Tweak your brain chemistry toward happiness, purpose, meaning | Jillian Michaels


There is a definite connection between the
physical laws of inertia, a body in motion tends to stay in motion and the psychological
components of inertia it’s like when we become sedentary it’s very difficult to begin moving
again and to become motivated once more. And it’s not just emotional, it’s also physiological. Depression and feeling sedentary and feeling
down and engaging once again in being hopeful, because essentially that’s what motivation
does require, can become a bit like a spider web. So in The Six Keys one of the major pathways
we need to travel down is comprehending the connection between the state of our mind and
how it very tangibly affects our bodies. When you look at something like depression
or sadness or tragedy that kind of emotional stress we see that it literally changes our
brain, it shrinks the size of our amygdala, our hippocampus, it shifts the ratios between
gray matter and white matter, it changes our brain chemistry. And what all of these physiological changes
do is essentially gear us to be more impulsive, less emotional regulation, more prone to depression
and these thoughts then, of course, leading to our behaviors, which dictate the outcome
of our reality. So, as I mentioned it’s a bit of a black hole
so to speak so how do we turn it around? And it has to be something in my opinion that
is fought on a myriad of fronts. First and foremost we need to establish a
why, so we’re going to look at the actual psychology of motivation. I believe it was Nietzsche who said, “If you
have a why to live for you can tolerate the how.” Because anything worth having, be in a healthy
marriage, a thriving career, a healthy body, is going to require work and sacrifice. But work with purpose is passion; work without
purpose is punishing and a lot of us already feel very punished by the rigors of our daily
lives. So forming a very concrete goal, not just
health, what does that even mean? How do you emotionally connect to being healthy? Somebody says well don’t have that pizza tonight
and don’t watch How to Make a Murderer season two and you’ll be healthy like that’s not
sexy. However, if it was hey you know what, give
me 20 minutes in your living room with a quick exercise routine and get the sauce on the
XY or Z meal you just ordered on the side, forgo the soda, get water instead and you’re
going to fit into those skinny jeans, have sex with the lights on with confidence, although
I think that’s greatly overrated, it’s light at least 12 hours out of your day so why not
open up your options? I mean walk your daughter down the aisle or
look good in your wedding dress or meet your great, great grandchildren, watch humans land
on Mars. I don’t care what your reason is. It doesn’t matter how profound it is, it doesn’t
matter how superficial it is, but it has to move you and you have to care because that’s
what makes that work in order to achieve it more manageable and turns it into passion
versus punishment. At the same time how do we make this concept
neural plasticity work for us instead of against us? How do we change our brain chemistry and the
shape and size of various parts of our brain so that we’re more prone to positivity and
hopefulness as opposed to nihilism? Well, things like meditation, these mind-body
interventions, and for the longest time I was like I live in L.A. like I can’t hear
this one more time. You know what’s going to stress me out? Wasting five minutes chanting in my car on
my lunch hour when I have stuff to do. But the evidence is overwhelming and we see
that five minutes even of meditation, I don’t care when you get it in if it’s in the morning,
if it’s at night, if it’s in your lunch hour even if you suck at it, download an app, be
consistent with it and over time we see that it helps to shift the physiology of our brain
so we are more geared towards happiness, purpose and meaning. And in fact when we look at it holistically,
in conjunction with that ball getting rolling so now maybe you’ve got just enough motivation
to take that first step and you’re moving. So the first step at the gym, the first one
is always the hardest because now that body in motion stays in motion, now you’re motivated
to a certain extent, you’re starting to see results. The fears and concerns with breaking out of
that comfort zone have abated because you already went and you did it. Maybe you’re uncomfortable at the gym, you’re
done with feeling uncomfortable at the gym you survived it; you’re ready to go back tomorrow;
the world is not going to end. You’re eating a little bit healthier and all
of those micronutrients are gearing your brain chemistry for the better and not the worst. So each and every step in the right direction
is what begets more success. So it’s a holistic and a cumulative approach
that’s going to yield those positive results. And then of course, once you’re emotionally
and physically in motion it’s much easier to stay in motion.

81 thoughts on “Tweak your brain chemistry toward happiness, purpose, meaning | Jillian Michaels

  1. I don't understand why this woman with no actual academic or scientific credentials keeps talking beyond her pay grade and I really don't understand why Big Think keeps giving her a platform

  2. Social media is depression-inducing.
    People in Instagram, for example, are filtering everything to look to others as happy as they can, which is not the case for a lot of people. So you, on the other side, who are engaging seems to you like everyone else is having a better life except for you, and day after day, that will eventually lead to being depressed and less happy.

    Stay away from social media as much as you can, social media is actually anti-social.

  3. As a cannabis user for many years, I have been trying to find a direct links between cannabis use and brain function. Not hypothetical scenarios or an educated guesses due to the lack of legal experimentation. I was a cannabis patient until it became legal here in California. This is how I got here and I ended up finding something that was associated with the person that was questioning my cannabis use. Go figure.
    I do know this. For some reason I have a collective knowledge that is slightly greater then my peers and I used cannabis for many years even before it was prescription. If it so damaging to the brain how do you explain me?
    Lol.
    I love science.
    Thank you so much for the great insight. Big Think is awesome!

  4. Jillian Michaels is a brilliant speaker, and this proves it. People who are still butthurt about her bashing keto, grow up.

  5. "I believe it was Neitzsche who said: If you have a why to live for, you can tolerate the how " (2:00)

    Goebbels said the same thing…

  6. Having ADHD, i accepted long ago that without exercise, my mind cant focus.
    I still try to hard-wire my circuits towards happiness…^^

  7. Disconnecting is the best thing you can do for your mental health. Disconnect from social media, the new, negative people, tragedy, and everything that brings you down. Simplify your life and you will be happy in life.

  8. Nothing can replace real effort. You wanna make this world depression free?
    Lock up corrupts. Free psychedelics and entheogenic plants. Change the education. Focus on empowering citizens on family health and community health. Meditation is ok but not a solution for everyone. I still think that meditation acts like a placebo for a lot. And a lot of people on the other hand donot do meditation as it is supposed to be done.

  9. This is the worst kind of word salad. No facts and the only real message is that you need to look a certain way to have sex with the lights on or lead your daughter down the aisle. You can do better than this, Big Think.

  10. Thanks. I think I needed to hear this. Why not try just 5 minutes of meditation a day? It's only 5 minutes. And if the evidence does in fact point out that it works, then why the hell not.

  11. Of course it looks totally different, your "success", depending on whether you are having poor, middle or upper class "success". When homeless crackheads are hopeful and smiling together in broad daylight, it can be unnerving. Good luck growing that grey matter with little food or sleep.

  12. Anhedonia is the first to happen. Without interest motivation is gone. How does one help anhedonia? Psychiatrists dont even know completely. Anhedonia is always missed. Meditation and exercise does nothing. i practiced meditation since i was 7 yrs old. It nothing to rid depression from me.

  13. Bullshit, you don't know what depression is, I hope you never try, it feel like you falling from the top، that's mean you only trying it once.

  14. Pursuit of happiness is a human error; because everything contradicts happiness. We are all just victim of this delusion. Happiness is subjective just a justification to perpetuate this phantom.

  15. Not every one has the same abilities – or disabilities. We all have traits or tendancies that vary slightly from person to person. An example – not everyone has the abilty or trait of being a proffessional comedian – we just aren't all equally gifted with the ability to make people laugh.

    Excercise does solve depression. Unless you have the want or need or trait for excercise you mood will not necessarily improve.

  16. Starting with WHY seems logical, but I am not sure it works for depressed people because all ‘whys’ look pointless to them.
    I don’t know… Probably the trick is to get yourself moving for no reason and maybe you will find the ‘why’ in the process. Or maybe you won’t find it. Anyway ‘why’ looks like too hard of a question for the first step.

  17. Too bad depression saps the motivation part…sure once you get going you can establish positive momentum but for depressed people its the getting going part that is the absolute worst. Nothing is more infuriating to hear as a sufferer of depression than: "If you just force yourself to get up and get out it'll get easier." Of course it will, we know that its the forcing yourself part that is the hardest part. Imagine all humans as puppets on strings, the strings represent motivational forces either internally or externally. Depression is like having your strings cut. Your limbs still function, but the forces that motivate you cease to exist or are drastically diminished. Watching self motivated people talk about depression is the fucking worst.

  18. Lol I should start by getting sex, then I can start thinking about the lights or the looks of my body… It's as if I had a greater than nature L tattooed on my fkn face ^^, but I'll prevail, sex or not, cause I choose to live.

  19. Lol at all the people crying that shes uncertified or wrong or talking smoke.
    The rest of us can be a lil more mindful and not be scared babies about it. Truth is u dont k omw crap either u just listening to books and old people and biases just the same as every other human

  20. This channel interviews journalists on economics, Jordan Peterson (a psychologist) on socialism, and Jilian Michael's on health.

    Can you guys interview actual experts again. This channel is turning into just another celebrity opinion piece.

    I'm sure Kayne West will talk to you about economics. Is that where you're going next?

  21. I mean…Most of what she's saying is fine. It matches up with things my medical personnel have told me. (Exercise is not the cure for depression. Ask people who deal with depression.)

    My issue is that after her appearance on The Biggest Loser – a show designed to physically punish fat people for wanting to not be fat anymore – I find it difficult to WANT to believe her. That was a straight up dick move. I've watched clips of her on that show. What she did to those people was NOT motivation. It was humiliation. She should be ashamed of that.

  22. Deleted Facebook in 2012
    Deleted Snapchat in 2015
    Deleted Instagram in 2017…

    And for the first time in my life I started to develop an authentic personality of my own.

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