Your Quarantine Mental Health Checkup with Dr. Amen and Dr. Phil
On March 31, Dr. Daniel Amen was featured on the Dr. Phil show to talk about how to do a mental health checkup during the coronavirus pandemic. In this special feature, the two doctors provide the tools you need to boost your brain function and your psychological health to help you cope better with the current global health crisis. Here are some of the highlights of what they share.
1. Practice mental hygiene.
With people experiencing high levels of anxiety, fear, stress, and depression, it’s more important than ever to think about our mental well-being. “We have to pay attention to what we say to ourselves,” says Dr. Phil.
According to Dr. Amen, “Mental hygiene is just as important as washing your hands…literally we have to disinfect our thoughts.”
On the show, Dr. Amen offers several solutions to help viewers learn how to practice mental hygiene and to go from being filled with anxious and fearful thoughts to more positive and empowering thoughts that can help boost brain function as well as immune system function.
2. Don’t let your amygdala hijack your brain.
As Dr. Amen explains on the show, the amygdala is considered the fear center of the brain. When activity in this region goes up, activity in your frontal lobes goes down. The frontal lobes are involved in planning, judgment, and decision-making. This disconnect drives panic and fear and interferes with good decision-making. To keep your amygdala from hijacking your brain, avoid anything that lowers activity in the frontal lobes.
On the show, Dr. Amen shares 4 common things you may be doing that could be decreasing activity in your frontal lobes. And he offers a simple breathing technique that can calm your amygdala to help you feel better fast.
3. Remember, some anxiety is a good thing.
Too much stress and anxiety can attack areas of the brain involved in mood and memory and can suppress the immune system, however, some anxiety is beneficial. According to Dr. Amen, it’s what drives you to do the right things, like social distancing. Dr. Phil, a pilot since he was a teenager, says it’s a good thing “to recognize true danger.” Achieving a healthy level of anxiety is the key, and Dr. Amen offers a number of suggestions to help you mitigate rampant anxiety and replace it with appropriate concern.
4. Changing tiny habits can make a big difference.
On the show, Dr. Amen discusses the simple lifestyle changes and foods that can improve brain function, boost moods, and support the immune system.
5. Make sleep a priority.
The #1 thing you can do to keep your immune system operating at peak capacity is to get adequate sleep. In this feature of Dr. Phil, the pair of doctors offer simple strategies to help you sleep better.
Watch the Episodes here:
If you’re struggling with anxiety, panic attacks, depression, or other mental health issues, you aren’t alone—45% of Americans say the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their mental health. Just because you’re sheltering at home doesn’t mean you have to wait for the pandemic to be over before seeking help. In fact, during these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting to get treatment is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time.
At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples, as well as in-clinic brain scanning to help our patients. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834. If all our specialists are busy helping others, you can also schedule a time to talk.