In this episode, I chat with psychologist, Tom Glaser, author of the Book, "Full Heart Living: Conversations with The happiest People I Know". Tom explains the key factors required to live a happy life.
Happy people know what makes them happy
What motivated Tom to investigate happiness?
What Is Happiness?
Why Is Happiness Important?
What Is Grief Telling You?
People Want to Be Heard & Understood
Has There Been A Difference In People's Happiness in the COVID era?
Focussing On The Now!
Happy People Have Clear Goals
Being of Service to Others
Misery Love Company
What Are The Essential Ingredients for Happiness?
You can find Tom @
Tom's Book: “Full Heart Living: Conversations with the Happiest People I Know”
Based on the book, Full Heart Living Conversation Sparks, a fun, interactive card game that helps you build lasting connections with friends and family.
are both available at https://fullheartliving.com/ Use the code FULL at checkout to receive 25% off the book .
Don't forget to leave a Rating for the podcast!
You can find Leigh @:
[00:00] Tom Glaser: Happier people don't avoid or suppress the so called negative experiences or emotions. They embrace those as well. When? Because here's the thing. Less happy people do way more of that suppression or repression. They're trying to tamp down anxiety or depression. They don't want to have those feelings. Guess what? When we do that, we push them down over here. The ones over here get tamped down as well. So if we're trying to not be anxious or depressed or angry, whatever the quote unquote negative thing is, other emotions are going to respond as well. So happier people let their whole systems flow.
[00:45] Announcer: Welcome to the Radical Health Rebel podcast with your host, Leigh Brandon. If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a five star rating and the warm review. Your opinions are important and your ratings help grow the podcast and help educate people to lead a healthier, more productive, fulfilling and happy life. This video is your thing. Please check out the Radical Health Rebel YouTube channel where you'll find fun bitesized clips from each episode. And now, here is Lee, the radical health rebel, with this week's podcast.
[01:25] Leigh Brandon: Tom Glaser. Welcome to the Radical Health Rebel podcast. How you doing?
[01:29] Tom Glaser: I'm well, thanks so much for having me.
[01:32] Leigh Brandon: It's great to have you on the show. So today's episode is entitled how to live life from the heart with Tom Glaser. Now, in episode one of the Radical Health Rebel podcasts, I described the kinds of subjects discussed on the show and described that I would cover any subject that may fall into any category of one or both of two models. The first being pool checks for doctor model that he discussed in detail in episode eleven that consists of four doctors, doctors, diet, quiet, movement, and happiness. And today's subject definitely falls into the category of doctor happiness, which is considered an essential aspect of health in that model. The second model is Ken Wilbur's integral model. And today's topic nicely fits into the categories of the personal and the collective interior, which includes things like thoughts, emotions, and even culture. So today's topic also fits in nicely with the mission of this podcast, which has been my mission for many years, which is to help people achieve a more fun filled, healthy, productive, fulfilling and happy life. So to kick things off, Tom, can you tell us a little about you, perhaps your upbringing, your educational background and your career to date?
[02:56] Tom Glaser: Yeah, absolutely. Again, I'm really happy to be here. I appreciate this opportunity. So I'm a psychologist, so I'm a shrink. I make my money by doing psychotherapy. And like many of us in the field, that interest in part emerged from my own experiences. And we are going to be talking about living life from the heart, as you said. And part of living from the heart is embracing all of that which we encounter in life, which indeed is sometimes fulfillment and happiness and all those things you were listing. Life also involves some suffering. So as a child, I come from a really great family in so many ways. We were financially just middle class. No problem there. My parents remained married until their deaths. So from the outside, things looked really good. From the inside, things weren't always as they might appear. There was way too much alcohol use in my family. One of my parents was I would call a rageaholic so horrible temper really put there's. Four children, I'm the third, really verbally did a number on us. And then starting in junior high school, I was just mercilessly. And to call it like bullying or teasing would not truly describe it. So that verbal abuse there as well for being different. So I was called ***. The word *** was scrawled across my locker more times than I care to remember to count. So I didn't really feel totally safe. I didn't feel totally unsafe in either environment because I did decently academically. I connected well with teachers. I did. I always had a set of friends. So parts of school were good and parts were horrendous and same at home. Right. It was stable in many, many ways compared to so many people. And then there were these unpredictable anger outbursts directed at us. So from my own wounding, in part, and just because I have an interest in human behavior and I had a phenomenal high school psychology teacher, by the way, Mr. Ryan, who just lit the fire under me for understanding human behavior, I became a psychologist. So that's what I do for work and so many other things. Of course. I'm a teacher. I teach workshops. I was telling you, I'm a yoga a fairly newly minted yoga teacher. I love to garden. I love to walk and run. I've taken up pickleball. I don't play well, but I'm playing some pickleball here and there. I'm an animal lover. I'm a father, I'm a husband. I love being an uncle and a great uncle. So in a pretty quick nutshell, that's an overview of me.
[06:25] Leigh Brandon: That's great. What was interesting was that one of the questions I was going to ask you is what makes Tom happy? And you've come out with quite a few things already. Yes. And the reason I wanted to ask those, because and again, you might want to possibly correct me on this, but most people that are happy, when you ask them what makes you happy, they can just reel off what those things are. And then when you speak to people perhaps not so happy, and you say to them, what makes you happy? And it actually is quite a difficult question for them to answer.
[07:06] Tom Glaser: They're stumped.
[07:07] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. I was at a friend's party about a year ago, and it was a garden party, and it just so happened at the end of the night, or very close to the end of the night, and I was speaking to a friend. And then another friend walks in, and we know he struggles with his mental health, and he starts saying things. And my other friend, she's a therapist as well, and she just said to him, I always said his name, and I won't say his name. And she said, what makes you happy? And I don't know how long it felt like ten minutes. It was probably a minute and a half. And he couldn't think of one thing.
[07:57] Tom Glaser: Sad.
[08:00] Leigh Brandon: But the thing was, I didn't want to, but I could have said to him, what about music? He DJs.
[08:09] Tom Glaser: So you knew at least one possibility. Yes.
[08:13] Leigh Brandon: I know he loves being around his friends.
[08:15] Tom Glaser: Yes.
[08:16] Leigh Brandon: Right. So I could have ruled them off for him.
[08:19] Tom Glaser: Yes. But you held back, which is good.
[08:21] Leigh Brandon: Well, I wanted him to do it.
[08:24] Tom Glaser: Well, that's brilliant. To give his brain the chance to sit there and do its thing was good. That's a good exercise.
[08:35] Leigh Brandon: But it was good that you answered that question even before I asked, and.
[08:41] Tom Glaser: That's probably just the beginning. Right. We could go more into depth at some point if we want.
[08:47] Leigh Brandon: But what's great is that you're practicing what you preach because you can answer that question without hesitation.
[08:54] Tom Glaser: Lee, it's so important to do that. Practice what we preach. Right. It's oh, if we don't do that, then we're not standing in integrity. We cannot show up in the world in the way that we need to. We can't help others if we are not doing what we request others to do. It's so essential. So you're absolutely right. I do practice what I preach to the very best of my ability. All that said, I am far from perfect. Right. My diet. Yes.
[09:26] Leigh Brandon: None of us are perfect.
[09:27] Tom Glaser: Yeah.
[09:27] Leigh Brandon: Right.
[09:27] Tom Glaser: Yes. I believe in eating really well. I so believe in nutrition, and it's a hobby of mine. It's really fun. And I had an ice cream sandwich a couple of weeks ago.
[09:37] Leigh Brandon: Right. Even diet is not meant to be perfect, right?
[09:46] Tom Glaser: Correct. Why not enjoy life a little bit? Yes. Or a lot.
[09:51] Leigh Brandon: Absolutely. Absolutely. So you've even started to COVID my next question as well. Might be something you want to expand on. Possibly. So my next question is, what was your motivation to investigate the subject of happiness, which culminated in your book For Living?
[10:17] Tom Glaser: Yes. So I had my dream job. Leigh I couldn't wait to get up in the morning and go to work. For seven years, I lived my dream job. I was senior counseling psychologist at a small college. So I got to do the one on one work that I'm really jazzed about in psychotherapy, and I got to teach and I got to teach about wellness promotion topics, and I got to train the orientation leaders and the resident advisors, all things that I'm incredibly passionate about and have a background in. And so I had a plan for my life. I was going to retire at this job. I thought I could do this job for the rest of my life or rest of my working life, I thought, until a co-worker showed up who totally changed the dynamic of our entire department. Very strong personality. And this person hated the ground that I walked on. And I tried everything I could think of to make it work with this person, and it didn't work. And this person undermined me. Didn't pay. Our vendors brought the programs that I had been working on for seven years to a screeching halt because they didn't approve of them. They had more power than I did. They held the budget for those programs. And finally my husband sat me down one day and said, you're miserable and this job is not worth it, and you've got to quit. And I was like, oh, expletive. I knew he was right. I just knew I had been avoiding it. It still took me a long time, but I did end up quitting that job eventually. But I was depressed, right, because the job wasn't what it used to be. I had this plan that I was attached to and I had a lot of grief because I was giving up these things that I adored. And in the midst of my depression, I noticed the really happy people all around me, from the guy who cuts my hair to somebody I was going to play with to the woman who used to office next door to me at the time. And I just got really curious and I started noticing, what are happier people doing? And then I got braver and I started asking them questions. And it snowballed into this project, which started with videotaped interviews. So I have like many documentaries of me interviewing these happy people or happier people that I personally know. And on the first day of filming, I'm on break outside. And I had known for years that I would write a book one day, but I didn't know what it was going to be about. And I had an epiphany. It's like, this is what my book is going to be about. Because it was one of the best days of my life. Because I'm sitting with happier people talking about what makes them tick. There's the contagion effect. It's contagious. You know, my spirits soared. I'm like, oh, this is what I could do day in and day out. This is what I'm going to write my book about.
[13:32] Leigh Brandon: Awesome. So probably quite an important question I've got for you next.
[13:37] Tom Glaser: Okay.
[13:39] Leigh Brandon: What is happiness?
[13:40] Tom Glaser: Oh my gosh. Such a hard time. I almost went to that when we were talking earlier about how happier people can list. They can list what makes them happy in a split second, where it's the reverse with less happy people. They have to really think about it. So even though most of us, when we are feeling happy, can list what makes us happy, or activities that we really enjoy. Ask them to define the term. Most people get stuck for longer than that minute and a half that your friend did. It's a very hard term to define. So here's what I've come to. It's a subjective term, and it changes over so subjective. What does that mean? And it changes over time. It's personal, it's individual. And have you heard of Gretchen Rubin, by any chance?
[14:35] Leigh Brandon: Well, just so happens that I have her book.
[14:39] Tom Glaser: Come on. There it is. You're holding it up. Have you read it yet?
[14:44] Leigh Brandon: I haven't read it yet, but I actually bought that because I read about it in your book.
[14:50] Tom Glaser: Oh, right.
[14:52] Leigh Brandon: And I thought, that sounds really good.
[14:54] Tom Glaser: It's so good.
[14:55] Leigh Brandon: I haven't read it yet, but I will be reading it.
[14:57] Tom Glaser: So that's the first of Gretchen Rubin's, I don't know, five or six books. I can't remember if it's in that book or subsequently that she wrote about this very question, how do we define happiness? So even science can't define the term for us, right? I can't remember. I'm going to just guess 17 different definitions in scientific literature.
[15:24] Leigh Brandon: I guess it's like, how do you define what love is?
[15:29] Tom Glaser: How can we put words to something like love, that's a perfect example. Or art, this is what she came to. We can't define art in words, but we know it when we see it, she says. And beyond that, it isn't as important that we define it as that we are working toward it or striving toward it, that it's a motivating force for the good in our lives, generally speaking. And I really like that. So we don't have to define it. We know what it is when it's there, we know when we feel it, and to use it as a force for good in our lives and to help make the world a better place. Hey, that is a win win.
[16:15] Leigh Brandon: Yes, I like that. Would you agree that happiness is an emotion?
[16:21] Tom Glaser: Yes. It's a state of being. Yes, I think it is an emotion.
[16:28] Leigh Brandon: And would you suggest there's any difference between happiness and joy?
[16:33] Tom Glaser: I think there is, but I don't have again, I think others have put really good words to that better than I could in this moment. I'd have to look it up a little to say more joy feels pure to me. Deeper happiness feels broader, a little more general.
[16:58] Leigh Brandon: Got you. So joy is a bit more focused, if you like.
[17:04] Tom Glaser: Yeah. I'm thinking of picking up I mentioned my love of being a great uncle. When I hold a new great niece or nephew in my arms for the first time and gaze into their eyes, that's a moment of pure joy. I'm happy in that moment, but I want to name it as joy. Right. That's why I say I feel like it goes deeper. It's more pointed.
[17:31] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. Well, I'll be experiencing that in the next month, I think I'll be coming a great uncle for the first time.
[17:38] Tom Glaser: Congratulations, Lee. That's so exciting.
[17:41] Leigh Brandon: So that might be an experience that I go through myself as well.
[17:47] Tom Glaser: Absolutely. I suspect you. Do you love being an uncle?
[17:51] Leigh Brandon: Yes, an uncle's. Good. I mean, they've all got grown up, but yeah, I do love being an uncle.
[17:57] Tom Glaser: So you'll love being a great uncle.
[17:59] Leigh Brandon: It's very different from being an uncle to younger kids. They're grown up, but it's still good. It's just different.
[18:07] Tom Glaser: It's just different, exactly.
[18:10] Leigh Brandon: Awesome. So another question for you. Why is happiness important?
[18:17] Tom Glaser: Yeah, there are those who believe it's not and that it doesn't deserve academic study. Not that I'm doing an academic study. I'm not. My belief from the get go. Was there other people who do academic writing? Well, mine is way more for the layperson, just the everyday person. It's important because happier people are healthier, physically. Happier people use medical because they don't need to use the medical system as much. Happier people do more good in the world and less harm in the world. Happier people volunteer more, they donate more money. There's that contagion effect that I talked about of really any emotion. So if we tend to be happier, we're going to spread that around. We're going to make people happier around us. And that goes for the teller at the bank to the cashier. Even if we're just buying a pack of gum and we have less than 30 seconds with someone, if we look them in the eye and ask them how their day is going, we can lift their spirits.
[19:41] Leigh Brandon: It's interesting. I had an experience today. The gym that I go to is about 500 meters from where I live, but to get there, I have to cross a river. Luckily, there's a bridge I don't have to swim across, so I can walk across.
[19:56] Tom Glaser: Thank you for clarifying that.
[19:59] Leigh Brandon: As you go over the bridge. Well, I actually have to cross the canal and then the river. So there's two bridges, and I just happen to notice there was a lady walking behind me with a pushchair. But when you get over the first bridge, it goes in two different directions across two different bridges. But I was probably ten yards or so in front of her, and I thought, do I stop and ask her does she want a hand getting the push chair down the stairs if she's going the same way as me? And somebody in my head just went, she's going the other way. So I thought, okay. I kind of generally listened to my intuition, but as I hit the first step, I heard, Excuse me, and I turned around and she went, would you mind giving me a hand with my pushchair? I said no. Absolutely not. No problem at all. So I helped with a push down the steps.
[20:54] Tom Glaser: Yeah.
[20:55] Leigh Brandon: And she just said to me, thank you. So much. I hope you have a really good day. And that's exactly what you're talking about. Right.
[21:04] Tom Glaser: How did you feel, Lee? Tell me how you felt. Amazing. Right. That's such a simple act that took you all of a minute or two.
[21:13] Leigh Brandon: Not even that. Probably 10 seconds.
[21:15] Tom Glaser: 10 seconds? Oh, it was quick. So quick.
[21:17] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. The steps are quite long, but there's only about five of them.
[21:22] Tom Glaser: Brief flight of stairs. Yeah.
[21:24] Leigh Brandon: But obviously she was in a really good mood. She must have been in a really good mood, because I could feel it. I could feel that she was in a good mood. She was happy. And as you said, that radiated to me.
[21:36] Tom Glaser: Yes. You were affected by it. Yeah.
[21:40] Leigh Brandon: And then it's probably 50 yards to the gym. But I got to the gym. I was feeling really good.
[21:45] Tom Glaser: Yes. There's a little a kick in your step, as we say. Nice. I love that. Oh, I have a similar example from years ago now. I was driving on a pretty crowded road, stop and go traffic, but just a two-lane street. And I could see this woman on the other side of the road, a pedestrian. I could tell she needed to cross the street. And I stopped my car and just gave her the indication, I'll yield to you. I can tell you need to get across the street. Just please go. And so there's no words. I'm in my car. The winters are closed. It's winter. And so she did so, and when it was safe, she went in front of me. And as she crossed in front of my car, she made very clear eye contact and smiled and gave me that nod of appreciation. So this is ten or 15 years ago now, again, let's say 15 seconds total. I did a little kindness. She acknowledged my kindness, made eye contact. It still stays with me, because I was like, oh, my gosh, that felt so good, to do something good and have it acknowledged back. There was this reciprocity that boosted my mood.
[23:04] Leigh Brandon: That's great.
[23:05] Tom Glaser: And here's another thing about both of these examples. You were open, first of all, you mentioned intuition from the beginning. You're open to your intuition, and you were open to receiving her energy. Right. You were clear. You said, she must have been having a really good day. You could feel it. There's a way we can go through the world. I feel like I do this less. It's not like I'm totally immune to it, but I know I did it more before I started studying mindfulness. But there's a way we can go through the world and be so caught up in our own thoughts and feelings that we are not open to those experiences and we block them. So the same thing might have happened. And if you were in a different mindset, you might not have picked up as much. You still might have had some effect but you might have sort of shielded some of that effect. So this is very important to us, if we want to be happier, is just noticing these mind states and these fields that we give off and the way that we can interact even with strangers. Both these examples, these are strangers. We don't know these people. It's very brief, but they had a noticeable impact on us. So wake up people, I'm saying, and look for these experiences even. Go ahead.
[24:35] Leigh Brandon: There was another experience, but I was actually walking back from the gym one day.
[24:40] Tom Glaser: Yes.
[24:40] Leigh Brandon: And there was a guy walking with I'm guessing it was his daughter. I'm pretty sure it was probably, I'm guessing about 1819. But she had down syndrome.
[24:49] Tom Glaser: Yeah.
[24:50] Leigh Brandon: And when I got to in about five yards, she gave me this big smile and just said Good morning. And it was just lovely. It was just so nice. This was about two years ago. She was the only person her and her dad were the only people I saw on my walk back but weren't wearing a face mask. And I just thought everyone else could potentially be smiling at me and I wouldn't even know. And I just thought, how sad is that?
[25:22] Tom Glaser: Very sad. Oh, that's such a downside to the masking of the pandemic.
[25:28] Leigh Brandon: So apart from healthier, any other reasons why it's important to be happy?
[25:34] Tom Glaser: Well, like I was saying, happier people do more good deeds in the world. They volunteer more, they do more good deeds. They help other people be happier. It's not just selfish. It's not just for ourselves that we pursue happiness. It's not just hedonistic, I want to feel good all the time if you're going to do what I call true happiness and why I titled the book, as I did, full Heart living Conversations with the Happiest People I Know. Happier people live with their whole heart, and that's part of why I started this conversation with where I did, because my heart is heavy. Sometimes I suffer. Sometimes. Happier people don't avoid or suppress the so called negative experiences or emotions. They embrace those as well. Because here's the thing. Less happy people do way more of that suppression or repression they're trying to tamp down anxiety or depression. They don't want to have those feelings. Guess what? When we do that, we push them down over here. The ones over here get tamped down as well. So if we're trying to not be anxious or depressed or angry, whatever the quote unquote negative thing is, other emotions are going to respond as well. So happier people let their whole systems flow. They find a way to support themselves. This is a phrase I love to use, support themselves through whatever they're experiencing, even if it's hardship, knowing that it's temporary. Just like I know if I'm feeling happy, it's temporary. Like any other emotion is going to move through me and be replaced. Kind of like the clouds that go past in the sky. Emotions come and go. So when I'm down, I'm down. I know I'm down. I know I'm sad. I use it as motivation. To me, it's just a signal from my insights. My body is telling me something. What's the message here? What do I need? It might be that I need rest. It might be that I need to do something to stand up for myself. It might be that I just haven't eaten in a while, and please get my blood sugar up right. Your body is just telling you something all the time.
[28:03] Announcer: You're listening to the Radical Health Rebel podcast.
[28:08] Leigh Brandon: Just a brief introduction to this podcast to talk about adult Acley. Now, did you know that 40% to 54% of men and women older than 25 years will have some degree of facial acne? And that clinical facial acne persists into middle age in 12% of women and 3% of men? I know only too well the devastating effects that acne can have on your confidence and your self esteem and how it can easily destroy your social life, your career, and your relationships. I know this only too well because I suffered from severe cystic acne from age 13 to 31 over an 18 year period. I visited my doctor on many occasions, and his only suggestions were acne creams, harsh cleansers, and antibiotics that weren't working and were actually making my skin worse. After 18 years of struggle and thousands of pounds invested in treatments that didn't work, through my professional education, I began to learn that what my doctor had told me was untrue, and that diet was directly related to acne, plus other factors such as food sensitivities, toxicity, hormones, and balancing the body's microbiome. Putting what I had learned into practice, I managed to rid myself of acne over 20 years ago and have been helping others to do the same for well over a decade. By teaching people what foods cause acne, what food sensitivities each individual has, how to optimize their detox pathways, how to reduce environmental stresses and toxins, and how to balance hormones, especially those related to the mTOR pathway, a major causal factor with acne. I've been able to help many other adults overcome their acne nightmare too. So if you would like more information on how to overcome your adult acne, please go to www.skinwebinar.com. That's www.skinwebinar.com, where you can also request an Acne Breakthrough call with me to see if you are suitable for my Eliminate Adult Acne Coaching program, where you can once and for all learn how to overcome your adult acne. Now back to the podcast. What would you say? Because this is a topic that I've discussed on a previous podcast, what would you say? Grief is telling people.
[30:35] Tom Glaser: It's telling them whatever it is, they have lost means to them. The more it meant to us, the more it means to us, the more we grieve. That job really meant a lot to me. I was identified with that job. I had to really grieve at my parents. Both my parents are gone now, though I mentioned a little bit about my experiences growing up earlier. It wasn't always happy. Of course not. No one has that. But they're my parents, my only parents in the entire world, and I still have a relationship with both of them, but I don't contact them in the same way. Right. Things have really shifted. It's different. So I continue to grieve them, though. It's been several years. Yes. Grief just lets us know how much whatever that was meant to us.
[31:43] Leigh Brandon: I see some people, they kind of get stuck with grief. It's almost like they don't let it out, if you like, or deal with it in whichever way they need to deal with it.
[31:54] Tom Glaser: Well, Western culture is not a good teacher for grief. Right. Western culture is about the new and the moving on and individualism and getting stuff done and conquest. And it's not that all those things are terribly bad. There's good in them, there's some tremendous good things, but it's not the whole shebang. I kind of lost my train of thought there. What was the question again?
[32:26] Leigh Brandon: I was just going to add there that when you look at particularly women in the Middle East, when they're grieving, they're literally wailing. They're just letting out that grief.
[32:39] Tom Glaser: Yes.
[32:40] Leigh Brandon: Whereas someone, let's say an English person, particularly a man, if they're suffering with grief, what do we tend to do over here? We can keep that stiff upper lip.
[32:52] Tom Glaser: Right, right.
[32:53] Leigh Brandon: Oh, I've got to be strong for everyone else.
[32:56] Tom Glaser: Right.
[32:56] Leigh Brandon: But then what they do, they're just trapping that emotion in their body.
[33:00] Tom Glaser: Correct, exactly. That's right. You talked about it being stuck. Yes. Because we don't have great teachers in our culture. We do, but it's not the overall force in our culture. We're taught to take a pill. If you're sad, go on antidepressants. Right. Really? That is our cultural imperative. Something's going on. Take a pill versus, like in indigenous cultures, like perhaps what you were referring to, those women, as they're wailing, they're leaning into their grief, they're allowing their whole body to express it. Whereas right. Those of us in more Western cultures right. We're taught to push it down. Push it down. And then yes, if we do that, it gets stuck. It does get literally gets stuck. There isn't the movement that we need to move through and for it to process. And our whole system in our cells, in our body, in our nervous system nervous systems and bodies need movement. They don't do well under contraction. They need movement. Yeah.
[34:14] Leigh Brandon: I remember some years ago, I had studied the body talk system, which is a system of energy medicine, and I remember learning in that system that when we have an emotion, it has three ways of being cleared from the body. One is through the. Mouth. So obviously expressing verbally screaming, whatever it might be, the other way is through the digestive system. Now, quite interestingly, I was a body talk practitioner for some years, and sometimes you'd do a technique on someone to deal with a particular issue and you would hear their tummy rumble. And that was the sign that whatever it was left the body was leaving the body. And it was just amazing. Like, you just think, wow, that's just incredible. Now the third. Well, it's not really releasing the emotion. What would happen is, and I believe this is originally from traditional Chinese medicine, but the emotions, or the halfway house of the emotions, is the diaphragm. And then from the diaphragm, the emotions would either come up or go down and be released from the body. The other way is that they would be either stuck in the diaphragm, which as a manual therapist, I know happens because you can release the diaphragm and people just start crying their eyes out.
[35:42] Tom Glaser: Yeah.
[35:42] Leigh Brandon: Or it leaves the diaphragm and actually gets stored in tissue. So you mention nerves, but it could be an organ, it could be the fascia in the body.
[35:52] Tom Glaser: Right. Yes.
[35:53] Leigh Brandon: And obviously the traditional Chinese medicine system relates particular organs with particular emotions. So, like, the liver would be anger and the lungs is grief, et cetera.
[36:04] Tom Glaser: Yes.
[36:05] Leigh Brandon: So it's really important that we deal with those emotions.
[36:10] Tom Glaser: Who needs grief going into our organs, right. It just doesn't even sound good. Right? Yeah. So find a way to release so it doesn't have to go into our organs and cause illness. Just avoid it. Avoid it if you possibly can. Here's the other thing. In my experience, release of emotions is done best within the context of a relationship, whatever that relationship is. So it could be your best friend or a family member, or a mentor, or a therapist, a doctor, a practitioner. But there's something about holding it together, having an experience together that like safety and feeling known and understood, not enduring the hardest nights of our lives completely alone.
[37:15] Leigh Brandon: Right. I know from my own experience as a practitioner that probably one of the biggest things I can do as a practitioner is make sure that whoever's talking to me, that's in the client, when they're talking to me, I make sure that they understand that I've heard what they've said and I've understood what they've said. Because people ultimately want to be understood.
[37:39] Tom Glaser: Yeah.
[37:40] Leigh Brandon: Right.
[37:42] Tom Glaser: It's essential.
[37:43] Leigh Brandon: And what I see in let's call it Western medicine, is that a patient goes to a medical doctor. Medical doctor doesn't generally spend any real time making sure that they've understood the person and they've let the person know that they've been understood and instead they say, well, this is what you need to do, and now the person hasn't been understood. And sometimes I
can literally see in someone's eyes when I'm talking back to them and saying, OK, what I've understood from what you've just said is and you just see their eyes change. It's like someone has actually listened to me. You're the first person I've had this problem for ten years. You're the first person that's ever listened to me. And you can just see the happiness in their eyes. It's probably relief. It's probably relief more than happiness, but it's like someone has actually listened to me and tried.
[38:50] Tom Glaser: Even if you're not 100% accurate yes. The fact that you made the attempt means so much to people.
[38:58] Leigh Brandon: Well, even if you have slightly misunderstood, they correct you. Exactly.
[39:03] Tom Glaser: And sometimes that's helpful. They go a little deeper, you get it a little bit off, but then they go, oh, no. What I really mean is yeah. Oh, it's beautiful. Beautiful moments of connection. Human connection, which is imperfect and essential. Absolutely essential to thrive.
[39:24] Leigh Brandon: It's perfect in its imperfection.
[39:27] Tom Glaser: Exactly. Exactly. By the way, might I use this opportunity to talk about my Conversation Sparks Lee?
[39:36] Leigh Brandon: Sure.
[39:37] Tom Glaser: Because that's what this tool does. It teaches people to do exactly what you're talking about, or reminds people, as the case may be. So, just very briefly, this product came out of the public speaking gigs that I did when my book came out. So I was going around doing kind of a traditional book talk, reading portions of the book, hoping, and I would end the talk saying this exact thing. I hope I have inspired you to connect more deeply with other people, with yourself and your passions, because those are the top three things I learned from being with the happiest people I know. They connect really deeply in those ways. So I would end my talk saying, I hope you've been inspired to connect more deeply. And people would look at me, as you might imagine, like a deer in the headlights. They had no idea what I meant. They didn't know what to do. So I really quickly realized I needed to teach or remind people how to do that. So I created this experience of the full name of the product is Full Heart Living Conversation Sparks. So they're conversation starters included in the deck. So it's a deck of cards, and each statement is based on things in my book. And included in the deck are listening instructions. So how do you listen? How do you feedback? So people feel more understood and more connected. So I just wanted to let the listener know that that's out there. Yeah.
[41:17] Leigh Brandon: Perfect timing. Yeah. The common saying, we've got two ears and one mouth, so as practitioners and coaches, we should be listening twice as much as we're speaking. And I completely agree with that.
[41:31] Tom Glaser: Yes.
[41:33] Leigh Brandon: Unfortunately, a lot of people go for professional help, and it's around the other way quite often.
[41:40] Tom Glaser: Not a sad testament.
[41:42] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. And that's when people don't feel like they've been listened to.
[41:45] Tom Glaser: Exactly. Being listened to is I wish I could remember this exact quote. There's a quote, something like it's like, plants lean toward the sun. For human beings being listened to have that kind of power. Plants must have sunshine to survive and to thrive. People to thrive must be heard. They must be mirrored. It's absolutely essential. Like air or water.
[42:20] Leigh Brandon: Absolutely. So I'm going to change tack just a little bit.
[42:25] Tom Glaser: Okay.
[42:26] Leigh Brandon: So in your practice as a psychologist, have you seen a difference in people's levels of happiness since the beginning of 2020, what we might call the COVID era?
[42:42] Tom Glaser: Yes. Combined with racial reckoning all across the world, which absolutely needs to happen. And, yes, I do notice a difference. Yes. People are suffering more. There's more anxiety, there is more depression that the demand for services is off the charts. As I'm sure you know, it's been a hard time for all of us. So we are in a time of absolute collective trauma and ambiguous loss as well. We have lost things that we will never regain, and the world continues. So in so many ways, it looks like things haven't changed very much. So why am I needing to sleep so more? Why am I less happy? People might say, well, let's really look at culturally what has really gone on all around us, and we need to keep talking about it. Leigh that we need to just connect around it. So it's a collective trauma. The way out of it, or through it, rather, is collectively coming together.
[44:08] Leigh Brandon: Well, there's been quite the opposite, isn't there? There's been quite a splitting of people. Many families have split down the middle, depending on their beliefs and values. I completely agree that we do definitely need to come together. For sure.
[44:25] Tom Glaser: Yes.
[44:27] Leigh Brandon: My experience, I would say, is I think most people are fearful of the future at the moment because there's a lot of political turmoil. Let's say we've just experienced some real political turmoil in this country. Yes, we have people that lost elections are now in power, which is obviously the opposite of what democracy is. And we're facing a financial situation. I think a lot of us are facing a financial situation. So what I guess I'm seeing is a lot of anxiety in people. Would you have any words of wisdom for people perhaps feeling some kind of existential anxiety, if you like, at the moment?
[45:21] Tom Glaser: Yes. It's similar to what I was saying earlier. Happier people embrace all of life. So if this is a moment of anxiety, if this is a moment of suffering, oh, anxiety is arising. Do you hear how I'm doing that? Or, oh, this is a moment of suffering. So it's acknowledging the truth. There's a neutrality in my voice. I'm not saying it in a scared, sad way. I'm just noticing with as much neutrality and compassion as I can bring up in the moment. So I'm naming it. I'm labeling it. I'm validating myself. We were talking before about people needing to be heard. We also need to hear ourselves. It needs to happen externally and internally. So start by waking up to what's going on. Or we talked about grief earlier and how some people get stuck. First step is, oh, I'm grieving, I'm really sad. And then what? Okay, what am I sad about? What am I anxious about? What am I worried about? What is this suffering about? So then exploring it, getting curious what's going on? So that I believe that that's where it starts. And again, there can be an internal process. There's a time to do this kind of with myself, maybe with my journal, or maybe I do it in meditation or just in my mind as I'm walking or doing my household chores or mowing Milan or whatever. Or I do it in the context of relationship. So with a trusted other, I acknowledge, here's what's going on, here's what I'm thinking, here's what I'm worried about. Being seen, being heard, being known, when it's with a trusted Other, with a positive intention, I'm telling you, magic happens. Does it change the situation? Maybe, maybe not. I can't guarantee that it will, but it might shift something in you. What I see often is that there's something in the speaking of it that invite, like the kernel of the solution is in the speaking of the problem. Right. It's almost always suggested or implied somewhere if we listen deeply enough and if we're open to it. So get curious, talk to yourself, talk to others, write in your journal, be open to a shift. Again, I'm not guaranteeing that there's going to be a major shift immediately, but I believe there will be shifts, whether soon or a little longer than we would like. I believe we have opportunities in our culture to make really needed change. We need to have a racial reckoning in our culture. We need to figure out some of this political and economic stuff so that so many people are not left behind. We need to have more equity. We need to lift people up. So there are opportunities here in this suffering. And it's scary. Change is scary for all of us. I was scared out of my mind when I was giving up my dream job again. I was determined to stay there through my working life. If I'm not that, what am I? That's a big piece of all this. If our very identities may be shifting, if I don't have this political structure, then what? We don't know what's coming up next. So you mention fear. Yes. There is great fear because we don't quite know yet. The new forms are arising as we speak, so we can't exactly anticipate we're just beginning to grasp what might work better for more people. It is a scary place to be. So again, what can we do? Oh, fear is arising. This is scary. Yeah. So let's come together with other people who feel similarly. Let's validate each other. Let's figure out how we can support one another and how we can support ourselves so that together we can have the greatest outcome for the greatest number of people.
[49:58] Leigh Brandon: Yeah, that's great. There's a few things that came up in my mind as you were speaking. The first one was for about eight years now, I've been doing for passion and meditation. And that really is great for if you're going through a hard time. So for those that aren't familiar with propassional meditation, you're meditating and you're scanning your body from head to toe constantly, and you're just recognizing which parts feel really good, because some will, and you recognize which other parts don't feel good. And quite often you might be in pain, but the process is that you don't do anything about either of them. You just recognize them and you treat them equally and you just say to yourself, it will pass, like everything does. You can't stand in the same piece of river more than once. Right. Because if the water's already flown by you, that's it. So what works really well for me is for passion and meditation. I'm not saying that's going to be for everybody. I think the other thing that can be quite useful when you're worried about the future is to really focus on the now and really appreciate and enjoy the now. Because at the end of the day, that's all there is. All there is is the now.
[51:25] Tom Glaser: Correct.
[51:26] Leigh Brandon: Tomorrow is something else.
[51:31] Tom Glaser: I love this. That's a great piece of advice. I've never heard the passenger meditation describe quite how you describe it. I love that. Oh, my gosh, how helpful. Just recognizing what's coming up right now, knowing that it will pass. Yes. And it's a metaphor for life. Right. It's literally helpful as you're doing it. And then, of course, if you practice it enough, you can't help but translate that into your waking life. So you're going to be doing the same thing. I'm sure you're nodding vigorously. So it's the same thing as you're going about your life, which sometimes, because you're human, I know is hard, you.
[52:13] Leigh Brandon: Have moments of we all get challenges. Right.
[52:16] Tom Glaser: That's part of the deal we sign up for when we come onto this plane.
[52:20] Leigh Brandon: Yes, absolutely. When you come across the challenging time. So the words that's used in propassion, I believe it's a Burmese word, is a niche. And a niche just means it will pass. So if you're going through a bad time, just know that that time will pass.
[52:40] Tom Glaser: Correct.
[52:41] Leigh Brandon: I guess the word for that is optimism.
[52:46] Tom Glaser: Faith. Trust.
[52:47] Leigh Brandon: Absolutely. About eight years ago now, I ruptured two discs in my lumbar spine. A pretty serious injury.
[52:55] Tom Glaser: Very seriously. Oh, my gosh. Your poor thing.
[52:58] Leigh Brandon: I mean, luckily for me, I've been specializing in lumbar spine pathology for over 20 years.
[53:04] Tom Glaser: You are a little more prepared than the average person. Yes.
[53:07] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. But every day, because discs, they have very little blood flow, almost zero blood flow. So unlike a muscle, that's got a lot of blood flow. I've been playing sport for nearly 50 years. I've had lots of minor muscle tears. Two or three days, they're healed. You need back to normal discs, got no blood supply. They take a long time. So my experience of having injuries is that they heal really quick. Now, obviously, I've got knowledge of working with clients and know that it takes a long time, but every day you wake up and you think, it feels the same as yesterday, and then a week later, it's like, well, it hasn't changed. Is this actually ever going to get any better? But in the back of my mind, I kept saying, no, you will get better, you just have to be patient. And I think that's the same in almost all forms of life. But obviously, at the end of the day, the other thing you have to do is take action as well.
[54:10] Tom Glaser: Correct.
[54:11] Leigh Brandon: Right. So you can't just wallow in yourself. Pity. Okay. You need to recognize what the emotion is, as you rightly said. Listen to what it's trying to tell you, but then you need to take the action.
[54:26] Tom Glaser: Beautifully said. And I find this with clients I've worked with over the years. With depression, it's very similar to what you described with your back pain. They wake up four days later and I'm exactly as I was four days ago. And it's very hard to maintain that faith. And when they do take action in their lives, because their depression is a message from their insides, like I was saying earlier, they need a change in their life. Something isn't working in your life. What do you need different? And it's very hard for people. By definition, depression is a state of contraction and a lack of movement. Right. It can be very hard. And it's doable. People have made miraculous changes by staying with it. May I say too, though, I also want to go back to what the other thing I heard you say a minute ago, when fear of the future is arising, to come back to the now. I love that. That's just brilliantly. Oh, my gosh. Yes. Because now we have whatever's right in front of us right now. We have our relationships, our joys, whatever it is that keeps us going, it's here, right now, in this moment. Yes.
[55:49] Leigh Brandon: I mean, a saying that sums that up is make sure you're smelling the roses. Right?
[55:55] Tom Glaser: Correct.
[55:56] Leigh Brandon: Don't live life walking past the flowers are not ever appreciating them. Actually stop and appreciate what's there with.
[56:03] Tom Glaser: The woman on the stairs. That's what you did. That was a rose. You noticed the rose, you took it in and it really made a difference. Such a great story.
[56:16] Leigh Brandon: There was something else that was just oh, yes, I know. Are you familiar with Jerry Wesch?
[56:23] Tom Glaser: I don't think so.
[56:24] Leigh Brandon: Okay. He's a psychologist.
[56:28] Tom Glaser: Yeah. Spell his last name, will you?
[56:31] Leigh Brandon: I believe it's. W-E-S-C-H-E-I believe I might be slightly wrong.
[56:38] Tom Glaser: Something like that. Gary is his first name jerry. Jerry. Thank you.
[56:44] Leigh Brandon: So he has a great saying, if you've got a big enough dream, you don't need a crisis. That came to me when you were talking about depression, and my thought was, and I don't know what your view on this, but as you were speaking, I was thinking how many people with depression have got a clear goal in their life?
[57:10] Tom Glaser: They don't. That's why Gretchen Rubin says the definition doesn't matter. It's enough that we're striving toward happiness. This is very similar to that, right, that I'm going for something. And I do like to be careful with this because there's a way that one could try to apply that concept and miss out on the now. Right. So if all I'm doing is going for something that's out there that I'm never going to reach, or that maybe it's a material thing no, what we mean by this is going for something meaningful, that there's a driving force in your life that really means something to you, that really matters. And typically, by the way, in what I have found, it has to do with improving the world or making other people's lives better. So I mentioned briefly those three things that people connect happier, people connect deeply with other people, they connect deeply with themselves, and they connect with their passions. Kind of the fourth component that brings all those three together and really brings the magic is wanting to make the world a better place and doing all those things, connecting with others self and passions in the service of the greater good. Look out. That's where the gold is. That's where the magic is. That's where the Holy Grail is, whatever you want to call it. That
reminds me of that. Yes. If you have a big enough dream, you don't need a crisis. Wow.
[58:48] Leigh Brandon: And if you don't have a big enough dream, you're going to just go from crisis to crisis.
[58:53] Tom Glaser: Yes.
[58:54] Leigh Brandon: I have another coach, actually, and she says if your goal doesn't scare you, it's not big enough.
[59:01] Tom Glaser: Oh, brilliant. Say it again, will you?
[59:07] Announcer: The Radical Health Rebel is also available on YouTube. Find bitesize clips from our episodes on the Radical Health Rebel YouTube channel.
[59:16] Leigh Brandon: Are you regularly suffering from painful bloating and wind that can be smelly and embarrassing? Are your bowel movements not as they should be, either constipation or diarrhea or possibly alternating between the two? Do you find the pain is bad enough, but the bloating and cramps make you feel awful and are affecting your everyday life? Do you sometimes feel you can't eat properly because of the wind, bloating, and pain? And has your doctor told you that you have IBS but unable to help find you a solution? Do you feel right now that you simply don't know what's causing your symptoms, and whatever your doctor has suggested hasn't worked and you feel frustrated that you're still far from having a normal, flat, comfortable tummy? Have you invested a lot of time, energy and money into improving your symptoms and don't wish to waste anymore? Do you feel frustrated and depressed and don't feel like you can take part in all the activities you enjoy and sometimes have to cancel attending events because of the way your tummy feels? Do you fear that if you don't get this sorted, you could end up with a much more serious gastrointestinal disease? Well, if so, what would help you right now is to understand the root cause of your digestive condition rather than continuing to try to mask the symptoms with OvertheCounter or prescribed medications. You need help understanding how factors such as nutrition, gut health, stress and toxicology affect the digestive system and how to optimize these factors. You need someone who can advise, motivate, and support you every step of the way, someone who has walked the path before and taught many others to do the same. What you need is my overcome your digestive issues program. My Overcome Your Digestive Issues Program can help you in the following ways I will help you understand the root causes of your digestive problems and teach you how to approach the condition holistically via expert advice on nutrition and lifestyle factors to Overcome Your Digestive Issues Program we'll start by ensuring you are on the right diet for you. Based on your genetics or metabolic type. And one that avoids the foods that are known to exacerbate your condition. We'll go on a journey step by step, learning all the necessary lifestyle changes required to achieve a flat, comfortable, painfree tummy. Each weekly 30 minutes coaching session will include advice, support, and guidance specifically tailored to your needs and at a speed that is right for you. Once you're eating right for your metabolic type, you will begin to see changes in how your tummy feels. And we will also uncover all the necessary blocking factors that you may have. And you'll be taught how to reduce, replace, or eliminate all the factors that are causing your digestive problems. Ultimately, this program will enable you to achieve a flat, calm and comfortable tummy every day for the rest of your life. For more information about how to improve your gut health and to claim a complimentary no obligation gut health consultation, please go to www bodycheck Co. UK that's bo dychek and fill in the request form at the top of the home page and we'll be in contact to arrange a convenient time. Now back to the podcast.
[01:02:40] Tom Glaser: If your goal doesn't scare you yeah.
[01:02:42] Leigh Brandon: If your goal doesn't scare you, it's not a big enough goal.
[01:02:48] Tom Glaser: You can see that. Just resonates so deeply with me. I believe it. I believe it. Not that I have to be scared, bejeebers out of my mind, jumping out of airplanes every day. If that's not my jam. I did that once ten years ago when I turned 50. I don't need to jump out of an airplane again. It's not my jam. I'm glad I did it. But there's other stuff that is my gym that jazzes.
[01:03:12] Leigh Brandon: Me, I often say to clients, if you want to achieve anything worthwhile, you need to go outside of your comfort zone.
[01:03:22] Tom Glaser: Correct.
[01:03:23] Leigh Brandon: You're never going to achieve anything great by staying within your comfort zone.
[01:03:27] Tom Glaser: Right.
[01:03:27] Leigh Brandon: And I often use a story when I was at university, and each week we would have to get up and present to the rest of our classmates, depending on what work we've done the week before. Now, at the time, I knew I was really nervous about public speaking, but I also knew if I kept doing it, I would get more confident.
[01:03:48] Tom Glaser: Yeah.
[01:03:49] Leigh Brandon: So every week I'd be sat in the class and wait for the tutor to say who's going first? And my arm is already half way up. Soon as I heard The Who, because I wanted to go first every week, and I did. And then week by week by week, I just got more and more confident to the point where for the last twelve years I've been doing presenting, and I remember doing a presentation in the Marriott Hotel in Times Square in New York to about 500 Americans and just thinking it's like making a cup of tea.
[01:04:26] Tom Glaser: Wow.
[01:04:27] Leigh Brandon: And I got up on the stage and I said, don't worry, guys, I'm bilingual, I speak English and America. That's the response I got from the audience, which was the response I wanted. But yeah, I think it's really important to set big goals. Firstly to have a goal, but also to set a big goal. I've set lots of goals in my life where I thought you would never achieve that. I've probably achieved all of them.
[01:05:00] Tom Glaser: Wow. Good for you. Well, just that the things we most want in life, they usually do scare us. That's what I tell people, because it's not uncommon that people really want something and they're like, no, I can't do it, I can't do it. I'm too scared, I'm too scared. I'm like, of course you're scared. You know, I performed have you ever heard of the Guthrie Theater by any chance? So it's a really well known theater with certainly a national, I believe an international reputation. It happens to be here in Minneapolis. So I was in an advanced acting class at the Guthrie, and I had a chance to perform on one of the Guthrie stages. There are three stages, so I was really nervous. It's a big deal, right? Not everyone gets to perform at the Guthrie Theater. And I remember opening night being with the overall executive director before showtime. He's like, how you doing? I said, oh my God, I'm so anxious. And he said no. Tom, you're excited. That's the good kind of nerves. And it was so helpful to have a really experienced actor, a mentor of mine, who I really trust, helped me discern not the difference. I still was kind of nervous, I was anxious, I was a little worried. Yes. It was mostly excitement, though. He was telling me, Tom, you are prepared, you got this. And he knew he had been with me all along. He knew I was ready. Which, by the way, I wanted to mention that about your story of standing up in front of 500 Americans and it being like a cup of tea for you. That didn't happen by accident. That happened because you were prepared. You put the work in, right? If you had just tried to go from, say, before you entered that public speaking class to standing in front of 500 Americans across the pond, it wouldn't have felt like a cup of tea to you. You put the work in, you were determined, you were dedicated, and you kept showing up week after week after week. You knew what you were going to say to those 500 people from that opening joke, which is hilarious, by the way, and I love it. So, yes, being dedicated, putting in the time, putting in the work, right? We're in a fixed, quick culture, right? People want things quick, and that's just not how harder things come.
[01:07:49] Leigh Brandon: One of the things that you mentioned earlier, one of the important things, is service to others.
[01:07:56] Tom Glaser: Yes.
[01:07:58] Leigh Brandon: In terms of happiness, what's quite interesting, I think we probably all observed, is that you get famous people possibly could be talking about billionaires as well. Very, very rich people. They're striving for more and more fame or more and more money, but yet they are some of the unhappiest people on the planet, and I think probably one of the things that they're missing is service to others.
[01:08:30] Tom Glaser: Bingo. Bingo. I never quite thought of it that way, but I think you're absolutely right. Yes. Where is the service?
[01:08:39] Leigh Brandon: And you see a lot of rock stars and people like that committing suicide. You know. Kurt Cobain was one example. And the guy from In Excess. You know. A lot of them get into drug abuse. And you just think.
[01:08:55] Tom Glaser: Well.
[01:08:57] Leigh Brandon: I think they get this picture of.
[01:08:59] Tom Glaser: Well.
[01:08:59] Leigh Brandon: When I've got this. When I've got fame. When I've got the mansion and the cars and girls. Whatever it might be that's going to make them happy. And they get there and they think.
[01:09:09] Tom Glaser: Well.
[01:09:09] Leigh Brandon: Is this it? Whereas if they were, then, okay, how can I be of service to others? How can I help others? Then they would possibly get that fulfillment.
[01:09:19] Tom Glaser: You know, what keeps coming to me as you're talking is the question, where is the heart? Where is the heart? Where is the heart? So to me, right, if someone goes into music, for instance, and it's truly in their heart and it's what they want, and it is their. Way of being in service, lifting people up, educating them through music, which is a beautiful, beautiful way of being in service. Right. Music is so meaningful. I don't know anybody who isn't moved by music. Maybe not the same music, but it's a huge part of the human experience. They're not as likely if they go into it for the right reasons, right, to have the trajectory you just mentioned, but right, if it's just an empty, just a dream, just to be successful, just to be on the top of the game is not enough. That is not sustainable.
[01:10:19] Leigh Brandon: I mean, I do know quite well, not in the US, but in the UK, and Australasia a singer songwriter in the UK. He's probably only behind the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Nelson John, he's probably next in line. I won't say his name, but he is the most down to earth person you could ever come across. And I know him because he's personal trainer. Is a good friend of mine. And he used to come into the gym and I always used to chat with him and stuff. And he would sit and chat to the cleaner for half an hour. You know. And I'd say to him.
[01:11:05] Tom Glaser: Oh.
[01:11:05] Leigh Brandon: Someone I know. They're doing a charity event. Would you mind donating something and maybe signing it's? Like, yeah, sure, what do you want? Do you want one album? Do you want two albums? Do you want this, do you want that? Or I said, that's my aunt's birthday. She absolutely loves you, she's a massive fan of you. He said, Bring something in, I'll sign it for her. He couldn't do enough for other people. And then you compare that he's in his 60s now, but you compare that to a lot of the younger people that committed suicide is because they probably never found that, right?
[01:11:38] Tom Glaser: Yes, I love that story. Right. That's just so heartwarming. Right. You talk about that and again, I want to lean in, I want to know this person. And you know what? We all do know this person. They may not have the fame, they don't have the fame, but we all know people who are selfless like that and who will do whatever they can for other people and they all inspire us. This is part of why I decided in my book to not interview anybody famous or super wealthy, because I wanted to make the point that we all know really happy people and wake up, just get curious. You don't have to write a whole book about it or do documentaries like I did. That's just what was right for me in that moment. Just get curious. Ask them questions if you want, take them out to coffee and ask them about what makes them tick and notice what happens in you from that conversation.
[01:12:36] Leigh Brandon: That's great. So you've mentioned quite a few things that are required to achieve happiness. Is there anything that you haven't mentioned so far?
[01:12:46] Tom Glaser: Well, I can't remember the exact number. Let's say 18 chapters in the book. Everything from accepting who you are, practicing gratitude, the foundation is many of the things you were mentioning at the top of our time together. Self care, moving the body, attending to nutrition, slowing down, getting adequate rest, all of those are essential foundational pieces.
[01:13:18] Leigh Brandon: That's what we call the four doctors.
[01:13:20] Tom Glaser: Yeah. What are those again? Say it again. Quiet is one of them.
[01:13:28] Leigh Brandon: The chief doctor is happiness.
[01:13:29] Tom Glaser: Happiness is chief.
[01:13:31] Leigh Brandon: That comes first.
[01:13:32] Tom Glaser: I love that. That's first.
[01:13:35] Leigh Brandon: And there's quiet diet and movement.
[01:13:38] Tom Glaser: Yeah, okay. That's what I thought they were. Yeah. So, same thing. This is what you said off camera. That our work. It's amazing how much overlap there is of our work. So, yes, I found the same thing. So all of those are essential components. So, please, people, read the whole book if you're really interested in this subject, because there's a wealth of other things. That said, if I were pressed and if someone were to say, so what's the number one thing I would have to say? The first thing that I list whenever I list those three things, connect with other people. Find your tribe. And it doesn't even have to be a huge tribe. It could be one person. Find somebody that you connect with and you will be happier. Spend time with them. Do activities you enjoy together, you will be happier. That said, start small. I mentioned earlier, chatting up the cashier who rings up your gum purchase, chat up the person at the bus stop. Not everybody is receptive. That's cool that people have their boundaries or maybe not in the mood that day, or ever. Find people who are willing to connect and connect, and you will be happier. It is. The number one driving force in human life is connection, hands down.
[01:15:02] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. Well, we're social beings, aren't we?
[01:15:05] Tom Glaser: Yes.
[01:15:06] Leigh Brandon: We're just apes with clothes on at the end.
[01:15:08] Tom Glaser: Exactly. Yes. And apes live in tribes.
[01:15:14] Leigh Brandon: The only thing. I would just put one caveat on that, please. We just need to remember that misery loves company, too.
[01:15:24] Tom Glaser: Right?
[01:15:25] Leigh Brandon: So you alluded to it earlier anyway, but find someone who's possibly happier than you are. Yes, because that will rub off on you, but possibly don't connect with someone that's even more depressed than you.
[01:15:40] Tom Glaser: Good point. Thank you for the caveat. I appreciate that.
[01:15:45] Leigh Brandon: So, some of the things I noted down earlier today that I got from your book, so I'm going to give you all the credit.
[01:15:52] Tom Glaser: Thank you.
[01:15:53] Leigh Brandon: Things that require for happiness. So, exercise, we mentioned nutrition, we mention sleep and rest, we mentioned appreciation. That's kind of living in the now, isn't it? To a degree. Being appreciative of what you got. Mindfulness, relationship with self and others, as you mentioned, giving back, taking risks. Don't think we mentioned that up until this point.
[01:16:16] Tom Glaser: Sort of. We're talking about anxiety, and the things that you want really scare you. The things you most want scare you. That's taking risks. Happier people do take more risks.
[01:16:28] Leigh Brandon: It was interesting reading the book because I consider myself a risk taker, not city risk.
[01:16:36] Tom Glaser: Correct.
[01:16:41] Leigh Brandon: I've taken a lot of risks and I'm still here. I'm still kidding, thank goodness.
[01:16:46] Tom Glaser: I'm glad you are leaving.
[01:16:48] Leigh Brandon: That bad. But I remember 96, I've decided to change careers. I just bought my first home. I was on a good salary. I had a very stress free job. I actually enjoyed it. There was no real problem. Although, similar to your story, I didn't get on too well with my boss at the time, which I think is a blessing. I think for both of us, those experiences of working with someone we didn't enjoy working with were blessings.
[01:17:19] Tom Glaser: The poorly wrapped gift. That's the name of one of my chapters. Yes. My person was a poorly wrapped gift as well. Please continue though.
[01:17:29] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. So I went from just got a mortgage, really comfortable, stress rejob,
pretty good salary, to I want to work in the health and fitness industry and I have to start from zero. And I've got no clients, I've got nothing. But I remember thinking because I woke up one day and just thought, there's got to be more to life than this. And what was I passionate about? I thought, well, when I go to work most of the morning, I'm thinking about what I'm going to have for lunch, and then after I have lunch, I'm thinking about what workout I'm going to do at the gym, and as soon as I finish my workout, they go out for dinner. Exercise and nutrition, that's what I'm passionate about. And I thought, Hang on, I can actually get paid for being passionate about that. And then later on the realization is actually, not only can I enjoy it, but I'm going to be helping people at the same time. So for me, I've not always been a risk taker. As a youngster, I wasn't really almost the complete opposite.
[01:18:44] Tom Glaser: Really?
[01:18:44] Leigh Brandon: Yeah, very opposite.
[01:18:46] Tom Glaser: Wow. What happened? How did you change that?
[01:18:51] Leigh Brandon: I think I grew up.
[01:18:56] Tom Glaser: Just the sheer passage of time and maturity, I think.
[01:19:02] Leigh Brandon: So as a child I was very compliant as well. I want to be good for my teacher, I wanted to be good for my parents, all that kind of stuff. You want positive external feedback, don't you? As a youngster, but then as an adult, certainly most more recent years, I've become very rebellious.
[01:19:21] Tom Glaser: Hence the title of your podcast.
[01:19:23] Leigh Brandon: Specifically, hence the title of my podcast. And it's really rebelling against the establishment, I guess things like western medicine and I'm not too keen on the current political system and financial systems that we have. I guess in the day I want fairness. That's a value that's very high me, is fairness. And I don't think we've got a world that's no we do not care at the moment. So that's what I'm rebelling against. But I would say in the last few years, I've taken risks to share my values with the world. I've been thrown off of many of social media for sharing my values, which, you know, looking back, sometimes I was sharing official data and I was pushed off of social media for doing that. And looking back, I was actually right. I was banned for doing things that turned out to be true. But I can relate to risk taking and happiness because if I'd have stayed in my job in 96, it's possible I would have earned more money. I certainly would have earned the money easier, but I wouldn't have been happy. I would have been depressed. I wouldn't have felt like I was living my purpose. I would have been doing a job for money, not because I loved it. And that's what we call a prostitute, right? Doing a job for money that we don't really want to do. So I completely agree with risk taking. And the other thing I had written down was having values. Yes, having a clear set of values to live your life by, because this is what I teach my clients. If you have a solid set of values aligned with your goal, then ultimately, hopefully, that's what leads to happiness. But if you don't set values or you don't live your life according to your own values, then you're not going to achieve your goals and you probably won't be happy.
[01:21:40] Tom Glaser: Exactly. So, Lee, you are a poster child of full heart living based on your story. There you are living with your whole heart. Absolutely. Clearly. What an inspiration. Yes. Risk taking and living with values in alignment with your values. Absolutely essential.
[01:22:05] Leigh Brandon: And that's one of the things I spend a lot of time with the clients, is helping them work out what's their goals are and secondly, what their values are. And your values will change. Your goals will change. You've got to be adaptable and flexible. As I said to a client last week, if there's a strong wind blowing, you've got to be the plant that can flex in the wind.
[01:22:29] Tom Glaser: Exactly.
[01:22:30] Leigh Brandon: Because if you're not flexible and the wind comes along, you're just going to break. Especially in the times we're living in.
[01:22:38] Tom Glaser: Yes. Resilient. Absolutely. There's a chapter on resilience as well in the book. Yeah, that is thank you for speaking of, like, being seen, being heard. You listed basically all the chapters. I really appreciate that you are seeing me, you're seeing my work by what you just did. I am being heard and it is so fulfilling. It just fills my heart. It's deeply meaningful to have someone take the time. As I mentioned to you, most podcast hosts don't take the time to read the book yet alone. Take notes like you did and list all these themes. You've gone the extra mile here and I really appreciate it.
[01:23:33] Leigh Brandon: I appreciate your appreciation.
[01:23:36] Tom Glaser: Yes, you're welcome.
[01:23:39] Leigh Brandon: Got one final question for you.
[01:23:41] Tom Glaser: Okay.
[01:23:42] Leigh Brandon: You've kind of mentioned your top tip, I think, but what would be your top three tips for achieving happiness?
[01:23:51] Tom Glaser: I'm going to repeat it. Yes. So connect with other people. Have a tried. Find people you love and who love you back and spend a bunch of time with them. That's the number one thing that helps people do. I like your caveat, which no one has ever called me on before. Choose wisely. Your tribe don't just be in a pity party all the time. Might not be lifting you up as much as you could be. Number two, happier people connect with themselves. They know who they are. They honor their rhythms. They're in the present moment, which we've touched on several times in this talk today in various ways.
[01:24:29] Leigh Brandon: And things like meditation can really help with that.
[01:24:32] Tom Glaser: Absolutely. That is the way that I believe Westerners can best approach mindfulness through courses like MBSR, mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Super helpful concrete tools that help you get out of that distracted mind and into the present moment so that you don't miss out on the richness of these moments. Like these women we talked about you with, the five sets of stairs, me with the woman who I allowed to cross paths with. Me. Happier people connect with their passions. They do things they enjoy, and they do a lot of them. They do things that get them into that flow state where they lose all sense of the passage of time because they're just so one with the activity. And then when you can do any or all of those in the service of others, making the world a better place, you're going to be happier and you're going to be making other people happier. Win win.
[01:25:33] Leigh Brandon: That's great. Just one point to kind of add to that, I thought when you were speaking earlier as well, is when you look at some of these people that are so called leaders and some of the decisions that they make, I don't think they're very happy.
[01:25:52] Tom Glaser: Right.
[01:25:54] Leigh Brandon: Because they're not really serving others either. They're generally just serving themselves.
[01:25:57] Tom Glaser: Correct. I'm with you, brother.
[01:26:01] Leigh Brandon: So we need to get some happy people in power.
[01:26:05] Tom Glaser: Happier people do greater good in the world. So I am totally with you. Yes.
[01:26:12] Leigh Brandon: Maybe we should start a happy party.
[01:26:14] Tom Glaser: Yes.
[01:26:16] Leigh Brandon: Political party.
[01:26:17] Tom Glaser: Yes. Or at least make it a national priority. Right. There are countries who do have a national office for the promotion of wellbeing and happiness in their countries, and it makes a difference. They're saying, this is our value, this is important to us, and it can help shape policy that can make the world a better place and more equitable. And I hope we see the world that you envision.
[01:26:48] Leigh Brandon: Leigh well, the only thing we've had like that in the UK is we had the Ministry of funny walks.
[01:26:59] Tom Glaser: Okay, I don't know about this.
[01:27:02] Leigh Brandon: You know John Cleese?
[01:27:03] Tom Glaser: Yes, of course.
[01:27:05] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. So he used to do lots of funny walks and that. They had the Ministry of Funny Walks. Maybe we should try and try and get that back.
[01:27:17] Tom Glaser: Let's bring it back.
[01:27:18] Leigh Brandon: So Tom, would you like to share with the audience the details about your
book, where they can get it and any discount that you're offering?
[01:27:25] Tom Glaser: Absolutely. So Amazon.com, of course, carries that if you go to my website, fullheartliving.com, and click on the link there. Oh my gosh, the details are escaping me. I know. I emailed you then. There's a code, I think it's hard for 15% off or something like that.
[01:27:48] Leigh Brandon: I'll put them in the show notes.
[01:27:49] Tom Glaser: Yeah, it's in the show notes. Yeah, there's a code that will be in the show notes with it and you get a percentage off full heart living conversation sparks are also available on Amazon.com. I'm told it can be difficult to use their search engine to find them. So just use the link on my website and it will take you right there. And I'm on all the basic social media, facebook and Instagram primarily full heart living YouTube.
[01:28:18] Leigh Brandon: I'll put the links on the show notes for those as well.
[01:28:21] Tom Glaser: Great. Thank you, Tom.
[01:28:23] Leigh Brandon: Thank you so much for taking the time out today. It's been really great chatting with you and thanks for sharing your experience and your expertise with the Radical Health Rebel listeners and viewers. And to all the Radical Health Rebel tribe, if you know someone who would benefit from watching or hearing this episode, please make sure to share the love and pass it on to them. After all, the mission of this show is to help people lead a more funfilled, healthy, productive, fulfilling and happy life. And if you'd like to support the podcast, you can@ www.patreon.com/RadicalHealthRebel, where you can also receive lots of other exclusive premium content, including Unedited, full-length ad, free video episodes, Ask Me Anything, Q and A sessions, and Radical Health Rebel merchandise. So that's all from Tom and me for this week, but don't forget, you can join me same time, same place, next week on the Radical Health Rebel podcast.
[01:29:22] Announcer: Thanks for tuning in to the Radical Health Rebel podcast with Leigh Brandon. You can find Leigh at www bodychek.Co.UK. That's bodychek.co.uk. Please hit the like button and share on your social media someone you feel will benefit from watching this episode. So together we can help them lead a healthier, more productive, fulfilling and happy life.