158: Harnessing Neuroscience to Improve Human Resilience with Dr. Dave Rabin

Ep158 harnessing neuroscience to improve human resilience Dr David Rabin TalentGrow Show with Halelly Azulay

Stress is something we all struggle with in our personal and professional lives. There are over 129,000 deaths in the US every year attributed to stress alone. On this episode of The TalentGrow Show, neuroscientist and board-certified psychiatrist Dr. David Rabin discusses how we can leverage cutting-edge neuroscientific research to train ourselves to develop resilience and improve our mental and physical performance under stress. While Dr. Rabin has developed a scientifically-validated wearable technology to help us do just this, called Apollo Neuro, he also believes that we have the ability to improve on our own without the aid of technology. Discover what makes our fight-or-flight instinct work against us and how we can prevent that from happening, what we can learn from paying attention to our Heart Rate Variability (HRV), and how we can start using Dr. Rabin’s research to tackle chronic stress and burnout in the workplace. Tune in and don’t forget to share this episode with others in your network.

ABOUT DAVE RABIN: 

Dr. David Rabin is the chief innovation officer, co-founder, and co-inventor at Apollo Neuroscience, Inc. In his role, Dr. Rabin is developing Apollo Neuroscience's IP portfolio and running clinical trials of the Apollo technology, the first scientifically-validated wearable system to improve focus, sleep, and access to meditative states by delivering gentle layered vibrations to the skin. Dr. Rabin is a board-certified psychiatrist, translational neuroscientist, and inventor, and has been studying the impact of chronic stress in humans for more than 10 years. He has specifically focused his research on the clinical translation of non-invasive therapies that improve mood, focus, sleep, and quality of life in treatment-resistant illnesses. Dr. Rabin has six patent applications pending and many more on the way. Dr. Rabin received his MD in medicine and PhD in neuroscience from Albany Medical College and trained in psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN: 

  • The issue that motivated Dr. Rabin’s recent career transition (5:04)

  • Dr. Rabin explains why safety, and the ability to self-generate feelings of safety, is crucial to allowing us to adapt to change and perform under stress (7:15)

  • What makes our fight-or-flight instinct work against us? How can we prevent that from happening? (8:08)

  • How the Apollo technology can help induce balance in the nervous system when we don’t yet know how to achieve it on our own (11:54)

  • Why we should pay more attention to Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and what it means to ‘modulate’ it (12:40)

  • Halelly and Dr. Rabin concretize what we should look for when watching or calculating our HRV (14:58)

  • How can leaders use Dr. Rabin’s research to improve their teams or their leadership effectiveness? Dr. Rabin tackles the phenomenon of ‘burnout’ (18:26)

  • What’s new and exciting on Dr. Rabin’s horizon? (23:40)

  • One specific action you can take to upgrade your leadership effectiveness (27:26)

RESOURCES: 

  • Exciting news: Dave wanted to let you know that Apollo is available for pre-order you, TalentGrowers, at apolloneuro.com for a special limited time discount of 45% off. Thanks Dave!!

  • Connect with Dr. Rabin on LinkedIn and Twitter

Transcript:

Episode 158 Dave Rabin

TEASER CLIP: Dave: There’s something like over 11 days a year lost per worker, per year, from stress alone. There’s over 129,000 deaths in the U.S. every year attributed to stress alone. And the amount of money lost by businesses alone that’s attributed to stress is something like over $190 billion a year. And these are numbers that are just unsustainable.

[MUSIC] Announcer: Welcome to the TalentGrow Show, where you can get actionable results-oriented insight and advice on how to take your leadership, communication and people skills to the next level and become the kind of leader people want to follow. And now, your host and leadership development strategist, Halelly Azulay.

Halelly: TalentGrowers, I have a treat for you today in the sense that we’re talking to a real life neuroscientist and psychiatrist who is really an expert on the way in which we respond to stress at work and the kind of health problems that it’s creating and specifically how to overcome these problems and what we need to change. I think you’re going to get pretty good ideas about things you can do for yourself, for your team, as a result of listening to today’s episode with Dr. David Rabin. I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you thought afterwards. Here we go.

Today I am excited that Dr. David Rabin is on the show. He is the Chief Innovation Officer, co-founder and co-inventor at Apollo Neuroscience Inc. In his role, Dr. Rabin is developing Apollo Neuroscience’s IP portfolio and running clinical trials of the Apollo technology, the first scientifically-validated wearable system to improve focus, sleep and access to meditative states by delivering gentle, layered vibrations to the skin. We’re going to talk a little bit more about that later I bet. Dr. Rabin is a board certified psychiatrist, translational neuroscientist and inventor and has been studying the impact of chronic stress in humans for more than 10 years. He has specifically focused his research on the clinical translation of non-invasive therapies that improve mood, focus, sleep and quality of life in treatment-resistant illnesses. He has six patent applications pending and many more on the way. He’s received his M.D. in medicine and PhD in neuroscience from the Albany Medical College and trained in psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. We were introduced by another former podcast guest, Larry Gioia. He was on episode 4. Dave, welcome to the TalentGrow Show.

Dave: Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Halelly: I’m really looking forward to speaking with you. I think that it’s a unique treat to talk to someone with your background and obvious intellectual capacity, and I think that TalentGrowers are going to really enjoy learning from you today. Before we get started, I always ask my guests about their professional journey. Where did you start and how did you get to where you are today, in a brief format?

Dave: That’s a great question. I think we all have different paths that get us to where we eventually end up that are very informative of who we are and how we end up accomplishing all the goals we set out to do. I started out actually very interested in neuroscience in research and consciousness as a kid, particularly focused on dreams. I used to have frequent dreams as a child that were so real that I thought waking up that they had actually happened. It was so interesting to me that my brain could fool me into thinking that something I was perceiving during sleep was actually something that had happened in real life. So I started thinking about this more and more over the years and eventually went into neuroscience and I really became fascinated with the study of performance and resilience and recovery and the idea that some people, for example, there are many people that will live into their 80s and 90s and feel great for their whole lives for the most part and not be very ill, with mental and physical illness, and manage to be resilient to the impact of stress. And then some of them have gone through many incredibly difficult challenges, by the way, and they’ve overcome and become better for it and then we see other folks who have gone through equal or greater or not as significant challenges but for whatever reason, maybe not being prepared as well or not having as much support afterwards or during the challenges, they don’t overcome them to the same extent and it ends up taking a very significant toll. That really fascinated me and I studied that with respect to dementia and age-related macro degeneration in human neuro stem cells with Dr. Sally Temple at Albany Medical College. From there, I realized I really enjoyed studying the chronic stem response on the whole person level and so I went into psychiatry and focused on treatment-resistant mental illnesses, particularly PTSD, anxiety, depression and substance abuse disorders.

Halelly: Wow. And you were in the university system teaching and researching and then you made a big change recently?

Dave: Yeah. So, I guess part of the big transition for me and apart of why I felt so strongly about going into patient care was that particularly in mental health, we have a lot of treatments for mental health conditions, but a lot of them don’t tend to get the results they are told they are supposed to get, or they have a significant amount of side effects. Seeing that issue in mental health and knowing a lot of people struggle with overcoming mental illness, I started looking into and learning about enormous amounts, especially during my psychiatry training, about the treatments that we have available and what their risk and benefit profile are. What you realize very quickly, and a lot more about this has been published lately, is that what we call the number needed to treat, which is how many people you need to give a medicine to or a therapy to to see positive results on their symptom profile, versus the number needed to harm, which is how many people do you need to treat with medicine or therapy to see a side effect pop up are actually the opposite of what we want them to be in many treatments for mental illness. For example, practically speaking, if a doctor describes you an antidepressant, when you walk in and say, “I have depression or I feel depressed and have for six months,” or whatever it is, the doctor gives you an antidepressant. What they’re not telling you most of the time, because often times they’re not taught this or tell patients, is that you’re more likely to get a side effect from that medicine than you are likely to get a positive result from that medicine.

Halelly: Fabulous!

Dave: Right? So if we knew that as patients coming in, would that change the way that we approach our own treatment? And would we really invest in psychotherapy, for instance, which has almost no harm before we went and tried a medicine as the quick fix? It turns out that in psychiatry and mental health, there really are no quick fixes and it’s really about practicing skills that create positive change in your life to help you overcome some of the struggles you’ve been through and really relearning new ways to change habits that aren’t serving us anymore, in terms of stress-coping habits and things like that. So I left university system to forward the development of a technology that I based on understanding how to help people make change more effectively. What we found from studying an enormous amount of literature in the stress field and also in the meditation field and in the athletic and physical performance field is that the things that make people the most resilient and that have the highest performance under stress is just safety. It’s feeling safe in your environment and feeling, having the ability to self-generate those feelings of safety for yourself. Once you feel safe, you’re able to adapt to change rapidly and perform at your best on a regular, consistent basis. That applies to illness and healthy people.

Halelly: This is of course something I talk about as well. In fact I have written and spoken on the podcast about this idea that the threat response – which is our reaction to feeling a lack of safety – causes us to move into that fight or flight response that we all talk about a lot and that you study of course at much greater level than I have, and that humans really were designed to interact with their environment and with other humans in very different circumstances. Biologically or from an evolution perspective, not much has changed about how our brain reacts to the stimuli, the cues, that are around us. You speak about this, so tell us more about this. What’s going on, what you said, with chronic stress? Maybe you can explain more about that and why this fight or flight threat response is playing an unhelpful role in our current situation?

Dave: That’s a great questions. I have to say, I was actually going to say earlier, I really admire you for tackling and bringing up these issues on your podcast, because they are things that people in the general corporate world really often times sweep under the rug. These are really critical concepts for us to understand to make sure that we manage our health and our productivity effectively. Ultimately I think the easiest way to explain what you’re talking about with this balance between stress and relaxation or what we call fight or flight and rest to digest nervous systems – which are also called the parasympathetic, the rest and digest nervous system – that's responsible for creativity and relaxation and sleep and recovery and reproduction and digestion and immunity is in balance with the stress response system, which is called the sympathetic system. That’s the fight or flight or freeze response system. These two systems have evolved with not just humans, but all animals, for millions of years to conserve our ability to survive in threatening environments and respond to threat in a critically important way to ensure survival, but also to make sure that when that threat is gone, that we’re able to maximize our thriving in our safe environment. Ultimately what that comes down to is that our bodies, I think tapping into what you said a minute ago, our bodies are just not designed for the way that we work. And the way that we’re asked to work. Our bodies are designed, and our sympathetic nervous system is designed to respond to acute threat, or acute stress, which is stress that occurs in a moment or over a very brief amount of time and then we activate the systems that allow us to deal with that stress, like the fight or flight or freeze systems and then we get out of that situation into a state of safety. And then the safety systems kick back on and it allows us to thrive and function in a positive and fulfilled way again and recover energy.

But the problem is, when we start to attribute threat to things like emails, or phone vibrations or buzzing or alarms or loud sounds or our kids screaming or things that are surrounding us all the time, what happens is we end up practicing and training our body to be in a hyper-stressed state or a high sympathetic state, over time. What happens is, that inhibits activity in the parasympathetic system over time, which is critical for all the things that we actually want to perform well like creativity and adaptability and emotion control and mood regulation and energy management and all of these things. So, that’s what we see when we work really hard and we’re overworking ourselves and overwhelmed and stressed out all the time, we’re more likely to get sick, more likely to sleep poorly, more likely to be irritable and sad. This is across every human on the earth. So the idea is that we should be focusing on activities in our free time, ideally, that can retrain our nervous system back into balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, which are activities that include things like deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, good nutrition, exercise – a lot of stuff that you talk about on your show – and by practicing these things over time, what it does is it retrains the nervous system to have more resilience and more basically constitution so that when you enter a stressful situation you’re less likely to be phased by it and more likely to adapt to it in a way that is positive and constructive for you.

And so Apollo is the technology we developed that induces a sense of safety in the body through the sense of touch, using vibration that can induce balance in the nervous system rapidly for people, most of us really, who have not been taught how to do this ourselves or have not have the time to teach ourselves to do it. Over time it helps train you to access those states more effectively. In truth, all of these states can be accessed on your own without any assistance from anything else.

Halelly: Right. By learning the skills and then practicing them, like how to figure out deep breathing or meditation or take a walk or whatever, different kinds of activities that you can take to recover from that stress and recalibrate.

Dave: Exactly.

Halelly: I have been lucky enough to also see you speak with your partner Catherine, and you talk about heart rate variability or HRV. You talk about how we want to pay more attention to it and specifically we want to modulate it, so tell us more about that.

Dave: That’s also a very good question, because heart rate variability has been in the news quite a bit lately, because almost every wearable device we see around us that’s commercially available will measure it or look at it in some way, even the Apple Watch, the Oura Ring, Fitbits are starting to do it, Garmins, etc., and I think the reason for that is because heart rate variability over the last several years – probably 10 or 15 years actually – has been found by athletes and the military to be the single best predictor of recovery. So, what heart rate variability is, it’s the rate of change of your heartbeat over time. So, if you can imagine, when you measure your heartbeat and you say, for example, I have a heartbeat of 60 beats per minute, what we often assume is that there’s one second between each beat every time. But the reality of it is that’s not true. Typically what happens is it’s one second, and sometimes it’s 1.2 seconds and sometimes it’s half a second, and it changes over time in response to our environment. It changes in near real time in response to our environment. And so what we found over the years is that there are certain activities that boost heart rate variability and there are certain things that decrease heart rate variability. Low heart rate variability is caused by stress, which is normal because when you’re stressed out, you don’t really care about the variability of your heartbeat. You just want your heartbeat to be very fast and your blood pressure to be high, so you can get out of the threatening situation as quickly as possible. But when that happens consistently over time, over days, weeks, months, years, what happens is you have low heart rate variability consistently. And that correlates, now we know, with developing mental and physical illness, it correlates with poor productivity at work or physical activity, physical productivity, and it correlates very strongly with sudden cardiac death if you’ve had a heart attack in the past. All of these measures are valuable in different ways, but heart rate variability has come to the surface as something that has now been shown to be a very valuable predictor of how good our bodies are to adapting and recovering from stress.

Halelly: Let me stop you for a second. I sometimes help to concretize and it’s hard to imagine exactly what you mean. So if I were mapping out my heart rate, or if I had a device that helped me see my heart rate, when you say that you want to have more heart rate variability, that means you want to see the graph go up and down higher? More range for the graph? Or more variety over a period of time? What exactly?

Dave: You can’t actually do heart rate variability from just looking at heart rate with your eyes. You need a computer algorithm to look at your heart rate over time. It takes at least three minutes, really – you can do it faster – but typically it takes about three minutes to calculate heart rate variability accurately. I think maybe a simpler way to describe it would be if you have low heart rate variability, meaning that there’s for example exactly one second between each beat of your heart and your heart is beating at 60 beats per minute, and then a lion shows up and you need to get out of there, it’s going to take your body and your heart longer to ramp up your heartbeat to a high heart rate and to get your blood pressure up, to get all that blood to your muscles and your motor cortex to get you out of that threatening situation as quickly as possible. You’re going to be one of the last to react. Similarly, when the lion is gone or the threat is gone, your body is going to be one of the last to calm down. Because your heart rate is not as quickly adapting to changes in the environment.

However, if you have high heart rate variability, what that means is that your heart rate, it’s a sign, a measure that your heart rate and your body are more quickly shifting with the environment. So when the lion shows up and you have high heart rate variability, your heart rate jumps up right away, your blood pressure jumps up right away and you’re one of the first ones out of that situation. Then when the lion and the threat are gone, you’re one of the first ones to calm back down, to homeostasis, back to your normal state once safety has been established.

Halelly: That’s really helpful. I think that then what it means is, if you’re in chronic state of stress – like you were saying – your heart rate is constantly too elevated and your body is constantly thinking there’s a lion around, ultimately it’s almost like the boy who cried wolf. Your body is going to kind of ignore the signals because it’s going to think that that’s just normal.

Dave: That’s a great metaphor. To go one step further, that’s why activities like deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation and yoga and things like that, biofeedback and things of that nature are so critically important, because these are the natural techniques that have existed for – in the case of deep breathing and meditation – for thousands of years that naturally increase heart rate variability. And train your body to be in a more balanced, high heart rate variability state. So by practicing those techniques, you can gradually increase your heart rate variability, not just in the short term, but also cumulatively over time, which builds your resilience as a person.

Halelly: And probably it allows you to have more access, more awareness, to the changes, so that you can then pull on those skills when you need to?

Dave: Absolutely. That can take a long time. It can take some time for meditation, sometimes tens of thousands of hours to become enough of a Buddha master to be able to bring those skills into real-time use, but over time, the more you practice, the better you get at it, just by training your nervous system to do so. But it just takes practice.

Halelly: So the listeners are employees and they’re leaders. Many of them are leaders others. What are some things that are really important for us to know in terms of our effectiveness as leaders that we can pull from the research and if you have a story or statistics you can share? What are some things we can pull from this to use to improve our situation and our teams?

Dave: I think the most important thing is sort of the epidemic of burnout. Work related burnout that’s happening right now is a really serious issue. It’s frankly an avoidable tragedy. The WHO a couple of months ago announced that burnout due to work related stress is a medical condition that warrants treatment.

Halelly: I saw that!

Dave: That is a very serious statement. That means internationally, this is being recognized that work-related stress leading to illness is a real thing that’s being acknowledged by the powers that be and something has to be done about it. I think especially in America, there’s a big push, and particularly in places like New York, L.A., these huge hubs of business and new tech development, is that there’s a push to be as busy as you can to pull all nighters, to basically push yourself to the limit of your abilities and sacrifice everything you have to achieve your idea of success and to make money and power and all of these things, whether you’re a lower level employee or even if you’re a manager or a leader in a business and particularly if you’re a manager or leader in a business. I think that it’s very important as leaders and managers for us to recognize that we are literally killing ourselves with work and that this has to be addressed very, very quickly, because ultimately – and I think something that European countries, many of them have already figured out – is that people who are happier work more efficiently. And they do better and they make less mistakes. And so if we can start to implement things as managers and leaders in our businesses, that facilitate improved health and improved stress management, and that’s why I think there’s a big move toward corporate wellness although it’s not necessarily executed that well yet, but when we start to integrate newer technology and newer ways to help people other than just tracking their behavior, people will start to feel better and they will perform better and end up saving their companies an enormous amount of money and time because they are not making mistakes because of stress. And they’re not missing days of work because of stress and they’re not exhibiting absenteeism or presenteeism because of stress.

Speaking of statistics, there’s something like over 11 days a year lost per worker, per year, from stress alone. There’s over 129,000 deaths in the U.S. every year attributed to stress alone. And the amount of money lost by businesses alone that’s attributed to stress is something like over $190 billion a year. And these are numbers that are just unsustainable. So if we start to incorporate some of these positive health and coping strategies into our business, we will start to chip away at the burnout problem and people will start feeling better and doing better but it has to come from a management and leadership level, ideally with the leaders and the management starting the process of role modeling positive skills.

Halelly: Always. You don’t want to be the “do as I say, not as I do” kind of leader on anything, including this. It’s hard because there’s so much pressure. Everybody feels like they have to do more with less and that wearing busyness as a badge of honor, it truly is an epidemic. There are things I’ve read too, and I’ve learned about the research, is that when people are in that stress mode, that threat response, not only are they not creative, they are less able to make good decisions. They are less able to solve problems. They are less able to do the things that they’re hired to do and that the pressure is on for them to produce. Like we’re actually causing people to be less effective in their role and not capitalizing on their skills.

Dave: That’s absolutely right. Ultimately what could be more frustrating? And we’ve all been there. What can be more frustrating than practicing doing something for so many years and then being put in a position to actually do the thing you practiced to do but not be able to do it because you’re too stressed out or worried? That inherently is futility, which is one of the single most frustrating experiences in human existence, and we’re not trained to deal with it. We have to really pre-empt it by putting ourselves into or curating, really, constructive environments that facilitate positive, healthy work patterns, rather than work till you drop patterns.

Halelly: So putting in recovery as a practice, as part of your day? I’ve been following your work and I know that you guys are just on the cusp now of something super exciting with Apollo, and I think that is really promising, that your product and many other products that are coming on the market that help get them to that end result faster or more efficiently. So what’s new and exciting on your horizon?

Dave: A lot! I think this problem that we’re talking about is no small task, challenge to overcome, and it’s going to take a lot of work from a lot of us to really continue to talk about it and implement strategies for change. What we’ve been working on is developing and launching the Apollo technology, which came out of the University of Pittsburgh, which is technology that uses gentle layered frequencies of vibration that are delivered through a small, wearable pod on the skin, about the size of an Apple Watch, that you can wear on your ankle or your wrist and these frequencies have shown in double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials at the University of Pittsburgh and now several other trials at other academic institutions that are able to improve cognitive performance under stress and recover from stress in near real time. Within minutes. What we developed this for, originally, was to help people who had real difficulty coping with stress, like people with PTSD and depression and anxiety. What we found out very quickly was when we tested on healthy people, they responded very positively as well, because our body, we’re a lot more similar than we are different, and our bodies and minds respond to stress fundamentally as you’re talking about the fight or flight system in very similarly evolutionary conserved ways. It’s very exciting.

The most exciting thing for us is to be able to release the technology, like Apollo, that opens these doors for people to be able to access more mindful states, more present states of improved nervous system balance, homeostasis, that facility enhanced performance and recovery that normally would be a huge challenge for us to access in real time. And in addition, Apollo also trains people over time to be able to access those states more effectively by showing you that you can do it on your own. We’re really building it as one of the first applications for artificial intelligence that truly serves the individually by gradually over time learning about each user and customizing and curating the timing of delivery and the specific frequencies of delivery to each individual user. So it’s a truly personalized application for you that works with you throughout your day and grows with you as you use the technology. We’ll be releasing this product in the fall and we’re very excited to bring it to the community and also in addition to releasing it to initially elite athletes and entrepreneurs and business leaders and managers and health care professionals – people who are under incredibly high stress – we are also working with businesses and starting business pilots to help actually get this to employees and to senior leadership as a wellness tool to help people feel better at work and therefore perform better at work and also fall asleep more effectively at home when they’re done with all their busy work-related lives. This is something that we’re very excited to bring to the community. Been working on it since about 2014 and you can check it out at ApolloNeuro.com or ApolloNeuroscience.com to find out more about our pre-order launch.

Halelly: It’s really cool. You’ve been really generous and you’ve allowed me to use one and to experience that, so I have worn it and it’s a very, like you said, a very gentle and soothing kind of feeling when you’re aware of it, but most of the time you actually have no awareness of it, and then there’s this app where you can create different types of vibrations, based on the kind of impact you’d like it to have on you. Like to energize you or relax you. It’s very cool because what it does, as you said, it’s not impossible to learn how to do it on your own – everybody can – but it kind of shortcuts it and allows you to do it, maybe less mindfully, and get on with your day. I wish you lots of success with that and I really look forward to the release. Before we part, I’d love to hear one specific action that you think our listeners, the TalentGrowers, can take today, this week, that can elevate their own ability to lead themselves, to lead others, especially from your vantage point here.

Dave: This is going to sound a little bit old school, but this is one of my favorite things to tell people, because I think it’s been lost in our society in terms of the way we think about ourselves and think about our work. It’s really practicing something that comes from ancient South American tribal culture for thousands of years and also Hindu and Buddhist culture, and it’s called the Four Pillars. The Four Pillars are consistent of foundation on which we build trust in ourselves and then trust in others. The four pillars are things you can practice everyday, wherever you are, and if you practice them for yourself, over time you’ll become very good at them. And they are, number one, self gratitude, which is being thankful for yourself everyday, just for being here, being present and having what you have; number two is self forgiveness, which is understanding and forgiving yourself the mistakes you’ve made in the past, understanding that these are things that are going to happen and they’re opportunities to learn; the third is self compassion, which is understanding that we’ll continue to make mistakes in the future, and that we see these mistakes as opportunities for growth, not as failure and taking us down, but really opportunities for us to become stronger and better and the best version of ourselves; then self love, which is truly loving yourself for who you are. If you practice those four pillars – gratitude, forgiveness, compassion and self love – even just by reciting them to yourself everyday, these will start to become internalized into your sense of self, into your business and into the version of yourself that you put out into the world and people will see that in you and it will dramatically enhance your happiness and fulfillment as well as your ability to be a strong leader.

Halelly: Wow. Thank you. That’s very, very interesting and it rings true and it sounds complex to do. So let’s say listeners have never even considered one of these let alone all four, what would be a very practical way to just get started?

Dave: Just start first thing in the morning, when you’re real fresh and just woken up, have a little journal by your bed or notepad, and just write the four pillars down. Write down gratitude, think about something to be grateful for. Write down forgiveness and think about something to forgive yourself for. Write down compassion, think about something to be compassionate for, and then write down self love and think about something to love yourself for. Even just doing that in the morning when you wake up will ensure that those stick in your mind throughout the day. And ideally, over time, you start to do that automatically. You can write down the things that fit into each of those categories, but it’s really just a practice makes perfect thing. If you start by forcing yourself to just write those four words down and some people I work with do it everyday when they wake up and everyday before they go to bed, and I can tell you that I see a huge – and they see – a huge difference in them just over a matter of weeks to months. Just from doing that activity, because it changes the way that they see themselves and the way that they reflect on themselves everyday.

Halelly: Great. Just as a reminder, TalentGrowers, Dave is a psychiatrist, so he sees patients and he really does see that kind of a change in people he advises, so perfect! I love that. Super actionable and very impactful. How can people learn more about you, stay in touch? Dave, where should they follow you, like on social media? You mentioned the website earlier and we’ll link to that in the show notes. Anything else?

Dave: Yes, social media. I’m on Twitter @DaveRabin and I’m also on of course I think Facebook as Dave Rabin and LinkedIn as Dr. David Rabin, so you can find me on there and please feel free to reach out to me and send me a message. Also, if you go to ApolloNeuro.com or ApolloNeuroscience.com, you can find some email addresses to Apollo there and we will respond to you if you reach out to us that way as well.

Halelly: Awesome. Thank you so much for stopping by. I really appreciate you sharing your insights and knowledge with the TalentGrowers Dave. Thank you.

Dave: Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. This was a lot of fun.

Halelly: TalentGrowers, the funny thing is, I was listening to the end of this episode, getting ready to record the outro, and my son Todd was also listening in the background and he said, “Mom, I noticed in the suggestion for that actionable tip at the end, a lot of your guests have this theme where they ask people to get a notebook and keep it by their bed and write things down in it. So this is a reoccurring theme. It must be because that really works.” And I was like, yeah! Because it does. I hope that you take up Dave’s advice, Dr. Rabin’s advice, and take action on that suggestion and keep track of your reflections, your thoughts, your intentions like that. I bet that it will make a big difference and I would love to hear. Of course any other insights that you had, big a-ha or takeaways, questions, concerns you had about this episode or any other, I’m always interested in hearing from you. I thank you for spending time here with me and my guests on the TalentGrow Show. I am Halelly Azulay, your leadership development strategist here at TalentGrow and this is the TalentGrow Show. Until the next time, make today great.

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