Steven Chan: "Mental Performance Hacks for Anxiaous & Stressed Professionals" | Talks at Google
Gloria. And Devin thank you so much for having me it's, a pleasure to be here especially since this is a topic that's near and dear to my heart and I know that you've listed a long list of accomplishments. But. Certainly you know I I. Think, we, will dive somewhere into that story later, on so today we've. Spent about 50, or so minutes to talk about how, you. Can recognize some of the signs and symptoms of stress and also. What's, causing some of those issues to, we'll. Also talk about some of the ways you can try, to hack these you. Know there's, symptoms, away so how to hack your mind your, body your time. And your social life - and also, if you ever need any more power ups -, for, your hacking, you. Know there are some lots of resources out there and I, would just point to point, and do some of the more promising ones - I think, that all of us have faced some sort or know of somebody who's faced some, sort of, condition. In the past with it whether it's stress -, anxiety - complete, panic, attacks and breakdowns - and certainly. I myself, have, had a share of them - I'm. And also seeing folks who have been affected by. These conditions seeing. Facing folks and seeing them recover and seeing, them you. Know reach their goals has been such a joy to me and being with a work of folks at, other universities this, is dr. Gibson on technology. Issues on how we can use technology to boost access, to mental health conditions. And now being able to teach other physicians, and other healthcare providers, to you has been really, important to me but. I gotta say you. 20 years ago you would not have found me you'd, be able to muster, up the courage to speak in front of a, crowd, like this or folks, worldwide, -, I. Remember, the times when I was in soda ha UC, Berkeley where I was. I was studying computer science at the time was very very. Stressful. It was a pressure cooker time so this is me with, a bag of beans. Trying, to turn, to nosh on and study. And then in all of the books that we've had to you know go through this is just for one of. Exams, in, medical school -. And even on vacation times, you, know I'd be taking. My books and trying to read through them so it, was this always-on, culture, right that, was, through school and now pervades. Work that. Has really. Really, led, to a lot of anxiety and stress that I've faced myself, -, and a lot of it comes from this sort of inner critic, voice this feeling that you, know I could never be good enough there, are all these negative.
Thoughts, That, I've. Dealt with in the past things. Like telling. Myself gosh I wish I could get more done or I feel tired all the time I can't, make a mistake I'm, not good enough these. Are things that I you, know I faced, myself, and other, people, faced, - and those, voices can, be. Internalized. And lead to something called an impostor syndrome where you feel like you're a fake or, you're an imposter and I. Think. That the turning, point for, me was, seeing, how much my colleagues, were suffering, -, I've. Learned, just, in the past few weeks that there's a physician, who's who, who, takes. Their own life a day on average. So, this is being reported, more and more, through. Suicide and and so the culture, of even medicine, isn't, set up to sort of acknowledge these, mental health conditions, and. The fact that there's just an enormous amount of stress. The. We, see this in executives, - and administrators. - there are warning signs such, as depressed, mood there, have been cases of executives, there's one in the Harvard Business Review one. At one executive would say I. I. Wish. I would have a heart attack so, that I could have an excuse to go to the hospital and get away from work and, that, wasn't quite a suicidal. Plan, but. Certainly, along those lines if you if you're coming up with a plan and and thinking, of executing. On that plan that's, a warning sign and then drugs and, alcohol. Use to. Sort of mute those, feelings. Can, can be a warning, sign that more. Acute, intervention, is needed so. Having. That and. Seeing that my colleagues, seeing life in my. My, nephew's and niece's singing. My. Relatives. Pass away and finally, going. Through something big myself, where I myself, am being, considered, and I found out that I'll be um be, a live kidney donor they. Are you know potentially, later this year that's, a huge, something. That made me realize you know this. Is something that I would love to talk. About and teach others about stress, and anxiety and. Making. Sure that we. Live the life that we want to so, what is the turning, point that you or your friends may be facing to, online. People talk about things like kids being their turning point having kids or having. A major health scare or traveling. Non-stop to. The point of exhaustion, working. Non-stop those. Are things that could be the turning point but. You don't have to wait for a turning point to happen I'm certainly, but, this is a big deal and as you as Devin had mentioned, earlier to, something. That a lot of us especially men, and especially in Southeast Asian cultures, some, cultures don't, discuss, this enough and, instead I, kind. Of just, internalize. It and not, acknowledge, that it exists, in the, past I think and maybe you're in the present, to think. That you're anxious or you're stressed and people, would be worried that they're being dramatic. But it's not being dramatic there, are huge there are numbers that back, up the concept of of. Other people suffering from anxiety and stress one. In five people in the United States face some sort of mental health condition in any, given, year and there, have been a lot more statistics. Lately that been released about how anxiety. And. Depression, are some, of the most common, commonly. Reported conditions, this one was in college campuses, there was a New York Times article last year that talked about how. Anxiety. Is a much, bigger issue than we, think it is and. Just. This past week the American, Psychiatric Association, has, been doing. Yearly. Reviews, of anxiety, and they found that anxiety levels, in the United States have been increasing. Particularly. Around paying bills so, there are financial stressors. And then, just, about, five days ago a, study, of folks in the UK. Showed. That high job demands low.
Sense, Of control in jobs, and high, job strain has. Been, predictive, of future onset, of common, mental, health conditions, basically, depression, and anxiety -. So this is something that a lot of us are facing - and if we don't address, these issues can, lead to things like depression, a low mood high, high, stress hormones, cholesterol. Epinephrine. Which. Boosts. Your high blood pressure in an unhealthy manner, if it, is too long term poor, coping skills and burnout. As well so, there. Are a lot of different. Flavors of stress and there lot of symptoms that, can. Manifest. Itself. But. In general I would say that, stress. You. Know there are different flavors of stress sometimes stress can be harnessed for good right. If you don't have some. Sort of deadline or if, you don't have. Some. Sort of motivating, factor it cannot be difficult, to get things done right so, there's, there are two psychologists, at Harvard that talked about performance. And correlating. It with levels of stress and if, you have too little amount, of stress then, you tend, to be more bored and you tend to be too calm but, if you've just the right amount of stress or. You stress you can achieve optimal, performance you feel energized, if, you'll focus work. And feel like effort can feel effortless or you, might achieve that flow state but. If you have too much stress then, your performance, can suffer this, is something we call distress, where, it can lead to things like burnout, fatigue. Exhaustion. Healthcare, issues - and burnout. There's some components, of burnout that can, inform. You of whether. You know you may be at risk to, exhaustion. Cynicism. And feeling. Like you nothing's. Really. Mattering. And nothing feeling like your work doesn't matter, so exhaustion, can, include feelings. Of. Negativity. You can't concentrate you're, just kind of emotionally, fatigued. In. Feeling. Incompetent. That especially, occurs if you don't have enough resources. Or if, you, don't have clear expectations or, you don't have good relationships. With your co-workers or, your family, and. Cynicism, to feeling, detached negative. Feeling. Like it doesn't matter, so combinations, of these can lead to can. Be as a sign of burnout and. Stress, this. Especially happens if you happen to be a workaholic. So I remember, going through college that helped me go plow, through a lot of exams but, then that's. It, to the point sometimes, people get this to an unhealthy state where they're working excessively. Because. Things don't, meet their standards things, aren't perfect enough, there's, also a different type of perfectionism. Where, you just completely avoid. Doing. Work and you, end up procrastinating. And avoiding, touching, touching. That inbox. Because you know that you can't get through inbox, zero so. It's, very, fascinating to learn about this this. Perfectionism. And there are ways to address. This, as, well, when. We see folks in clinic. We. Try to come up with some sort of, thought. Of as to what may be going on and what symptoms may. Be closely matching, to a particular. Diagnosis. And that just helps us sort, of find, the best sort of ways to treat these, conditions, generalized. Anxiety is, one of them in generalized anxiety is when you feel like you're on edge almost. Most. Of the time you, feel maybe nervous. Or you can't control the worries. You. May, feel like it. Is, difficult, to concentrate or you may be easily fatigued, too and. That tends to happen with throughout. The day so that's sort of anxiety throughout, the day and then, some folks have panic attacks where their anxiety spikes within just a few minutes they, feel like they're, short of breath their.
Heart Rate goes up they're shaking, there's they're sweating, I've seen, this in classmates, and. Colleagues. As well and this. Can, get. To the point where you have maybe multiple, panic, attacks a day and then. You avoid things like driving. Because you don't know if you, can drive in a car without getting a panic attack some, people have post-traumatic, stress. Disorder and that's, when you're exposed to something that is, life-threatening, or very traumatic, and then, afterwards, how you react, to that stress. Can. Determine. Whether you're able to function. Normally at, work and at school and. At home too so, I've seen folks with major. Trauma in their lives but they're able to brush it off just fine they, don't think about it they don't get nightmares and then I see others who, tell me that they face a major trauma they, get nightmares, at night or maybe daytime, nightmares, or flashbacks and. They don't realize they have PTSD so, this, is something that I think is important, to recognize. In our peers in our our ourselves, - if this is something that we face growing up there, is, obsessive-compulsive. Disorder where, you obsessions. You you can't get rid of thoughts, they. Just keep on coming. Up in your mind you know that they're not realistic but, you gotta get figure out a way to get rid of them and then there are compulsions, where you're doing things over and over again like washing your hands for. A. Long, period of time you just to sort of feel better or maybe, you're checking locks for, like an hour a day it, gets to the point where it interferes of your life -. So that's OCD, that's another type of anxiety, so. There's. Also. Addiction, too where you, take. Substances. Or alcohol, and, they. Have all sorts of different drugs that, can cause, different reactions, bottom. Line is that this is a brain disease and. This, is where folks. May. Have an addiction and they. May, use. It even though they know full well that, they're it's harmful - so, this addiction, the. Good news is that there's, ways to treat this sort. Of this brain condition. But. It's certainly recognizing. It isn't. If important, first step so, you. May have seen the questionnaires, online. That talked about you know do you mind, you have, burnout or might you have depression and one of the questionnaires, we have is the phq-9. Patient. Health Questionnaire with, nine questions, but.
This. One is particularly for depression, but there are all these issues that occur, with the phq-9. And wouldn't, you know it we have a whole manual, called, the Diagnostic, and Statistical Manual, of Mental Disorders, that. Tries to help us diagnose, and recognize, these symptoms but. Realistically. What we try to do is look at the whole picture someone's, whole life and and. The, a, two inch book doesn't, cover all of the possibilities, sometimes, so, this, is what I like to call you know what we call the thousand cuts you know sometimes, people are wounded by a thousand, cuts so. He might need quite. A few band-aids, for those cuts. So, recognizing, those external, drivers, all these external, things that can cause anxiety and stress is important, and so, that way you can know, what the problem, is and then you can hack it if you need to so. This. Is me in an outpatient clinic I remember one of the folks. That I came that came to see me actually, was having was. Very very stressed out well, what kind of stress were they facing they. They. Were actually, he was, actually hearing voices. That weren't really there and. It was because, we. Had to ask you know as, how long has this been going on and he said whoa. You know he hasn't been sleeping for awhile sleep. Affects. Your daytime, performance, your mood and your anxiety and that, also in turns affects your sleep so we tried to address the sleep first try, to address the hallucinations. That they were having next. Time they came into clinic they, came to see me and he said he's. Still having them and. I asked I dive, deeper why are they why were they on chess. About, why, worth why were they not. Be, able to sleep actually I gave the punchline, already. It, would turn up they were very anxious, what, were they anxious about they, were actually anxious about work turned, out that they couldn't concentrate, they, couldn't focus at work they couldn't get the things done they were about to be laid off or, fired and. In. Talking, of them further and digging, deeper into these details, found. Out that four, of their whole life he had been, suffering. Through ADHD. Actually, and not knowing not knowing. The exact, diagnosis. Or and that it was treatable, so, we treated the ADHD and the next time they came to the clinic was the calmest. Ever seen, seen. Him and he, was able to actually, function, quite well at work and be able to UM, be, able to sleep at night too just, because we were able to dive deep into those details keeping. On asking why is it this way why is it this way and instead. Of just looking. At the surface so, knowing all of these things is important, and we try to combine. Epidemiology. All these statistics one in five that that affects a lot of us in this room that doesn't quite, help so we have to dive deeper into the details what, if it's, a cultural issue if you were Southeast Asian for instance.
You. Know could there be a, an. Issue such, as coming, from a family with who. Immigrated from a war-torn country, could, that be a, cultural, issue so, we try to combine this into some, sort of framework so, for instance one particular, framework is the bio a biopsychosocial, model, where. We look at the biology the. Psychology, and the social factors that. Make, up someone's, someone. And. Inform, them on how how they behave all factors. Such as where's, their family from was, there trauma on their family and you. Know what how do they react to. Adverse. Adversity. Do. They have enough resilience. To. Carry. Them through the day so. We, look at things like this, through. The lens of, even. Say, culture. And religion, to Southeast. Asians for instance have. A lot of ingrained, elements, of religion into their culture like Confucianism. And Buddhism that. May prevent, them from seeking help that they need and I'm mentioning this because I've done work amongst. Multiple Asian, Southeast, Asian cultures. Things. Like accepting, suffering. Too can, be a major issue too, when they're when you're trying to help somebody and they're not telling you exactly, or, they're not filling the questionnaire, out correct you know to, reflect their own internal, reality. Things, like external. Pressure so not. Just the internal pressures by external, pressures and society's. Expectations of, them so, for instance in Southeast Asian cultures, there's an enormous pressure to perform to, be perfect to, be that, sort of whiz kid that's, being. Talked about in. Popular. Press like Time magazine, and. And. Can you achieve success. Or. Is, there something that's preventing, you from achieving that success. So. Recognizing, is important, and. There, are all sorts of other things to. Recognize that even within subcultures. To you, can't always assume that, there's a blanket, sort of stereotype. So for instance among. Particular. Populations. Some. Southeast, Asian, cultures don't finish high school there, have been a large number of foreclosures during. The Great Recession long-term. Unemployment that, can affect.
Particular. Subgroups, you. Know in, the United States. Environmental. Factors can be an issue if you've been exposed to a lot of trauma violence. Neglect, abuse or poverty, can, make put you at higher risk the, things that happen or don't happen in childhood the, number of parents, the amount of time your parents are around how much family were around medical, conditions, to and abuse. To, or. School, issues teacher issues, and. Bullies, as well to can also inform, the way you react. To adverse, events, to, relationships. This can be a. Sensitive. Subject, things like interpersonal. Violence and how unstable, or stable relationship. Is and, whether you're supported, or unsupported through, your preferences, and. Your. Desire. For a relationship, can be a. Factor. And then, finally. To. Other things bio biology, can be something, that can be an issue so medical conditions, the way your, brain is set up the way your brain is structure, to if there's any sort of, trauma. That had happened physical, trauma that. Happened to the brain, tyroid. Conditions, a lot, of things can cause anxiety, and. Stress even, the medicines, that we take can, come with some some, of side effects as well. And, you. Know how the amygdala. Too is structured, the amygdala, is this emotional, center of the brain. Here, that processes. All these sensory inputs and if. It senses any sort of things that it perceives as a threat it can cause all these things. To happen in your body and increase, heart rate increase, blood pressure, you. Might be on edge a lot you. Might freeze to, and you might not be thinking correctly so just imagine if you had a lot of sort of stressful situations, at work and, you're constantly on edge your, egg mig doula would be. You. Know on fire all the time too so. Being able to handle this. Is important, too as well as the psychology. And how you be, how, you react, and how you behave too so. For instance there are some personality, factors, such as self-esteem. Which we talked about earlier, things, like how how. Well you deal with stress and if. You are generally pessimistic, -, that can affect, the way that you behave -, so. That's, why I think that you. Know there, isn't a magic bullet treatment, right now there are all these things that you can address and, knowing, which knobs which, buttons to push and which things to adjust can. Be helpful and important in your life if you're trying to sort, of reduce your anxiety and reduce your stress so. The hacks right I think, of this in terms of you, know computer, programming, when. You're trying to program, something. Or some sort of large structure, there's, multiple, ways of doing this you might be doing this in an iterative fashion right, because you're continuously, changing, the code or continuously, improving. The product, to. Programming. There's no one magic solution, if you go to stack overflow and, you're, trying to find the answers to. Your question. There are many different, ways to to. Hack that Python, script for instance it's. You. Have to research this you have to implement test, it in your life to and deploy, and if. Some, of you are in sales or management more. It's sometimes, difficult. To understand, okay how am I going to achieve that milestone or get. That deliverable, when, there are all these other market, conditions, new regulations. In DC and. Around the world that, can be changing. The way you practice. And. Develop. Your product so, there are four particular, hacks you, know that. I'd like to go over this is just a menu of different wastes, you can address some of those conditions earlier. And. So, you can cherry-pick the ones that you think will work for you try, one a week or try one every two weeks to see if it works we're, going to talk about hacking your, mind hacking, your body hacking.
Your Time and hacking your social life and of course there's all these other ways you, can hack the, rest of your life hacking, your transportation. Or hacking your, sleep. - but. First hacking, your mind how, you think how, you feel and how you act. Can. Be helpful when you're dealing with stress and anxiety so. Out. I think I had alluded this alerted, to this earlier - anxiety is, something I definitely. Face myself. Feeling. Like oh I got to do something and feeling a little nervous right, and, 20. Years ago again I go, being in front of a crowd and. Talking. Was. Quite nerve-wracking, so I did something I did some a series of experiments, over the past. You. Know throughout my life. Exposing. Myself to stress, and exposing. Myself to be little, bits of stress initially. And go and getting, larger, and larger each time I remember, teaching a. Python. Help session this was in soda Hall teaching, of Aaron and some other folks from the computer science undergraduate, Association and, teaching. A small group of undergraduates, teaching. And. Toastmasters. So while I was a software engineer I was. I joined other folks from the engineering engineering, teams. To, join. Toastmasters. Which, is a group, of peers, who, help, each other, out in terms of improving public speaking -, and then. From there I was able to. Handle. Sensitive conversations. So speak not just speaking in public but speaking with, sensitive. People. Speaking, in under sensitive, conditions. With families, in the, surgical ICU, and then the psychiatric, intensive. Care unit speaking, in a business setting so I attended I I think I told Gloria this I spoke, specifically, joined a business school because I wanted to learn how to speak in front of a professional crowd. And. And learning how to handle. And, advocate. For. Projects. In, front of a professional crowd and then, this, went, on to hackathons. And. Learning. How to pitch. For. Instance was very helpful was very helpful this was my exposure, of therapy and. Other people do this too if you have any particular fears. And. It's so fear, of heights fear of enclosed. Spaces. That's. Where exposure therapy can be very helpful there's. Another type of therapy, that's been very helpful, and, that's where you kind of delete any sort of negative self-talk, or, delete, any sort of negative behaviors, and there, are particular ways, to do this and the most common, form. Is through something called cognitive, behavioral, therapy, or CBT, and, CBT. Is basically, where you, take your thoughts your, cognitions, and. Your. Thoughts in form the way you feel and how you feel informs, the way you behave, or informs. The issue. And so, these sort of all affect, each other and, how. You change your behavior or, how you change your thoughts can. Affect how, you feel so. If we're trying to adjust the behavior, identifying. The behavior, then, decreasing. The negative and increasing, the positive, aspects. Can, is, something that you, can coach yourself to do so, for, instance if you feel bad, or you feel angry, or. Down because. They're. Trying to find a job or trying to find a new project you. Might be telling yourself I'm never going to get the job and you feel about it or about it then, it may actually discourage, you and you stop trying to apply for jobs if, you, are say, having a difficult, time with a co-worker.
During. A sensitive. Meeting and you, you might think oh gosh my colleague hates me then, you might feel angry about this you might blame them and they might end up giving them the cold shoulder, or. You. Might be in front of a large audience and, you might say ah my talk at Google is going to fail and. You, might feel scared, and then you might end up avoiding, public speaking, entirely and, so. The key thing here is the, avoidance the, avoidance and the. Is. Something, that you want to address you, want to change. The behavior because, a little. Bit of stress is a good thing the. Stresses and the issues that the behavior, and how you react, to it now, there are some positive. Positive. Self-talk that you want to. Promote. So, if you know hey I'm a I'm a, pretty decent coder I can I can, hack this code you. Know you might feel good about it that might encourage you to do more check-ins or take on more, projects. And and. So this is the kind of thing you want to promote to, in. Your own. Your. Own loops, to, use a well Westworld reference. So. There's, a there's. Another way to address this you know with the thoughts - you can change your thoughts and so it's just the behavior but thinking, about the thoughts, oftentimes. You know we I just use that catastrophic, example. Of oh gosh this google talk is this talk at Google is going, to fail massively. And people are going to point at me and laugh at me and that's, a catastrophe that's the worst case scenario, we can think of so, training, yourself to think about other scenarios, that could happen can. Be helpful and. We. Use this in decision, analysis, in in the business world so thinking. About the best-case scenario well, the best case is getting. To reach as many people as possible helping. Them out and everyone's, anxiety and stress goes away that'll, be awesome right what, is the most likely scenario, well maybe someplace in between so, this sort of technique can be helpful in modulating. Modulating. Your expectations. In your and catastrophic. Thinking - so. You can try this yourself there are a lot of books, out there about cognitive, behavioral, therapy, there, are also apps, audiobooks.
And Guides and if you do see a therapist, you, know can find one that specifically. Addresses cognitive, behavioral therapy -. Being. Present, in the moment it can be also helpful, -, so. These, are some worksheets you can get online. - being. Present in the moment can, be helpful because. A lot of anxiety is too dwelling, on the future. Being. Worried about what, the future holds thinking, about all the bad things that could happen I caught. A toll road in the power of now that, all of negativity, is. Caused by can. Be caused by denial at the present so not, focusing. On the present but being worried, about too, much of the future and not enough of the present, moment. So. There are ways to introduce, that presence, in your life. For, instance mindfulness. Meditation, may. Have heard these terms talked. About a lot there are lots of different ways to go, about it, mindfulness. Is where, you're aware, of things, outside your body all the, external, your. Senses. Are alive, so. For instance you may be focused. On the. Present moment of your. Environment the sounds, in the room breathing. Breathing - meditation. Is where you try to decrease, the mental chatter the, monkey mind call in Buddhism, and allowing. The thoughts that, you, that pop up in your mind to flow by like, clouds and so, this has been very, very. Prevalent especially in entrepreneurial. Entrepreneurs. And CEOs. Who. Who. Want to sort of achieve. That focus, so this is one particular hack, self acceptance is something that's also important, to living. In them and the present moment requires, that you accept. The way you are at the moment and and, not. Be a doormat, not that other people walk over you I myself, had, the, shoulds in the past where I felt, like I should be working, on this website or I should be working on this research project and I've. Been told a few. Sources I shouldn't should, all all over myself. Accepting. Your anxiety, and stress too and accepting that hey there's anxiety. What. Can you do about this and not letting it define you can, be helpful, in your journey, towards, self-acceptance, and, then. Gratitude. Practicing gratitude can, help you reframe. Negative. Thoughts and be in and sort of that cycle of negativity and allow. You to think about what's positive in your life for. Instance each day you could think about three things that you're grateful for whether, it's a co-worker or whether, it's one, particular aspect, of your work or even. Yourself - are there particular things that you're grateful for that. That. That. You can appreciate, storing. It somewhere and reviewing, it at during stressful times can. Be very helpful - so. That when you're feeling down then you can look back and see the. Things. That you're grateful for and I've I've been able to use this in my own practice and then.
Finally, During stressful. Situations, there, are techniques like the freeze-frame technique, where, if you're in the moment of an acute. Anxiety or, anger you. Just, be able to recognize, that, moment, try, to step, away from. That moment. Focus. On breathing so, that you can separate yourself from that stressful moment, you, can think about a body particular, body part or the heart and then, trying, to think of a positive feeling, and then, reflecting, on whether you can change the scenario is there a better alternative, towards. Thinking and more constructive, alternative, towards, thinking that way so, this is something that would require some practice I think but. Certainly. This. Has been talked about in the business literature the Harvard Business Review on stress. And. Final, final, note you know a lot of the techniques. Can. Be difficult to remember I think if you, are there's. There's all these different techniques that are out there all these different hacks sometimes. Apps can be helpful this, is something that we've been looking at at the American, Psychiatric Association. And. Definitely. Don't want. To say I endorse any of them but you can just try them out these are low-cost, sort. Of ways to sort of achieve. You. Know implement, these in your life -, and. I, think that, what's. Exciting, too is hacking your body can be helpful to your. Body in your mind are intertwined, and it's, fascinating because, I found. That. Making. Sure that I treat myself well. And practice. Self-care, is important. And I actually gained clarity, and I got to say even a year ago my. Eye wasn't, this way I really wasn't this way a year ago. Had a BMI, or body mass index, over 30 so I was considered, medically. Obese and, it, wasn't until I learned about all these health issues in my family, and. Then potential. Surgery coming up that I realized. That I needed to act, on this and sort of work on cutting. Down my obese my, obesity, so, I looked at two things diet, and exercise but how you do it there's so many different hacks and ways to achieve, that and I think that. You. Know the ones that seem to have helped the most is focusing. On more of a Mediterranean, diet. This, is particularly, you're, focusing on more Whole, Grains foods. Plant-based, foods. Instead. Of the more Western diet starches. Fried. Foods and sort, of processed, foods too and in, the scientific, literature we're, seeing more, that, following. These diets can be helpful in reducing your risk of depression and reducing. A risk of feeling. Down. When. We are looking at things like fiber to having. A high fiber content can, increment can, decrease your, odds of getting depressing. And also. Helping. Out with your gut bacteria and, we're finding out more and more that the. Fiber in. Food, and plants, can help promote, healthy. Colonies. Of bacteria to grow within your gastrointestinal tract, to. Fiber. And then also probiotics. A lot of folks are making a big deal out of this I think that the studies, aren't, really. For. Anxiety and depression or more in rat models, and mouse models, but. Certainly, there's a lot of claims. Out there right now that are saying that probiotics. Should. Be nicknamed psycho, biotics, because they do change. The way we think we, already know that they can lower the fasting glucose and decrease blood pressure and. Again in mouse, models it, does reduce anxiety and, depression related behaviors, so. It's spawning. A whole new area of research about, the. Gut and the brain and, seeing. How these what, we what, we eat and how we treat, our gut can. Affect, the way our brain. Functions, through. Metabolites. Through. Neurotransmitters. Like serotonin through. Bacterial, molecules, so, it's very interesting, this. Particular, physician, in, Columbia University, has, been talking about nutritional. Psychiatry. Nutritional. Mental health and how it can affect your mood and so, he's been discussing the, scientific, literature behind. Eating. Right and having, a better, mood exercise. This. Is money, futilely. Trying to use, the elliptical, and. There are different ways to hack exercise. I've tried, to do this by commuting, by bicycle, for instance, both. In southern california believe it or not and in. Northern california and. Finally I found that group exercise, really helps me because. My, mirror no I feel like my mirror neurons, which are this. Concept where you're sort, of able to mimic other people, and sort of feel what other people are feeling are. Most active, because I feel like exercising, when other people around me are exercising.
Too So. I've been able to I've. Been fortunate enough to use, apps. With, Google fit. On. Tracking my calories, and tracking. The nutrients, and I've been able to see results and I've lost thirty pounds which is awesome over this past half year if I've, noticed that their. Rewards, I've had to buy new clothes, my. Energy is higher I, see, results but, I muscle. I. Also, have not. Just the rewards but also a fear, of. Say. Upcoming. Alchemy. Surgery, and societal. Expectations. As well too so could, you use that to harness yourself, and motivate yourself to do more productive, behaviors, yes. It's kind of night it's kind of a negative thought, but, it's been helpful for me too so, hacking your body, hacking, your mind, how about hacking your time time. Is something that's really precious to us and it's. Interesting to see, a. Lot, of. Business. Articles, about this but, one of the most a. Most. Salient quotes I think is from this speaker who also spoke at talks, by Google when I meet safety who's a New York Times. Selling author he, says. That show me a man's calendar, and spending, and I'll show you what he prioritizes, so. Show me your, time, show, me your, how you spend your money and then, it kind of shows you where your priorities lie so, just imagine if you took your calendar. And plot. It out every single hour of, your. Day and ranking. It was what is its productive, and. Does. It make me feel good do I feel like I have a lot of energy or value. From this hour that I spent too and, I remember doing this even with my old devices, this is shows, you how old I am I use this on the palm OS I've, been thinking about this for over a decade this, is the tap wave. PDA. And even I, tried the moleskin, notebooks, and printing calendars, out to people. Have all sorts of different ways of how, they track their time but, I think that the most fundamental, thing. They. You know the. Calendars changed, I think you've deployed, Google, Tasks, a new version of Google Tasks, a week, or two ago which. Is exciting but, every year every, two years I've been finding myself using different tools but, the bottom line is being, able to take all the worries and all the anxiety out, of your head using, an external brain and allowing that external, brain to.
Deal. With the worries is important, and I. Think no one talks it better no one talks about this better than David. Allen who talks about the art of stress-free productivity and, he, actually has an algorithm, in his book and you can find this algorithm, online, too about, how you can, get, tasks, get the worries out of your head, email, etc, and how to sort. Of do. It delegate, it or defer it as he says as. The actions, and placing, them into lists calendars, and folders being. Able to worry about, it letting something else worry about it and and, putting your anxieties, somewhere, else can, be very very helpful and then also controlling. Are focusing. On your, locus, of control. Can, be helpful, and not on things outside your control. So. People, have talked about things like the information, diet and blocking. Off things that they don't they can't control social. Media. Sources, and instead, checking, them maybe even once a day or even, once a week to to minimize that stressor. To. Saying, Noda FOMO can be really. Difficult especially here in San Francisco I think there's so, many different activities that happen every day and, FOMO. If you're if, you've if. You don't know if you're. If. The fear of missing out and, being. Able to recognize, the. Fear, of missing out identifying. If the. FOMO applies to social media or conference. Events if you're at a conference I mean I think some of you have had, that where there are seven concurrent, tracks going on and you're you got to choose. Two or you. Know you don't know where to turn to that. Can lead to a lot of foam own - so, being able to recognize, that. FOMO, setting, limits and setting boundaries, -. Can be helpful so you set up so, you tell yourself I will dedicate three. Hours to, eight hours off. Just, conference, time and then I would deserve to have a two, hour break or I deserve, to have drinks, with friends later on, - so, thinking about those options and seeing what's most appealing to you and being content with it can, be helpful -. Especially. In the work environment especially, in the home environment blocking. Off time for a productive, productive. Time, to productively, play is important. So that you can sort. Of let your mind wander, get. Those aha moments when, you're in the shower or, if you're on nature, hikes to. Sleep. Blocking, often put enough, time for sleep can be helpful - there's. A whole art to hacking, sleep, that I talk about of my the, patients I treat and, trying. To help them with their sleeping. And. Then pets - this. Particular. Dog. Has, helped more of my family as well with. All of our anxieties, and stress. Levels. And then, finally. -. Looking at how you structure, your time blocks - can be helpful. There's. The Pomodoro, method, this is something similar to the Pomodoro, method where you do a lot of hard work and activity. And then you take a break deliberately. For, say 10 minutes you just kind of check out. Relax. Surrender, control let. Your mind wander and then dive back in when, you need to so. Some people use ten, minutes some people use a whole night for, sleep or showering, that's. / - one particular, technique and there's, a similar. Technique that I've used called the Pomodoro, Technique, that. That. Can help that help me sustain, focus, with. A timer, how. Can your social life is also, that. One of the final hacks that we'll talk about how, we can choose your tribe can be very important, -, the. Thing I try to remind, myself is now, in, our professional, circles and our personal circles, you, are the average of the five people you. Spend the most time with, right. You basically. Adopt. The decision-making, habits, of the people you, hang out with you. Attain. Their knowledge we, talk about strong, ties and weak ties in networking networks, and social networks and so, these are the strong ties and how and who, you choose can be. Helpful. To your life - so you want to choose positive. People who are givers. And. Who, are not takers there's, a fascinating, book by Adam grant give-and-take, that talks about how, he's found people who are generous, and how they're able to focus on the greater good and how, they're able to benefit, people in their network instead, of people who just take things for themselves, and sort of use other people and.
Walk Over them like doormats, and so being, a giver can be helpful in setting the tone for the rest of the career, colleagues, and your friends but, you also want to avoid burnout, or bending, over backwards, too much and. Letting. Other people use you -. Celebrating. Wins is important, - and you. Know I think that this is something I don't see too much I. Not. Used as much in the, medical world because we're so so, busy but. I've noticed that even in during stressful times leaders. Will, reward people even with a simple, thank-you - thank, you I'm grateful, to you for your work. Can can really lift people's spirits and it's very very inexpensive. Showing. Gratitude to, yourself to celebrating. You know who you are can, and, and your strengths, can, help change, the way you view, yourself if you have self-esteem issues and then, and then trying to decrease destructive. Criticism and, destructive, negative, self-talk. What. This, has been helpful to me because in, my, line of work we make new best friends every two weeks so every two weeks there's, a different project or there's a different hospital, or a different clinic that we go to. Think. Of them just like Pokemon, right. Pokemon, is where you, know folks, are able to collect, and, categorize. And, late, and find out strengths people's. Strengths their own Pokemon strengths so, - you want to do, this with, anyone. You meet any. You know friends, family and. I've been able to adopt. This system. In my. Contact, list, tagging. Folks by location, how I met them because. One of the biggest anxieties, I have is when I meet someone again. For the second time or the third time I completely. Forget how, did I meet them what. Do they like I you, know I compete, for got their names too so. Using, these techniques can be helpful and there are whole books that have been written such, as this one never eat alone. I keep frosty, that, talks about these sort. Of hacks. So. Lots of different hacks we, talk we've talked about I want to leave you with one final thought, is. That if. There. Are so many different hacks out there it is, a, lot, of fun actually, to, sort, of figure out how you can boost yourself how, I can make yourself feel better less, anxious less stress and I'm glad to see that the, mainstream media, and you, know mainstream blogs are talking about these topics. BuzzFeed, for instance have has, talked about mental health issues business. Coaches, this, is one of my mentors and colleagues Preston. Me who's, talked about not, just, East. And West Asian, American professionals, but now. He's looking at personality. And how it informs communication. With difficult, people and narcissists. Too and. Professional. Is in my sphere of work physicians. Which includes psychiatrists. Psychologists. Social workers and, marriage and family therapists, all are, trained to listen. In. A non-judgmental, way and be. Able to offer guidance to, help. You navigate through rough. Waters and. There. Are there's, medicines, too if things get really severe, you can do the one-two punch I tell my the. Folks I help. Out there's talk therapy and there's medicine to therapy, their pros and cons to each one and they all act in different lengths. Of time too, and so we are here, to help you navigate those. Waters and, then, there are lots of different groups, out there advocacy. Groups, Nami. For instance this is the national lens of mental illness but I wanted to highlight the, anxiety and depression Association. Of America, adaa they've, got some really cool charts, on, how you can figure, out what kind of therapy is best and. What, kind of a therapy you might like and they, talked about things, like, FOMO. And 88 and. Also. ADHD, I believe too and. Then if you're interested in technology this is we're. Here at Google, there. Are a lot of Technology.
Events That are around mental, health and so if you wanted to hack with us you can join us at the American Psychiatric, Association, the. American Telemedicine, Association, has, their own group and then the hackathon that we had met at, Gloria hack mental health they have an upcoming hackathon. In early, June to and it's very and it's, a very. Easy to join too so. We've, talked about how we can cover, the signs and symptoms and, recognize, them and how we can hack. Different. Aspects of your life for. Your own mental well-being and how you can power up but, I just wanted to. Underscore. How important, it is for us, to normalize. This and talk about the, subject so if you're able to talk about this swap, techniques, share techniques and how, we can you know improve our own lives and the lives around of people around us that, is that, will be an. Amazing, outcome. I think for, this so I'm happy to send a, summary, and some bonus material. Thank. You for having me. Thank. You so much this is very informative, I learned, a lot and I'm gonna be watching it again do. We have any live questions, hi. I. Know that you talked about exposure, therapy where. You talked about kind of exposing, people to your. Triggers over time gradually and, then CBT. Where you can delete, or remove those triggers from from. From. Your life. How, do you balance or, where do you draw the line between like, what to kind of keep, exposing, yourself to and like what's what. To remove, sure. So that so. I. Actually. Would. Say that CBT isn't, exactly, removing. But sort of reframing, the, way you react, to it so it's not entirely like you. Notice that the stress are still there your coworker and colleagues though exists, we can't delete our call, car colleagues and also, we can't. We. Might, not be able to delete this the actual, issue but, how we react, to it is. The. Core. Changes. We're trying to make with CBT and exposure therapy an exposure. Therapy we're, changing how we react, to a stressor, but we're not changing the stressor itself in CBT. There's a something that's also stressful either, the thought or the behavior. And. We, just basically try to change those or modulate, them so, I think that that's that. That's. How I would refrain that, can. You speak about how, you anticipate. Technology, will support mental health management, over the next 10 years and, how you think Google can help sure. You, already have had a phenomenal. Speaker. I think dr. Daniel schlosser spoke. At an, earlier. Meeting. - on this subject - I think, that. There. Are many different ways but I got, to say technologies 20%, of the 20%, of the answer the rest of it is going to be politics, and policies, things. Like reimbursement, how we can train your, the mental. Health leaders to. To. Be. Able to to, spread these, technologies. That's, going to be an important aspect to so. A lot of the technologies, are already there we already have video conferencing, where, you already have apps you, already have sort. Of activity, trackers and smartwatches but. How are you going to use that it's, going to be the next frontier and, so we're seeing a lot of activity in terms of research and dissemination, so. If so. Partnering, with folks, like the UCSF. Psychiatry. Digital, health core for, instance they, are trying to work. With researchers. On getting digital health and digital technologies, implemented. So I'd encourage you to look at the UCSF, psychiatry.
Digital Health core thank. You. You.