This week’s guest is Dr. Melanie Greenberg, psychologist, speaker, and author of “The Stress-Proof Brain: Master Your Emotional Response to Stress Using Mindfulness & Neuroplasticity.”  She has been a guest on numerous media outlets including CNN, Forbes, BBC Radio, Lifehacker, Huffington Post, and much more.  We had an interesting chat about the events that actually occur in our brains when we experience stress, and how knowledge of this can potentially help to mitigate some of the unwanted symptoms that show up in our daily lives. What you might not know is that modern neuroscience has produced some very interesting research that suggests that we can essentially train our brains, much like muscles, to become more bulletproof to stress via mindfulness training, and you’ll get some great insight from Melanie about how to do so!

Highlights of this episode include:

— What exactly is mindfulness and how can it help us become more resilient to stress?

— What are all the parts of the brain that process stress, anxiety, and emotions?

— How even just a little knowledge of neuroscience can help to ease anxiety

— Melanie’s personal story of how she began studying stress and the brain

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November 5, 2017

Confessions Of A Malcontent

“Teach what you need to learn, until you learn it.” — Dr. Wayne Dyer

This week I’m recording out from Bloomington, IN, where I just finished up having an awesome weekend with my son at his college.  My experience this weekend caused me to reflect on a specific aspect of myself I’d like to address today — and that is my tendency to be a “Malcontent.” I’d describe a malcontent as someone who is never quite satisfied with where they are, always in search of the next big thing. While there are times that this can certainly fuel us in our lives — it’s what has allowed me to become a psychologist, author, and a guest in numerous national media outlets — it also makes it very easy to bypass the present moment, and the deep-fulfilling happiness that emanates from a gratitude for the experience in front of us right now.  So take a quick listen, and then I urge you to go out into your life and really try to connect with and appreciate whatever experience happens to be in front of you.  I suspect you won’t regret it!

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When sexual assaults are reported, particularly in regards to college campuses, our minds typically gravitate toward two notions:  A) to see that the perpetrator is brought to justice, and B) the victim seeks the appropriate course of treatment.  But how often do we consider the nuts of bolts of the policy and protocols put into place by those colleges?  Are they fair, efficient, and optimally designed? Or are there some gray areas when that can still be discussed and improved upon? That’s what this week’s guest, Carly, is here to talk about. Carly is a writer for the Indiana University student newspaper and has recently published a series on this topic that has raised some very interesting questions. 

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This week’s guest is Jeff Wenzler, founder of Pivotal Directions, a non-profit organization whose goal is to transform the lives of youths by teaching them how to be of service to others. Jeff’s story began at age 20, when his older brother tragically died in his arms, and subsequently inspired him to make the most of his moments by moving to Guatemela to teach.  The perspective he learned from the people there lead him to launch Pivotal Directions so that hopefully others could learn the same lessons. Jeff has additionally made a film about his endeavors called “10 Dollar Perspective” as well as a book titled “The Pivotal Life: A Compass For Discovering Purpose, Passion, & Perspective.”

 

Highlights of this episode include:

— The story of how Jeff lost his brother to drugs

— How his brother’s death inspired him to travel To Guatemala to teach

— How his non-profit organization Pivotal Directions got started

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October 19, 2017

Me, Too: My Thoughts…

Me, Too:  My Thoughts...

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This week’s guest is Mary Shores, author of the recently published “Conscious Communications” which focuses on the power that our words have in creating the course of our lives.  Mary’s expertise in this topic was the result of bouncing back from an unfathomable tragedy, to founding a debt collection agency where she discovered the way she chose to communicate with people had a tremendous impact on the success of her business. From there, she managed to become an author despite claiming to never have been a writer, and she’s here to recount the entire story!

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This week’s guest is Blake, a college senior at Indiana University.  Blake has a been football player since his youth, and as a big guy, always a fairly dominant one.  But as a college football player, going from the proverbial big fish in the small pond to the opposite proved to be an incredibly challenging transition in many areas. The rigorous time and energy requirements of the game was beginning to interfere with his ability to have a complete college experience, and a sense of loneliness was becoming prevalent.  As the title suggests, Blake made one of the most difficult decisions he’s ever made in deciding to leave football behind, and was ultimately able to improve his grades and social life immensely, as well as discover a passion for broadcasting. Blake shows us how to create a rich, authentic life experience by staying involved, staying positive, and staying connected." 

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Oftentimes on the podcast, we talk about the importance of “connection” and how we eradicate a lot of our undue anxiety by simply connecting to something, whether it be a passion or otherwise.  This week’s guest is Colette, who is here to take us on a journey that exemplifies this idea with her incredibly inspirational story of being a professional singer in New York City who suddenly lost her voice one day, and how she ultimately re-connected with it years later through volunteering to sing to Alzheimer’s patients.  Colette’s story is a powerful testament to the healing powers that intent can illicit, how we better treat and serve our elders, and how the fulfillment we receive from any endeavor we choose to pursue in life is ultimately dependent on the energy we choose to bring to it.  PS — Colette is also hilarious. 

 

Highlights of this episode include:

— How Colette lost her singing voice while trying to make it as a singer in NYC

— How she was able to launch a career in comedy afterwards

— How she re-discovered singing many years later through volunteering

— Her grandmothers that inspired her to want to work with the elderly

— The importance of having a purpose, and much more!

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On Greatness:  My Story Of Leaving Accounting For Psychology

There are a lot of avenues we can take to define anxiety.  So with this episode, I’d like to share my own personal story of how anxiety can bubble to the surface if all the best parts about yourself are being bottled.  For me, this meant leaving behind an accounting career I’d worked very hard to build because my body was continuously letting me every day that I was in the wrong place.  In this sense, anxiety can actually serve as a tremendous gift to us, a kind tap on the shoulder from our nervous system letting us know there’s a much better life for us that’s waiting to be tapped into. 

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This week’s guest is Akshay Nanavati, author of the forthcoming book “Fearvana: The Revolutionary Science of How To Turn Fear Into Health, Wealth, & Happiness.” Akshay struggled with drug addiction as a youth, but his life was changed after the movie “Black Hawk Down” inspired him to join the US Marines.  After serving in Iraq, and struggling with PTSD as a result, Akshay began to educate himself deeply on the neuroscience behind fear, and developed some very interesting ideas on how fear can be used as a catalyst for many areas of personal growth. Akshay’s high-octane demeanor is contagious, and his enthusiasm for life and his work are highly enviable.  I suspect you’ll enjoy this one and learn a lot like I did!

Highlights of this episode include:

—How the movie “Black Hawk Down” inspired Akshay to quit using drugs forever

—His experiences in the US Marines and the PTSD he experienced afterwards

—The differences between post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder

—The concept of “Fearvana” and how we can use it to our advantage

—What we can learn through enduring challenging events, and more!

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