The Simplest Way to Gain Distance from the Noise in Your Head

Gain Distance

[Excerpted from You, Happier: The 7 Neuroscience Secrets of Feeling Good Based on Your Brain Type by Daniel G. Amen, MD]

You, Happier: The 7 Neuroscience Secrets of Feeling Good Based on Your Brain Type is written by psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and brain health expert Daniel G. Amen, MD. In this book, he reveals how to discover your brain type and tailor happiness strategies best suited to your brain type. This book also shows how to improve your overall brain health to consistently enhance your mood, protect your happiness by distancing yourself from the “noise” in your head, and make 7 simple decisions and ask 7 daily questions to boost your happiness.

Your mind can be a troublemaker. Mine often is. Thoughts and feelings come from many sources, such as:

  • How your brain is working at any given moment (which is influenced by your diet, gut health, immunity, inflammation, exposure to toxins, and sleep)
  • Experiences from your ancestors that have been written in your genetic code
  • Genetic tendencies. For example, my oldest daughter was shy when she was very young and would often hide behind my leg whenever a new person came by, while her younger sister said, “Hi, my name is Kaitlyn,” to everyone she met, and Chloe, our youngest, came out of the womb extremely verbal (12-word sentences at the age of 2), claiming, “I’m the leader; I am the boss” as a toddler
  • Personal experiences (conscious and unconscious) and memories
  • Your interpretation of the words and body gestures of your parents, siblings, friends, enemies, and acquaintances
  • The news, music, and social media you’re exposed to, and much more

You are not your mind. Your ability to separate from, manage, and not be a victim of your mind is essential to feeling happy. Yet it was not until I was 28 years old, starting my psychiatric residency, that I learned I was not my mind, and I did not have to believe every stupid thought that came into my awareness. I learned that my thoughts create my feelings; my feelings create my behaviors; and eventually, my behaviors create my outcomes in relationships, work, finances, and how healthy I am physically and emotionally. If I could separate myself from my thoughts and look at them dispassionately, then I could feel and act in a more consistently happy way over time.

You are not your mind. Your ability to separate from, manage, and not be a victim of your mind is essential to feeling happy. Click To Tweet

NEUROSCIENCE SECRET OF HAPPINESS: MASTER YOUR MIND

One of the 7 neuroscience secrets of happiness is to master your mind and gain psychological distance from the noise in your head. One helpful psychological distancing technique is to give your mind a name, an exercise I learned from my friend Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D., author of A Liberated Mind. This allows for separation, and you choose whether to listen to it.

I named my mind Hermie after the pet raccoon I had when I was 16 years old. I loved her, but she was a troublemaker, like my mind, and got me into hot water with my parents, siblings, and girlfriend. I often imagine Hermie holding up signs in my head with random negative thoughts, such as:

  • You’re an idiot.
  • You’re a failure.
  • You’re a fool.
  • You’ll get sued.
  • You’re not enough.
  • Others are better than you.

Knowing that I am not my mind, I can choose to ignore Hermie—metaphorically putting her in her cage. Always ask yourself whether your thoughts help you or hurt you. When Hermie is causing trouble, I often imagine petting her, playing with her, or putting the little troublemaker on her back and tickling her. I don’t have to take Hermie, or my mind, seriously. I can gain psychological distance, and so can you.

In the book, I explain how to find a name for your mind and I share some of the names my patients have chosen for their minds.

If you want to join the tens of thousands of people who have already learned how to have a happier brain and a happier life at Amen Clinics, speak to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.  

18 Comments »

  1. I can’t wait to change my life

    Comment by Lielena — February 2, 2022 @ 3:17 AM

  2. It’s very helpful to me

    Comment by Lielena — February 2, 2022 @ 3:18 AM

  3. Big surprise! If I am not my mind. Then Who am I?

    Comment by Rose Alvarado — February 2, 2022 @ 3:31 AM

  4. How much is the book

    Comment by Helen Lordan — February 2, 2022 @ 3:33 AM

  5. How much is the book

    Comment by Linda — February 2, 2022 @ 3:55 AM

  6. Super clear helpful information and insights. Thx.

    Comment by jeff archambault — February 2, 2022 @ 6:29 AM

  7. We had a cat named Leo who was a bit of a trouble maker.
    I think i will name my mind Leo.

    Comment by RACHELLE TODRES-NASH — February 2, 2022 @ 6:42 AM

  8. How much? thanks

    Comment by Diane S Reyna — February 2, 2022 @ 6:45 AM

  9. Pre order

    Comment by Shannon Irvine — February 2, 2022 @ 6:52 AM

  10. Does your book address the situation of someone who is DID with multiple parts participating at any given time?

    Comment by Ada-Lou Ellett — February 2, 2022 @ 7:44 AM

  11. No questions, but a compliment. My daughter is beautiful without makeup being of spanish/Italian decent yet everything she says is negative. I hate my looks, I hate my body, I got put down and messed up by my boss, who just decided to end his business and therefore I don’t have a job right now, I am getting old, etc. etc. etc. which caused her brother to drop her completely and he has not spoken to her in over 2 years. Your info was very helpful, very much so.

    Comment by Genevieve — February 2, 2022 @ 10:33 AM

  12. Hello Diane, thank you for reaching out. You can find more information about “You, Happier” on the preorder website: https://danielamenmd.com/you-happier/. From there, you can find the price from various different vendors.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 2, 2022 @ 3:20 PM

  13. Hello Linda, thank you for reaching out. You can find more information about “You, Happier” on the preorder website: https://danielamenmd.com/you-happier/. From there, you can find the price from various different vendors.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 2, 2022 @ 3:20 PM

  14. Hello Helen, thank you for reaching out. You can find more information about “You, Happier” on the preorder website: https://danielamenmd.com/you-happier/. From there, you can find the price from various different vendors

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 2, 2022 @ 3:20 PM

  15. I just pre-ordered the You, Happier book. Now I’m trying to get back to the page to put my order number in to get the 4 free gifts. That page is not coming back. Can you just take my order number and out it in?

    Comment by Sheila Roth — February 2, 2022 @ 5:14 PM

  16. I named mine “Karen” several months ago. “Quit being a Karen” I will tell my brain 😂

    Comment by Carly — February 3, 2022 @ 10:05 AM

  17. Hello Sheila, thank you for reaching out. Here is the link, please scroll down to the form where you can enter your pre-order information to receive your bonus gifts: https://www.youhappier.com.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 5, 2022 @ 6:36 PM

  18. Hello Ada-Lou, here are some resources from a testimonial video we did in Dr. Amen’s “Scan My Brain” series for a woman wit DID:
    Part 1: https://youtu.be/R6s_DYAJd8k
    Part 2: https://youtu.be/–ytShCebM0

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 5, 2022 @ 6:38 PM

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