S1 E6: Overcoming guilt, shame and other labels!
In this video
hi I’m dr. Caroline leaf and welcome to my show the dr. leaf show if you haven’t yet subscribed press the little button at the bottom of your screen and you’ll be notified when these new episodes and you’ll be kept up to date with all things relating to mind and mental health in this episode today I’m going to answer some questions in fact I’m going to answer two questions that were brilliant people are sending me questions and I encourage you to send questions to the email at the bottom of your screen and in between different shows I will be honest having shows we are answer questions like today I think this is a great way of getting to the specifics of how we can apply the mind brain link because I’m a scientist I’m a cognitive neuroscientist I’ve researched the mind brain connection for many years I’m also communication pathologists I’ve worked in clinical practice for 25 years and I go around the world teach you all this brain stuff and this mind brain connection showing people how you can use your mind to change your brain to change your life and your life on every level cognitive emotional academic intellectual all areas and to the point where you feel like you’re managing your life and I mean is happy if we be never really gonna arrive there but it’s a process of learning how to do this better and better all the time so today I thought I picked these two questions for today’s show because I just think they’re so relevant we get so many questions like this in fact I condensed questions a couple of questions into these two questions because they’re very very very significant and relevant because the first question is that fear and shame are so prevalent in the lives of people all around the world in fact shame tends to to dictate that we are fundamentally and uniquely flawed at the core of our being how do we successfully break free from the trappings of shame and then be able to celebrate and embrace the uniqueness of our identity so good okay it’s a fear and shame prevalence in lives around the world not that I can confirm I can’t tell you how many of my patients in fact I don’t even know any that didn’t express some level of fear and shame about fear and shame or fear or shame about the situation that they were in and we get so many emails thousands of emails of people expressing this and then the second part that shame makes you feel that you fundamentally and uniquely flawed at the core of your being there is nothing more devastating than for a person to feel shame about who they are it’s the kind of thing that makes people just want to give up on life commit suicide get depressed just not even function just get completely stuck and I really I really want to address that today it’s a big question and I can tell you now we’re going to address it on just one show we will this will come up again and then how do we successfully break free from the trappings of shame and then get to the point we can celebrate and embrace the uniqueness of our identity okay so this is such a profound question and such an important question I keep saying that I’ve actually written a book called the perfect youth this book over here written many books but this book the perfect you really addresses this from a very scientific angle being a scientist for me it’s really important to bring in facts and practical application of those facts bring the knowledge to help people to understand how they function I spend a couple of hours every day researching mind brain connection and brain research too that I put into my book into my books and my research and I have my experience from clinical practice and all of the sub point to my materials so I want to tell you that I’m coming and bringing you information today that comes from years of experience and you can’t answer such a big question in such a short timeframe but I’m going to start addressing the problem and I promise I will take this further as we go into getting to other shows but there’s a tremendous amount of very positive information in this book called the perfect you to help you to understand that at the core of who you are is a blueprint and that blueprint is one of perfection okay so what I mean by that it start there and then we’ll bring a back to shame and guilt in’ and all that kind of stuff and this and this thing that just ties us up the first thing is that according to scientific research our entire body and brain is basically wired in a direction of love this is a statement that was made by scientists that we are wired for love so research shows that on a physical level there’s nothing in us for anything that is in shame and guilt there is no wiring for shame and guilts you don’t have circuits in your brain for shame and it isn’t someone who has more circuits for shaming someone else shame is something that comes as a result of how we are responding to the events and circumstances of life and every response that we have is going to be wired into our brain because that’s how we work there’s a mind brain connection your mind separate from your brain and as you’re using your mind to think feel and choose you change the structure of your brain so you’re actually changing the structure of your brain you’re building stuff into your brain through your thought life okay and that stuff that you’re building in could be good stuff and bad stuff it’s always a combination of both but sometimes we can get very stuck in bad things and you know a lot of the time things starting childhood and then that lays down patterns and we continue them into adulthood and they get worse or whatever or better whichever way around but a lot of shame will start very young in a child and a child who’s maybe confused or something like that so but shame can also come as an adult shame can come in a relationship you can be in a relationship where one partner is actually very low in self-esteem and to make themselves feel better they can make it a partner feel worse about themselves and you know so there’s many different ways that shame can become part of how you see yourself but it goes against your natural blueprint of your identity in this book I talked about the philosophy and the science of the concept of the perfect you so your brain is this amazing thing your body is this amazing thing your brain is is we only understand around about eight to ten percent of how the brain functions but we’re learning more and more and more what we do understand is that the mind to changes the brain and works through the brain so we also know that the mind the unique humanity let’s take the big thing humanity at our core I have this blueprint of perfection now notice I’m saying blueprint blueprint is a pen you see a blueprint of the building and then it’s a plan of what’s to come so and then you build the building and then you keep improving the building or whatever and that’s kind of how we are as humans there’s this blueprint this natural blueprint and as we are growing up and going through life and going through the experiences of life so the blueprint is manifesting in this beautiful you and it changes because you know you you know how you am you’re about to remodel our house and I mean I love my house but it’s time to you know I really want to remodel the house and it’s time to do that because it’s kind of old now and so that’s now my blueprints gonna change but it doesn’t mean what was there was bad it means I’m going to improve on that because time has moved on in these new ways of doing things and I mean that’s a very simple example but we keep on growing in our blueprint what we have to watch out is that are we aligning with the actual blueprint that is one that brings peace and joy and happiness and excitement and passion and drive and motivation and purpose and all those things that make us move forward in life is it a blueprint that helps you as you go through the tumours of life and the sufferings of life and the challenges of life is that the blueprint that enables you to stand up and keep going or is it a or have you started damaging the blueprint and have you started getting to the point where your blueprint is actually now kind of not working like it should so you start playing out another view of your yourself and this is what we are able to mean as as science shows as we are able to stand back and evaluate this and observe this and change this so one of the cool things that I teach in my principals and in there are that there are during my clinical practice and they teach now all over the place and around the world is that you need to be very aware of what you’re thinking about because you can’t change something that you’re not aware of so very often we have to retrain ourselves just see what we’re thinking about so bringing this concept back to shame and guilt is if you feel that you are consumed by shame and this guilt inside of you those are words that are describing something so you can’t just say I have shame you got to be more specific than that what is the shame about where does the shame come from you’ve got to kind of do a little bit of digging so you need to go through a process of becoming aware of all that emotion and then you know think of it like a tree and a tree has all these branches and all these leaves on the branches and that and then it’s got a tree trunk and in it’s got roots just you know think of it look at the look at the screen the moment and look at this beautiful tree that you sing and then let’s have a look at an image of the roots and now that’s a connected thing so think of this that the the outpouring that what you see the beautiful tree is is the outpouring of how you’re behaving or whatever I’m performing in your life etc and in the roots they are healthy and now look at this toxic to you look at this kind of tree that’s been damaged and something’s wrong with it and it’s got some kind of disease and infection so it’s not looking so healthy and the roots are damaged and that’s probably gonna die that tree quite soon you know it’s not healthy so that’s just an analogy for you and it’s very very similar in your brain because your thoughts actually look like trees thoughts are real things that occupy mental real estate so like a house occupies land so your thoughts occupy space in your brain and you actually build those so you’re we so something like shame would be like the toxic tree so let’s look at their toxic tree again so something like shame would be that so there’s the tree and it’s manifesting and the branches of the tree are all ugly and whatever so that maybe in your life that you’re angry or you’re frustrated or you add everyone’s gonna because we’re so unique and and there’s no one patent for how shame will play out but it will play out guaranteed you are going to express you are gonna express what’s coming what’s deep down inside of yourself is going to come out somehow so what we need to do is go back and evaluate and look at what is the root of that and I have a process in this book here called the switch on your brain look it’s called the 21 day brain detox which takes you through five steps that are that are researched on how to rewire your brain it’s called the science of thought basically and it’s based on how thoughts form in your brains through your mind and therefore you use that that process of how thoughts are formed to kind of track back and retrace and try and find the root of what’s going on in this problem so it’s exactly like the stream so shame has a root and shame has in it and it’s got maybe some cause it could have been it have been that you that you are expected to behave in a certain way but it’s not who you are but you’ve been told that that is the way that you’re supposed to be so you live up to that I’m thinking of a friend of mine of someone that I know who for years who she was defined by her family has been this perfect little girl and always did everything right always whatever and she it was almost given her identity and to please let those loved ones in her life she fulfilled and loved into that but by the time she got into a marriage and she continued you know she was the perfect elicit what wife doing what you were supposed to do but all all the time inside of herself she was not being who she was truly it wasn’t her she was just that was not her she had forever loved her life trying to be someone else and the and when when when it came down to the point where she actually had breakdown and just her life fell apart because you can’t sustain that kind of thing forever you who you are will always come out in some way so even if you have to break down and get rid of that to come out with you you are and go through a process of almost like a death like process to be able to come out on the other side you will but at the same time in that process it’s not unhealthy to look back and think where did this thing start and that’s very often when someone tries to be someone else is a shame linked to it in this particular person for some reason pics are very young that if she didn’t behave in a certain way that would be shameful and so this to be me was seen as a lie can’t be me because that’s shame and then at this grew into adulthood and even though it sounds are totally logical this is a very common kind of pattern and I mean I’m not getting specific details because it’s going to be unique to each person there’s no one pattern I’m giving you a general broad idea because your story is your story no one can take your story away from you you have your own whole story which is very important to recognize so the point is that this shame can really hold you back this shame can really lock who you are and eventually it will explode in some way or another in your physical and mental health relationships if not all of them so it seemed very important that if you feel like you’ve brought shame in your life and sometimes it’s a pervading thing a big thing like in this particular person’s life it was a whole it was honor it was whole life and I can think of a whole bunch of other stories of people that I have worked with that have gone through similar things with similar people different situations you’ve got your own story but if that situation could be small things it could be a small thing that you a way of behaving or something about your personality that somewhere down the line someone said something and you felt it was a bad thing and they maybe didn’t even mean it to be a bad thing it was just the way it was said and it was the age that you were at and with your perception of the situation and you didn’t get clarification and that just stayed there so does toxic things stayed in your brain and then it grew and and it manifested an effects and luckily a virus so it may not be as pervading as the previous example but there’s this root of something in your life and it manifests at certain points in your life because these certain things the good news is you can overcome all of this there is nothing that you can’t rewire inside of your brain your brain is neuro plastic neuro means brain plastic means to change you can change all these situations in your life you can overcome them all very specific very not very easily it’s a lot of hard work but every single thing can be overcome and you can change that you literally rewire your brain so you can embrace your uniqueness because it’s one of the part how do you embrace your uniqueness the only way you’re going to embrace your uniqueness is by recognizing that you’ve got these issues going on in your life it’s okay and then saying okay well that’s not who I am that’s who I have become that was very key with a lot of my patients and even in my own life in certain things you’ve got to look at those things that you that make you feel shame you’ve got to ask yourself are they actually bad and the way that I’m now manifesting in this is it really bad you’ve got to go back and reevaluate and rebuild and recon sexualize and that’s a beautiful word and it’s a word that I’ve done a lot of scientific research on it’s a word that I’ve trained my patients to to utilize in their life re conceptualize mean to see it from a different angle and seeing something from a different angle and redesigning it the way you believe it should be is a mind exercise that changes your brain and therefore your behavior and that’s what you would do you would read you put you’ve got to get become aware of it you’ve got to identify this thing become aware of it and then go through a process of recon capitalization I mean it takes literally five minutes a day and over periods of 21 cycles of 21 days you can start changing this and to really change something that it actually impacts how you function you need to do this for up to 63 days per concept per thought that you’re working on and I have those details in this book so these two books work very very hand-in-hand when it comes to dealing with shame the message and i’ma go into the second thing that sort of overall you know sort of concluding general principle that I want to put forward here is that you you you’re not stuck in this this is not your destiny guilt and shame are not normal that’s the wrong way to say guilt and shame are not emotions that you have to live with if you have guilt and shame it’s a trigger for you that something’s not right in your life something happened to you and something made you feel like that and you need to take the time invest that time in yourself to find out what’s going wrong and you may need a counselor you may need a friend but the best way to do this is is yourself realizing you have that power and in a loving environment so find someone to just talk it through with and that you trust and that you love they don’t have to be a counselor they can just be your best friend your husband your boyfriend girlfriend whatever it can be someone that you trust and you can talk it through because when we in a loving environment we have so much more courage to face those things that we felt were shameful and and people can give you perspective you know you can you might say well this is what I feel shame about and that person can say but that’s that’s that’s something so beautiful and it can maybe help you see another perspective so you can do this you’re able to change your life it’s not your destiny it’s look at the next question that I want to cover today as you can see these are big questions and as more questions come in we’ll get more specific with people’s examples in their lives and when you start seeing specific examples it’s going to help as well so if you have a question that you think might be related to shame and you would like to have a more specific answer please send us that question send me the question to the to the email that you see on the screen and let’s talk about those things let’s let’s actually exceed we can examine in a bit more specific detail not only will you be helping yourself but you’ll be helping others and when you help others you increase your chance of healing by a factor of 68% so don’t be scared to share your story and and ask for help and advice okay let’s look at the next question for the show okay this is a big one okay so what let’s talk about depression OCD PTSD ad D ADHD eating disorder schizophrenia cutting and all of that what lies behind these illnesses and in my professional opinion how do i text how do we take steps to heal roots on a chemical level is what you’re presenting more effective than medication okay so that’s an enormous question that one that I I will definitely address in multiple shows but I believe it’s worth starting to get to the big picture of this answer first first number one let me read them again depression OCD PTSD ad D ADHD eating disorder schizophrenia cutting those are scary words those are words that when you hear them immediately people’s reactions are that’s like something really bad that’s mental ill-health that is something for you know it’s like a scary and we we get so much information in the media that’s incorrect that says that mental illness is on the rise and that those are the labels of mental illness so the message that you at the media is giving us is that these things these labels are actual illnesses they diseases in the brain and that they’re on the rise now we’re not given a reason for really for why we just told it they’re on the rise and they told that the best web management is medication maybe a little bit of psychotherapy or cognitive behavior therapy as a sideline now not too I’m talking in general because there’s a lot of psychiatrists and psychologists and counselors that don’t that really work with the individual person and really help them in in in context and a lot of those people I’ll be those kind of doctors and I will be having on my show so join it follow the show cuz you’re going to get so much help with all these kinds of things in your as you as you do life okay so first of all those are not diseases those are labels and you know what they are the easiest way to understand these is these are adjectives do you know what an adjective is of course you do it’s a describing word it’s a word that describes something so the word schizophrenia is describing something and there’s something it’s describing is a person who is broken in who has gone through something and in the context of their life it’s a huge thing and and they haven’t managed to deal with it and maybe it’s repeated situations that have increased the level of trauma in that person’s life and the mind hasn’t known how to manage it and because the mind changes the brain the brain starts breaking down and the brain responds and the internal networks of the brain that help keep us kind of stabilized start pulling apart and kind of a lot of other things so happening in the brain and we get this change and Aneta feeds back into the mind and you get this negative feedback loop lucida so that’s but that’s not a destiny that’s not an illness that’s not you something that you have to live with for the rest of your life what we have to do is recognize that that person is uniquely expressing something that they are going through and we need to love that person because it’s research shows that when you spend the time listening and loving a person and taking the time to hear their story and to spend time with them in a loving trusting non-judgmental environment what you do is you change the brain chemistry just by listening to someone in love and not judging them and not freaking out as I say weird things or say they’re hearing voices or it seemed like they you know just stay calm and love them and immersing them in love you changing you sending out an energy signal that’s not weird this is quantum physics you’re sending out and immersing them in a loving signal that helps to calm their body down the heart starts secreting various different hormones that will calm the body down the brain chemistry changes that will influence every cell of the body I mean that’s just a few of many different things that will happen and it’ll help the person to just kind of refocus and start working through the issues and obviously this is not a quick fix this is obviously something that happens over time but that person can be helped through that situation schizophrenia not even that long ago 50 60 years ago used to be met seen as a basically a crisis that happen in a person’s life and then have a breakdown and maybe two or three a year maybe in one year they might have more but generally with the loving support of talking through helping him through it they would get get it under control within two to three years it was under control now what’s happening is people are being diagnosed with a label of schizophrenia and it’s almost honestly like a death sentence they’re being told that you told that you diseased now we’ve just spoken about how identity is challenged when someone feels shame well when you get given a label that you have a disease there’s a feeling of hopelessness because you know when you get like the diagnosis of cancer there’s something going on in your body or diagnosis of a cardiovascular disease or something like that it’s and it’s it’s if you feel kind of hopeless and you really have to lean on the medical profession to get your get your healing back but if you the mind is not the same as the brain the brain and the body can be you can treat it one way but the mind needs to be treated another way so we can’t classify things like schizophrenia and depression and OCD which are these descriptive labels of things going on in the mind in the same way as we treat the body the body we use the biomedical model and the biomedical model is brilliant it’s brilliant this you can have a blood test done to check if you have diabetes and you don’t have enough insulin and you can get treatment for that you can have various tests and imaging done to see what’s wrong with with your heart and you can get treatment and surgery I mean medicine is absolutely fantastic it’s phenomenal but we can’t apply those rules and those laws and those principles to the mind it’s a different thing we’re dealing with and even though the mind works through the brain and the brain needs the mind they work together they have to be treated differently so the mind is something different and the mind needs to be treated in a different way and we need to have a look at what is the root what is the cause how are things what’s going on in that person’s life what’s the person’s story because so it’s a lot of conviction it’s not medication it is connection there are no tests to test for schizophrenia there is no blood taste there’s no genetic test this know what people use as a checklist and their checklist changes or has often changed and it’s it’s variable and you can’t tell a person’s story from a checklist you can’t just check off a few boxes in that’s it in 15 minutes you can’t hear the story of a person’s life in five or ten minutes you know when I first started training when I first started working we were trained to do a diagnostic obviously every patient that came in with diagnosed I would spend sometimes 3-4 hours in a diagnostic process before I sort of work getting into into and plan for my patients so you’ve got to spend time really helping people get to the core of the issue before you just slap on a label so there’s no ways in 15 minutes that you can be diagnosed as having a disease billions of dollars have been poured into finding the neurobiological cause of these labels OCD and it’s afrien and EDD and ADHD when they’re not even scientific categories they are not diseases depression is not a chemical imbalance that is a must that came through many years ago a month that has been promulgated by the big pharma because it basically sells drugs there is nothing not scientific at all there’s a lot of research on my website I’m showing this and lots of references where you can read up on this in my books I have endless references to so you can find out more about this and we’ll be doing lots and lots of shows about this but I want to give you a hope I don’t want to frighten you I want to give you hope I want you to be excited to realize yes you may have got that label and that label is not you that label is a description of something that’s going on in your life so we look at it change your paradigm if you have some of those labels in your life for someone and you’ll love a loved one or someone has a label like that in your life rephrase that reaiiy mean sorry conceptualize it look at it differently shift your paradigm to seeing this as a description a simple description like we say someone’s angry or frustrated you know you’re describing how they’re feeling and they am you’re frustrated because of something see these labels in the same way and then start getting to the root of trying to find out why that happened in the first place why are you manifesting with these feelings of sadness this persistent sadness that has been labeled depression why are you having these highs and these lows those are manifestations of a brain that is neurochemically and quantum on a quantum level is going into a state of chaos and when it’s manifesting and trying to pull back to its natural state which is one of stability in love and balance and in the process these symptoms of manifesting so we help each other we can take control of us over the situation at first you may feel so swamped by the situation that you don’t feel you can take control and I’m not this show is not meant to solve all your problems in one show that’s why I have the materials that’s why I have the website there so I had more shows and that’s why I encourage you to do the on lines and all these different programs and and dive into these references what I want to tell you today is that these are labels that your mind cannot be treated like your body it’s separate it’s different and that there’s always hope to change because your mind is powerful and you know what you actually literally heal yourself with your mind you heal your mind with your mind and as you and as your mind heals you are able to stand back and observe your own thinking start changing things and so the structure of your brain changes so I’m gonna end up with a quick technique that is this is not the answer to this whole question I’m gonna stress as I’ve stressed throughout the show that these I’m just starting to dive into these topics and I encourage you to send more emails and things like that but I will be addressing all of these things a lot of different ways and a lot of different times in a lot of different shows but he has a technique that is really helpful if you feel today like you just need some help right at this moment imagine that there’s a big building in front of you in this buildings got all these windows and those windows are sealed but and you’re standing outside and you’re looking at those windows and inside those windows are are seeing scenarios from your life all kinds of different scenarios from your life and as you will pass some scenarios you like you don’t wanna look at some are really painful some you just can’t look at someone really great so it’s you’re kind of for the memories of your life so let’s say now that you there’s one that’s really flashing and that is that is one that you need to focus on so now I want you to actually go up to that window and even if it’s hard to look even if you have to stand with your back in your mind to that window stand in front of that window and realize where you’re standing you’re not inside you’re outside the window you’re not inside the window you’re outside the window so it’s not who you are who you are is outside the window that’s perfect you this incredible person who has this powerful mind who’s able to change their brain who’s able to change the circumstances yes it’s going to be hard work we know all of that and we’ll talk more about that too but you inside that window it’s something that’s happening to you it’s a part of your life but it’s not your destiny so you can change it so remember for now the tip is stand outside get the materials to help you start diving into the techniques watch my shows and get more help thank you for joining me today I’m dr.
Caroline leaf and this is the dr. leave the show hi I’m dr. Caroline leaf and I’m so excited to tell you about my conference this year we’ve got more sessions we’ve got so many new exciting things and one of the things I want to tell you about that’s amazing is my integrated net mind network are going to be joining me again this is a group of an amazing doctors neurologist neuroscientist neurosurgeons in these PCPs endocrinologist OBGYNs brilliant brilliant men and woman who are going to be helping us to understand the mind brain connection in terms of science so there’s going to be a Q & A with them they’re going to be doing individual presentations it’s going to be mind-blowing because you’re going in in the good sense because you’re going to be seeing a lot of just how you can apply your lifestyle changes from a medical scientific point of view we’ve got more sessions we’ve got so much happening join me this year in December in Delhi at my 2018 you
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