In this episode, Founder of Say It With Gratitude, Scott Colby, talks about creating a happier workplace through gratitude.
Today, Scott talks about the 5 languages of appreciation in the workplace, staying connected with handwritten notes, and how gratitude affects the bottom line. How can you infuse gratitude in the workplace?
Hear about gratitude journaling, the gratitude toolkit, and get Scott’s advice to his younger self, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
More about Scott Colby
After an eye-opening experience in Guatemala, during which Scott witnessed firsthand the power of gratitude, even in poor living conditions, he launched Say It With Gratitude, which helps companies create happy workplaces by having gratitude as a core value.
In addition to delivering his message of gratitude around the world, Scott promotes the power of thank you notes, leads gratitude adventures in the wilderness, authored a book called The Grateful Entrepreneur, and developed The Grateful Deck, a card game consisting of questions that spark meaningful conversations.
Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Gratitude, Appreciation, Connections, Affirmation, Quality Time, Service, Gifts, Touch,
FREE Gift: Gratitude Toolkit.
To learn more, follow Scott at:
Facebook: Scott Colby.
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Read the Full Transcript Here:
Welcome to the healthy, wealthy and smart podcast where healthcare meets business with your host me, Dr. Karen Litzy. And just as a reminder, the information in this podcast is for entertainment purposes only, and is not to be used as personalized medical advice. Enjoy the show. Hey, everybody, welcome back to the podcast. I am your host, Karen Litzy. And today's episode is all about gratitude. So often we talk about gratitude in the context of our personal life, which is great, there's nothing wrong with that. But today, in this episode, we challenge you to start practicing gratitude in the workplace. So to talk us through is Scott Colby. After an eye opening experience in Guatemala, during which Scott witnessed firsthand the power of gratitude even in poor living conditions. He launched say it with gratitude, which helps companies create happy workplaces by having gratitude as a core value. In addition to delivering his message of gratitude around the world. Scott promotes the power of thank you notes, leads gratitude adventures in the wilderness, authored a book called The Grateful entrepreneur and develop the grateful deck a card game consisting of questions that spark meaningful conversations. So into the in today's episode, we talk about the five languages of appreciation in the workplace. So if you are a manager, or a CEO, or you own your own practice, you're gonna want to know what those five languages are. Because that's how you're going to want to speak to your employees, how to stay connected with handwritten notes, and how gratitude gratitude affects the bottom line. So I want to give a big thank you to Scott for coming on and talking about gratitude in the workplace. And so I'm very grateful for him. Everyone enjoyed today's episode. Hey, Scott, welcome to the podcast. I'm happy to have you on today.
Hey, Karen, thank you for having me. Looking forward to a great conversation.
Yeah, it's my pleasure. And today we're going to be talking about happiness and how to create a happier workplace through gratitude. So before we get into the meat and potatoes of our conversation, can you let the listeners know a little bit more about why you came across this topic? Why this is like your expertise. So go ahead and give the listeners a little bit more backstory, if
you will? Yeah, certainly. So back in 2014, I took a trip to Guatemala, I was there to build schools with an nonprofit called hug it forward. And we were building schools out of plastic bottles. And one of my first memories of that volunteer experience, it was about a week long experience was I was riding a bus with 25 other volunteers. And we pulled up to the site. In a community called Chinook stay in Guatemala, we pulled up to the site where we were going to be volunteering, and I didn't know really what to expect. And I looked out the window of the bus. And it looked like the entire community had come out to greet us. And there was people of all ages, kids and parents and grandparents. And as I stepped off the bus with the other volunteers, the community had formed two lines. And we walked in between the two lines of people. And we felt like rock stars, or at least I did, walking down the red carpet, there were people waving the American flag, there was music blaring over the loudspeaker, just they were hugging us and just had smiles all over their faces. And I really learned that they were just being grateful for the volunteers that we had taken time out of our schedule to take that trek to Guatemala. And the other thing that I learned over my week long experience there in genetics day, was that the community had very little, very little clean water. They don't have the smartphones and the internet that we take for granted very little food, cramped living conditions. But they had community they had each other. And again, they had gratitude and appreciation for just other human beings. And as I thought to myself, when I got back, I was living in Denver at the time, when I thought to myself, after I return home, like cash, like how am I living my life, I'm living a life filled with complaining, thinking about all the things that I don't have. And in stark contrast to just what I experienced, and also looking at my life and other people around me, are always on our phones and we're always have our head buried in screens, and we're anxious and we're overwhelmed and we're not making deep connect actions anymore. It seemed like so that was kind of the first start that I had in my head, that, hey, I wanted to do something different in my life to make, to really live in gratitude, and to live with an attitude that I learned from the community and nginx de Guatemala. And then also, I think, and we'll probably get to this a little bit later in the conversation, just my experience in the corporate world of, yeah, you know, I've had jobs where I don't feel appreciated in the workplace and how much of an impact that made to my to my happiness, we spend a lot of time at work. And if you're not happy with your job, and a lot of that is not feeling valued or not feeling listened to that can really impact your your mood and your attitude. And really, whether you want to stay with a company or not. So kind of putting all that together that led me to start a brand called, say with gratitude. And it started with thank you cards, and now it's morphed into where I speak on the topic of workplace gratitude.
And you alluded to this, but I want to dive right in. So how does this translate into the workplace? How does that action of gratitude, that feeling of being appreciated? How do you translate that into a corporate setting, or, in my case, I'm a physical therapist, so maybe into a healthcare setting where people right now are really stressed out and burnt out. And, you know, and carrying a lot of student debt, and empathetic loads, and everything else? So how do you infuse gratitude? What are your recommendations? Yeah, and
that's a lot. And I, I'm glad you brought that up, I actually just came back from Wisconsin, where I was speaking at a healthcare conference on this very topic. I'm a big believer that it starts with you first. So start with the person before we can maybe bring it into the workplace, because we need that. We need to have that right attitude. It's hard to it's hard to spread gratitude around the workplace, if you're feeling, let's say, depressed and overwhelmed and stressed. So what can you do to start your own personal gratitude practice? I also have a health and fitness background. So I love that you're in, in physical therapy. And yeah, so I, I always talked about the analogy of, you know, when you're on an airplane, and they're given the safety instructions, if the oxygen mask comes down, please put it on yourself first, before helping others. And I talked about that, because if you're passed out, how are you going to help other people, but we can maybe not literally get passed out. But we can have the feeling of like, Hey, I just can't do it anymore. So I think we have to take care of ourselves first with self care. And there's a lot of different ways you could practice self care, but for this conversation, what how can you practice gratitude, and help you feel better gratitudes got that kind of magical powers that it can help you be more optimistic, feel less stress, more energy and things like that. So where do we begin here? There's various ways to practice gratitude. Probably the one that people maybe, you know, they think of when they think of the term gratitude, just keeping a gratitude journal and writing down what you're grateful for. I've got a tip there, though. I know a lot of people that do do that just kind of go through the motions. And then you don't really feel that difference. Like if you're just saying like, Hey, I'm grateful for my cat Oliver, which we now know as parents cat's name. I'm grateful for all of her my health and my job. And then you turn the page and you fill out the gratitude the next day. What does that actually mean? It probably is not going to get you into a frame of mind where you're living in gratitude. So we're, I suggest people take it further is if you're writing down, you're grateful for somebody or some something in your life. Follow that up. By writing down why you're grateful for those things, or that person, what is it about that person that you appreciate that you love? And then I take it even deeper and I teach people think about what your life would look like without that person? Or that that thing without that job without your teammate? What would life look like then? And then when you do that, you say what, why and what would your life look like without then it creates a more emotional response. So I'll have people do this in my breakout sessions. And that's usually the hears, people have tears because they start to think, oh my gosh, my life without this person, I couldn't even imagine it. So I think that is one way to start a personal gratitude practice. So you're actually like, Okay, you're, you're reminding yourself of the good in your life. And then what does that mean for work and work, we could talk about two different things. One is like, leading with gratitude, which, in a sense, I take that to mean creating a culture of gratitude and kindness. So in healthcare, trading, treating your patients, like real people, and that have a heart and not just transactional. So I like to, you know, give examples, so people can really think about what this might look like in the real world. So I my favorite coffee shop in Denver, when I lived, there was a coffee shop called fluid. They, they got to know me by asking questions. I went there on a regular basis. So it wasn't just like, hey, here's your coffee, give us money. It was people that took the time to get to know me a perfect example. There was one day when one of my other cats we had talked about cats before we hit record. My other cat, Nomar who who's not with us anymore. He was having two teeth pulled. And so I was a little bit anxious and the barista the manager there, she asked me like, hey, you know what's wrong? I told her, her cat was having a tooth pulled that day as well, just coincidentally, and she just said here, your coffee is on the house today. And it was just just a little thing. But something like that can go a long way. Chewy. Speaking of animals, they're a company that sells pet food and pet accessories to pet owners. I know a lot of pet owners will get their food from chewy on an auto order subscription basis, they automatically send the food every month, and they take money out of your credit card. So there's a lot of stories, but it goes like this. A lot of times when a pet owners, dog dies, let's say or a cat dies, and they'll call you and say hey, please stop my shipment, my dog has passed away. Chewy, of course will express sympathy. And then they'll say, okay, all those unopened bags that you may still have, we will refund your money for all of that. Don't send the food back, we will, we would love for you to donate that food to a local shelter. And then a lot of times in a few days, sympathy flowers and a sympathy card will show up on the doorstep in just as a as an expression of condolences. So chewy is a company that leads with gratitude. So they're not saying like, we need your money back or we need the food back or we can't send these flowers because it costs too much. They're treating their customers like human beings that have a heart.
And then we've got appreciation in the workplace in the sense of all right, we need to appreciate our teammates, right? There's an interesting statistic. This is kind of a old statistic, Karen, but it's still relevant and maybe worse today. 79% of people in a research study a few years ago said that they left their job, in part because they didn't feel appreciated at work. So it wasn't like, hey, we need more money. Or we need to be you know, get promoted. It was really just not feeling valued, not feeling heard or listened to and not feeling like they mattered. So that's why I like to talk about Okay, starting with yourself first and then spreading it to other people like your customers or patients but also your team. And a great book is the five languages of appreciation at work. It's kind of a follow up book to the five love languages, which is was a popular book that talked about relationships, personal relationships, and we all have a preferred way that we like to receive love. We also have a preferred way that we like to receive appreciation at work. And the languages are the same five languages as the original five love languages book. So think of things like words of affirmation, quality, time, acts of service, tangible gifts and physical touch. We all have a way that we like to be shown appreciation at work usually follows one of those five. And so basically the idea here is find out how your each teammate likes to be appreciated at work, and then appreciate them in that language on a consistent basis. So somebody likes words of affirmation. So you want to appreciate that person, by affirming them with words that can be written, it can be verbal, the idea is to do it consistently. Be very specific. Don't always make it tied to performance. Maybe make it you know, give them a shout out on why you like them, kind of like we talked about earlier, when we write down like, Why do you like somebody's work? Somebody that is loves words of affirmation will love hearing good things about them? So yeah, so that's just kind of a basic rundown. I know, that was a long answer. But I think it's important to, to get all three of those in personal gratitude, leading with gratitude, and then spreading appreciation to your team. Yeah,
that's three, kind of an easy framework for people to follow. And circling back to that gratitude list or gratitude journal. I used to keep one and then I did it. And then I did and now you know, it kind of goes in cycles. Do you have any advice for people on how to be consistent. And as a follow up, I think it's important for people to know that it doesn't always have to be really big things. I remember when I started, the coach that I was working with was saying, Well, you know, it doesn't always have to be big, grand things. It could be like, I'm grateful that I have an umbrella because it was raining today, or I'm grateful I have a warm jacket, because it's 30 degrees today. So it doesn't have to always be a person or an animal or a relationship.
Yeah, yeah. Great point. You want to keep it simple, right. So don't get overwhelmed. So I love your point there. So my first thought to your question was, you know, you've mentioned that you weren't super consistent with your gratitude journaling. I know, I'm not I'm actually not either. You know, I'm seen as gratitude guy. But gratitude journaling never has been something that I've been consistent at. So what I do want to I'll give a tip on how to be consistent. But before I do that, I do want to encourage the listeners to find something gratitude related that you do enjoy doing. So maybe your thing isn't keeping a gratitude journal, but maybe like complimenting somebody. So that is a sign of gratitude. Or a way to show somebody gratitude. Gratitude could be just sending a quick video to somebody. So maybe like, I'm not really much with written but I'll send them a video or an audio. And that could be your thing, or writing handwritten notes, could be your thing. But in terms of if you did want to start with gratitude journaling, and trying to figure out a way to be consistent with that right off the bat, you could do some things that can help you form a new habit, much like forming a new habit to exercise or something like that. setting yourself up for success. So breaking down the habit into the smallest thing possible. So maybe you just write down one word each day instead of trying to form an entire sentence. So that could be a way to break it down in a small, small miniscule habit. But also think about something that you're already doing, and stacking this habit on that and creating a trigger point. So suppose you make coffee every single day. And that's kind of a routine you're already in. So maybe you leave your gratitude journal by your coffee pot or your coffee maker, and just have that next to it as a reminder that oh, yeah, because a lot of times not keeping a habit is just we forget about doing it. So create a way that you will remember to do the habit by having something that you already do be that trigger that reminder, right.
So your habit, habit stacking.
Exactly, yeah, habit stacking. Yep. So you've heard of that. If you're doing something like if you're doing something like writing a handwritten note, I've tried to do like, writing handwritten notes every day, which I've been successful at for a while. That is a little bit more involved. But what I could do is think about the night before who I want to write the note to find the address, get the envelope out, get the card out, get the pen out, get the stamp out and put it all out. So I'm actually see it and everything's not like hidden away in a drawer. So make things visible. So I think yeah, those are my best advice to find something that you like doing so it might not be a gratitude journal. Once you find it breaking down in the smallest component possible. So it's one word versus a list of 10 things and then finally have it stack you know, do Do it while you're doing something that you already do every single day anyway.
Got it? Yeah, much easier makes it much more digestible than like, well, I don't know if I can write the journal and then write the why. And gosh, take me 30 minutes. And do I have time for this? And yeah, so that makes a lot of sense. And I can also, I should also say, like, you can do it on your phone, too, like the notes section of your phone? Yeah. Yeah. You know. So that's, that's a possibility as well. So if you have like, a commute after work, where you're not driving, you can, you can like make that a habit at the end of your day to just throw something into your phone or something like that.
Yeah, I got one more. Yeah, it's similar to a gratitude journal to gratitude jar, which is huge. It's just take any jar. And you can just cut out slips of paper and just write down one thing that you're grateful for. Each day in the paper, maybe you have a family, and you get the whole family involved. And I like this idea. Because the jar can be visible. And it's fun. It's almost fun to watch the stacks of the slips of paper grow in the jar tilde, Giorgio stuffed, filled with gratitude, then you could pick a day, Thanksgiving Day, New Year's Day, maybe go and bring your family together, you sit in a room, on the sofa in the living room, and you go through like hay who said they were grateful for you know, chocolate, and then somebody raises their hand. That was me. And then you said, then you can go into more of the Hey, why did you pick chocolate? What is it about it? And then you can have these amazing conversations as a family. Or you could even do something like this at work as well.
Yeah, I was just thinking that if you have, you know, maybe a smaller to medium size, like a small company, or I know a lot of physical therapy offices. They don't have hundreds and hundreds of people in the same office. So this is something that's actually like, doable. You know, because I think if you had like, if you're in an office with like, 300, people, like it might be a little overwhelming. But most, I think healthcare offices, you know, if you have 20 people, I think that would be like quite a bit. So if you're in a smaller office, it's a great way to stay connected with your co workers. And another way of staying connected is and you'd mentioned this here, and there are handwritten notes. So how do you incorporate handwritten notes in the workplace? And are you only doing this if you're the boss?
Yes, I so handwritten notes I love it's how I started my company, say with gratitude, I, I had kids draw pictures. And I turned them into thank you cards that I sold to individuals and companies. But I love handwritten notes because it provides a connection point between you and the recipient of the note. So it's a way to not only appreciate somebody but actually connect to them on a deeper level. So whereas you know, writing in a gratitude journal, you might be the only one that sees that a handwritten note to people can see it or maybe even more in the workplace. You can use it a couple of different ways. One could be if you start to learn, who in your company likes words of affirmation, right, we talked about the five languages of appreciation. If you find out who likes words of affirmation, then you can make it a point to write a handwritten note to those people and know it doesn't need to only be the boss. I think if you're creating a culture of gratitude, I think everybody should be involved. If you're trying to figure out like, hey, I want to start this gratitude at work thing, not sure where to start, handwritten notes, I think can be a great place to start before you kind of fine tune your your appreciation, tools that you want to use. The kind of latest research shows from the authors of the five languages of appreciation and workplace that almost 50% of workers choose words of affirmation as their first way that they like to receive appreciation at work. So it's a great place to start. Of course also, you can easily write handwritten notes to your, your your patients to appreciate them. We talked about appreciating your customers patients, more is more than just a transaction, like make them feel good. And there's a company that I interviewed the HR had a few years ago, I love what they do every week, like once a week, they would, as a team, they would get together at lunchtime for about an hour. And they would write handwritten notes to their customers. And I liked it two reasons. One, they were expressing gratitude to their team, or excuse me, to their customers, but to they were bonding over the act of writing gratitude notes as a company. So just imagine there's a few people in a room, they're grabbing lunch, they're writing notes, they were being creative, they were putting stickers on the notes. And they were able to kind of chat with their the co workers on a level that they don't normally do, because they're normally just focused on work. So they got to know their team, on a deeper level, just having these conversations as they were writing note to their customers. So it could be a great way to, to bring your team together to just bonding over the act of writing handwritten notes.
And here's the question that I think a lot of business owners are going to want to know. And you may, you may have an idea of what I'm going to ask here. But what does this do for the bottom line of a company? So you're spending this time you're bringing in people from your company? How does does this improve the bottom line? Will this help the company make more money?
Yep. So that one statistic that I mentioned that 79% of people left a job because they didn't feel appreciated at work? Turnover finding new workers as a high cost of business for a company. So anyway, the Yeah, the the research is showing that. Doing things like infusing gratitude at work, appreciating your team, connecting with them on a more deeper level. So a lot of people feel disconnected at work, because they've got a lot of emotional stuff, you know, in their lives are overwhelmed or stressed. But when they get to work, they don't chat about any of that. So there's a lot of research now that shows workplace loneliness is high. Six, up to 61% of all US employees are lonely. So lonely workers and workers that don't feel appreciated, they're disengaged, they're not as productive. They're calling in sick, they're stress. They're thinking about leaving their job, or they're actually leaving their job. And connecting with a team and showing appreciation to your team can change all of I don't know that there's actually hard numbers that are out there yet, but just know that there are studies have shown there's productivity increases, turnover decreases, sick days decreased. So all of this leads to companies that can actually save more money.
Yeah, no, I understand that. Yeah, that makes sense. But I had to ask that question, you know, because people are going to be like, Well, this sounds great. But what's it gonna do? Yeah, it's
the biggest probably, you know, obstacle in doing something like this, because a lot of businesses are like, well, you know, I know if I spend, you know, $100 on Facebook ads, I'm gonna get this exactly. Yeah. Right, and $1 for dollar return. And for something that's more of a soft skill like this, you might not exactly have that data, but just know that there's a lot of money being lost due to low productivity and high turnover. Yeah. And with appreciation and connecting can really solve a lot of this. Yeah,
no, that makes perfect sense. And now, before we wrap things up, I want you to one more time. Yes. Do you mind repeating the five languages of appreciation in the workplace?
Yeah, the five languages of appreciation are words of affirmation. Quality time. So that's the second, the one that second most popular quality time. So two people basically, spending time together like you and I are acts of service. So that could be like helping somebody with a time sensitive project. Tangible gifts. So that could be somebody that actually likes to receive a gift. And that's how they like to be appreciated. The thing is, they're the best you can make the gift. It doesn't have to be expensive, but the more personal, you can make it the better. So a gift of a pair of socks with my cat's face on them is better than handing me a Starbucks gift card because somebody that knows I'd like my cats has done their homework and that would be a really meaningful gift to me. And then physical touches the last one That's not seen very much in the workplace that's like, you know, high five pat on the shoulder for obvious reasons. Yeah, yep. Yeah, that one is usually not somebody's primary way they like to receive appreciation. So the first four are the ones that most things, you need to focus on those four languages. Right,
right. And speaking of gifts, you actually have a free gift for our listeners. So it's gratitude. toolkit.com. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Yeah, that's really a toolkit with a bunch of goodies. So what'd you get there? I wrote a book called The Grateful entrepreneur, which I know you mentioned in the intro, that you get a digital copy of that book, that's all about creating meaningful relationships at work. I've got something else that I created called the grateful deck, which is 120 questions to start meaningful conversations, great to use to start meetings at work to just get to know your team a little bit better. And then I've also got 47 ways to practice personal gratitude, and 29 ways to use gratitude to grow your business. So that's all in this all digital downloads in the gratitude toolkit.
Perfect. And that's awesome. So if you want to go a little bit deeper into what we've spoken about today, then you're going to want to check out that gratitude toolkit. And again, it's www dot gratitude toolkit. All one word.com. All right. So is there anything that we didn't touch upon that you want to hit on? Or is there something that you want the listeners to their big takeaway here?
Yeah, big takeaway, I think, is just to start now, do something, compliment somebody flash somebody a smile, do something different. If you want to go a little bit deeper than that, write a handwritten note. And do those three, do the three things that I talked about in the journal, do it for your note? Who do you appreciate? Why do you appreciate them? What would your life look like if they weren't in your life and read that note to them, it's even more powerful than just handed it to them is to read it to them, the connection will be amazing. And the one thing one thing that we didn't hit on, that's kind of near and dear to my heart. Do some of this unplugged. So don't you know if somebody is talking to you Don't be on your phones, pay attention to them. That's a form of gratitude, a form of connecting is just listening. So I if you want to start a gratitude practice, think about doing this, like write your note without like, put your phone in a different room, you'll be more engaged. And you're going to think more clearly. So yeah, that's a I think a good good takeaway for that for the audience. Yeah,
that's great. I love it. And now, I have one more question. It's a question I asked everyone. Okay. That's knowing where you are now in your life. And in your career? What advice would you give to your younger self?
Oh, that's a great question. Lots of advice. I could give my younger self. So I was thinking about this, I would say, and this is I was trying to think of what am I still working on? Because and there's a lot but I was I'm gonna go with don't take things personally. So good. Something I still work out. I don't think I'll ever be like completely perfect with that. But yeah, if I could give my younger self that advice. Because I do take things personally, I'm sensitive. If somebody you know, I could have 100 compliments, and one naysayer, and I'm focused on that naysayer, I think it's human nature. And I take it personally, but but I think like, we don't know, like, at least for me, personally, I know I'm doing good in the world. And I'm changing lives. And I need to not be sensitive and not read social media sometimes and take that own advice of unplugged right and just hanging out with the people that I love. And I know that love me and, and, and really, I think just continue to connect with other human beings in a meaningful way. Get rid of the technology. Don't let negative comments bring you down. Because then it can affect your day, your week thing that affects your performance at work that affects how you relate to your loved ones. And so yeah, so don't take things personally. Advice that I would give my younger self but I would also continue to take that in my older self.
Yeah, I love it. That's so good. And now where can people find you? Where can they connect with you,
too? your main website is saved with gratitude.com you can always email me Scott at Scott colby.com. And then even on Facebook, my most probably active social media platform at Scott Colby.
Perfect. And we'll have links to all of this over at the podcast at podcast at healthy, wealthy smart.com. So you can always hit up the podcast website, and one click will take you to all of Scott's info. So Scott, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and sharing with us how to have gratitude and how to infuse that into our workplace in our jobs. So thanks so much. Thank you, Karen. My pleasure. Anytime and everyone. Thanks so much for listening. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart. Thanks for listening. And don't forget to leave us your questions and comments at podcast dot healthy, wealthy smart.com
In this episode, Nutritionist, and Emotional Eating and Self-Sabotage Coach, Matty Lansdown, talks about dieting.
Today, Matty talks about emotional eating versus hunger, creating healthy and sustainable lifestyles, and the “Why x5”. What alternatives are there to reproduce the “dopamine hit”?
Hear about how to create healthier emotional escapes, intermittent fasting, and get Matty’s advice to his younger self, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
More about Matty Lansdown
Matty Lansdown is a scientist, nutritionist, and an Emotional Eating and Self Sabotage coach
that specializes in weight loss and self confidence for women and busy mothers.
Starting out in the field of nutritional epigenetics, and spending several years working in hospitals as part of a disease research team, Matty believes that most disease and illness is not due to bad luck but as a result of poor nutrition and lifestyle choices.
Matty’s extensive experience allowed him to uncover the deeper challenge people have with
health which isn’t about calories or kale, but in fact mindset and behavior change.
Having been on his own personal development journey, Matty is now super-passionate about showing people how to level up their health so that healthy habits and the best food choices are easy and natural. Likewise, Matty’s weekly podcast “How to NOT Get Sick and Die”, provides his followers and clients with a deep dive into nutrition and how to develop healthy habits that last.
Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Diets, Fitness, Nutrition, Emotional Eating, Food Addiction, Sustainability, Food,
Atomic Habits, by James Clear.
FREE Gift: How to Turn Food into Self-Confidence.
To learn more, follow Matty at:
Facebook: Busy Mothers FB Group.
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Podcast: How to Not Get Sick and Die.
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Read the Full Transcript here:
Hey Maddie, welcome to the podcast. I am happy to have you on today to talk about the D word. And we'll get into that in a second. But welcome to the podcast.
Hey, Karen, thanks so much for having me on.
Yeah. So like I said, we're going to be talking about the D word. dieting. Right? Yeah. Why does everyone go on a diet? Why do we think we always have to be on a diet? And of course, ultimately,
why a lot of them just don't work? Right? Yeah. It's such a good question.
Yeah. And I'm sure a lot of it, it has to do and we'll get into this, the psychology behind it, and why we eat and why we do the things that we do. And I know one of the things that you're really passionate about is working with people to understand their emotional eating. So can you talk about kind of what is emotional eating? And why do we do it?
Yeah, that's like the understanding that is really the the answer to possibly all health questions, I think, I think emotional eating to sort of classify it in like a textbook fashion, would be eating for any other reason than nutritional requirement. And then we get into the weeds instantly with what is nutritional requirement. Because we're in this world, unfortunately, that has, you know, anything in a bag, a box, or a can, is food that is somehow manipulated and changed and altered in a way that doesn't resemble the type of food that our genetics and our body is expecting to receive or familiar with receiving. And so that's why, you know, people are always looking for diets, because we've been consuming this food and living these very westernized lifestyles, which have led to bodies that are sadly, really unhealthy and really unwell. Whether that be through the lens of I've got access body fat, or whether that be through the lens of diabetes, or just any type of dysfunction in the body. It there's the diet is going to be a part of that in some way. And so we've created this Yeah, unfortunate reality where everybody wants to be on a diet, because they're marketed and sold to us as being the answer to basically getting your bikini body back, or pretending that a woman that's 55 can now be 21. Again, you know, and that marketing it, like, it appeals to everybody. Because of course we want, we all want our youth back. We all wish we could, you know, go back in time and be there where we thought we were fat then. But actually now in retrospect, we're like, oh, I wasn't bad at all. I wish I had that body. Or it might be in the case of like physical wellness and disease, which is like, yeah, I've eaten myself into some really significant health problems. And it's not just food, it's important to acknowledge stress, sleep, relationships in your life, the house that you live in toxins that they're all a part of the equation. But yeah, I think it's really important for people to I guess first understand, yeah, what is emotional eating, eating for reasons that are not nutritional requirement? And then second, why would I be eating foods, not for nutritional requirement? And then that's where we get into emotions?
And how, so how can people understand if they're eating is emotional eating? Does that make sense?
Makes perfect sense. Every single one of my clients asked the same question in the beginning. So the way that we sort of get to realizing that is, like, has have the diets you've tried in the past? Did they work for a short period of time? And then you went back to how you were eating before? Or did you you know, you couldn't wait, use lots of willpower for maybe 612 weeks, and you just couldn't wait for week 13 When he got the wine back, the chocolate back the pizza back. And if any of that stuff is a feature of the way that you've gone about food nutrition in the past, then it's highly likely that those foods that you were looking forward to putting back into the diet were consumed from an emotional standpoint, if you're thinking about the food that you're consuming six months or three weeks, that's not your hunger right now. That's definitely emotional. You are looking forward to having an experience that will bring you pleasure. So the way to sort of ascertain it in your day to day life is to sort of do an internal check in when you go to the pantry or to the fridge. If it's not mealtime, approximate mealtime. And that looks different for a lot of people. And you're not actually like, yeah, I've got genuine hunger in my stomach. And it's been a while since I've eaten it kind of makes sense that that now's the time. And you get there and you realize, I actually kind of don't feel that hungry, but I really want the thing. Want the chocolate want the nuts, want the muesli want the yogurt, whatever it is, but I'm not really hungry. There's definitely an emotion driving that behavior. So it's basically Yes, you got to check in with yourself and you've got to take a really conscience conscious 10 to 20 seconds to really check in with your body. And you might even do a little bit of breath work in that time just to calm your nervous system down to be like, am I actually hungry? And probably if you're listening to this, it's likely you're in a very privileged, wealthy country. It's probably very likely that you're going towards that Food for emotion rather than hunger?
And how can what can we do in those moments? So I need to like take a minute breathe. But if it is this emotional eating, how do we get to the sort of root cause of these emotions that are causing us to eat more?
Yeah, well, and that's a that can be a really confronting and heavy answer for some people. And like everybody that jumps into the work that I do a, I don't sugarcoat it in any way, I say this might make you cry. You know, we've been using these tools often to hide from, or cover up feelings that we're uncomfortable with, or situations, that might be a situation with our partner, that instead of having the difficult conversation that's been there for 15 years, we just get wine and chips every night. And I use that example, because I've had clients in that situation that when we removed that, some problems from a long time ago, we're able to be dealt with. And so the, I guess, the way that you want to navigate that is you don't want because we were essentially in that moment, we're using food as an escape, right? We're escaping an uncomfortable emotion or trying to move towards a pleasurable emotion. So if we ascertain the motivation, like, which is that first question, am I trying to escape? Or am I trying to move towards? Once we've answered that question, we can figure out, okay, we need a list of other alternative escape options, other than food, because sometimes we have to escape, because expressing your inner child's worst moment from when you were, you know, hurt, as you know, 1520 30 years ago, in the middle of a board meeting on Wednesday, is a really bad idea. Right? So it's not that we shouldn't always escape, sometimes we need to escape those feelings, because they're not practical to be dealt with in the current moment. So we need a healthy, what I call them routine swap outs. So it's like the eating the food is this ingrained routine or pattern that's automated. And through through this process, we bring it out of automation and into your sort of manual awareness. And then from there, we figure it out right? Now I know what I'm getting for this, from this escaping the pain or moving towards pleasure, what is a list of things that I can put together to change this routine, to be able to then create a more favorable outcome where I'm not punishing myself with food in the process. And then there's, of course, there's the, that's the escape, but then we also need to put a list of things together about how we might actually process because processing is really important. Otherwise, we're on this roundabout forever, hence, the yo yo diet cycle that many people have been on. And some recent research says that most women have been on 17 years of dieting and spent $40,000, only to be left with a problem that they never solved, basically. And so, so yeah, we've got to we've got to actually process so distinguishing the motivating factors, why it's there. And I call it the why times five. And it's kind of like just why am I hungry? It's like the surface level thing might be because I want food. That's like, Okay, let's go a little deeper. Why do you want food? Because I'm bored, bored of my work. I got up from my desk, and I moved to the kitchen. Why are you bored from the from your work? And it might be like, Well, I hate spreadsheets. Why do you hate spreadsheets, I don't feel super confident actually doing them. Like, I kind of feel a bit lost. And, and it's like, you know, I kind of just fumble through the task. And then the why that inevitably is at the bottom of that is I don't feel good enough, right? I don't feel capable enough, right. And it's and it might be one of those things. And that's, that's the little routine that we get people to go through every time they find themselves in a situation where they would be snacking, or even in the middle of a snack, or a binge or an Uber Eats order that you know isn't for hunger. And we dig down that little rabbit hole and you can see how very rapidly it can become very deep and confronting. But once we're there now we've finally confronted or met with the cause of the reason that these yo yo diets have cycled around for years and years and years, because most of those diets never deal with that piece.
Right? They just deal with, you know, eat, eat less food, eat this food, not that food, write everything down, keep a journal, all that kind of stuff, which works in the short term for many people. Yeah. And it comes back again, because I guess you're not really addressing some deeper things. Is that
accurate? Totally. Yeah, totally well, and the other thing is to like, where we're driven by dopamine humans are driven by the hormone dopamine, which is the happy hormone, the pleasure hormone, and it's the reason the species exists that drives us to procreate and have sex. It drives us to hunt food. But the catch is, because in the last 100 250 years, social evolution moved so rapidly along with technology is that we're now in this modern day world where we have access to dopamine. Keep in mind getting dopamine used to be risking your life hunting a buffalo, you know, or a wildebeest and there was a huge cost risk, like In order to get that dopamine, or it was like impressing a woman in much more traditional setting, in order to have sex for both parties, to engage in sex, the man would have to improve, you know, impress the woman, and vice versa. And again, it was a long Costas significant allocation of time before you got your dopamine. Now, we can wake up at 2am and pull our phone out and get a dopamine hit from our Facebook update, Instagram, Tik Tok, or even in most cities in the world, now you can get sugar, which massively like hits the dopamine button in a massive way, from a 711, around the corner that's open 24/7, or a service station or gas station. And so we have to put no effort in to get this hormone that we're driven to seek. So understanding sort of the science and the psychology behind dopamine drive, because many people actually go on this why times five exercise and they're like, I can't really find a belief for a trauma in my past that's driving this. And it can simply be biological addiction to the sugar, which then addicted to the dopamine, the happy hormones, because every single day of our life, we're trying to create situations where dopamine is available to us because it makes every human on the planet feel good.
And so what can we do? When we're in the thick of it to feel good without having that hit of sugar or snack or muffin? You know, you're at your desk and you're not feeling great? And because you know, offices, there's always a muffin or a donut or some sort of sugary something laying around. So when we're in those moments, what can we do to get that, that dopamine hit? I use that in quotation marks? Versus having the sugar and feeding that addiction, if you will, because it is an addiction.
Yeah, no, I totally agree. It's, it's funny often get asked as an emotional eating coach, what's the difference between emotional eating and sugar addiction. And it's one of those things that if you ask an emotional eating coach, they will say it's, you know, they're both the same. If you ask a sugar addiction coach, the, I'll say they're both the same. So it's very much is in that realm. But this list of things that we need to do alternatively, to produce that experience is going to be different for every single individual. And it's, the other thing is to that we've got to have like a really practical list and a little bit later in the week list. Because if you're a mom, or if you've got, you know, super busy job, you can't just necessarily respond to it in that moment, it's like, you know, you might need a list of options that can be done under two minutes. And that might include a little bit of breath, work, a walk around the block 10 Push ups, you know, something that moves your body and we know produces dopamine, it can be simply hugging somebody, like, you know, a lot of people go towards food for love and connection and security and safety and predictability. So and we can get all of those things from hugging somebody that we love. And these might sound overly simplistic because I often tell my clients, we want to find something of equal or greater value. And they're like, Maddie ain't nothing more valuable than a glass of wine. And so then we do this thing, which James clear in atomic habits talks about, which is habit stacking, essentially, which is like, we might need to do two or three of our little swap outs that we've come up with, in order to feel appropriately satisfied, that we can, you know, now put ourselves in a position of power to say actually, now I'm not really not really wanting the chocolate anymore, or the the muffin or the wine or whatever it is. And it's it might even to be just to elapse the time. And they do that a lot in sugar addiction space as well. When you get to the meal or you get to the pantry, you say, if I want it, I'll have it at the next meal. And you do that for every single meal. So you take the stigma away of you definitely want to get away from the don'ts. No, avoid can't have because that triggers our inner rebel to be like, watch me, I'll do that. But But yeah, so we want to take the stigma away from it. But But yeah, that little list of things is gonna be different for everybody. And yeah, we want to explore what's available to us. I literally have a little indoor trampoline. That's one of my own little routine stop outs. And it's purposely on the way to the kitchen because I run my own show from home. And I jump on that for literally about three jumps. And I've totally forgotten about food altogether. So yeah, there's a lot of different ways we can go about it.
So it sounds to me like achieving weight loss goals, or even just being healthier and fit, right because we don't want to have to tie everything to weight loss because that's not necessarily the goal for everyone. I think like you said before, being being healthy being fit, avoiding chronic disease, which happens a lot in people who are overweight. So it sounds like it's not so much about food, but it's about the psychology behind what we attached to that food?
Yeah, you're totally right. And I think it's one of those things I believe in the idea of how you do anything is how you do everything. And the thing that underpins the way you do food, the way you manage the relationships in your life, the way you walk up to your job, and how you execute, it's all from your own mind. So if we can work on that, then there's going to be a positive flow through all areas of your life, but equally food and if you are trying to lose weight, weight loss as well.
Right, and you know, people, people love plans, right? So out of this conversation, you know, it we're talking about changing habits and psychology and dopamine, and a lot of people might be thinking, Okay, what's, what's the plan? Give me a plan here, you know, like, what, what do I need to do to get healthier to be fit and perhaps to lose weight? How can I do that and sustain it? So what is your answer to that question? What's the plan?
Yeah, so the first step of the plan has to be looking backwards, you cannot understand how the present came to exist if you don't understand the past. And I think that's one of the problems with fad diet culture, and yo yo diets is that on Monday, change everything about your life. Why? Because apparently, that's better. And we instead, we can't undo the work of the past unless we know what created it. So we have to reflect on our past, whether there'll be a big trauma there that we can find, or whether we just understand on a deeper level that we've been convinced by 45 years of marketing and advertising the sugar industry, which spends literally billions of dollars, purposely to to addict you and convince you. So we have to understand how did I came to be now? Because if we don't know the answer that question, then no diet is going to work? If we understand that question, then we can start moving forward with okay, how can I navigate that space in a different way, because currently, the way I'm navigating, it has meant that over the last 25 years, I've gained weight every year, or has led to a situation where I've got a cancer diagnosis or a diabetic diagnosis or whatever it might be. Because if we don't understand the driver behind our behavior, where it's very unlikely, we're going to change it because we're not dead. And that's literally how the core reptilian part of your brain operates. It says, if we're not dead, everything we've been doing up until this moment has been relatively okay, because it hasn't killed us. So we won't change unless we can find some kind of understanding as to how we got here, and then also be inspired to be like, oh, and I can do it differently. Which is, you know, a lot of people get their inspiration from social media, but you really need to find that inspiration within yourself. Because there's only so long that we can want to be like, the person on Instagram or Tiktok, that we get inspired by every now and then we need to want to be better for ourselves or our children every single day.
Right? And I love that, you know, you're presented with a situation. And you kind of have to make that conscious decision, like you said, of how can I look at this situation and react to it in a different way than I normally would? So I think first it's, it's confronting the situation and having that sort of internal drive to say, Okay, this is what happens, I can't control the situation. But you know, people say this all the time, you can control how you react to it. And so my question is, you know, if we're working off of psychology, we're working off of patterns within the brain, the more you respond to the similar situations by maybe not having that handful of candy, or the muffin or whatever it may be, will that change that patterning in our brain eventually, so that when we get into that situation, again, the brain is going to be like, Oh, we don't not not necessarily know how to handle this in a different way?
Yeah, absolutely. It won't change it permanently, because the body and the brain. And evolutionarily speaking, we've identified that these fast sugar sources, you know, survival techniques, basically to eat these foods, even though we often live in very privileged, abundant worlds. The brain still is knows that like, oh, there's fast energy, so we're never going to get rid of it forever. And if you ever talk to a drug addict, or a sugar addict, really, that's in recovery, they, they they're under no illusion that it feels good at the time. And that's, you know, whether it be heroin, cocaine, alcohol, they're like, yeah, when I'm in the middle of it, it feels amazing. The same when you put the chocolate in your mouth or the lollies or the candy in your mouth. Like in that moment, it feels great. But the catch is that, you know, triggers a cascade so you'll always have this knowing and this knowledge in your mind that that's the experience. And if you've done it for decades, that will definitely be you know, those new runs in your brain will be really thick. However, we can start building up an alternative set of neurons, which by default will take the sort of physical thickness out of the other ones, it's because the brain works on it, you don't, if you don't use it, you lose it. So we want to start building up the neurons in a different pathway. And we want to do it slowly, too, we don't want to, it's not day one, throw everything out by 400 kilograms of kale and live your healthiest life, I have this little mantra that I that I always use, which is one tweak a week, we want to make one change. And that might be just focusing on breakfast this week, you know, and this is once we've already done the reflective work. But we've just just breakfast forget about every other meal, every other snack, just work on, you know, working on breakfast and making it great, and whatever great looks like for you. And then once that feels kind of normal to your nervous system, your identity, your personality, your routine, then we move on to the next one.
I like that. So you're not kind of bombarding your system with this huge change. Because like you said, like, I'm gonna start this program Monday morning, and, and everything's gonna be great, and it's gonna be no problem. And that's why people start programs and don't finish them. Or maybe they finish them. And then a couple months later, they're kind of right back to where they started. Because they didn't make the slow changes over time. Instead, it was just like, yeah, a shock to the system. And so from what I'm hearing is that it takes time, and that's okay. And I think you also have to give yourself some grace, to know that it takes time. And it's not something that's going to happen. Like, if, if your plan is to lose, I don't know, 20 pounds, it's not gonna happen in two weeks. And if it does, I'd say that's pretty unhealthy.
Yeah, and, like, yeah, we get caught all get caught up in marketing and advertising. And, you know, the, the amazing thing that's just around the corner, but most of the people I work with are sort of in their 40s 50s 60s. And they've done so much of that, that they're like, I finally got enough evidence after doing this for 30 years, that it doesn't work that way. And so if you think about it, I get people to think about it like a mountain. It's like, if you've been walking up the mountain for 25 years, and you're on the top of the mountain, the idea that you can change 25 years worth of behavior in like a 28 day challenge at the gym, or you know, an eight week program is like, even just in basic logic, it doesn't make much sense. So the reality is 25 years up the mountain, we might need to walk down and my mom is a perfect example. She's in the process of walking down it, she's lost 30 kilograms, which is like 70 odd pounds. thing. Yeah. And that's taken up for years. And she's still got plenty to go. But she's been in the situation. She's been with her health for 35 years. So we have to, unfortunately, it's unsexy. And it's not good for headlines, or clickbait or anything like that. We have to, you know, accept that this is going to be a 1234 year journey. But the good thing is every day of that journey, you'll feel better, you're moving in the right direction, rather than going from one extreme to the other.
Absolutely. And I have a couple more questions here. Before we kind of start to wrap things up. But another thing that I see a lot in the headlines is intermittent fasting. So can you talk a little bit about that what it is, and why would we want to do that?
Yeah, sure. So intermittent fasting is just spacing out the times that you do and don't eat, basically, because I think, well, there's a research study that came out of the US last year 2021. And they found that currently in 2021, Americans were eating on average, six to 11 times per day. And I would say if you're eating 11 times per day, it's really just once it's just once that never ends,
when really long meal,
just a grazing day. But that but the point of intermittent fasting is to start winding back the frequency. And a lot of people understand that it's like oh, fasting, so just don't eat. That makes sense. I'll lose body fat. And I'm really sort of anti that message. Because especially for women, because women's hormones really need to be nurtured and looked after, especially if they've been on so many different diets, which smash their hormones around all over the place. And so it's not any defined period of time, it's gonna look different for everybody. But it's basically just making sure that when you're not eating, you're really not eating. There's no snacking, there's nothing in between. And that allows the gut to go into a repair mode. Because we eat so frequently in the Western world, you can live a full 5070 years without your gut ever really having a day off. And we want the gut to actually repair itself because that's where a lot of the immune system lives. That's where the food you know, interacts with our actual body. So it's not necessarily about having a whole day away from food, but it's just about it might be returning to breakfast, lunch and dinner only. But no Next, it could be 7am, midday 7pm That might be intermittent fasting for you. Some people, it might look like breakfast moves till 11am, and dinners at 7pm. So we've got that's kind of like the typical 16 hours fasting, eight hours eating. But it's definitely not about going hardcore deprivation on hunger, you don't want to be experiencing overwhelming hunger. There's some things missing, and you're maybe not doing it correctly. But you'll find a lot of people on YouTube and Instagram and Tiktok that talk about just the the longer the fast, the better. I strongly disagree with that, especially for women.
Thank you, and thanks for clearing that up. Because that is something that we see a lot on social media. And so you think, oh, okay, so I'll just like not eat for a day and then eat again and then take two days off from meeting and just drink water tea. And then it's like, so unrealistic. And it just isn't the
same thing as all the other fad diets, which is throw you all over the place.
Yeah, it just doesn't it doesn't make any sense at all. So every time I see them, I'm like, I don't get it. But like you said, marketing works. Right. And this is dieting is a billion dollar industry. And we've been bombarded by these claims for decades it for, for a lot of us our whole entire life.
Yeah. Well, and if you're not a nutrition or biology expert in any way, it makes total sense if because if you think of the body through a single dimension system of calories in calories out, or energy and energy out, it's like, so I don't put energy in. Of course, I lose weight. That's the whole thinking process for most people. And that's why I totally understand it makes sense. But unfortunately, that's not the reality the body is so intensely complex. Oh, absolutely.
I mean, we're more than one system and more than one dimension. So yeah, so thank you for clearing that up. And and hopefully the listeners have a better understanding of what intermittent fasting is, and that it can be different for everyone. And that you should probably work with a health coach or a nutritionist. If you're thinking about moving into certainly intermittent fasting, I think, or working with folks like you to help get people to their, their why their five, the y times five, to kind of get down and so that they can really understand, okay, this is why I'm doing this. And I need to to face some hard truths in order to get beyond what I'm doing, because it's not helping me and it's not healthy.
Yeah, totally. And yeah, that journey takes a little bit of time. And that's okay. And guess what, you'll fall off the bandwagon. And that's also okay.
Absolutely. And now, I have a couple more questions. I have a question that I asked everyone, but we'll save that for a second. But what would you like the listeners to walk away with if they could kind of encapsulate what we spoke about and what you want them to remember? What would that be?
So I have spoken in, I've been fortunate enough to speak in many countries, on many podcasts, different things, and I've never met somebody that didn't know what to eat. Like a lot of people say information, information information. Information is not like nutrition education. And science is not the transformational variable, it's highly likely that you need to spend about 10 seconds thinking about what you should be putting on your plate you already know. So you already have all of the tools in your mind. But if things are not working, then it might be your psychology, your emotions, your mindset. So it's highly likely you've got the tools for the nutrition. You know what to do there. We need to go a little bit deeper is the take home message I would want everybody to leave with.
Yeah, I never thought about that before. But you're totally right. I mean, I know what to put on my plate and still on like, I don't know, I think I'd rather that gummy bear. That's probably better.
That's yeah. That's not like chocolate good for breakfast. Nobody's ever asked me that. Like,
I think I think that would be a better dinner. Of course, it's not a better dinner. Like we know this. We total it up. Okay, so now where can people find you? If they have questions? Social Media website, all that fun stuff?
Yeah, sure. So, my website, Matty lansdown.com. So you can just check out stuff there. We got some articles and few different things there. We've got a Facebook group specifically for mothers. So it's called the Healthy mums collective. And that's for people that are wanting to end their emotional eating and feel good in their own skin again, and Facebook website podcast, how to not get sick and die is the name of my podcast. So yeah, we're just about to hit 200 episodes, which is amazing. So come and hang out there.
Awesome. Congratulations. That's a big milestone. And we'll have we'll have direct links to everything at this podcast web. site which is podcast at healthy, wealthy smart.com in the show notes for this episode, so one click will take you to everything that Maddie has going on. And you can learn more about him on his website. And if you want to work with him, you can also learn how to do that on his website. Okay, so Maddie, last question, and it's one I asked everyone is knowing where you are now in your life and career? What advice would you give to your younger self?
Oh, that's a good question. I know that my younger self would not believe I was this older self. He'd be like, you're like a drunk, hippie. But probably to be more open minded. When I started out in western medicine, where I worked in a cancer hospital, I worked in many laboratories. I just thought everything outside of that field was woowoo nonsense, and, and I was so solid in my convictions that science and medicine was the greatest thing ever. Because if it wasn't, then why would it exist? And that was before I really understood capitalism. So yeah, I would just say to people that there's you know, there's a little bit of truth in absolutely everything. And there's a do your own research, learn, be open minded, and just move forward with absolute curiosity. I was not curious enough as a younger scientist, and it led me to well just be delayed in the way that I executed my life and my success, I guess, but, but yeah, be open minded is what I would ask my younger self to be.
I think that's great advice. I love it. The listeners, I'm sure appreciate and love it as well. So Maddy, thank you so much for coming on and sharing all of this. And again, everyone, check out his website. And if you want to work with him, you can get all the information on his site. So Maddie, thanks so much.
Thanks, Karen. I appreciate you hanging out with me.
everyone. Thanks so much for listening and have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.
In this episode, Functional Medicine Practitioner, Dr. Meg Mill, PharmD, talks about headaches and migraines.
Today, Meg talks about headaches and migraines, what causes them, and how to get to the root of your headache to treat it. What are the major contributing factors to chronic headaches?
Hear about treating headaches as a functional medical practitioner, controlling stressors, and get Meg’s advice to her younger self, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
More about Dr. Meg Mill
Dr. Meg Mill is a Functional Medicine Practitioner, bestselling author, podcast host, and speaker. In her virtual Functional Medicine practice, she works with patients worldwide to heal the root cause of their health struggles through advanced diagnostic testing and personalized support.
She has been seen on Fox News Channel, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and in Reader's Digest, Health Magazine, and has appeared on many podcasts. She is particularly passionate about helping people end headaches and migraines, increase energy and restore mental clarity without drugs or overwhelming protocols with her proven E.A.T. Method.
Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Headaches, Migraines, Stress, Environment, Hormones, Triggers, Allergens,
To learn more, follow Meg at:
Podcast: A Little Bit Healthier.
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Welcome to the healthy, wealthy and smart podcast where healthcare meets business with your host me, Dr. Karen Litzy. And just as a reminder, the information in this podcast is for entertainment purposes only, and is not to be used as personalized medical advice. Enjoy the show.
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. I am your host, Karen Litzy. Thanks so much for joining me, I really appreciate your ears on the podcast. Now before we get started in today's episode, I have a couple of announcements number one announcement. If you are listening to this podcast on October 17 18th, or 19th, for that matter, I have a big announcement I will be running a workshop. That's right, not a webinar, but a workshop. So be prepared to do some work, called the strictly business roadmap create the foundation of a six figure PT business working 25 hours a week. In this workshop, we will cover the human resources needed for a successful business, the organizational resources needed to keep your business running smoothly the surprising amount of technology resources you will need. And finally the financial resources and knowledge that are imperative to pay yourself and your business. So the details it will be Wednesday the 19th at 8pm Eastern Standard Time on Zoom. Of course, there will be a link in the show notes for this podcast. So if you head over to podcast at healthy, wealthy smart.com You can sign up for that workshop. Just do it by Wednesday. All right now the other announcement is we are placing the podcast interviews up on YouTube. So if you want to see the podcast interviews, watch us interact with each other head over to YouTube to my YouTube channel, just Karen Litzy. And you will be able to see us talking back and forth and I'm sure one of these times you will also see a big orange cat hop up on to the screen on my screen. Alright, so today's episode is all about headaches and migraines and the treatment of them. And to help guide us through that today is Dr. Meg mills. She is a functional medicine practitioner best selling author, podcast host and speaker. In her virtual functional medicine practice. She works with patients worldwide to heal the root cause of their health struggles through advanced diagnostic testing and personalized support. She has been seen on Fox News, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, in Reader's Digest health magazines, and many many more. She is particularly passionate about helping people and headaches and migraines increase energy and restore mental clarity without drugs or overwhelming protocols with her proven eat method. That's e period, a period T method. And for all the listeners of the healthy, wealthy and smart podcast, she has a free gift eight step guide to say goodbye to headaches naturally. Again, go to podcast at healthy, wealthy smart.com. And you can click on that and get her free guide. So a huge thanks to Dr. Meg mill. And if you are suffering from headaches or migraines or know someone who is please listen to this or refer them to this podcast episode. Thanks. Hi, Meg. Welcome to the podcast. I'm happy to have you on today to talk about headaches. So welcome. Thank you so much for having me. So headaches is something that affects millions of people every day. Sometimes it can be a little headache, or then you have people with more chronic headaches and migraines. So where did your interest start for treating people suffering from headaches. So I'm a functional medicine practitioner. And whenever I start working with people, they fill out a really detailed intake questionnaire and symptom questionnaire before we start working, just then we really review their whole health history. And what I started noticing as a pattern was that either people were coming to me suffering with these chronic headaches and migraines, or they were coming to me for other reasons. And when I'm going through their health history, and they're really going through these forms, I'm like, Oh, they're suffering from regular headaches. Oh, they're taking Advil once a week. Oh, that, you know, and, and normalizing and they didn't even even really realize like, Okay, I'm coming to you because I'm having this problem. It's just that that's been such a part of my life. I didn't even really think about it as a problem. And so I saw this happening, particularly with women, really in both directions, and then we would start working together and they would say, oh my god,
As my headaches are gone, I never believed this was possible, I didn't even think I couldn't, wouldn't have them. And I just kept seeing this over and over again. And I wanted to get the word out. You don't have to suffer with headaches and migraines, you actually it's actually your body giving you a message. And when we put all the connections together, we see this dramatic decrease in both incidence and severity. And, in your experience, what have you found as major contributing factors to people living with chronic headaches, so we want to look at, you know, there's there's two aspects of that. So we want to really put the connect the dots. So that's what I always say, we're trying to connect the dots, your head pain is giving you a signal. And so we're looking at connecting all those dots and you and really like digging, sort of down through the layers because it could be the top layer and we could fix it right away, we could just get you some supplements that give you the right nutrients, and it might go away, but like you may be layers down to all the connections that are going on. So you know, we want to make sure we have the right nutrients, we want to make sure that we're not eating foods that can be triggered. We want to make sure our hormones are balanced that our stress hormone, you know that our stress is managing our stress hormones, we want to look at our environment, even sometimes, like underlying gut issues are different things that are happening that are that can be causing like this inflammation and immune response to that can trigger headaches. Okay, so let's drill into a couple of those a little bit further. So you mentioned stress. Everybody has stress. Not everyone has headaches, thankfully. But how does stress contribute? And what advice do you have for people that maybe they can do right away? To help control their stress as it relates to their headaches? Because I hear it all the time. Oh, I've had it just when I'm really stressed. Yeah. So what happens what I call it the chain of pain, actually, because, you know, when we think of stress, we think of like, Oh, our to do list or you know, we're busy, we're in this fight or flight because we have so much going on. And stress can actually be physiological can be biological, there can be a lot of reasons that our body's responding to stress, and one of which is pain. So it's like this cycle, when you have pain, you can your cortisol can increase your stress hormone, which can actually increase another hormone called prostaglandins are called prolactin, excuse me. And then once prolactin is released, that can actually increase pain sensitivity. And so you can get stuck in this like pain causing stress causing pain. And we see this, the cycle happen a lot with people. And so we just need to do things, like you said, to get out of the chain of pain to really get your body to relax. So one of the things I think you could start doing right now is really just practicing breathing, because our breath can bring us back to the parasympathetic nervous system, we often breathe through our chest, we're breathing like high up in our body. But if you can take a couple minutes every day, it doesn't have to be anything drastic. But just like set a timer, you know, a lot of our watches even more, say, take a deep breath, you know, sit and take a minute or two out of your day and really practice that deep breathing, because we know that those deep breaths can bring us back into that parasympathetic nervous system. So that's just like a simple place to start. Yeah, so I think a lot of people, when they think of stress reduction, they think of mindfulness techniques and meditation. And they think, well, in order for that to be helpful, I have to do it for 20 minutes. And then I don't know, 20 minutes, and then they're stressed out because they don't have the 20 minutes in order to do that. And it keeps going and going. So I like the recommendation of hey, let's just take a couple of breaths. Keep it simple in the beginning. Exactly. I agree with you, because a lot of that feels like another stressor. So if I say to you, like we have to meditate, then you have to you know, and then it's like, Why can't meditate, my thoughts won't slow down. I don't have 40 minutes, I don't want to do so. So just if you can say like, Hey, I'm gonna do it, like we do anything else, put little chunks in your day, you can start to build and then if you practice that breath, when you are stressed, you can bring it in. It's very hard, when you don't aren't practiced that it to use it when you need it. And so that's I think, like building that muscle of being able to do it, get the practice and then being able to bring it back when you need it. Yeah, just like anything else. If you can practice something and build up like muscle memory, I use that in quotations
so that you can tap into that when you need it. I think is so important, rather than just maybe doing some breath work once a week, or once a month. Kind of when you think not even when you think about it, but maybe if someone mentions it to you then you're like oh yeah, I thought I was supposed to do that versus making something a habit right? Because habit building is something that human beings can do. We can do this. Yes, yeah. And you just put it in you just get it as a part of your habit and then you'll and then you'll really see the advantage when you're a
But when it is a habit, you're able to use lies it when you're in that stressful situation, because you can really actually feel your body calming down. If you're stressed and you think, like something happens, and you can get to that breath and really use it, it's actually just, you can physically feel the relaxation, we know physiologically that it does, you know that your breath really can bring you back into the parasympathetic nervous system, it's just a matter of being able to actually do it. Right. Okay, great. Now, another thing that you mentioned in all these contributing factors to headaches is your surroundings. So can you explain that a little bit more? Because I think a lot of people if I'm playing devil's advocate advocate, would say, Well, how can I change my surroundings like I live? Where I live? I do what I do, what are you talking about? So go ahead. Yeah, so we there's a, there's a couple of things whenever we talk about our surroundings, so we want to say like, actually, heavy metals can be a trigger for so if you have heavy metals in your body, sometimes even things like, like a lead could be in your bones from when you were younger, and sometimes as well, more women and we age, our bone density changes and actually can release toxins later in life that you may have absorbed when you were young. So it's just in some of those loads, or maybe not even what you're around right now. But we know some of the heavy metals, then we you know, mold can be another factor. So if you do live in a moldy house, we could look into that and see if you're surrounded, that's like also something if you see like, oh, I moved and my headaches started, after I moved or you know, at a certain location, some of those kinds of things, but then just also environmental. So when we look at our environment, sometimes people that have migraines, can have a genetic variant and this enzyme called Dao enzyme, and that's an enzyme that helps us break down histamine. So we want to think of that when we're eating foods that have histamine. But if you also have, you're also exposed to environmental allergens, you know, you're you're getting this allergic response, you know, this immune response. And so just actually also cleaning up your environment can make a big difference. We I one thing I would say is even if you're going to pick like something in your environment, you can't change where you live, obviously, you can, you know, clean up, but putting an air filter in your bedroom can be helpful. And you don't even have to go to the top of the line, you know, you can start out with something that you you know, find anywhere.
And just put it in your bedroom, because it's hard to get them in every room in the house. But we spend a lot of time sleep is so rejuvenating. And just if that's like one thing you can do, I think that is a help often for people just to add that. Yeah, and air I actually bought an air filter last year with the all concerns of like air quality and COVID and things like that. And so I have one and it wasn't very expensive. It's not like you said you don't have to go top of the line or anything you can get they have some really good basic ones that can fit the square footage of a bedroom really well. And I'm glad you say you know, even if you have an ingest your bedroom, that's good, because a lot of people might think well, what am I supposed to put one in every room in my house? It's gonna get really expensive. How am I going to do that? But now you're saying listen, at least have it in your bedroom where maybe you're sleeping and spending eight to maybe nine hours a day in that room? Yes, yeah. Cuz it is, it's hard to say like, Okay, I'm gonna put it everywhere. But you're, you know, you're gonna be there a ton of time, and it will be good while you're sleeping. It was funny, because when I was going to buy, like the first air filter that we bought in our house, my husband's like, we have a filter on our furnace. We don't need this. And I was like, you know, I just want to have it I you know, I think it's important. And then the first time we change that filter, he was like, Oh, it was shocking, because you think your air is being cleaned by your furnace. But when you really see those filters, and when you get their filter, there is a lot that's coming out. So yeah, yeah. And I I live in New York City. So if I just opened my window for half a day you're getting God only knows what blowing into the apartment. So yes, air filters very easy to do. What about you had mentioned mold? So there are obviously ways to clean mold. But let's say you're going to look at a house or an apartment or something like that. Can you ask about mold in the structure? Yes, they do. You can do mold testing. So that is something that you might want to look at because there can be black mold under things and so if you are looking for a new you know, a new home that is something related to take we you know, we check radon, we check different things, but are we actually checking mold and the you know, the people aren't I had a plumber come in one time that was like, I had a leak in my sink and I was saying like, is there mold is it and he was like, Oh, it's fine. That's not a problem. And I'm thinking yes, it is a problem. I actually know that it is. So I my point there is that you could have people just brushing it off that are saying like, Oh, that's not a big deal. Oh, we don't even need to look for that. But you know, that's always something that you can ask for it.
Yeah and you had mentioned that foods can also have an anti histamine effect is that right? What can you give some examples of foods one can eat like what would be considered a low histamine diet? So you want to be you want to avoid things like aged cheese's fermented foods sometimes shellfish even like avocado is a high histamine foods so you want to avoid foods that but I think if you try to you know stick the big classes would be like aged cheese's fermented you know, fermented foods have a lot of prebiotics in them so we're really hearing a lot about things like sauerkraut, kombucha things right are feeding our microbiome in a positive way and so you can hear that and you hear things about like avocados or healthy fats and all these things so that's what kind of gets tricky with with headache foods or migraine foods because they're often foods that maybe you're hearing are healthy for you but they're just not like they may be healthy in certain ways, but they can be potentially triggering your your headaches or migraines and you're not even knowing it. So we want to look at foods that are getting high in histamine. This is the one I mentioned. You also want to so some of the other categories of foods that we know are foods that have tyramine so think of like cured foods, aged foods, they're the foods that have nitrates. So you think of like hot dogs and foods like that. You also salicylates and that that can be like citrus foods. So things like lemons, sometimes oranges, those are, are ones that you wouldn't necessarily suspect. So then we have like MSG, aspartame, MSG would be like in canned foods, box foods, aspartame, diet, foods, and then even caffeine. So that's an interesting one, because caffeine can be helpful sometimes for people with headaches, but you can get rebound headaches, if you you know, are withdrawing from the caffeine to so so that so I'm gonna give you like their buckets. So like that those are foods we know actually have data, we know that those are they can cause the headaches and migraines. Now, it's not the same for each person. And there can be a threshold. So you may eat that food at one point. And like let's say you have a glass of wine and it has tyramine in it, and you're like, I hear this, like people say, well, sometimes wine, I'll get a migraine after but other times I can drink it. So it must not be the wine. Well, it might be the wine with some of that aged cheese that you had, or something else, that the combination of those two foods together was enough to like put you over that threshold to have the headache. So that's where it kind of gets confusing, I think because you you're it's harder to pinpoint your exact foods sometimes when you're trying to think about it, because you're not always getting the headache with that food. Right. And so that flows very well into my next question. And that's how do you know what, if any of this stuff is causing your headache, whether it be the food, you're eating your environment, your hormones? How do you know? Because that's a lot of buckets. Yes, right. Well, that's why when I work with people, I have like roadmaps. So no one you find a practitioner that you can that you trust that can give you a roadmap, but one of the things that because Because yeah, you get the guide to know like this, and this and this means this and that's very helpful. But one of the things you can start doing right now is printing out, I have people start by printing out a blank calendar, and write foods down like if you get a headache, or if you get a migraine. Wait, what you ate that day and the day before, and then just start to look for connections. So you know, start to look for like, okay, you know what, every time I get a headache, it's three days before I get my period, or every you know, like my migraine or every or it's mid month, maybe you're ovulating, you know, or I didn't sleep last night, but uh, you know what, I don't sleep. If I don't sleep, well, I get it, or I'm dehydrated or the ate these foods. So once you start to like, just you don't have to do it every day. But if you just do it when you're getting the headaches, it can start to show you patterns. Oh, that's a great idea. And then you can address them accordingly. Yes, right. Right. Right. Got it. Now, you had mentioned days before period ovulating. So obviously, advice for women who suffer from hormonal migraines. What do you got? Yeah. And that's one more thing I didn't have to worry about. Right? Yes. Yeah. So the two most common reasons that we get migraines associated with hormones are estrogen dominance, and rapidly changing hormones. And that's why with estrogen dominance, you often get it right before your period because estrogen and progesterone are both dropping, but sometimes then progesterone is lower than estrogen. We were having the dominance now. We really do. Test testing can be really helpful for this because if you have estrogen dominance, why, like do you have low progesterone or do you have I have estrogen or I see a lot of people that have normal estrogen, but maybe some of the metabolites that estrogen is going into are higher and they're not there. You want to look, we want to say use it or lose
that when we talk about estrogen, you want that to really be in your body, but you want it to be able to be metabolized and excreted. And if it's not being done that way, then you're getting the these higher levels of metabolites that actually have a little bit more proliferative effects sometimes, and we're getting these symptoms. So, you know, really one, if you can get the testing the right testing done, then, and you have to be careful, because if you just see the extra dial, like if you just get a blood draw, that's not really the whole picture. Because you're not seeing all like I said, all these metabolites in the way, you know, that might be okay, but the way they're processed, but you so if you're looking for something you insert, right now, you can look out, there's a lot of products in our life that have what we call Xeno estrogens. And so those are estrogens that are outside of our body, and things like BPA, so think of all the plastic containers in your kitchen, have BPA in them. And what we do is we eat out of those, but we also often we'll put those in the dishwasher, sometimes we'll microwave them. And when that happens, they're also like decomposing, you know, they're breaking down their structure and they can leach into the food. So then you're eating that food that sitting in that plastic that so we're getting some of these estrogen components outside of the body. So you know, just really taking a look at that. We look at that in you know, your skin is a giant mouth and skin products, hair products, all the things that we're using, so that's just a good place to start. And yeah, I actually have I can say I switched to glass for all of my food storage needs, or I'll just put it in like a regular bowl and just cover it with which is probably not good. But I cover it with
with aluminum foil. Okay, I don't think that's good. Well, that's not touching. Yeah, you don't want to high levels of aluminum either. But yeah, you know, might not be touching the food. No, no, no, no. Yeah. No, usually it's like in the bowl like, yeah, yes, for the most part, I decided last year, I'm like, I feel like I should switch to glass. You know, storage instead of using like the Tupperware or Tupperware like storage. So I guess that's good.
And when you're looking at things like what you're putting in your hair on your face, are there things that are you're like, do not buy this product, if it has this ingredient in it, or is that a little too broad. So what I would suggest that you do is actually go to ewg.org Skin Deep website, so they rate all products. And so you can actually tell you just tight, it's really easy. Just type in what you have. And you'll see a rating. So you'll say like, Okay, if it's a one or two, you're you're feeling comfortable. If your products and eight or nine, then you know, replace that product, it would be a good idea to really try to, you know, try something else. And I tell people to like, for cost purposes, if you just replace one product at a time, it really doesn't, you know, it add up so much. So yes, if we're going to say I need to go get all new makeup, that's going to be expensive. But if you're like, Oh, my foundation ran out, let me think of what you know, let me really think about that. Be mindful of what foundation I buy, or, you know, the next time your shampoo runs out, you do the same thing, you're spreading that cost out. And then you're just replacing one thing at a time. And it's just lowering your overall toxic burden. It's lowering those, you know estrogens that are coming in. Another thing I guess with that is also like looking at beef and dairy because we're you know, the animals are often given hormones. And then when we eat them, we're also getting that, so really paying attention to those those foods to to make sure you're not getting any extra hormones. Got it? And can you say that website one more time? Well, yes, sure. It's Ew, g.org. And then in that that's Environmental Working Group. And within that there is a section that specifically for products and it's called skin deep. And they have a whole bunch of products. They have sunscreens and makeups, and you know, shampoos and all sorts of different things. So it's just a nice resource, because I think it's just nice to be able to, you know, you look at the back of the shampoo bottle, and you're like, what does all of this mean? So it's sometimes hard to figure out on your own, but it's just nice to be able to put that product in and you know, put it in and then find a ratings like gives you like a little bit of a clear guide. Yeah, no, this is great. I mean, all your tips are amazing. So hopefully people if you are someone that suffers from headaches or know someone who suffers from headaches, then definitely get them over to this podcast so they can listen to all these great tips on how to not suffer as much because I know headaches can be just absolutely debilitating. I have several friends who've had you know, a history of a long history of migraines. And I'm lucky to be a person that doesn't really get that many headaches.
But now when I do I'm going to kind of be thinking about you you're going to be in the back
Could my head I'm going to be thinking about all these tips and seeing what I can do to help mitigate the headache when and if I get them. So thank you so much. And now, how, you know, you had mentioned that you're a functional medicine practitioner. So how does a functional medicine practitioner differ from
a medical doctor when it comes to the treatment of headaches? Like what do you guys do differently? Yeah, so I'd like to actually take use an analogy for this, because it kind of points out the way we're treating headaches in the conventional space. So if you took your, if you took your car to a mechanic, and you said, it's making noise, and the mechanic walked away in it, they walked away with your keys, and they came back and handed you a pair of ear muffs and your keys back and said it's fixed. Would you be comfortable driving your car? And we wouldn't, we'd say like, No way, it's so broken. And that's kind of what's happening a lot of times in the way that headaches and migraines are being treated. Conventionally we're giving, we're given medicine to cover the pain. So you're treating your pain, but your headaches are still coming back. And we see that happen all the time. You know, people are saying, Okay, well, I take this for my pain, but that they're never going away. They're just being covered up. So what we do in functional medicine is we flip it around, I say, like we do it actually the opposite. And we're really putting all the connections together, outside, sometimes even of your head, and putting everything else that's going on in your body together and really kind of diving into why you're getting a headache. So it's not as much about the pain treatment, which we do still want, you know, we still want to treat the pain, obviously, because we don't want you to experience that. But we want that my goal is for you to get the incidence and severity down because I want you to not have them so that you're not having to take the medication. Right, that makes sense. And
I think I like how you said you want the incidence and severity to go down because sometimes it may not be complete elimination for the rest of your life, like people may have flare ups, I work with a lot of people with chronic pain. And oftentimes, you know, they may have chronic low back pain, we've gotten them to the point where that back pain is no longer burden burdensome, but you know, every once in a while they may have little flare up. Right? So how do you explain that when you're speaking with your patients that like, hey, sometimes you may have a flare up, it doesn't mean that you know, all is lost. You need to give up what kind of what does that conversation look like for you? Yeah, so generally the people that finally get to me have had chronic you know, or severe headaches so they're just thrilled to not wake up like I you know, I get one of my favorite quotes is one of the people I work with when I patient said I just love the fact that I don't wake up wondering if it's going to be a headache day like she you know, she everyday was living her life like, is it going to you know, wait, I get you have that fear waking up like is today going to be a headache day, if I plan something? Am I going to be knocked out with a migraine? And so yes, I can't promise you that you'll never have another headache because I can get a headache. You know, because of you know, maybe I'm dehydrated. And I've slept weird on my neck and you know all these things. But I can't promise that but that's when we see this dramatic decrease in both incidence and severity that they're not really affecting your life that you're not taking medication, they no longer have to, you know, sometimes we were on prescription medication, Botox injections, all these you know, there's, there's a wide variety of things that peak cocktails that people were taking, and they're still coming. And so it's it's really saying you don't have and I think like deeper than that all these medications have side effects like we're getting they're not without consequence. They can, you know, have good purposes, but there's always the consequence. So you're still getting the headaches, you have the consequences. So we want to pull get you in a place where, okay, you're not relying on that. And you're you're not suffering from any side effects of having to take regular medications. Yeah, I think that's great. And the the biggest part there is like they feel like they're not suffering anymore. So you know, when people come in and you ask, Oh, what are your headaches or your pain on a scale of zero to 10? And people are saying it's a 20? It's because it's so they're suffering and it's affecting their life in so many different ways. And so if you can bring that down for them, I mean, that's a real blessing, I would think and they must be like, super excited about it. Now. Yeah, it's life changing. Yes. Yeah. Yeah, it's life changing. So now, what, what would you like the listeners to kind of step away with from this conversation? If you can distill it down into your main points? What would it be? Yeah, I just like them to know that one. You know that if you are someone who has, I think people feel that they've had these headaches for you know, a lot of times people had them since childhood even. And so you feel like well, I've always had this. This is something that I'm not going to change. I'm managing it. It's
You know, but it's, it's just who I am, I see those people be able to make that change and not have them, you know, so I think or if there's something that you're dealing with all the time. So I just think knowing that there is hope that you don't have to live this way that if you just maybe take a new perspective, I think we can get stuck in that same pattern of like, oh, this is just what I do, oh, this is how I treat it. But I, I think if you can be open to a different perspective, then you there is hope to really make a change in your life. And then I also would say, you're just really maybe dialing in and listening to your body and listening, you know, if you can be more in touch with, like, what food you're eating, if you're dehydrated, if you're not sleeping, if you're you know all those things that we talked about, and like really just kind of put a mirror up and see like, where are you on some of those spectrums? Excellent advice. Now, where can people find you? If they have questions they want to consult, they're having headaches, they they need you? Where can they find you? Yes. So my website is Meg mil.com. So that's just my name M eg mi LL. And then I have a podcast called a little bit healthier. So I'm talking about headaches and migraines, but all different ways you can add be a little bit healthier in your life. And then I'm over on Instagram, and Facebook at Dr. Meg mill, just Dr. Meg mill. Perfect, perfect. And now, last question. It's one I ask everyone. And that's knowing where you are now in your life in your career, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Oh, that's a good one.
I just think that, you know, so I started out on the conventional side of medicine. So I guess I felt like, Okay, this is the this is the way to go, although I always was into more prevention than treatment. And so I, I think my path is different, it's veered a lot. So I think maybe in some of those times that I was really frustrated with the system and the way things were going even though I knew all the protocols, I knew why it was happening, that that I was that I wouldn't be able to find another way. So I would have to say that's probably the advice that just be open, you never know what road it's gonna take. And I did think of one more thing, I have a freak, I forgot to tell tell, say this, when you asked me Yes, I do have a free guide that you can go to just called help my headaches.com. So if you're looking for some steps to get started, you can look at that guide to I should have mentioned that earlier. No, that's perfect. And we'll have links to everything. We'll have links to your website, your social media, and help my headaches.com so people can go on and get this free resource to help their headaches, which would be wonderful, because man, I
I always, I feel I have so much empathy for people who suffer from headaches, because I think I had like maybe two or three in my life. And I was like, Oh my gosh, this is how do people live this way. So I have a lot of empathy. And I have a lot of gratitude for people like you who have chosen to really work with this population, because it's vast, and they need the help. So well done on you.
Yeah, and again, what's the name of your podcast again, it's called a little bit healthier. So it's just about taking tips too, that you can do every day in your life to be a little bit healthier. Love it. Excellent. Well, thank you so much, Meg, for coming on and sharing all of this great info so many good tips. I was like looking down and taking notes and I'm definitely going to that website and I'm going to put in all of my skincare and
hair products to see what I have going on and and then I'll take some deep breaths so then I won't get stressed out about it. But thank you so much for coming on the podcast. This was great. Thank you for having me. And everyone. Thanks so much for listening. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.
Thanks for listening. And don't forget to leave us your questions and comments at podcast dot healthy, wealthy smart.com
In this episode, Founder of MasterTalk, Brenden Kumarasamy, talks about public speaking.
Today, Brenden talks about becoming an exceptional communicator, online versus in-person presentations, group presentations, and presenting as an introvert. How do we get better at communicating?
Hear about Brenden’s random word exercise, answering questions proactively, and building the jigsaw puzzle of a presentation, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
More about Brenden Kumarasamy
Brenden is the founder of MasterTalk, a coaching business he started to help ambitious executives & business owners become TOP 1% communicators in their industries so that they can accelerate their success in the workplace & companies.
He also hosts a successful YouTube channel by the same name with over 25,000 subscribers.
Brenden has coached many executives from companies like Salesforce, Amazon, IBM, Morgan Stanley, Blue Cross, J. Walter Thompson, Deloitte, Verizon, and many more.
Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Communication, Public Speaking, Presentations, Fear, MasterTalk,
Thirst, by Scott Harrison.
To learn more, follow Brenden at:
LinkedIn: Brenden Kumarasamy.
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Read the Full Transcript Here:
Welcome to the healthy, wealthy and smart podcast where healthcare meets business with your host me, Dr. Karen Litzy. And just as a reminder, the information in this podcast is for entertainment purposes only, and is not to be used as personalized medical advice. Enjoy the show.
Hello, welcome back to the podcast. I am your host, Dr. Karen Litzy. And in today's podcast, we're talking all about how vital it is to be a good communicator to be a good public speaker, especially for healthcare professionals. So I have a great guest to walk us through all of that and he is Brendon kumara Asami Brendon is the founder of master talk a coaching business, he started to help ambitious executives and business owners become top 1% communicators in their industries so that they can accelerate their success in the workplace in companies. He also hosts a successful YouTube channel by the same name master talk. With over 25,000 subscribers. Brendan has coached many executives from companies like Salesforce, Amazon, IBM, Morgan, Stanley, Blue Cross, J, Walter Thompson, Deloitte, Verizon, and many more. So like I said, today we're talking about public speaking, how becoming how to become an exceptional communicator, how to give great presentations, whether they're online or group and presenting as an introvert. So it's all about getting better at communicating. Brendon has some great tips and tricks, some homework for us all to do so that we can become better communicators, presenters and public speakers. So big thanks to Brendan, and everyone enjoyed today's episode. Hey, Brendan, welcome to the podcast. I'm excited to have you on it to talk about public speaking. So thank you so much for joining me, Karen. The pleasures absolutely mind. Thanks for having me. All right. So public speaking. As you know, sometimes it can be people's number one fear in life getting in front of a group of people in the I'm a physical therapist in the physical therapy world.
Public speaking is something that can really help move the needle on your career. Yet, so many people are afraid to do it afraid to apply afraid to get up there, that sometimes they just never do it. So before we get into a lot of things in this interview, because I have so many things that I want to ask you, from what you've seen, and in your experience, what are the biggest challenges people have with public speaking? You know, a lot of people, Karen, they think it's fear. But there's actually a challenge, even greater that fear, surprisingly. And the challenge is motivation. Because if we aren't motivated to actually work on our communication, if we don't have an intrinsic reason, we'll never push through the fear. Because the fear will always exist in some way, shape, or form. Even for me, even for the person on the podcast. Why? Because of me, and you are having lunch and Elon Musk calls me and he says, Hey, man, I really liked your YouTube channel. Can you come and coach and I'll pay you a million bucks? Would I be scared? Yeah, it's Elon Musk. But with motivation. The reason this is so powerful is from this question that I'm sure a lot of physicians a lot of healthcare pros don't really think about, which is how would your life change? If you became an exceptional communicator, we dream about becoming a doctor, we dream about finishing finishing med school, we dream about expensive vacations, things we want to buy experiences we want to go on. When was the last time we dreamed about a life in which we're a better communicator in it? And if we don't want to make it about us, I'll throw another one out to you. How would the lives of your patients change? If you became an exceptional communicator? We know in health care patient experience is so important how we make them feel. So if we're not going to do it for us, we might as well start by doing it for them. Yeah, I think that's a great way to to kind of turn that narrative around to take it off of ourselves and say, Well, wait a second, if I were better at communication, because it's communication in front of 100 or communication front of one, it's still being able to communicate effectively, right?
Absolutely. Yeah. So how do we get better? Right? So there's a couple of things on Oh, go ahead, John, jump in. Oh, you're good. So so a couple of things that are current communication. The reason why a lot of us don't work on it is because we don't know the strategy behind that example. Communication is like juggling 18 balls at the same time. One of those balls is body language. Another one is storytelling. Another one's eye contact, facial expression, smiling and the list goes on. So if we try and juggle all 18, all of them will naturally fall to the floor. So instead, what are the three easiest balls that we can juggle in the air to get started with this practice?
What I call my easy threes. So start number one, I'll pause after each one. So I don't monologue for 15 minutes. So the first one is the random word exercise, pick a random word like tea like trophy, like Master, like paper towels, and create random presentations out of thin air. Why is this exercise effective, because it helps us quickly think in our feet, I always tell people that if you can make sense out of nonsense, you could make sense out of anything. And it's also really easy to do. Because all of us listening to this podcast, I hope showers every day. So you got 10 minutes in the shower to do this exercise. Or if you have kids, you could do it when you're picking them up from school. So by random word exercise, you mean like, if I were to say a microphone, and I'm doing a presentation on a microphone, I'm trying to sell a microphone. What does that mean? Does that work? Absolutely. So to your point, let's demonstrate this throw any word at me. But don't use microphone because it's too easy, because I have time to think about it. Right? Right. How about polar bear? Awesome. So Karen did not give me the word polar bear proaches. Conversely, I just need to invent something that it didn't want to do. Right now. When I think of the polar bear, I think of many things. The first one is the cold temperature in the North Pole.
But minus just how aggressively killer these polar bears can be. There's also a bright side, kind of like how polar bears are the main attraction to the Coca Cola brand, or I'll pull up yours kind of reminds us of Christmas and of Santa Claus and of the holiday season. But the reason I bring up the polar bear is that the polar bear has both an aggression. That's a bit crazy, but also a soft nature to them when you look at them from afar anyways. And I think life in many ways is that way too, especially when it comes to our dreams. A lot of us from the outside, it's the opposite. We think it's really, really scary. But then when we get closer towards it, that's actually not that bad. Kind of like a polar bear from 10 or a long feet away. So what's the advice or the advice here is
follow your dreams. Because all it takes is a little polar bear. All it takes is a little bit of ambition for you to say, You know what, even if that polar bear might be scary. Let's just see what happens. And that's just the random word. It's just just something random. That's it. That's crazy. Yeah, well done. You well done and people like I literally did not give him that word ahead of time. So that was just speaking off the top you have kind of like improv improvisation. Yeah, which I took improv classes a couple of years ago to help with the podcast. But what I found is it really helped with my patient interaction. So tying back to what you said before I became a better communicator with my patients as well. Okay, so number one random word exercise, improving sort of riffing on things. What's number two? Absolutely. So number two is questioned drills. We get asked questions all the time in our life care,
on podcasts, on shows, at school at work and med school, we're always getting asked questions, and most of us are reactive to them, especially for patients. We wait for the question to come. And then we go oh, let me answer that one.
In the same way, but a few years ago, when I started guesting on podcast, I sucked. I remember one question somebody asked, he said, Where does the fear of communication come from? And I looked at the guy and I said, I don't know man of San Diego, London, it's you tell me like I didn't know how to answer it. So I was being very reactive, instead of proactive. So what did I do differently? Every single day, Karen, for just five minutes. That's all answer one question that you think the world will ask you. But if you do this for five minutes a day, let's say we take a list of your commonly asked questions by patients. If you just do that once a day, let's say day one is where does your communication come from? Day two is when will I hear back? You know, day three is Will everything be okay? You know, just just make a list. And if you do this once a day for a year, Karen, you'll have answered 365 questions about your industry, you'll be absolutely bulletproof.
I like that. I like that a lot.
That's so interesting. I never really thought about doing that. And as you were speaking, I was like, what are the common questions that physical therapists get asked? So now I'm gonna have to do a think on it, and maybe write down seven. So you got a week's worth. And then, as you're kind of answering those questions, I'm sure other ones will start to pop up. So I don't want people to think
Oh, you have to write out 365 questions right off the bat, right? Correct. I'm glad you jumped into the news. Let me even help help the audience even a bit more, because I'm glad you went there. Don't do this alone. I just said that because I want people to take action. So what's the easiest version, but there's others. But then people will make excuses. But I'm happy to give it for your audience here. Because you're all medical professionals, sure, you'll take action. So what does this mean? You know, there's other people, you got friends who are in physio. So what I would do the smart way of doing this exercise, whether you're the CEO of let's say, the Office of the clinic, or you got friends in that field, I would book a call with like, seven other people. And I've seven other people bring seven questions. So then you have 49 questions. And you're what's great about this process, is we're not competing against each other. If I don't know the answer to the question, I'll just ask you, Hey, Karen, I don't know what to do. How would you answer this question? And then you tell me and I go, Oh, let me just copy that with my patients.
Because the questions are the same. But the point is just to do the exercise, there's different ways of doing this. The easy one is just a load in your basement. And if no friends, you know, write it out every day. But to your point, yes, I'm sure you have colleagues in the medical profession that you could just do this with. Yeah, that makes it a lot easier takes us takes the pressure off, because I'm sure you've heard this before. Like, if you're under 65 questions, forget it. It's too much. I'm not gonna do it. Right. Absolutely. So to kind of have have some pals help you out will make a big difference. Alright, random word exercise question drills. What's number three? Absolutely. So number three is so simple. That nobody does it. Make a list of the five people you love the most in your life could be your mom, your sister, your brother, family members could even be patients. And ask yourself a simple question. When was the last time you sent them? Not a 20 minute, but a 22nd video message, just to tell them how much you appreciate having them in your life, the people who helped you through medical school, the people who really believed in you, the teachers, the mentors, the people supported you. video messages, make people's days, Karen, but more importantly, video messages teach us a very important lesson that the education system does not teach us. The education system teaches us, Karen, that communication is a chore. Oh my god, I have to get better at this thing. Because I have to do well. And then it's so much stress and anxiety. Versus when you start sending video messages and you wake up the next morning, you're shocked at the responses you get. A lot of people look at you look at the text and you say whoa, everyone's saying it made their day it made their their week feel really special enough. Some people never got a video message in their life. And it helps us relearn what communication is for, which is to create an impact to share an idea with the world. Going back to the fears we alluded to earlier. Right? I don't want to share my message I don't want but what happens if you don't?
Well, if you don't, you won't be able to serve as a role model for the people who are going through medical school right now, and are looking up to you. Don't worry about the millions of people in the world. Just worry about the people behind you, or rather, before you I think is the right way of putting it. Yeah, yeah. All right. So three really great sort of drills or strategy that we can use at home either on our own or with some pals to help us find that motivation for public speaking. Right. So let's say we've, we're motivated, now we want to do it. We're we've got a conference coming up. And what happens next, right? We know our stuff, we're good, but you're still it's still in there. You get up to the mic, and you're like
so what do we do that? Sir, sir? So so a couple of things before that moment arrives, hopefully people get to this episode of time, which I hope I would say the next piece. So now you're doing these drills, you're really building up your momentum, your skill set. What's what's my go to strategy for keynote prep? I call this the jigsaw puzzle method. Communication is like jigsaw puzzle security, you know, those pieces, you know, little things used to do as kids those toys, right? So whenever we're doing this jigsaw puzzle, we always want to start with the corner pieces. And the reason is because they're easier to find at the box. So if you open a jigsaw puzzle, you get these corner pieces, you put them all together, and then you're working into the middle. Now you're probably wondering, Brendan, why are you talking about jigsaw puzzles? And the reason is super simple care. The reason I talk about jigsaw puzzles is because in communication, most of us do the opposite. We start with the middle first, we shove a bunch of content or presentations. We get to the podium, and we ramble throughout the whole thing. And then the last slide sounds something like this.
Thanks, not the right approach. So what should we do instead?
To prepare presentations like a jigsaw puzzle, start with the edges first, practice just your introduction here. 50 times 50 Seems like a big number, but it really is it because your introduction is 60 to 90 seconds. So we're talking like an hour's worth of work. Same thing with the conclusion, what's a great movie with a terrible ending, terrible movie last time I checked. So same thing with the close, do it 50 times, once again, it'll take you another hour, then focus on the middle. If you do that, especially in this industry that we're talking to right now, most people don't bother prime, I've coached a lot of the the people in this industry, most people don't even spend a lot of time and effort doing the communication. So if you just spend those puzzles, and you just practice in that way, you'll blow everyone's minds.
That makes a lot of sense. I was just
a way at a at a physical therapy conference. And I did have to do an opening of the conference with another physiotherapist. And what we really did do a lot is we practiced that first slide that opening to make sure that we're grabbing people's attention. And then like you said, we actually did sort of finish with, again, another slide that grabbed people's attention and left people feeling really good about it. And we didn't do it intentionally. Mind you, we just kind of it just sort of happened, you know. But now I like that working on the edges. It's like when you're doing your you write the outline, and then you just start filling it in.
But I really like the beginning in the end, because it's true, you always remember sort of that last image, that last slide, whether it's a presentation, or even, you know, a TED talk or Keynote, you kind of always remember the end and kind of how that made you feel. So I think that's really great advice. I really liked that. What else? Is there anything else we need to? I mean, I'm sure there's a million things that we need to think about, although the podcast is not 10 hours long. But what are some other kind of big things that we should remember when it comes to the presentation itself? While we're in those prep stages? Absolutely, Karen. So I would say for the for the prep. What's nice about doing the beginning the end is because it builds momentum really quickly, especially in the industry. Right now we're in healthcare, where a lot of us, you know, we're dealing with a ton of patients, we're working long hours, we don't have as many hours as other industries to actually invest in our communication. So I'll give you an example. So people understand the comparison. Let's say you have three hours to practice a presentation, that's 30 minutes, what most people in any field will do is they'll practice a 30 or 30 minute talk three times in a row, they'll get tired, and then they'll eat lunch. That's generally what happens. But the problem is, is in those three practices, they don't really see that much growth. Because it's a big presentation, it's hard to keep improving upon. Versus if you take that seemed three hours, and you just spend the same the first two, the first hour doing just the intro and the second hour just doing the conclusion, you're going to go to lunch really happy, you say, Wow, I just delivered the best introduction of my life, the best conclusion of my life. Now I'm just going to spend the next hour to your point filling out the dots connecting the rest. So that's the reason strategically, why that works more sense, it's a better investment of time, in terms of the other points. Now we're going into the bonus round. So the bonus round is this. Every great presentation, Karen generally has one key idea, what do you want them to remember, I'll give you an example from one of my clients. What she is trying to do is the draw the relationship between empathy and patient care experience. That's what our presentations, but if she tries to talk about 10 Other things for a TED talk, it's not going to work, because she only has 15 minutes to talk. So every story, every analogy, every tool, every statistic is really revolving around the idea that we need to bring more empathy into not just the patient care experience, but towards other functions within the hospital, whether it's the support teams, the it the ops, so that the patient care experience is 360 Not just one ad, right. That's our whole key idea. But notice how clear that is. But if we try and do 10 different things, we go nowhere. So what's the advice, the advice is to bullet down 10 different key ideas on a list, and then look at that list with your friends if you have any ideally, and then look at that list and saying hmm, out of these 10 ideas, which one energetically excites me the most. Which one energetically gets me wow, like this is the one that I really want to land and the frame number two
Getting a little bit more advanced. But the frame around this is just asking ourselves this question. What is the one key idea out of this long list that I just wrote that I feel no one else is talking about the conference? No one else is emphasizing. No one else is really drawing a point around in the same way. We talked about Ajay, right, where she focused on the other areas of the hospital, not just doctors. That's her key idea. What's yours? So that's the other piece. And then the last piece to presentation prep, is the willingness to experiment like a painter, like an artist, like a mad scientist. What does that mean? That means try a bunch of tools, try a personal story. Try an anecdote, try statistic. And the only question you ask yourself, is this one, and I'll throw it back to you? Does this defend my key idea? Does this personal story does the statistic does this anecdote, defend my key idea? Yes or No? Try a bunch of things. And then you'll figure out the ones that make the most sense. That's what goes into the final deck. Yeah, that's great. I love that advice. I'm taking copious notes here. Because I like the way you're kind of laying it out for people. And I think that it's simple, it's easy to follow. Most people love a template, they love kind of instructions, right? I'm sure you get that all the time. Like, just give me instructions on how to do X, Y, and Z. And then I'll do it. And then when you feel at least, I'm going to say this personally, when I feel better prepared going into a talk, it's a better talk, I'm a little more relaxed, I can kind of go with the flow. If there's a complication or a tech issue, it doesn't completely throw you off your game. So I think, to your point by being prepared and prepping adequately, I think that can help take away some of the fear.
I completely agree. You know, what I always say is that the best way to get rid of fear is to have direction. If you're focused on direction of where you're going, and you're not thinking about the future thinking, Oh, I should probably do the branch board exercise tomorrow. I should probably do some question drills, I probably should get some buddies together. On and so on, so forth. Yeah. Now, switching gears slightly, but
we're still you know, in these COVID times, everybody's on Zoom. There's many, many, many zoom conferences. So does your advice change when it comes to an online presentation versus an in person presentation? And can you compare and contrast those for us? Absolutely happy to Karen. So the advice does stay the same. But there are three ads that are that I'll jump on that I'll let her on top for online. So the first one is eye contact. So when you're in an in person setting, Karen, do you want to move your head based on who's in the crowd to maintain eye contact with them? What's nice about online is whether you're speaking to one or 10,000 people, you only have to look in one area, which is the camera lens. That's it, you just gotta look in one direction, which is nice. So that's one. The second one and this is the most important, I would argue is energy. Look at the end of the day, Karen, it's easier to shove with energy when you're in person, because the accountability is higher, you'll take a shower, you'll wake up earlier, because you actually have to talk to people, you have to shake their hand, you have to hug them, depending on what your preference is. When you're online, you go like well, I mean, I guess they put my PJs on, no one's gonna know. So it's, it's that it's just that piece. It's impossible, in my opinion, to have that same level of standard as we do online than offline. So what's the advice, the advice is bring more energy in person, get really good in person and bring as much of that as possible, online. That's the advice. And then finally, number three, is accessibility a lot easier to get feedback from your audience when you're in person, because there's no friction, you just go up to them say what's up, you want to get lunch. And that's it. Simple, online. Not as easy, not as easy to build relationships with event planners and things like that organizers. So in that situation, you got to force those relationships, caring that means you got to get on calls with people you get on feedback calls with the organizers who brought you there to make sure you keep that relationship alive. You're getting the feedback you need, but you're also closing more speaking gigs through those relationships.
You're muted, by the way
I was gonna say it's all about the follow up.
And when your online follow up, can seem a little bit harder.
So follow up people email, text, voice message, DM however, whatever you need to do, but follow up. That's something that I admit I was not great at up until a couple of years ago was that follow up?
and it makes a huge difference. And it's it takes, I don't know, two seconds of your time to send an email to follow up, right? It's not that invasive to your time. No, yeah. So follow up, follow up, follow up. Okay.
One more question around the presentation and presentations is, oftentimes I see this a lot at in physical therapy conferences, or sports medicine conferences is, oftentimes you're presenting as part of a group. So there may be, you know, anywhere, maybe two people up to four people in a symposium or within a presentation. So what can you do to prepare for that, and present and stand out within this group presentation? Absolutely. So let me ask a clarification. Question, Karen on this. So when you've been stand out, because usually, and because that's why I want your feedback on this. A lot of the times when I'm coaching people in this industry on group presentations, it's usually like a research study that they all did together. So is that the context you're coming in from as well? Or is there like a different context that I missed? You? Know, I think that's definitely part of it is it'll be a research study that a group of people did on their own, or it may be part of a symposium on knee pain. And they'll be three or four different people speaking on knee pain, perhaps presenting their own individual research, or sometimes it can be researched together. Hmm. Okay, interesting. So I'll go in the context of let's assume they're all on the same team, because the other piece is more like you want to stand up for everyone else, which goes back to the individual tips, right, just just when, then then just do the rest of our exercise and just get the get the recognition. But in terms of the group, there's a couple of nuances be control. So thanks for that, Karen. The first difference is realize that if you're listening to this podcast, you are automatically the leader of the team. And the reason is because you have the most information, unless you're sending this podcast, which I encourage you to do as well, right to your to your fellow teammates in this group. Because you're the person with the most information, I encourage you to take leadership and understand the strengths and weaknesses of everyone on your team. Why? Because you're only as strong as your weakest link in group presentations. That would be my first advice. Take leadership, take all the hardest parts on make your teammates life as easy as possible. That's tip one. Tip number two, realize that when you are not speaking, you're still speaking. What do I mean by this? Let's say me and Karen are on the same team. We're both presenting this amazing research Bravo, she she did all the work, because what do I know about the medical industry? And she's presenting. And as she's presenting, I'm looking in the sky, and I'm thinking, Ah, what's for lunch? Even if I'm not talking? I'm telling my audience something, Karen, what I'm telling them is, by the way, guys, I spent six months researching this with Karen. And I don't care what she says. So you shouldn't either. And that's the message we're sending people. So what's the point? The point is you got to speak even when you're not speaking, which means when Karen's talking bread's looking at her and going, Wow, nodding his head, wow, when she says something great, you nod your head. So do the same thing with your teens be sure you're paying attention to the people that are speaking. That's number two. Number three is have a solid system for q&a, especially in the context of research. Why? Because generally in those presentation, not always it depends on the format. But usually, you will get specific nuanced questions about the research, the thesis, the sample size, what you did, you gotta be strong. Because if you miss those questions, or worse, you contradict each other, your whole presentation sinks. And that's what a lot of people don't get. So I actually have a system on this, but that nobody the medical industry uses that people, you could be the first one who is I call it q&a Master. So q&a Masters is a technique I learned from a team in Sweden, that I thought was really fascinating. So what they did is that the best person who answers questions became the master. And then based on the questions they got from the research teams, or the people in the room, or judges, what that Master would do is he would filter or she would filter all the questions, turn to the research team, and see who has their hands in front of their body. So everyone has their hands in front of their body wants to answer the question. And whoever doesn't want to answer the question has their hands behind their body. It's super nuanced, nobody would actually notice it. And all the Master does is that he looks really quickly or she looks really quickly and picks out the people. So he evenly distributes the question. So there's no stress because he knows who the expert is. And if nobody has their hands up, he just answers the question because he's the best at q&a. That's it q&a Master. I love it. That is such an easy and like you said nuanced way so the audience isn't really picking up on that and it makes your q&a flow so much
To easier, correct? Oh, that is such a good idea. I love that one. All right, if I, the next time I am in a group presentation, I will definitely bring that up. I love it. Okay. So
when we're presenting and we're up on stage, people often think, well, of course, they're up on stage because they're such a people person. They're the extrovert of the group there. You know, of course, only extroverts get up on stage, which we know is not true. So what advice do you have for those folks who might be a little more introverted or shy? And to get up there and do their thing? Absolutely. I mean, let me start with this, Karen, I had no business getting up on any stage. You know, I was 22. When I started master talk, my average client is 20 years older than me, I have a bachelor's degree in accounting. I spoke my whole life and a second language, and I have a crooked left arm because of a surgery head when I was younger, who in the world am I to share ideas on communication and public's view of the world? So the better question now becomes, why did I press record? Why did I do it? I had every excuse not. I did it for the 15 year old girl who couldn't afford me. I never did it for my executives. I just said, Hey, wait a second, like people are like 12 years old? Like who are they going to relate to with their communication, not some six year old white guy who's retiring, and what's seven PhDs and comms, she's going to relate to me. And I'm the only person who can share these videos, I have the expertise because I've been doing it for so long, even if I'm 26 have been doing for seven years. Nobody has that kind of resume. So I said it's either I do these videos, or nobody does. So think about that message in the context of what you want to share with the world. So if you're a little bit more shy or introverted, that generally means a few things. And let's focus on the positive three things specifically wonder a better listener. Okay, extroverts like me, are terrible listeners. That's why we make great guests on podcasts. Yep. All the time. Right. When you're an introvert, you listen more because you speak less. So it's easier for you to be empathetic, not just to the patients you serve in your day to day work, but also empathetic to your audience. You know what's going to land because you're asking them powerful questions, you're listening to them. That's one, two, you're better off Pausing. Pausing is the most important tool in communication, because that allows us to draw emphasis with our key ideas. Extroverts suck at pausing, because we hate space for at a party or at a bar, and we're just staring at somebody and there's no conversation. We start to get really anxious, and we've got us caregiver color. As a freak out. Resident introvert never has that problem, Karen, because they're just comfortable silence don't talk about much anyways. So pausing is really easy for them. And then the last piece is accessibility. Introverts are actually a lot more accessible to share their ideas than extroverts are. Example. Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, massive social media following. I'm a big fan personally, but you either like the guy or you don't you either like he's really, really loud approach or you go get this guy away from me. Nobody says that about Brene. Brown, Karen. Nobody says I hate Brene. Brown. So what's the message? The message is someone out there needs your message. And you just got to go out there and share it and leverage your strengths in the process. Oh, great advice for all of those introverts out there. Or even you're sort of somewhere in between that introvert and extrovert, right? I think it what is it an entre entrepreneur, entrepreneur?
Entrepreneur, no one ever heard, and pervert, right? Right, right. No, I was gonna say an entrepreneur. And then I'm like, No, that's not right. Yes. So great advice. Now, you had mentioned master talk a couple of times. So can you talk a little bit more about that? Yeah, for sure. Karen. So master was just a fluke, you know, after university ended for me, I had no plans of being an entrepreneur, like a content creator. Similar to a lot of the questions you would ask around introverts, I was just going to become an executive at IBM. That was my goal. So I went on to work there for a few years. But I realized that everything that I was sharing with the students back then wasn't available for free on the internet. So I started making YouTube videos on communication. And it just turned into something I never could have imagined, which today, of course, a coaching business and a media company for people can't afford a coach.
That's wonderful. I love that. You're, you're supplying people with really good, relevant content. That doesn't cost 10 grand to get it
out at all. Fabulous. Now, as we start to wrap things up here, I have a couple more questions for you. These will be easy. Number one, what are your top three books for public speaking or speaking in general, that you would wreck
have met, I'll recommend one because usually when you recommend three people don't buy all three. So I'll give one an unconventional one. Thirst by Scott Harrison. So that's thirst by Scott Harrison Scott Harrison is the CEO and founder of Charity Water. It's a nonprofit, he started to help people gain access to clean water. The reason I recommend Scott's work, Karen, is because the guy's a world class storyteller. I've never seen anyone like him where he would practically went from a nightclub promoter in New York City in his 20s, to building the largest water charity in America, he raised $100 million, just last year to find clean water projects. And he did it primarily through communication and storytelling. And there's a great quote in the book that I'd love to share. And the quote is simply this. The goal is not to live forever, but rather create something that will and that quote will always stick with me. Excellent, great. So that's thirst by Scott Harrison. And just so people know, we'll have a link to that in the show notes at the podcast website. All right. So what are you? What do you want people to take away from this conversation? I would say for me, Karen, it goes back to the question we alluded to a bit earlier in this conversation. How would your life change? Or rather, how would your patient's experience in life change if you became an exceptional communicator, I fundamentally believe that the biggest piece that's missing in this field is excitement and passion for pursuing communication. Communication is supposed to be fun, like everything we shared today, isn't like, Oh, my God, like you have to sit there and find your key idea. Like it's fun, do this with people around you get excited. Why? Because it matters. Because it's every moment of your life. It's not just about getting on the stage. It's not just about making your patients feel like they're the most important people in the world in that moment with you. It's every conversation you have with your family. It's the way that you talk to your children, your nieces, your nephews, it's the way that you're the foot at restaurant or when you make new friends. And when we realize that communication is about leading a more fulfilling life, we'll start to take it more seriously. Excellent, great takeaway for everyone listening. Thank you so much. Where can people find you? Absolutely can This is a great conversation. Thanks for having me. So two ways of keeping in touch one, the YouTube channel, just go to master talking one word, you'll have access to hundreds of free videos on how to communicate ideas effectively. And number two, I do a free workshop over zoom that's live and interactive. It's not some boring webinar. And I facilitate it. So if you want to jump in on one of those, all you have to do is register for free. At Rockstar, communicate tour.com. Perfect. So that's Rockstar, communicate tour o r.com. Perfect. And again, we'll have links to all of this at the podcast website, podcast at healthy, wealthy smart.com. One click will get you to Brendan and all of these amazing resources. So last question, knowing where you are now in your life and in your career. What would what advice would you give to your younger self? My advice, Karen would be asked yourself one hard question about life every single day. And you'll never be the same ever again. That's the biggest thing. I'll give you three to not make your audience too crazy here. One, if you had all the money in the world, how would you spend your time? You know, a lot of us are always optimizing for the magical number 65. But if I made you an instant billionaire, what would you do with your time now? That's one, two, if you could only accomplish three things in your life and only three? What would you accomplish and why this helps you focus because time is limited time is the essence that we're all trying to optimize again. So use it effectively. And number three, what's a goal or a dream that you secretly gave up on? And never told anyone about? I'd encourage you to answer that question because it might lead to a dream that you should be pursuing in your life. Wow, great advice. And I think that's a first I've never heard that for a piece of advice and I asked all my all my guests this that's the first time I've gotten that piece of advice. So you are certainly a first on the podcast and I'm really happy that you came on and shared all this great info with myself and with with the listeners of the podcast. So thank you so much. pleasure was mine can't that's for me. Yes and everyone. Thanks so much for listening. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.
Thanks for listening. And don't forget to leave us your questions and comments at podcast dot healthy, wealthy smart.com