How to Use Your Brain
for Total Transformation
Ep. 115 ft. Dr. Philippe Douyon, MD
“Be incredibly mindful of what you’re letting into your brain.”
Dr. Philippe Douyon, MD
Philippe Douyon, MD is a Board Certified Neurologist. He completed his residency in Neurology at NYU and fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology at NYP-Weill Cornell Medical College. He spent 5 years as an attending Neurologist/Epileptologist at Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group. After 5 years there, he created the health and wellness company, The Inle BrainFit Institute. Dr. Douyon is the author of the book, Neuroplasticity: Your Brain’s Superpower; and the e-book, Change Your Brain Change Your Life. He is also the creator and instructor of the online course, Take Charge of Your Brain, designed to help people transform their health and lives.
Take it from a lifelong patient and Neurologist to prove to you the power that the mind has on our health. If you are on the journey of navigating a specific diagnosis or if you just are stuck in a certain thought process, this is an episode to help you overcome and use your brain for transformation!
If you have any comments or questions about the Be It pod shoot us a message at [email protected]. Or leave a comment below!
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In this episode you will learn about:
- Reflecting on big graduations
- You are more than your diagnosis
- The science behind visualization: the occipital lobe
- The main purpose of the brain actually can hold you back
- The path to neurology
- What is your 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts focusing on?
- How to keep your brain healthy
Lesley Logan 0:00
All right, Be It babe. What is up? Okay, this guest, cool, a app. I’m so stoked. I could have talked to him for another hour. I’m gonna have to have him back on. So send me your questions, because we should all have a brain doctor in our pocket who is so honest and also has been on the other side of health. And I am so so thrilled. You know, Dr. Philippe Douyon is our guest today. And he was referred to me from a friend. And I was like, “Oh, yeah, I definitely, I want to know the neurology to being it till you see it.” And y’all it is we talk a lot about the things you didn’t, watch out what you’re putting into your brain, we also talked about the power of your brain. And well, he is just a frickin wealth of knowledge as one who is a brain doctor should be. And there’s a freakin awesome gift for you at the end. So I’m just gonna be honest, you’re gonna want to take him up on it, I hope that you do. But here’s the good news, the good news is, you have the power to change your thoughts. And so you get to hear how that is possible in this interview, and, you know, I hope that you are allowing yourself to be as curious as as you can. Because I think too often we think that things are set in stone, or that if it went one way, one time, it’s always gonna go that way, all the time. And that’s just not the case. Right? You’ll see actually, if you’re watching this on YouTube, you know, zoom works in color all the time. And then today, today, his Zoom is in black and white. And it wasn’t the filters. And it wasn’t the background, it was just technology, we recorded this in retrograde. So you know, that was on us. But the truth is that not everything has to go, not everything will go exactly the way you expect and not and that means on the on the sides of that of those expectations being not good for you. Meaning, you can always you can think, well, every time I do that x is going to happen. But what if you choose to see it differently? And how can you use your brain to actually see more possibilities? How can you use your brain to see what it is that you want to see in the world? You know, this is just frickin the coolest thing. I’m I’m gonna stop talking because I really just want you to hear Dr. Philippe Douyon talk to you. But y’all, he has a podcast, you’re all gonna want to listen to that if you get really intrigued about the brain, and he has a book and he has a course. And he has a lot of things to help you take control of your brain and be it till you see it. So here he is.
Lesley Logan 2:36
Welcome to the Be It Till You See It podcast where we talk about taking messy action, knowing that perfect is boring. I’m Lesley Logan, Pilates instructor and fitness business coach. I’ve trained thousands of people around the world and the number one thing I see stopping people from achieving anything is self doubt. My friends, action brings clarity and it’s the antidote to fear. Each week, my guest will bring Bold, Executable, Intrinsic and Targeted steps that you can use to put yourself first and Be It Till You See It. It’s a practice, not a perfect. Let’s get started.
Lesley Logan 3:21
Welcome back Be It Till You See It listeners, I have a really cool guest. I’m so excited for Dr. Philippe Douyon to tell you his story. And also we’re going to talk about your brain, we’re talking about neuroplasticity, we’re gonna get a little nerdy on this, and I’m really excited. So I hope you want to nerd out with me. Dr. Philippe, you will you please share with our listeners who you are, where you’re rockin from, how are we getting to have you on this show today? What do you got?
Dr. Philippe Douyon 3:47
Well, first of all, thank you for having me here. Like I am super excited to be here today. Because not only my big fan of yours, but also today is the one year anniversary of my kidney transplant. So (Lesley: Oh, my God.) and I get to celebrate with you. So I’m super stoked. (Lesley: Oh, my God.) This is awesome. (Lesley: This is so cool.) This is like, it’s like my birthday. It’s actually like my third birthday. (Dr. Philippe laughs)
Lesley Logan 4:09
Yeah. This is your third birthday. Oh, my God. (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) That is, (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) first of all, thanks for sharing that with, sharing this day with us. You could be doing so many things. (Lesley and Dr. Philippe laughs) This is really, really cool. So we’ll tell … like your transplant. I mean, you’ll tell us that I definitely want us to find out why we’re celebrating this anniversary.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 4:29
Yeah, so, you know, this sort of season is kind of like graduation season, right? So I often end up reflecting on my last big graduation, which was medical school. And that was in May of 2007. You know, so I’m kind of dating myself, right now.
Lesley Logan 4:45
I know but you’re not because like you go to school forever to be a doctor.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 4:48
Right. You do go to school forever to be a doctor. I’m not sure I would do it ever again. (Lesley and Dr. Philippe laughs) But yeah, so when I reflect on that right, I start to think about what I was feeling around that time and most people that I was graduating with, I mean, they were super excited. They were done with school, finally, they were going into their internships, so were going to different parts of the country, they were getting ready. They were now doctors, so they were getting ready to treat people. And probably most importantly, they were going to start making a little bit of money. Right?
Lesley Logan 5:18
Right. Because because medical school costs a couple of dimes.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 5:21
Yeah, cost a couple 100,000 times. And, but when I reflect on on that time period, I was terrified, not because I was going to be a doctor. But I was terrified because eight days after graduating from medical school, I was walking into the operating room at New York-Presbyterian Columbia, in order to have a kidney transplant. And my my dad was my donor. So I was lucky and I was blessed. Right. But there was nothing in my medical school training, in my life up until that point to prepare me for that experience. But there were, there were a lot of lessons that I learned from that time period. And what I went through, that really helped me just to become a much better doctor, really helped me to appreciate life more, really helped me to accomplish my goals and dreams, and also really helped me last year when I ended up hospitalized with COVID, ended up on dialysis and had to go through this process all over again.
Lesley Logan 6:23
Oh, my goodness, I think that’s people’s like worst nightmares having to relive the thing that they thought they got over, you know, like, like, you’re like, “Oh, I did the transplant thing.” And you learned so much. And then you had to do it again. That had to be really hard. Also, thank you for sharing that I I kind of forget that I graduated college at some point. And I you’re right, there are so many people are so excited. And then there’s also some people who have reasons to be terrified, worried or nervous. And so that is scary for you to go through that. Because unfortunately, they don’t teach you that in medical school. Like wouldn’t it be so nice if they’re like, this is how it is to be a patient? (Dr. Philippe: Right) I think I feel like that’s a topic for another day, how that could change our medical industry here. But can you so you have been a doctor for a long time. And you’ve had to be a patient a couple of times? (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) Like how does that, how has that affected your practice and how you treat patients?
Dr. Philippe Douyon 7:20
Yeah, I’m so I’ve been a patient my entire adult life because I was diagnosed with kidney failure when I was 18 years old. So I went to college and kidney failure, I’m going through medical school and kidney failure. And so for me, it allows me to really relate to my patients, right, because I know what it’s like to look in the mirror, and not recognize who you are anymore. I know what it’s like to take a whole bunch of pills and have a whole bunch of side effects, right? I know what it is like to face your mortality and be uncertain about the future. And so when I am having conversations with patients, it’s not coming from this doctor who’s so far removed from what they’re going through, but it’s coming from somebody who is just like them. (Lesley: Yeah) Right. And so we can have those really deep sort of conversations that allow us to connect.
Lesley Logan 8:08
Wow, um, so many things like to be an 18 year old and be told something that feels limiting in your life. And uncertain, you know, I think, um, I’m thinking about some of our, some of our specific lessons. So I know what they’re going through. And and it is not easy to show up every day, when you have this other thing that happens to be like your mortality in in on the back of your mind. And I would just wonder like, how did you do that? How did you go to college with, you know, knowing you needed a transplant? And how did you choose to go to medical school knowing like, how, what is the brain, what did you tell yourself every day to make that happen? Because so many people would just sit around and just wait for the transplant.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 8:49
Yeah, you know, I see patients all the time who really just strongly identify with whatever the diagnosis is that they have. So give you an example. Right? So by training, I’m an epilepsy specialist. So I treat people with seizure disorders. And there was this patient that I had gotten him seizure free for now more than a year. And he was coming in for his six month follow up, you know, and he was like, “Yeah, I haven’t had a seizure since our last visit.” I’m like, “Great. So what do you been doing?” And he’s like, “Nothing, I have epilepsy.” And I’m like, “You’re not, you’re not working. You’re not doing anything else?” And he’s like, “No, no, I’m not.” And I was like, “Are you just waiting for the next seizure to happen?” Right, because people so strongly identify with their diagnosis that they let them limit who they are. And for me, even when I was 18, there was always a bigger picture. It was like, I gotta get to college. Right? It almost felt like an annoyance to all the doctor visits and the pills that I had to take. It was like I have to get through college. And then it was like, “I want to go to medical school. I gotta get through medical school.” It was not easy. There were times when I was sick. I think the second year of medical school I didn’t go to any class I just studied from home (Lesley: woah) with the exception of like going to labs and stuff. But there was always a much bigger picture. And even when I think back to last year, right, but the bigger picture was, well, I’ve got to be impactful. I have a whole bunch of lives that I want to have a really positive impact on. I’ve got my two sons that I need to be there for. I need to live my life based on the purpose that I know that I have for myself. Right. So there was always a bigger picture and I never strongly identified with the diagnosis was, it was never the book on fleet Douyon, it was just a chapter in fleet Douyon’s book.
Lesley Logan 10:34
Oh, I hope everyone has heard that because that is so good. That is we you’re right, people, people take a diagnosis or they take maybe it’s not even a medical diagnosis. Maybe it’s like, a divorce or a lost job or, you know, I my listeners know that like there’s a time I was without a, without a house and they take those moments and they make that the book. And your it is just it’s a chapter or a story within a chapter. It doesn’t have to be the whole thing that is so good. (Dr. Philippe: Right. Yeah.) So how, so what did you have to tell yourself? Was it just did you have the vision on the board? Did you have it in your mind? Were you journaling? Like, what was it that kept it in your mind’s eye? Because I can imagine the pain and (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) the like, I would say probably weakness and struggles like to get up every day. Like, how did you keep that in the forefront of what you were doing?
Dr. Philippe Douyon 11:23
Sure. So there’s a different experience I had when I was like 18, 19, and in my 20s, versus now as or last year as somebody who was 42, and a lot more mature and reflective. Right. So certainly when I was younger, I had to get through the anger, the resentment, the wise me, the victimization, right? I needed to be able to push through that. And that took up a lot of space and energy in my life. But last year, I didn’t go through that at all. Right. And so it was having a vision for what I wanted my future to look like that kept me going last year. Right? The reality is that vision, our vision, our sense of vision, there is one lobe in the brain completely responsible for vision, (Lesley: Stop) it is the only sense that has one lobe dedicated to it. Right.
Lesley Logan 12:19
Really? A whole lobe (Dr. Philippe: Yeah, a whole lobe.) Just for our, just for our vision.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 12:23
Just for our vision. Right. The occipital lobe, right. And so when you’re visualizing what you want something to look like, it is incredibly powerful, because it really allows you to reorganize all the wiring within your brain. It allows you to make new neurons and make new connections within your brain. And then when you start visualizing something, and you really start to focus on it, not only do you start seeing clues in the universe that are like, “Oh, okay, maybe this is attainable.” Right? But then you start believing that that’s going to come true. And then when you start believing that it’s going to come true, then you start acting upon that, right? And so visualizing but I wanted my future to look like was incredibly important. Because one of the things that I see all the time, especially people on dialysis, they look like they are waiting to die. (Lesley: Yeah) Right. They look like they’re, they’re just waiting for the end to come.
Lesley Logan 13:17
Yeah. And just for just for people who maybe don’t know what dialysis is, can you just do the quick, like, layman’s terms of what that entails? Because from what I know, this is like, this isn’t like you’re going like every once in a while into the doctor. This is like almost a daily thing, right?
Dr. Philippe Douyon 13:32
Yeah. So this is a three time a week thing. Okay. So your kidneys filter your blood so it can remove toxins. And when your kidneys aren’t working well, then you need a way to do that. And dialysis is a way to do that. So through that dialysis, you either have like a port in your chest, or they make graft in your arm. And they’re able to stick some tubes in three times a week for about four hours at a time. And they literally just suck your blood out. And it goes through a machine that then filters the blood and then the blood comes back into your body. And it feels like they are just, you know, sort of draining the life out of you when this is happening. (Lesley: Yeah) Right. So dialysis is not an easy process for anybody.
Lesley Logan 14:17
Yeah. So you were for so during last year, you are going through dialysis. So every other day, you’re …
Dr. Philippe Douyon 14:24
Every other day, (Lesley: sitting …) Monday, Wednesday, Friday,
Lesley Logan 14:26
sitting in this chair, next to a bunch of people (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) waiting to die and you are visualizing what you’re wanting next.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 14:38
Right. So let me, let me take it back a step. (Lesley: Yeah) So when I was told that I was going to need dialysis, I I cried. I was actually hospitalized for COVID, I cried. Right. And then I had to make a decision. I had to decide, “Am I going to do dialysis the way I’ve seen all these other patients do it in the hospital or am I going to do dialysis my own way?” So after I let all those tears out, I was just like, “You know what, I’m going to do dialysis my own way.” I traveled on dialysis because you have dialysis centers all around the country (Lesley: Yeah) or around the world, right? So they’ll set up for you, you know, in some other part of the country. So I dia… I traveled on dialysis. I had a local news agency, follow me around. So like, I had to take videos into the dialysis center for them, which I’m sure the center was not happy about. You know, I had to, I took business meetings during dialysis. I certainly rested also. (Lesley: Yeah) Yeah, I listened to my body, but I was like, “I’m not doing this the way that I’ve seen other people do it.”
Lesley Logan 15:37
Yeah, that is, so that is a very important step. And thank you for highlighting it, like you made a decision around how you’re going to do something. And I think a lot of people don’t realize the agency or the choice, they have to go into a lot of the things that are obstacles or frustrations or a medical condition. Does it make it does it… you know, I hate I don’t want anyone who is going through something to think that like, I don’t think that there’s pain in what you’re going through. But I do think that we too often don’t give ourselves the opportunity to find some good or find some opportunity or find some something out of the thing that we’re going through.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 16:16
Right. You know, and I think no matter what we’re going through in life, that you can pull something good out of it, you can, you know, think about it very differently. So that way you can potentially learn a lesson in it. (Lesley: Yeah.) Right. (Lesley: Yeah.) And for me, part of that, was that yeah, dialysis was something I was very fearful about, I made a decision decided to do it differently, right. And now, I can go and speak to people who are on dialysis, and teach them how I did it. (Lesley: Yeah.) Right. And some of the lessons that I’ve learned, while you know, we’re talking about sort of my journey through kidney disease and transplant, but they’re applicable to anybody, it doesn’t have to be a medical issue. You know, it can certainly be addiction, which is a medical issue, it could be person that lost that job, right? It could be a person, like you mentioned who got divorce, could be somebody who’s struggling in business, it could be anything. (Lesley: Yeah.) There’s always something good to pull out of it but it all depends on your perspective.
Lesley Logan 17:16
Yeah. So let’s talk about perspective. Is that a free wired thing in our brain to have perspective, that maybe you don’t know the answer, but I’m curious, like, is glass half full versus glass half empty, like a set set setting in your brain based on genetics? Or is that something that we can we can make a decision around?
Dr. Philippe Douyon 17:38
Well, you can always make a decision around. But I will say this, the priority that your brain has, the reason one of the big reasons that you actually have a brain is to keep you safe. That is its first responsibility to keep you safe. And so your brain is always going to lean towards the negative, right? Because that’s it… Listen, if you’re scared of something, I mean, it’s essentially keeping you safe. (Lesley: Yeah.) Right? If you’re not taking that risk, it’s essentially because there is uncertainty in things that are unknown, it is keeping you safe. Right? But sometimes, the brains because the brain focuses so much on keeping us safe, it can potentially hold us back. (Lesley: Yeah.) Right? And so that’s one of the reasons why I talk to people all the time about, like, you have to take charge of your brand, you’ve got to be the leader that your brain so desperately needs you to be in order for you to create an amazing life for yourself.
Lesley Logan 18:34
Yeah, so which lobe do I need to do? (Lesley and Dr. Philippe laughs) How to, because like, the like, I’m, I’m picturing this, right, because (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) I’m a visual person. So I’m like picturing like a video of like, I have to take charge of my brain. But isn’t that my brain taking charge of my brain.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 18:49
No, you know. (Lesley: No. Okay.) No … I would say that the fact that you are aware of your thoughts, the fact that you are aware that you have a brain means that there’s a higher level of consciousness. You just have to tap into it.
Lesley Logan 19:06
Yes. Oh, thank you for explaining that because now I know I don’t feel like it’s like, like those Russian dolls that(Lesley and Dr. Philippe laughs) I’m like, but part is … So, so that makes sense. So for everyone listening, I hope you just got full permission. Like it’s okay if you’re like, “Wow, I don’t like how I’m thinking negatively,” like, you’re predisposed to keep you safe, to keep you alive to think that way. (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) And then you we all have to take this higher consciousness that we have, because we do all have it and, and tell ourselves how we’re going to think because we we can tell that that situation is actually not the same as a tiger chasing after us, you know.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 19:40
Right, exactly. Right.
Lesley Logan 19:42
So you know, first of all you so you’re a doctor for epilepsy, you’ve studied the brain. What made you want to do that and what what what what are you seeing that is applicable to people with all have a brain? So you know, we don’t all is there anything that we could be doing better with our own mind right now and what we’re doing?
Dr. Philippe Douyon 20:03
Sure, so, so I’m a neurologist. So I’m a doctor who treats people with brain and other neurological disorders, nerve disorder, spinal cord issues. But yeah, I sort of sub specialized in epilepsy. And so the reason that I went into neurology, and then epilepsy was one when I was a kid, I had a cousin who had epilepsy, and she ended up growing out of it. And then two also when I was young, I had a grandmother who developed Alzheimer’s disease. And, you know, those two disorders are really devastating for the person going through it. But they’re also devastating for the family. (Lesley: Yeah) Right? And so while I was watching, my family members go through what they were going through, there was that part of me that started to realize, “Man, when the brain works the way that it’s supposed to, it’s absolutely phenomenal.” (Lesley: Yeah) Right? So it was this fascination that I had with the brain that led me down sort of this path. And so in medical school, right, I mean, you just learn about diseases and treating them with medications, and whatever. (Lesley: Yeah) But the reality is, everything that we do, every single day, impacts the health of our bodies, it impacts the health of our brain, and it has an impact on our neurological destiny and how our lives turn out.
Lesley Logan 21:24
Well, taking that in, because I think so often, we excuse that, “I’ll do that tomorrow, I’ll do that tomorrow. Oh, I’ll you know, buy that healthier groceries type thing tomorrow,” like we kind of procrastinate but really like, it almost sounds like it’s compounding, like, if it’s every single day, everything we do is going to affect our brain and our body. Then the sooner that like, it’s almost like the more time you have giving your brain and body what it needs, the better.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 21:53
Absolutely. I mean, when we think about so your brain is considered to be the most complicated structure in the entire solar system. Right? (Lesley: In the solar system? I never…) in the solar system, right? I mean, but look, we haven’t explored, like, I haven’t been to other parts of the solar system. (Lesley: Right, right.) Right? So I have no idea. You know, and humans tend to be biased. So who knows, the whales (Lesley laughs) could be far more complicated than our brain, right? But, but our brains have anywhere between 60 to 100 billion neurons, right? Neurons are not even the primary cell type in the brain, there are a whole host of other cells called glial cells that are just there to help neurons out and support neurons. They outnumber neurons like nine to one, ten to one. (Lesley: Oh, my God.) Then you’ve got neurons connect with each other, they make trillions of connections, right? So you’ve got 60 to 100 billion neurons, you got other cells that are out number nine or 10 to one, and you’ve had all these connections, that is incredibly complicated, you know. (Lesley: Yeah) And the reality is, there are things that we do every single day that influence whether or not we lose neurons, or make more neurons. But if you start thinking a certain thought, right, and maybe it’s a brand new thought, thought you’ve never had before, right, you’ll make new neurons around that thought, the more you think about that thought, the more hardwired it gets into your brain, the more connections that it makes, right? And so you want to be being aware of the thoughts that you’re having. And then you also want to be making sure that you are leaning towards the positive and not towards the negative.
Lesley Logan 23:27
Yeah. Yeah because why our thoughts become facts. And like, I forget the number but somebody you might know it. There’s like some number of like, how many thoughts we have in a day and (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) have like, 90% of the same thought, like when (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) you’re having new thoughts. And (Dr. Philippe: No) so you’re just like, that’s just further hardwiring, even a negative thought or something that’s holding you back.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 23:46
Yeah, it’s it’s thought that we have anywhere between 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. I don’t know who counted that. I don’t know how they counted that. (Lesley: I’ve always wondered. I’m like, “Who said that?”) Yeah, I have no idea. Right? And like you said, 90 to 95% of those thoughts are the same exact thoughts we had yesterday, right? So no wonder why people’s lives aren’t changing. And then 60 to 70% of those 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts are negative. (Lesley: Yeah) And so you wonder why everybody’s freaking miserable.
Lesley Logan 24:13
Yeah. Yeah. Okay, so we can make a decision there’s that, we can have a thought and we can look for evidence to solidify that thought in our mind. (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) Is there anything else we can do? Because, as we talked about before hit record, like our minds are holding us back like I think any person listen to this can pretty much do whatever they are wanting to do. Like the we live in a very awesome time to have whatever dream you want and meet the person, find the people, raise the money to do the thing. So what is it in our brain? What lobe is … where is it (Dr. Philippe laughs) that we, that is like holding us back? Is that that negative mindset? Is it the repetitive thoughts like Where’s it coming from?
Dr. Philippe Douyon 24:58
Yeah, I mean, you you it’s it’s all of it. Right? And certainly our frontal lobes are incredibly important in our ability to think about tasks, organize them and execute those tasks. Right? And so you really want to be incredibly mindful of what you’re letting into your brain. And it’s not just the thoughts that you’re letting in. It’s the foods that you’re eating. It’s what you’re drinking. It’s all of it. Right? I’ll tell you, I don’t I don’t listen to the news anymore. (Lesley: Right) Right. When COVID happened, I was glued to the news. Right. I remember in December, what are we? 2022? (Lesley: Yeah) December 2020. (Lesley: Yeah.) Right. I’m listening to the news about COVID. And they’re like, “300,000, you know, new people were infected today.” And I remember thinking to myself, “Damn, everybody’s gonna get infected. You’re infecting 300,000 people every day.” (Lesley: Yeah) Eventually, it’s gonna hit everybody. Right? (Lesley: Yeah.) Two weeks later, I was hospitalized with COVID. Now, I am a medical doctor. Okay, so, so in theory, I know how viruses work. I know how, you know, they move between people. But there was still part of me that was like, “Damn, did I attract this thing into my life?” Because I was so fixated on it. (Lesley: Yeah.) After that, I was like, “I need to be very mindful of what I am letting into this brain.”
Lesley Logan 26:20
Yeah, you’re I, you know, you’re you’re right. I listen to this one podcast with my husband. And one of the hosts was like asking someone who’s very prominent in the news, very on top of like, “What’s happening in the world?” The guy goes all over the world and just happens to be there when there’s these humanity needs. And they’re like, so, “How, who gets, how do you get the news? What do you watch? How do you get this?” He’s like, “I get the, I get the news, like you do. And I also only get it from like, 10 minutes a day.” And I was like, “What?” And the guy was like, “What?” And other hosts was like, “You don’t turn it on the moment you wake up? Don’t you need to know what’s going on.” And you could just hear in the voices like the, like, the nervousness, the stress (Dr. Philippe: No.) of this person who was like, glued to the news versus the person who’s part of what has happened in the news. And he was like, not that he was like, you know, let it all be, but he wasn’t as urgent. And I do think that like we have, I agree, because I, we don’t have a TV in our house. I haven’t had a TV since 2013. And so part of that is because as soon as I get a hotel room, of course, I like turn the TV on. And that’s the news. And it’s just like, it is a lot of intensity, I end up being so depressed, but (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) beautiful city, and I’m like, “Oh my god, the world’s crashing in.” And so you are saying, like, you’re very mindful of like, “What am I going to let in the spring? What thoughts am I going to have?” And all of that so that you can continue to do what it is that you do (Dr. Philippe: Right) each and every day? So okay, that’s, that’s interesting. So for those of us who are trying to be it till we see it, we actually have to make a decision, first of like how do we want to do things differently? How do we want to think about our thoughts? How do we want to handle the thoughts, we don’t want to have any more? It’s very much being aware of what you are doing all the time, (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) which for most of us, that’s like common sense. But also not because too many of us rely on like our brain to go on autopilot.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 28:11
Right. Yeah. And, but one of the keys is not to be so hard on yourself also, right? Because you’re gonna have negative thoughts. I have negative thoughts, right? You’re gonna have moments where you’re like, oh, you know, I caught this on Instagram. And I’m, like, fixated on it, or some something, right. Or you’ll have those friends that like to complain, and you’ll catch yourself and, you know, 10 minutes that you’re just that’s all you’re doing with them complaining about life with them, right? And so it’s about not being so hard on yourself. But the more that you’re aware that you’re doing this, the easier it’ll get, the quicker you’ll you’ll realize when these things are happening, and the easier you’ll be able to shift to a more positive mindset. Right? So I’m even very mindful of who I have around me. I’m like, “Oh, if you’re complaining way too much today. Yeah, I love you. But you need to go over there.”
Lesley Logan 29:01
I hear you. I was, I was on a trip. And I can I was I was in our van I was changing and I could hear our friends. And one of them was saying something like, “Oh my God, he this is the 17th negative thing he said today.” Like, “What when, we’re gonna say something positive? Like they all, can’t all be bad, like look where we are. We are here in this beautiful place.” And it’s so I think I think where a lot of people get hung up as they don’t want to let people down. They don’t want to be the person, you know what I mean? Like we all there’s a lot of stories that we tell ourselves which (Dr. Philippe: Right) are repeti… repetitive thoughts that we are (Dr. Philippe: Right) continuing to have and keep around. So, so okay, question for you. (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) With, with all of this, with with our, with our brain with how, what is something that you see people could easily do that they’re not doing that could benefit their brain so they could continue to live their life to what they want to live. Is it, is it, is it a brain game? Is it Sudoku? Like what do I gotta do?
Dr. Philippe Douyon 30:03
No. No, it’s not Sudoku. And it’s not any brain games. It’s nothing that they sell you, it’s not you know, it’s not some pill, supplement or some drink.
Lesley Logan 30:14
Yeah, I have a new game that’s like, this will tell you how old your brain is. (Lesley and Dr. Philippe laughs) (Dr. Philippe: Really?) Yeah. I haven’t played it. I get the ads. I’m like, I’m like, “Is this real? So thank you. It’s not. I won’t tell them my thoughts.”
Dr. Philippe Douyon 30:25
Yeah. It’s not although, although, you know, I shouldn’t say that. Because I did create a game called Dr. Douyon’s Brainfit. (Lesley laughs) But yeah, it’s not it’s not in the game.
Lesley Logan 30:34
If it’s not that it’s not titled up with your name on it but it’s not, it’s not it.
Dr. Philippe Douyon 30:37
That is not. No, no. Dr. Douyon’s Brainfit is very different. (Lesley: Yeah, yeah.) No, but it’s, it’s things that we can easily do every day. So I’ve got like this, this neurological pyramid and that has steps that you can do to keep your brain very healthy and keep yourself very healthy. And it’s not complicated. It is exercise. Exercise is the biggest promoter of neuroplasticity. That’s your brain’s ability to adapt, to heal and to learn. It’s your brain’s ability to make new neurons and new connections. Exercise is the biggest promoter of that. Right? So you want to be exercising on a regular basis.
Lesley Logan 31:10
Yeah. So you said neuroplasticity? I know it. As a Pilates instructor I want my my girlfriend’s teaches it, but for the person who’s like, “What? Neuroplas what?” Can you tell people what that is?
Dr. Philippe Douyon 31:21
Yeah. So for an incredibly long time, we thought that our brains were very static, like they did not change at all, unless we got a brain injury that wiped out some neurons, or we got like Alzheimer’s, you know, which is a neurodegenerative disease and you start losing neurons, right? But what we now know is that our brains are constantly changing. They’re constantly evolving every single day. They’re evolving with the thoughts that we have, the actions we take, the experiences that we’re having. And the reality is that we are in control of our brain’s ability to evolve, our brain’s ability to make new neurons and make new connections. And that’s where really what neuroplasticity speaks to, it’s the brain’s ability to change.
Lesley Logan 32:07
Very cool. Okay. All right. So so you have, so thank you for that. So you have a pyramid that we can do that helps with that neuroplasticity, that helps us continue to evolve in our brain. (Dr. Philippe: Yeah.) I love this. Very cool. Okay. So, Dr. Philippe Douyon this is amazing. I really actually didn’t realize how much I want to nerd out about the brain until this episode. But I’m really excited about it. I want to take a quick, quick break. And then I want people to figure out how they can basically stalk you on this brain game of yours. Okay, so where can people find you, follow you learn about how they can work with their brain better?
Dr. Philippe Douyon 32:46
Yeah. So they can follow me on the social media channels like Instagram, it’s @philippe.md. That’s my handle. They can go to my website, which is www.inlebrainfitinstitute.com. Or they can just email me at [email protected] And if they email me that, if they email me, with Be It Till You See It in the subject line, I will send them my free ebook.
Lesley Logan 33:15
Oh, that is so fun. (Dr. Philippe: Yeah.) Thank you, everyone, get your ebook. I want it. Okay, so we’ll put all those things in the show notes. It’s really easy for you to click on and get those things. So we ask everyone, how do we actually take action and all this. So bold, executable, intrinsic or targeted steps people can take to (Dr. Philippe: Yeah.) be it till they see it? What do you have for us?
Dr. Philippe Douyon 33:38
So here’s what they can do. First, they need to change the way that they think about things, right. And one of the ways that you do that is you read different material, you have different experiences, you surround yourself with different people. So changing the way that you think about your life and your health is incredibly important. We talked a little bit about exercise, exercise every single day, get your body moving. Right. I said before, that’s the biggest promoter of neuroplasticity. You want to visualize? I said that, look you’ve got an entire lobe that is dedicated to your vision, you want to visualize and just so the people who are watching this podcast realize, yes, I am in black and white. (Lesley laughs) I am in 2022. This is a technical issue. This is not a visual problem with your brain. Do not call your local neurologist. (Dr. Philippe laughs)
Lesley Logan 34:26
We are recording this, we are recording this during retrograde, everyone. I, just let it go. (Lesley and Dr. Philippe laughs)
Dr. Philippe Douyon 34:31
Yeah, you know. You want to make a decision, in terms of what you decide to focus on. We have a group of neurons in the brain called the reticular activating system. When you decide that something is important to you, it starts it gets your brain to focus on all those things that are related to it. So if it’s something that’s negative that you focus on, right, it’s gonna it’s gonna pull everything negative. So if I’m having a bad day, and I’m like, “Oh, that person just pissed me off.” It’s gonna be like, “well, not only that person pissed me off, the world sucks, my life sucks, that book I’m reading sucks,” all of it right? So you want to focus on the positive. And I’ll give you an example of this. So once I got like this had this red car, this red Volkswagen Golf, right? I had never seen it before I got it. Then all sudden, I’m seeing a whole bunch of people on the road with this red Volkswagen Golf. That is the reticular activating system saying, “Hey, because this is now important to you, because you have one. I’m going to focus on all the red Volkswagen Golf’s that are driving down the street. Right.
Lesley Logan 35:34
That I know because I had a Mini Cooper, I noticed that and when I got a jeep, I noticed that and now (Dr. Philippe: Yeah) I want a G Wagon. Like I want it. I see G Wagons everywhere. I only see G Wagons. I don’t see other cars. And I also have gotten other people’s particular reticulating activating systems to see G Wagons for me. So I get pictures (Dr. Philippe: Right.) like, “Hey, look at this one.” (Lesley and Dr. Philippe laughs)
Dr. Philippe Douyon 35:56
Well I’m sure, I’ll see see, you know some tonight when I’m driving. So, (Lesley: Yeah. It’s powerful.) Yeah.
Lesley Logan 36:01
Got it. Oh, man. (Dr. Philippe: Yeah.) These are, these are so cool. These first of all, like unique and amazing and also very tangible and doable. I really (Dr. Philippe: Right.) think so. Thank you (Dr. Philippe: Yeah.) for, thank you for being here. We’ll have to have you back because I’m sure Brad’s going to totally nerd out about this. And for all that you’re doing to help all of us. Truly, like, take ownership of our brain and like where we’re going with it. We need more people like you in this planet. So thank you for being here. Everyone, how are you going to use these in your life? I want you to tag @philippe.md, tag the @be_it_pod, let us know which of the takeaways, the BE IT action items you’re using or just what he said. And remember, if you email him, with his emails down there, if you email him, you can put Be It Till You See It in the subject line and he’ll send you a free ebook which I don’t know about you but I like free things. So (Dr. Philippe and Lesley laughs) alright everyone, until next time, Be It Till You See It.
That’s all I’ve got for this episode of the Be It Till You See It podcast! One thing that would help both myself and future listeners is for you to rate this show and leave a review. And, follow or subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to introduce yourself over at the @be_it_pod on Instagram! I would love to know more about you. Share this episode with whoever you think needs to hear it. Help us help others to BE IT TILL YOU SEE IT. Have an awesome day!
‘Be It Till You See It’ is a production of ‘As The Crows Fly Media’.
It’s written, produced, filmed and recorded by your host, Lesley Logan and me, Brad Crowell. Our Associate Producer is Amanda Frattarelli.
Kevin Perez at Disenyo handles all of our audio editing.
Our theme music is by Ali at APEX Production Music. And our branding by designer and artist, Gianfranco Cioffi.
Special thanks to our designer Jaira Mandal for creating all of our visuals (which you can’t see because this is a podcast) and our digital producer, Jay Pedroso for editing all video each week so you can.
And to Angelina Herico for transcribing each of our episodes so you can find them on our website. And, finally to Meridith Crowell for keeping us all on point and on time.
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