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Four Pillars of Stress Management with Dr. David Rabin

Dr. David Rabin, MD, PhD, is a neuroscientist, board-certified psychiatrist, health tech entrepreneur, & inventor who has been studying the impact of chronic stress in humans for more than a decade, particularly non-invasive therapies for treatment-resistant illnesses like PTSD. He is the co-founder & chief innovation officer at Apollo Neuroscience and the co-founder & executive director of The Board of Medicine. In addition to his clinical psychiatry practice, Dr. Rabin is currently conducting research on the epigenetic regulation of trauma responses and recovery to elucidate the mechanism of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and the neurobiology of belief. He received his MD in medicine and PhD in neuroscience from Albany Medical College and specialized in psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He has been married to Kathryn Fantauzzi, CEO and co-founder of Apollo Neuroscience, since 2016. Together they live in Monterey, California.

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Can technology help you reduce stress and anxiety in your life?

This is a question that comes a lot in the Kwik Brain Universe. So if you’ve ever wanted to know how to mitigate and reduce stress by finding ways to face challenging and turbulent times, this episode is for you.

Our special guest today is Dr. David Rabin. He’s an MD, Ph.D., neuroscientist, and board-certified psychiatrist who has studied the impact of chronic stress in humans for over a decade.

In addition, he’s the Chief Innovation Officer at Apollo Neuroscience, which has developed a scientifically validated wearable technology that actively improves energy, focus, and relaxation through a touch therapy that signals safety to the brain. Listen in as Dr. Rabin goes over the four pillars of stress management and provides actionable steps for you to build a foundation of trust in yourself.

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"I wanted to create a way to remind people that they’re safe, so they can have access to their entire cognitive capacity and reach their full functioning potential."

Dr. David Rabin

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The Four Pillars Of Stress Management

  • A pillar is essentially a cognitive emotional skill that you use to stabilize and improve your health.
  • They are things you fundamentally have control over.
  • The four pillars Dr. Rabin uses are:
  • Self-gratitude.
  • Self-forgiveness.
  • Self-compassion.
  • Self-love.
  • They should be practiced together and in that order.
  • Self-gratitude is the most fundamental.
  • It’s the easiest to grasp and express on a regular basis.
  • Simply take the time to be grateful for the small moments in your life.
  • Gratitude creates a tremendous amount of neurotransmitters when you actively practice it.
  • This positive release signals to your brain that you are safe and in control.
  • The first step for any kind of transformation is conscious mindful awareness.
  • Changing the language you use is one powerful tool to embrace gratitude.
  • Instead of saying, “I have to”, change it to, “I get to”.
  • Perspective matters and is one of the things you have control over when you recognize it.
  • The most common mistake when looking at the four pillars is to believe you’re already a master at them.
  • It’s common to look at how you do these things for others, not for you.
  • But you can’t be a master at these skillsets with others if you are unable or unpracticed at producing them towards yourself.
  • Self-forgiveness is when you think about yourself from a place of empathy and understanding.
  • If your best friend was telling you they did something wrong, or they see themselves in a negative or self-critical way, you would comfort them and tell them it’s okay.
  • Do this with yourself.
  • Tell yourself you’re doing the best you can. That you’re going to make mistakes.
  • You need self-forgiveness to be able to make mistakes so you can learn from them.
  • If you don’t have self-forgiveness, you can actually trap yourself in the mistake itself and become wrapped in that fear of failure.
  • Self-compassion is patience for yourself.
  • It balances your inner self critic­­—the part of yourself that is always saying work harder, do better, or you’re not doing enough.
  • Your self-critic isn’t focused on the mistakes of the past, but the present and the future.
  • You perform best when your self-compassion is balanced with a little bit of self-criticism.
  • The ultimate manifestation of self-compassion is challenging because patience is infinite.
  • Patience is the complete acceptance that things are as they should be and will unfold as they will over time.
  • It’s important to embrace patience because you’re on this journey to reveal and realize your fullest potential, and it doesn’t happen right away.
  • The fourth and final pillar is self-love.
  • Self-love is the culmination of the three pillars before it.
  • By practicing the emotional, spiritual, and mental skills of self-gratitude, self-forgiveness, and self-compassion, you strengthen your sense of trust in yourself.

Trusting Your Intuitive Self

  • The ability to trust yourself to overcome challenges, face stress, and adapt, allows you to get to know your intuitive self.
  • When you trust yourself, you can trust the messages your intuitive self is trying to send you.
  • These messages are your gut-feelings and can be chills or tingles, as examples.
  • Everyone has a different sense they identify with intuition.
  • You were born with intuition.
  • It’s a deep part of yourself and it is sending you information all the time.
  • A lot of times it’s difficult to listen because you weren’t necessarily taught how to listen.
  • Or you weren’t taught to trust the information when it does come in.
  • Actively practicing the first three pillars is critical to form the foundation of trust that culminates in the stabilizing fourth pillar.
  • Self-love means being able to provide love to yourself unconditionally, without hesitation or reservation, and without asking anything in return.
  • It’s when you can show love for yourself, knowing you deserve it.
  • Once you’re able to do that, your ability to express that love to others in your life becomes more accessible.
  • One of the important factors in practicing these skills is the sense of safety.
  • During difficult times, safety becomes even more important so that you can get into that parasympathetic rest-and-digest state.
  • Dr. Rabin invented a device called Apollo Neuro to help tap into and create a sense of safety in your nervous system.
  • Safety is everything in regard to thriving, having a good life, and retaining functional cognition.
  • You can’t expand your cognition and reach your full mental capacity without safety.
  • In fact, it’s not about whether you’re capable of achieving a higher level of functioning.
  • It’s about asking yourself what is stopping you from achieving that higher level.

The Power Of Touch

  • Part of Dr. Rabin’s research was looking at what road blocks can easily be removed to access these cognitive skills.
  • While working with clients—mostly veterans—who had addiction disorders, depression, and PTSD, Dr. Rabin noticed they weren’t recovering with the standard treatments.
  • These were the Gold Standard of Western treatments.
  • Things like medication and psychotherapy.
  • His clients would feel good in the office, but they’d leave, and their symptoms would come back.
  • Almost every client said they felt safe in the office and did not feel safe in the outside world.
  • Without that sense of safety, they couldn’t handle stress or process any other emotions in an efficient or productive manner.
  • Dr. Rabin and his team at the University of Pittsburgh set out to create something that could help people feel safe outside of the office.
  • If you’re focused entirely on survival, stressed out, and don’t feel safe, you are tying up considerable cognitive resources.
  • Dr. Rabin wanted to remind his clients that they were safe, so they could regain their cognitive capacity and reach their full human functioning potential.
  • They researched sound, music, vibrations, electricity, and ended up gravitating towards touch.
  • Touch goes back millions of years throughout animal evolution.
  • Touch signals safety to the brain more powerfully and quickly than any other single thing you experience in your life.
  • It’s the first thing you experience when you’re born and held.
  • You don’t know where you are, or anything about what’s happening around you, but you know the safety of being held.
  • Touch is preconscious, subconscious. You’re not even aware of it.
  • They found there were very specific patterns of vibration that created soothing sensations.
  • These sensations are different for everyone.
  • Some describe it as a cat purring, or a warm hug, or holding someone’s hand.
  • The sensations triggered memory associated feelings.
  • You don’t always remember exactly what someone said, or what someone did, but you remember how it felt.
  • Soothing feelings are hardwired deep into your system.
  • When you provide a signal to the body—like a gentle, soothing vibration on the skin—it activates the amygdala and the emotional cortex in your brain.
  • Even though the sensation is on your wrist or ankle, it triggers the neurological response.
  • Your brain becomes aware of the calming feeling and realizes that if it has time to pay attention to this sensation, you’re probably not being chased by a lion and it can relax.
  • When your amygdala calms down, all the brain capacity that was trapped in that fear box is released.
  • Being in a constant state of stress means your brain is constantly trying to perceive threats from the environment.
  • It takes a lot of brain power to be that hyper-alert.
  • Being able to de-stress and calm down frees up enormous cognitive resources for everything else you want to do throughout your day.
  • Be sure to check out the unedited, extended episode on YouTube, here.

Share With Us

  • Take a screenshot of this episode, tag us on social media (@DrDavidRabin & @JimKwik), and share one of the four pillars that you’re going to focus on and develop.
  • It’s one thing to describe how effective the Apollo Neuro is; it’s another to experience it.
  • Visit ApolloNeuro.com/JimKwik for a 15% discount on the Apollo Neuro device, so you can reduce stress and reach your full cognitive capacity.
  • Get more information and visit Dr. Rabin, here.

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