably helped. You can like stop, bam, right now, and have peace. You can go into that place of meditation. How, though? Okay. Part of that is, I call it stop, look, and listen. You got to stop the noise, okay? You got to look inside yourself, and then you have to listen. So, let's just stop now, just go into a place of meditation, and don't think about where you've been, where you were, what everybody's saying about you, but let's just go into a place of being grateful. And you love that word, too. You got to go back to that place of being grateful. It's this idea of, "You may not be what you want to be, but thank God you're not what you used to be." And what I find is from that place of peace, okay? You can find a better place to help solve that dilemma that you're in. Because chaos will create more chaos if you're not careful. Yeah, that is for sure.
how to leverage the silent power of meditation (20:40)
So, let's go back to meditation, let's define that. So, I think it's really powerful, and I get why you have people start with gratitude. Yeah. That's such a, I'll say, weapon to help people really get calm, to change their neurochemistry, to focus on something that's going to be helpful. Yes. Do you define meditation as simply thinking about things you're grateful for, or is there something else there? I think there's different things that people meditate on, to meditate is to mutter or to have your mind set, to set your mind to mindset. So, some people do spiritual meditation, some people think about nature, but whatever you meditate on, mind set, okay, is the whole being grateful that does take you into a beautiful state. Because then you start to remember that you're still living, you're still breathing, you're still alive. And then the second place I think that we should go is you need to begin to go beyond your situation.
how to transcend your emotions by aligning your 2 minds (21:47)
You need to think big in small places. Do you think that meditation gave you the ability to get out from under the control of your emotions? Yes. Meditation was fantastic. Meditation is the biggest gift that I can give anyone. And I would say more than anything, it is whatever reason for success I've had. Because it allows one back to the two you's. I'll clarify. What I mean is that in your mind, we think what do you want? And the reality is when you look at the neuroscience and psychology, that there are different parts of your brain that want different things. And so, in the simplest sense, there is the logical part of your brain that you're conscious of, it's called the conscious, and you think you're being logical and you want to make those decisions. And then there's the subliminal below the limbic system, part of the brain, which is the emotional, and it's not as conscious to you. But it has more of an influence on you than really the logical one. And so they're not aligned. And so when you're experiencing that pain or, let's say, the ego, right, there were two main things. You've got an ego barrier and a blind spot barrier. If you can get past your ego barrier and you get past your blind spot barrier, you can accomplish anything because you also know that you don't have to do everything to, you don't have to figure it out yourself. You can take in from other people the different ways to approach things in the best possible way. And so the realization that we all are really struggling with ourselves and to think which is in control. Meditation helps to deal with the alignment of those two things because both are valuable. In other words, intuition, imagination, the things we really love come from our subliminal usses, right, or our needs, whatever they may be. They come from here, that subliminal. They may be valuable. They may be damaging. You don't know the difference. And so when they come up and you're looking at those with your logical mind and you can align those things, you're probably in good shape. If you can do that, that alignment between the subliminal and the logical, and you can do that with other people so that you can triangulate with other people and say, does that make sense? And get alignment. That alignment is the path to the future because you only have to know what the best things to do are. You don't have to have them all come up from your head. And for God's sakes, don't be overly opinionated because just because you have that opinion, it doesn't mean it's true. So that's where the two use and the alignment really is so important. Alright, I hope you guys enjoyed learning how these amazing individuals use meditation to help them find the best version of themselves and to manage their stress and anxiety. My hope is that if you're not currently using meditation that you make it a part of your daily life, starting immediately, it really will help you center yourself and navigate the challenges going on right now. Thank you guys so much for watching. Meditation absolutely changed my life and I know that it can change yours. Until next time my friends, be legendary. What's up, Impactivis? As you guys know, my mission in life is to provide the No BS instruction manual for success. And to that end, we've launched our brand new learning platform, Impact Theory University. Our goal with ITU is to provide you with curriculum that will help you take your career, business or personal development to the next level. So regardless of your end goal, ITU is designed to provide you with the universal principles and tactics of success that will propel you forward. 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I look forward to seeing you on the inside my friends and until then be legendary. Take care. Ask yourself, who am I? What do I want? What is my purpose? What am I grateful for? Go into the stillness of meditation. You have what wisdom traditions have called revelation.