Mar 28, 2017
The brain is the ultimate governor of the body. Without it,
we wouldn't have strong muscles, healthy
emotional wellness, good gut health, and the ability to perform
to our highest potential each day.
We've always known that the brain is a powerful organ,
but without it, we wouldn't have such an amazing connection with
the rest of our body.
Today on Wellness Force Radio, Sport Scientist and Clinical
Sport Psychologist at Clinical & Sports Consulting
Services and co-author of the latest book,
The Brain Always Wins, Dr. John P.
Sullivan, teaches us how our brain has the powerful
ability to help us deeply connect with our emotions, make good
decisions, and build relationships within our tribe.
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Hydration. Nutrition. Sleep.
As long as we provide these three essential daily activities to
our lives, our
brain will always win.
Power Your Life
We work so hard to be perfect, but the brain doesn't
want us to be
Perfection causes anxiety and trauma. What we really need is
consistency. The brain craves consistency that is in line with
our daily hydration, nutrition, and sleep. Without all three
elements, we wouldn't be able to move and
perform as well.
Today, Dr. Sullivan will help us answer the ultimate
questions, "How do we show up powerfully in our lives? How can we
train for both brain performance and brain
How can both a top performing athlete and a busy parent manage
and enhance their mental health by focusing on good hydration,
nutrition, and sleep?
What do our brain waves, meditation, and emotions all have in
common? How does both our brain and gut
function to help us thrive and perform each day? Tune in to
Listen to Episode 105 as Dr. Sullivan Uncovers
- What fascinates Dr. Sullivan about the brain and how his career
- Why Dr. Sullivan placed the following quote by Francis Crick on
his website and what it means to him: "There is no scientific study
more vital to man than the study of his own brain. Our entire view
of the universe depends on it.”
- Dr. Sullivan explains what he means by calling the brain a
"governor" throughout his book, The Brain Always
- Why does the brain always win? Why is the brain the leader of
- How come our brains are so much larger than great apes? What is
the benefit of this?
- What is the contrast between athletes and high performers vs
busy parents? How can the MUSE headband help?
- The benefits of
meditation to combat not stress, but the trauma we experience
in our lives.
- A look at the 5 major sections of brain
waves: Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.
- The proper way to nap for brain health plus the difference
between napping and
- What's the best amount of time to take a nap? Do you need 10
minutes or longer to get the full benefits from napping?
- How our brains are able to detoxify
while we sleep.
- When we're stressed, does the brain produce more toxins that
need to be washed during a sleep cycle?
- The importance of water and staying hydrated to keep our
nervous system healthy.
- If we don't have sleep,
hydration, or food, we simply cannot move and that's why the
first three or so necessary to create a healthy brain.
- Training for brain performance and training for brain health:
How do we do both? What's the correlation between professional
athletes who train hard and people in every day life?
- How can we train or vagus nerve to have a better connection
between the gut and the brain? How does the vagus nerve benefit
- Sport Psychology practices that athletes put to use that we can
also use: the power of music for our brains, heart, vagus, and
- How can Ketosis help us have a healthy brain?
- The best way to keep your mind in a consistent state of flow
and combat fatigue while traveling between time zones.
Top 3 Takeaways From The Show
- Our quality of health including muscle, nutrition, and heart
function are all in service to our brain. Our brain has a solid
part and a place in everything concerning our health and wellness.
We can improve our health and keep it in top condition with three
factors: hydration, nutrition, and sleep.
- The brains is the governor of the body and is wired to help us
survive. Thanks to our evolution, with our brains we have the
ability to hone in on our background environment and predict
at least a minute ahead of time of what will happen next. It's
because of our ability to first feel and then think that allows the
brain to always win.
- Unlike great apes, we're able to make emotional connections
that allow us to make good decisions. It's because of our emotions
that we're able to evaluate friendships and stay connected within
our tribe. We're not made to be isolated from other people and our
emotions help us to stay balanced.
Power Quotes From Dr. John Sullivan
[tweetthis]"Our brain is wired to
survive, but we can to certain things day to day to make it more
resilient." - @BrainAlwaysWins[/tweetthis]
- "There is no scientific study more vital to man than the study
of his own brain. Our entire view of the universe depends on it.”
- Francis Crick
- "Heart health, maintaining lean muscle mass, nutrition and a
multitude of other factors all serve the brain. They are not in
service for isolation; they are in service to our brain. If we
don't think about our brain as the vehicle for our personal
performance, our quality of life, our ability to give to
others and to give to ourselves, then we're really missing a
critical point." - Dr. John Sullivan on his take on the
above Francis Crick quote.
- "Excellence is grounded in the billions of neurons between our
ears. Arguing this point also comes from the same neurons between
our ears." - Dr. John Sullivan
- "Human variation starts with the brain and I try to assist
people to have a better quality of life or better performance in
certain situations. The brain's function is not "cookie cutter"
because it's not the same pattern for everyone. But because
we're uniquely wired to survive, everyone has these strengths that
they can bring to the table." - Dr. John Sullivan on his
fascination with the brain.
- "Central to our life is our brain health. Without our brain
health, we don't have health and then we don't have performance."
- Dr. John Sullivan on why the brain is the governor of the
- "The brain always wins because it's a predictive organ. It's
always giving us consistent information about our health. It is
incredibly efficient in helping us get information, understanding
what that information means, and using that information to benefit
our health. The brain always wins because it is designed to
survive." - Dr. John Sullivan on why the brain always
- "There is no such thing as mental toughness or grit. These are
re-packaged terms with very poor science. Everyone's ability to
perform on any given day is based upon their health." - Dr.
John Sullivan on what it means to have a strong
- "Life is not about stress. If you look at neuroanatomy, life is
about trauma and it's either a little "t" or a large "T."
Trauma requires rest and recovery which meditation provides."
- Dr. John Sullivan on how meditation can help us with
- "We can all expect stress or some type of challenge, but we
have to plan for the recovery so that it all balances out. Only
then can we become resilient, evolve, grow, and adapt." -
Dr. John Sullivan on the power of rest and recovery when we're
- "Our culture is all about work, work, work and we've lost
the idea that rest is where it all comes together." - Dr.
John Sullivan on the benefits of rest.
- "Our brain is wired to survive, but we can to certain things
day to day to make it more resilient." - Dr. John Sullivan
on how to make our minds stronger.
- "You don't have to be perfect. In fact the brain hates
perfection because it induces anxiety and it creates more
neurological stress. We only really need consistency to have a
happy brain. Looking at our ancestors and evolution, if we needed
perfection, we wouldn't have been able to survive as a species."
- Dr. John Sullivan on why we're not wired to be
- "What we've learned is that we think first and then we feel,
but it's actually the other way around. We feel first and then we
think. It doesn't work any other way than that because the limbic
system was designed for survival." - Dr. John Sullivan on
the purpose of our emotions.
- "Any important decision we've ever made in our lives has
been made on emotion. The more important the decision, the more
emotion is involved. This why emotion regulation is so key to
decision making." - Dr. John Sullivan on why are emotions
are so important to help us make decisions.
- "Wellness is having an individualized, thoughtful, and flexible
approach to being able to be healthy and meet life's demands."
- Dr. John Sullivan on what wellness means to
About Dr. John Sullivan
John P. Sullivan is a Sport Scientist and Clinical
Sport Psychologist. He has over twenty years of clinical and
scholarly experience, and for the past 16 years he has worked with
the same team in the National Football League (NFL) coordinating
clinical care and sport science.
Dr. Sullivan’s experience also includes such work
within the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer,
English Premier League, The English Football Association, Premier
Rugby League, Australian Football League and Olympic national
teams. He is an expert consultant for the military and law
enforcement in regards to both welfare and performance needs.
He has established expertise with psychophysiological profiling
and developing cognitive abilities (e.g., decision making, complex
reaction time, and read-and-react abilities) of elite performers.
Dr. Sullivan uses various markers such as, Central Nervous Systems
Assessment - DC Potential, Heart Rate Variability (HRV),
Electroencephalography (EEG), Accelerometry/GPS, Multiple Object
Tracking (MOT), Optic Flow (OF), and biofeedback to determine
optimal training loads, recovery interventions, and maintaining as
well as enhancing cognitive capabilities in performance
Resources Mentioned by Dr. Sullivan & Josh
[tweetthis]"The brain hates perfection. We only really need
consistency to have a happy brain." -
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