Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast where we provide support for school leadership and the workplace with a proven approach for implementing social and emotional learning as it’s well-known in our schools today and emotional intelligence in the modern workplace, with a proven strategy to increase well-being, achievement and results, backed by the most current neuroscience research.
The Neuroscience of Leadership: 3 Ways to Reset, Recharge and Refuel Your Brain for Your Best Year Ever
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #103, where we will cover “The Neuroscience of Leadership: How to Reset, Recharge and Refuel Your Brain for Your Best Year Ever.” As we are now well into the New Year of 2021, with 2020 behind us as a distant but not forgotten memory, have you taken the time to close out the old year and welcome in the new? Whatever planning activity you do, I’ve added some ideas to this episode that I’ve collected over the years of working directly with the top leaders in motivation and success that really do add new energy to fuel this new year, with practical neuroscience tied to each strategy. The idea is to look at your year with your brain in mind and see if this new lens can create the best year ever for you.We all intuitively know that there’s a mental energy boost that comes along with “being ahead” of the game, and for those who work in our classrooms, you know that this year, getting ahead with our students looks much different than prior years, with perhaps a phone call before the start of the year to welcome your new students, break the ice, or tie something personal into your lessons that helps you to quickly connect on a deeper level, setting the tone for your year.Getting ahead also translates into the workplace, with significant advantages in sales, for instance, knowing and planning where your sales will come from and having a solid pipeline, sets the tone for the rest of the year, much like the sports team who gets that first point early in the game, there’s a competitive advantage to this that builds momentum. Many people will be starting new jobs or careers with the mergers and resets that occurred from 2020, and the strategies that I am going to share with you, will be relevant to those of us who are starting something new, looking to refuel for a new year, recharge our batteries in 2021, shift, pivot and building momentum early, to set the rhythm for your best year ever. For those who work as entrepreneurs, this is the way we launch every year. For me, it’s been since I left the corporate space in 2012, so this will be my ninth New Year implementing these strategies. The first year, on Day One of working on my own, I remember calling my good friend Patti Knoles, who had been in business for herself for many years, and saying “Patti, I’m so scared! What if what I am planning to do doesn’t work out?” I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I do remember where I was at the time, and that whatever she said made me feel better. I think she said something like “how will you know if you don’t try?” and she was right—that’s the same words of wisdom that I give to those people, including one of my former sales managers, who called me after they have made this leap recently, for any thoughts, ideas or suggestions on how to be successful working from home, for yourself.Whether in business for ourselves, or working for someone else, it takes a certain mental mindset to be 100% in charge of our results—our day, income, and life, and I know that it can also be quite scary, so for those of you facing 2021 with this new lens, here are some strategies that you can implement that will put you ahead of the game mentally, which I’m confident will change your results and set you up, for your best year ever. Idea #1: Create Early Wins to Increase Motivation, Creativity and Overcome Challenges.Michael D. Watkins, the cofounder of Genesis Advisers, a leadership development company, and the author of The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels[i] shares that “the single most important principle to making a successful transition in times of change, is to get early wins to build momentum fast.”[ii]We talked about this in the introduction, how achieving early wins
Aneesh Chaudhry on "Mental Health, Well-Being and Meditation: Overcoming Addiction Using Your Brain"
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #102 with Aneesh Chaudhry, the CEO of SoulPhysio Lifestyle that was born largely from his own personal struggles.Watch the interview on YouTube here. As we start a new year, and Season 5 of the podcast, we will continue where we left off with Season 4, with a focus on Health and Wellness, that will take a shift to the importance of brain health, mental health and well-being. If we want to improve our results, and the brain is involved in everything that we do, and everything that we are, then we must put our attention towards understanding how we can optimize this organ—our brain.We all know that 2020 was difficult for many people, but those who struggled the most were those who already were struggling. The Centers for Disease Control found that from a survey in June 2020, adults in the United States reported “considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19”[i] and that “40.9% of over 5,000 respondents reported an adverse mental or behavioral health condition, including symptoms of anxiety disorder, trauma-related symptoms, new or increased substance use, or thoughts of suicide.”[ii]When I was introduced to Aneesh Chaudhry, through a mutual friend, you will see why I took one look at the work he is doing and knew immediately that I had to interview him in our first podcast to launch 2021, to provide some hope and direction for those who might either know someone who is struggling at this time or going through their own personal struggle.Aneesh dealt with significant Mental Illness and Addiction through his teenage years into his early twenties. He was diagnosed with conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar, and this led him to search for answers as to why he was feeling the way he did. A Major shift occurred for Aneesh when he had his brain scanned in 2013 at Amen Clinics. He learned that the brain can heal itself, where his brain might be imbalanced, leading him to have the symptoms he was having. These answers gave him hope and direction that catapulted him into years of diligent study and lifestyle change. He got his bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration of Behavioral Neuroscience. Aneesh also has a list of certifications in the area of health and wellness, including a Brain Health Coach Certification through Amen Clinics, making him a true expert in the field of Mental Health, Wellbeing and Neuroscience.Welcome Aneesh, thank you so much for agreeing to come on the podcast to share your incredible story that really does defy the odds, showing the dedication you have in this area.Q1: Aneesh, when we first spoke, on New Year’s Eve of all days, it really hit me that you understood this topic at the brain level, and this means that you have a grasp of something that we were never taught about in school, and most families that have these issues usually end up sweeping problems like addiction, mental illness or depression, under a rug, never to be discussed or addressed out loud, which doesn’t solve the problem. I shared with you that when I first encountered someone with a serious addiction, I was at a loss of what to do. Now this was going back 20 years ago, when I didn’t find out all my answers to whatever I wanted to solve through Google (that had just gone live a few years before this). I spent hours at the library reading books, trying to understand alcoholism, and why one person can have one drink and not be bothered with a second, while another person just can’t do this. It baffled me that something so important was never taught to us in school. Can you share just how deep your addiction to marijuana and alcohol was, how you think it began, and how were you able to defy the odds and make it to the other side to recovery?Q2: For people listening, this
Lessons Learned From Our FIRST 100 Episodes
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #101, where we will review highlights from the past 100 episodes, that began in June 2019, with a behind the scenes lens, where we will take a look at the results created from this podcast, with the goal to inspire listeners to not just implement the ideas offered in each episode, but to think about what Horacio Sanchez from EPISODE #74 reminded me this week, of “the impact possible when you have an idea, nurture it, and watch it grow.” (Horacio Sanchez, EPISODE #74[i]).My name is Andrea Samadi, and if you haven’t met me yet, I’m a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field, with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, whether you are an educator, or working in the corporate space, to take your results to the next level. Before we get to the episode, and the highlights learned from our guests, I want to share some of the unexpected results that have come as a byproduct of this podcast to perhaps light a spark under anyone who might be thinking of new ways to create brand awareness, or market their business in 2021. If you have been thinking of ways that you can extend your voice, message and reach, I highly recommend this mode of delivery. I also want to thank everyone who has supported us with this mission, come on as a guest, or downloaded an episode. We wouldn’t exist without the guests who offer their time, expertise, and strategies designed to help our listeners (in over 132 countries) who tune in on a regular basis and take the ideas offered to make an impact locally in their schools, communities, businesses and workplaces. I appreciate the feedback and messages received via social media and email and look forward to the next 100 episodes. As long as there is still growth, I will continue to produce new episodes.So Here are 3 Lessons Learned Looking Back at the 100 Episodes.LESSON 1: WHEN THERE’S A NEED, CAN YOU PUT A SPIN ON IT?I saw a serious need in the area of social and emotional learning that was being implemented in schools around the country and the world, and many educators didn’t know the best way to begin their implementation. I thought it would be a good place to gather “best practices” from experts around the world to offer their ideas that we could all learn from and apply to our own lives.But I knew I needed a bigger idea than just a podcast about social emotional learning in our schools, or emotional intelligence training in our workplaces. Too many people were already doing this. But not that many people were teaching the basics of practical neuroscience as it relates to this topic. The idea to combine neuroscience and social/emotional learning came with the thought that “success in life, and in college and career specifically, relies on student’s cognitive, (the core skills your brain uses to think, read, remember, and pay attention) social and interpersonal skills, (including the ability to navigate through social situations, resolve conflicts, show respect towards others, self-advocate and learn how to work on a team with others) and emotional development (including the ability to recognize and manage one’s emotions, demonstrate empathy for others and cope with stress).” In the corporate world, these skills aren’t new, but they are “newly important” and of high urgency to develop in our future generations. I’ve mentioned this quote before but think it’s important enough to repeat. A recent survey showed that 58 percent of employers say college graduates aren’t adequately prepared for today’s workforce, and those employers noted a particular gap in social and emotional skills. This is where our goal with
Professor Mary Helen Immordino-Yang on "The Neuroscience of Social and Emotional Learning"
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #100—this episode is a very special one, that comes full circle for all of the listeners who have ever wondered, “what exactly is the neuroscience of social and emotional learning?”You can watch the interview on YouTube here. Today, this question will be solved with Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, who is a Professor of Education, Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Southern California and Director of the USC Center for Affective Neuroscience, Development, Learning and Education (CANDLE)[i]. She studies the psychological and neurobiological development of emotion and self-awareness, and connections to social, cognitive and moral development in educational settings. What I find to be powerful about Dr. Mary Helen is that although she is a former public junior-high-school science teacher, who went on to earn her doctorate at Harvard University and has received numerous awards for her work and research, she is able to set us straight when it comes to understanding how the emotions we have with others, and our social interactions can change our brain, and literally shape who we are, with powerful findings that she can prove with FMRI scans.Welcome Mary Helen, it’s beyond incredible to finally have this opportunity to speak with you, after studying your work when I first started on this mission to learn and understand the basics of neuroscience back in 2015 when an educator urged me to take this path to integrate neuroscience into the programs I had developed for the school market. I’m sure I first saw you speaking somewhere with Dr. Daniel Siegel, who we had on with episode #28[ii] on “Mindsight: The Basis of Social and Emotional Intelligence” then when I saw you come on his PEPP MWE UP Community Chats this past July[iii], I immediately reached out to speak with you when I saw that your life’s work provides the evidence for the powerful connection with neuroscience and social and emotional learning.Thank you so much for being here today. Dr. Daniel Siegel said this, and I have to repeat it, because your research truly has shown incredible pioneering and achievement when it comes to showing through your social-emotion experiments, how what we think, feel and the emotions that we have—can physically change the structure of our brains. I am so grateful to have you here today and after writing your questions, I decided that it made perfect sense to have your interview as the 100th episode, to show the impact that we can have when we connect neuroscience to social and emotional learning.Q1: You said it really well on Dan’s event, and I have put this link in the show notes so you don’t have to repeat what you said there, but can you share how you started to look at the connection with the social and emotional brain. You mention that in 2001/2002 there wasn’t much out there on culture and the brain, and then when you looked at emotion, it was just some basic stuff about the amygdala lighting up with certain emotions, and the social brain was still in its infancy. Where did this idea begin to work with Antonio Damasio[iv] measuring brain activity and connecting our relationships and emotions to our future results?My thoughts: When I was urged by a school administrator to write another book that included the most current brain research to the programs I was offering schools in Arizona through a Character Education Grant, I began to look for those who were out in the world, teaching educational neuroscience. I found Judy Willis, and Dan Siegel, David Sousa who was showing how the brain learns to read, and some others, but wanted to find those who saw how neuroscience connected to social and emotional learning (the name of the podcast) because I saw how these social skills were changing the results of students, I j
Irene Lyon, Msc on "The Science Behind Trauma and a Healthy Immune System for an Improved Life"
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #99 with Irene Lyon[i], MSC. who teaches the world’s leaders and coaches how to work with the nervous system to heal trauma, and live full and productive lives. To date her online programs[ii] have reached people in over 63 countries and Irene clearly has a knack for making complex information easy for ALL of us to understand and apply to our lives, which is exactly the type of person I am always looking for on this podcast.Watch the interview on YouTube here.My name is Andrea Samadi, and if you are new here, I’m a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field, with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, whether you are an educator, or in the corporate space, to take your results to the next level. If we want to improve our social, emotional and cognitive abilities, it all starts with an understanding of our brain. Welcome Irene, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today, as we are approaching our 100th episode! We are always looking for people who can take complex concepts and help explain them so that we can all use them in our daily lives for improved results, so thank you for being here to help us to better understand trauma, our nervous system and our results.INTRO: Before we get to the questions, can you explain exactly what you do as a nervous system specialist and somatic neuroplasticity expert and perhaps who some of your mentors were for you when you began this work?Q1: Since this topic is of high interest, I’m looking forward to diving deeper into the area of trauma so we can all gain more awareness and understanding of what trauma looks like for each person as an individual. I’ve just started to scrape the surface of this topic in the yearlong neurocoaching program I am taking with the study of Joseph LeDoux on trauma, fears, anxiety and memory consolidation. LeDoux says that each person has their own anxiety level, and we respond to trauma or difficult situations in different ways because our brains are “one of a kind, they are wired differently from our genes and our life experiences.” (LeDoux). Can you explain the science of trauma, and why one person could easily walk away from an accident or traumatic situation, yet another person’s life completely unravels with the same incident? What’s happening on the brain level for this to occur?Q2: Can you explain what you learned from Steven Hoskinson, that pretty much ALL chronic and mental illness (conditions that affect our thinking, feeling, mood and behavior) can be connected to dysregulation of the nervous system and unresolved traumatic stress? Q3: What is your 21 Day Nervous System Tune Up[iii] where you take people from a sick nervous system with emotional symptoms like depression, anxiety, stress, fatigue, immune system troubles to a healthy nervous system that includes improved sleep, a boosted immunity, elevated energy levels, and a regulated gut health?We’ve looked closely at Dr. Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory on our episode #59[iv] and most listeners who follow this podcast know of the importance of understanding our Central Nervous System when it comes to managing our stress response, but can you share how you show people how to break through anxiety, burnout and chronic symptoms by healing the nervous system—what you teach in your Smart Body, Smart Mind Course[v]?Q4: I have to ask you just one question on your dissertation that you wrote in 2008 while pursuing your Masters in Research in Australia within the biomedical and health sciences, since the topic of your dissertation ties into where we have ended the year on this podcast, with a focus on health
BONUS Episode "A Deep Dive into the Top 5 Health Staples" and Review of Seasons 1-4
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, with a special episode, recorded for Podbean’s Wellness Week.When I first launched this podcast, in June 2019, using Podbean as my host, of course, it was a bit by chance, as I had just purchased a new template for my website that had a podcast theme, and the developer who helped me to build the site said “you can delete the podcast section if you don’t want to host a podcast” and I thought about it for a minute, and was already conducting interviews for the programs and services I was offering in my membership area, so I told him, “let’s just keep it” and I went over to Google and searched for “what is an RSS feed” and “how to launch a podcast.” I had no idea at that moment just how powerful that one decision would be, leading me to launch something that would connect me to leaders around the world, be downloaded in over 100 countries, become my biggest learning opportunity I’ve ever had, and open up many doors, all from just one decision.I also started this podcast because I saw a serious need in the area of social and emotional learning that was being implemented in schools around the country and the world, but many educators didn’t know the best way to begin their implementation. We all know that “success in life, and in college and career specifically, relies on student’s cognitive, (the core skills your brain uses to think, read, remember, and pay attention) social and interpersonal skills, (including the ability to navigate through social situations, resolve conflicts, show respect towards others, self-advocate and learn how to work on a team with others) and emotional development (including the ability to recognize and manage one’s emotions, demonstrate empathy for others and cope with stress)” but what are these skills, and what exactly is the best way to implement them?[i]In the corporate world, these skills aren’t new, but they are “newly important” and of high urgency to develop in our future generations. A recent survey showed that 58 percent of employers say college graduates aren’t adequately prepared for today’s workforce, and those employers noted a particular gap in social and emotional skills. This is where our goal with this podcast began—to close this gap by exploring six social and emotional learning competencies as a springboard for discussion and tie in how an understanding of our brain can facilitate these strategies. Hence the title of the podcast, Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning. If we want to improve our social, emotional and cognitive abilities, it all starts with an understanding of our brain. Season 1: Consists of 33 episodes that begin with introducing six the social and emotional competencies (building a growth mindset, making responsible decisions, becoming self-aware, increasing social-awareness, managing emotions and behavior and developing relationships) along with an introduction to cognitive skills that I call Neuroscience 101 where we introduce some of the most important cognitive strategies, or the core skills your brain uses to think, remember and pay attention.CONTENT: In this season, you will learn about understanding your mind vs your brain, mindfulness and meditation, the 3 parts of your brain, achieving peak performance, and improving awareness, mindsight, rewiring your brain for happiness, and experiential learning. We interviewed Ron Hall from Valley Day School who talked about how he launched his neuroeducation program into his school, Jennifer Miller on “Building Connections with Parents and Educators,” Helen Maffini on her Mindful Peace Summit and “Launching Mindfulness and Meditation in our Schools,” Greg Wolcott on “Building Relationships in Today’s Classrooms,” 14 year old Adam Avin on “Improving Our Menta