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Episode 172
The Doctor's Farmacy

What Our Kids Don’t Learn In School Is The Key To Their Success And Happiness

Open the Podcasts app and search for The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’re viewing this site on your phone, you can just tap on the

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Throughout school, we learn arithmetic, biology, and how to read and write. But we don’t learn how to manage stress, understand our emotions, or connect the feelings in our bodies with the thoughts in our heads. Most of us don’t even really know how to breathe in a way that truly serves us. 

What if our children could learn these essential life skills early on? That’s the question Goldie Hawn asked herself after meeting kids all over the world and seeing their need for self-regulation. Today, I’m so excited to sit down with her to talk about the program she created and how it’s helped so many children grow into successful, grounded, emotionally intelligent adults. 

Goldie and I dive into her personal story of depression and how it led her to seek an understanding of joy and happiness. She learned to connect her breath with her body to create resilience and mental stability and to be her own mental health advocate. Along the way, she realized most children aren’t taught these tools to help themselves in the same way. 

Goldie’s experience led her to create MindUP, which uses neuroscience, positive psychology, mindful awareness, and social-emotional learning to promote strong mental health and well-being in kids. The children who’ve gone through this program have shown they’re better at regulating cortisol and the large majority of them report using these skills many years after learning them. 

We also talk about the science of gratitude and training of the mind; the importance of taking “brain breaks” to self-regulate; and enhancing brain development to improve health and societal outcomes in children. Goldie’s enthusiasm for empowering children is contagious; I know you’ll love this conversation as much as I did. I hope you’ll tune in. 

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I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

In this episode, you will learn:

  1. Goldie’s quest to seek and understand joy and happiness
    (5:08 / 9:12)
  2. Goldie’s personal experience with depression, what she learned from it, and how it led to the development of MindUP
    (7:00 / 11:04)
  3. How MindUP serves as an antidote to the burdens that children face in today’s world
    (12:55 / 16:59)
  4. Empowering children to manage stress
    (14:41 / 18:45)
  5. The science of happiness, gratitude, and training of the mind
    (17:59 / 22:03)
  6. The importance of understanding the brain and taking “brain breaks” to self-regulate
    (21:45 / 27:05)
  7. Enhancing brain development to improve health and societal outcomes in children
    (26:54 / 32:14)
  8. Savoring happiness, random acts of kindness, and the biology of altruism
    (30:44 / 36:04)
  9. Goldie’s advice for following your dreams and passions at any stage of life
    (41:49 / 47:09)

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Goldie Hawn

Goldie Hawn is an Academy Award-winning actress, producer, director, best-selling author, and true children’s advocate. She is the Founder of The Goldie Hawn Foundation, a public charity with a mission to equip children with the social and emotional skills they need to lead smarter, healthier, happier, and ultimately more productive lives. Alarmed by increases in school violence, youth depression and suicide, and the persistent failure of the education system to help children cope with increasingly stressful lives, Goldie started The Goldie Hawn Foundation in 2003, applying cutting edge scientific research to create educational programs that support the social and emotional development of children. Working with leading neuroscientists, educators, psychologists, and researchers, the Foundation developed MindUP™ an evidence-based curriculum and teaching model for grades K-12 that provide tools to help children self-regulate and understand their own emotions, reduce stress and anxiety, sharpen concentration, increase empathy, and improve academic performance.

Transcript

Goldie Hawn:
If we are giving anything to our children, we have to give them tools to manage stress because it is not going away.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No.

Goldie Hawn:
Is not. What we can do is we can learn about the power of breath, we can learn about how to quiet our heart rate, we can learn how to have better heart health by doing these things, and knowing how to bring down this sort of all the cortisols and so forth.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to The Doctor’s Farmacy. I’m Dr. Mark Hyman. That’s Farmacy with an F, a place for conversations that matter. You care about your kids? This conversation is going to matter because it is with Goldie Hawn who you may know from the film and TV career that she’s had, the wonderful career, and also she is focused on the health and well-being of our children. And now more and more of us are having mental issues, stress issues, focus issues, attention issues, and the world has become such an inattentive, chaotic, crazy place. And we need a system or tools to help us get back to ourselves. And that’s really what Goldie has created and it’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But you probably know her better as an actress. She’s an Academy Award actress for Cactus Flower. She’s been nominated many times. She’s a bestselling author of a wonderful book called, A Lotus Grows in the Mud, about her life. And she has developed this incredible program which you may or may not have heard about, but I’ve been aware for a while which is called MindUP. Now, Goldie Hawn Foundation developed that program. She was alarmed by increases in school violence, and youth depression, suicide, and the failure of our education system to help children cope with increasingly stressful lives. And she wanted to apply the best scientific research to helping our kids do better, and create an educational program that supports the social and emotional development of kids.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
She has worked with leading neuroscientists, educators, psychologists, researchers, and have all created this incredible program called MindUP which everybody should go check out, mindup.org. And we’ll learn more about that, and also mindupforlife.org. And it’s an evidence-based curriculum that teaches kids from K-12 the tools to help them understand their own emotions, reduce stress, anxiety, sharpen concentration, increase empathy, and improve academic performance. Sounds like a great list of benefits.

Goldie Hawn:
It sounds like a lot of gifts [inaudible 00:02:17]

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Okay. So welcome to The Doctor’s Farmacy, Goldie.

Goldie Hawn:
Thank you. I’m so happy to be here.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So true confessions.

Goldie Hawn:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
When I was nine years old.

Goldie Hawn:
Uh-oh.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And this dates me, I loved watching Laugh-In.

Goldie Hawn:
Oh god.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I had a nine year old-

Goldie Hawn:
Nine year old …

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Goldie Hawn:
That’s exactly what it was like.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I had a nine year old crush on Goldie Hawn.

Goldie Hawn:
Oh no.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I did.

Goldie Hawn:
Really?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I so did. You were so funny and silly and cute and ridiculous, and I just want to confess and get that out of the way.

Goldie Hawn:
Oh, that’s so crazy. It really …

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I was like, “Wow, that was 50 years ago,” I’m like, “Holy crap.”

Goldie Hawn:
Now where does that go? I still remember like it was yesterday, so much of that stuff. And it was really a time when I think we really felt we could make a difference.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Goldie Hawn:
I think it was a great time for empowerment.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, it was an incredible show. People who are probably listening now, half don’t even know what that is.

Goldie Hawn:
I know. Like-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Laugh-In was …

Goldie Hawn:
[crosstalk 00:03:14] some little …

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Like Laugh-In was the original sort of comedy review show with all kinds of skits, sort of like the Saturday Night Live of its time.

Goldie Hawn:
Right. That’s right. It changed television.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it was highly political.

Goldie Hawn:
Very political.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it was right in the end of the ’60s, so things were kind of hot and heavy.

Goldie Hawn:
Yeah, I mean Richard Nixon was on. I mean, we had so many amazing people that, and different belief systems, and whatever, and everybody was like, cool, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Goldie Hawn:
I mean, it was a great, great show of a time when we were in transition as a culture. And this is when we were having love and zen, freer sex, and everything was great. And you didn’t have to get married, and all is wonderful. But we also were dealing with assassinations. We were dealing with the Vietnam War. And somehow we figured that out. We protested and we did all these things. But today it’s a little different world right now, isn’t it?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Goldie Hawn:
We’re now dealing with a lot of issues around mental health.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Totally.

Goldie Hawn:
And that’s a difference, whereas we felt free, we felt like at that time we were able to make change, we mattered, there was this sense of belonging-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Sort of hope-

Goldie Hawn:
… in a group, saying we believe in something. But it wasn’t horribly … Some things turned out poorly, but [inaudible 00:04:32].

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Goldie Hawn:
Anyway, this is what we’re talking about today, and I think this is why as we started to grow and as I started to move on, I learned a lot about, believe it or not, meditation, but we’ll get … I think you’ve got some questions around it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So yeah. The Laugh-In period was sort of an interesting moment, and it led to your acting career and Cactus Flower, and the Academy Award, and Private Benjamin which many of us have seen, which if you haven’t seen, you should definitely watch. It’s a fabulous movie. And you were not just an actress. You were executive director there.

Goldie Hawn:
And producer.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And producer. And you had this wonderful career. And then you were sharing with me the other day about how you wanted to make a documentary on joy.

Goldie Hawn:
Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Which is a beautiful idea. And the timing kind of was a little messed up.

Goldie Hawn:
Well, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Was you did it right at 9/11, right, in 2001?

Goldie Hawn:
I don’t know. I mean, I was noticing that people, at least, I traveled the world a lot. I was in India, third world countries, all kinds of places that interest me actually very much. People were really happy there. I mean really and truly didn’t have much, but there was much more joy, more family connection, India, Africa, so on and so forth. Then I came home and I saw people in their cars and they weren’t happy. And I started noticing that there was a sort of lost extreme understanding of what this emotion is today. And I didn’t want to lose it, joy, excuse me, happiness, all that.

Goldie Hawn:
So I thought, let’s make a documentary in search of joy around the world. Let’s try and find what people are still celebrating, where life is worth living, where there’s small little things that make people happy, and that is what makes us healthier and it makes us not just happier but it also has a mind-body connection.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So sort of the science of happiness is what you were searching for.

Goldie Hawn:
It really is the science of happiness, the causes of happiness, all those things were important. So 9/11 happened. And man, it was not the time for me to go out and do in search of joy. I mean people would’ve thought I was crazy. I mean, right now, what happened to my brain is that I said, “Okay, the world’s changed for ever. We need to do something.” And actually it wasn’t we. It was me. I’ve adopted children all over the world. Yes, that’s my thing. And with the love that I have of children, and hoping they have a good childhood.

Goldie Hawn:
The reality is that I just thought, “What am I going to do? What little thing can I do?” And that’s when I moved to Vancouver and literally started thinking about what I have learned over all these years, going through my own depression which was really hard for me. I happened to be overnight. I was just starting to sort of leave the nest. I was home. I then went to New York. I then came and suddenly I’m picked out of the chorus line. And life was changing. And I thought I was going to go home and get married and open a dancing school. So those plans didn’t work out.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And you were a go-go dancer at one time.

Goldie Hawn:
But I was a go-go dancer exactly, yeah. I did that to pay my rent by the way. Sometimes the tables were three legged, but it was unbelievable. But I mean, that, when that was happening to me, I then, the only thing I could do because I really couldn’t go outside without being sick to my stomach. I was really anxiety ridden. So there was a lot of things that I could relate to about being fearful and having a fear of going out, being sick to my stomach, sitting in my chair and feeling cozy there, maybe not wanting to go out. But I was doing a show, and between shows that I was doing there, I would go and sleep and I would lay down in my trailer. The reality is that people, is not a bad thing, people will come and go, bad things can happen. You can have a lapse of mental stability. You can do this. So …

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. And you wrote about this in Lotus in the Mud, your memoir in 2006, and you talk about how …

Goldie Hawn:
I did.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You went through the dark times, panic attacks, and depression, really lost your smile.

Goldie Hawn:
I did. I really did. I had to fake it. Of course, I faked it. But it was terrible to walk around and fake how I was really feeling.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But the gift in that was that it gave you this discovery of something new that was, became your life passion-

Goldie Hawn:
Well, what happened was I actually became an advocate for myself, and I went to a doctor, I went to a psychologist. And I learned a lot about myself. I was there for eight years. I really did the University of Goldie. And I learned a lot of things, not just about me, but about understanding how people might view me. So when I wasn’t so vulnerable, if somebody didn’t like me, or my performance, or you get a bad review, I really gave that person the ability to make a decision.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You gave them power over you.

Goldie Hawn:
Exactly. Because the power for that is that that’s them, not me. We individuate from each other in a healthy way. And I learned a lot about that. And that’s kind of the one part of it.

Goldie Hawn:
The other part was is that I learned about psychology. I then started, decided that I wanted to learn to meditate. Okay? And I did that because I felt that it was Maharishi Mahesh yoga, it was DM, it was like the thing to do. And yet, I’ve always been a very spiritual young lady. I mean, I always have been. I mean, one of the reality there is that I used to read the 23rd Psalm before I’d go to bed and I … So I was one of those kids, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Goldie Hawn:
But in the meantime that ultimately is what made me look at meditation and say, “Look, there must be something there.” And that was when I realized that it was the first time that I actually could hear and feel my own heartbeat. And I’ll never forget that experience and was very powerful, to be able to rest your mind and to go inside of this perfect body, this thing that was given to us, that is absolutely perfect, that it does things and helps us in ways that we’ll never know, that we have to help that body. And that was the other part of my life, right?

Goldie Hawn:
And then, through all the other things, I then started understanding the brain, because the brain was basically, it’s control of all central. It’s where everything can happen and if you have the will and the intention to make it happen. So that was my interest, what is happening, what’s the connection between the brain and the body, how is focusing in on certain parts of the body? Like I could focus my hands, I would feel them tingling and get hot. That was my brain doing that. That wasn’t … My brain didn’t decide to do that. My brain does what I ask it to do.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Sometimes.

Goldie Hawn:
Sometimes, sometimes, exactly. Not always. So that is what happened during 9/11. So I switched my happiness program into MindUP because everything that I learned about happiness was brain, was psychology, was all of these different aspects. That is when I decided to turn into a school program for children because I started to sort of research suicide that our young children from 10 years old …

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s terrible.

Goldie Hawn:
To 15 was the second leading cause of death for children. These are the things that just-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s a staggering statistic.

Goldie Hawn:
Oh, it was heartbreaking. And this is when, and I wanted to make the world happier by doing in search of joy around the world. That became a focus. I want our children to be happier. They’re going to inherit our world, and they have to have tools that will help them reduce their stress. So that was sort of the beginning of MindUP.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So really and this all came out of your own experience of being challenged with panic attacks, depression, and then having to discover who you were, explore your own mind, your own conscious, your own spiritual path. It’s true, we hear a lot from people who do really great things in the world. They’ve often had a crisis, and they come out of that crisis with renewed interest, enthusiasm, and ability to actually make real change in the world.

Goldie Hawn:
And belief.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Goldie Hawn:
Because you have-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Because you felt it firsthand.

Goldie Hawn:
I did. And you have to believe. You have to know that you can make a difference. It’s not easy, but you can, through habituation, and the brain likes habituation, as long as we habituate more positive things, it actually will adhere to that, and it might, and eventually default to a more positive state of mind.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And now it’s kind of worse than ever, isn’t it Goldie, because our kids grow up in a different world than you and I grew up, and there-

Goldie Hawn:
Oh my god.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And we were just like, I got on a bike, went out for the day, or …

Goldie Hawn:
No, me too.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
My mom never knew where I was.

Goldie Hawn:
Me too.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And just kind of play. I just went on and play.

Goldie Hawn:
It was like I’d hear her call me right at the corner, she’d go, “Goldie.” And I know I’d have to go home, she had dinner on the table.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Now kids are just so pulled into digital devices and disconnected from each other and the world, and nature. We see the rampant rates of ADD and ADHD and behavioral issues. I mean, the average school nurses dispensing medications to half the kids in the school are psychiatric medications.

Goldie Hawn:
I know. I know.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
This is just unconscionable to me. And it’s not our natural state of evolution. And these kids are often burdened with life-long issues around move issues, and attention issues, and behavioral issues.

Goldie Hawn:
And intimacy issues.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Intimacy and connection. So it’s like, so we need an antidote to that. So MindUP in a sense is an antidote to all that.

Goldie Hawn:
It actually is. I call it as ace potential solution. There’s no promises, but I’ve seen more children respond to this, and I’m telling you, it’s an emotional experience, how they learn to do thought, understanding, having self-awareness, they know that now they said, and there were 83% in our research because I researched this way before I went out with it, because, “Oh yeah, Goldie Hawn made a program. What is it, like a comedy routine or what?” No, no. I wanted researchers to do this, universities to do this. I didn’t want this to be my program. I was just a producer. And I produced a great program. Why? Because the research was stellar. It came out with 83% of the children reported they now had a way to make themselves happier.

Goldie Hawn:
If we are giving anything to our children, we have to give them tools to manage stress, because it is not going way, is not. What we can do is we can learn about the power of breath, we can learn about how to quiet our heartrate, we can learn how to have better heart health by doing these things, and knowing how to bring down this sort of all the cortisols and so forth. And by the way, one of the researches that we did was on cortisol which had never been done on children before. And our children were more able to manage their cortisol levels throughout the day than the control group.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And that’s the stress hormone.

Goldie Hawn:
And that’s the stress hormone, or certainly one of them.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s so incredible that we go to school and we learn about reading, writing, arithmetic, and we don’t learn the basic fundamental skills that we need for a happy life.

Goldie Hawn:
I know. I know.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
How do we relate to other humans and have good relationships? how to train our brain? When we’re really talking about a brain training program.

Goldie Hawn:
Right. It is. It’s brain based all the way.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And we sort of ignore that. We don’t learn about nutrition. We don’t even learn how to manage our finances at school or how to take care of our bodies. And yet, when you look at other disciplines, and you went to India after 9/11 and you were looking to make this movie on joy and you’ve been dabbling with Buddhist ideas and thoughts-

Goldie Hawn:
Oh yeah, I mean-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
… feelings, spirituality. And within those cultures in the east they have been inner astronauts, right?

Goldie Hawn:
Inner astronauts.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They’ve been exploring inner space and we’re exploring outer space.

Goldie Hawn:
Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And they’re discovering ways in which we can be in command of our minds and not let our minds run the show. And that’s really what you created, is a program that empowers kids which is so important to start young with the tools and skills they need to be focused, optimistic, resilient, and be global citizens and be functional. Because I’m terrified about the future given the state of, one, all the psychological stress kids are under, and two, the nutrition which is my focus. But you need to focus on feeding kids brains and training their brains right.

Goldie Hawn:
100%. 100%. And also give them the agency over their body and the agency over their mind. Their way they know that they can make a difference. They’re empowered. They’re in the driver seat. And there are no wrong answers by the way in MindUP. All it is, is an experiential program, interactive program, and we’re training teachers and millions of children over the world that have this by the way.

Goldie Hawn:
I have not been what you call selling it per se. I wanted MindUP to be the star. And actually MindUP has now become the star because people go, “Oh, is MindUP yours?” I’m going, “It actually isn’t mine, but maybe the best script I ever produced.” So I don’t want to own that because the teacher should own it and people should own it. I always had that feeling. Now I can toot the horn. Now it’s the millions of children who’ve done this now.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Millions of children in the world have been through MindUp program?

Goldie Hawn:
Yes, yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s incredible. And you’ve tracked their outcomes, right?

Goldie Hawn:
Right, exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
What have you found?

Goldie Hawn:
We have found that our children, now, we did one launch in the study, that was it, because we don’t really pay for our own research. That’s not a good thing to do.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Goldie Hawn:
That there were 65% of the kids who had this in Vancouver were able to use it in college. They never forgot it. It was like riding a bike. Now, do they remember the gratitude circle? Why do we do gratitude circles with children? Why do we do it? Because gratitude and that feeling changes how the brain fires. Dopamine is emitted in the brain. There’s an uptick in serotonin. Gratitude is a beautiful thing to experience, to give someone, and that is the gift and the giving. So we’re not doing this because, oh, isn’t it great to be grateful. No. What we’re doing is to habituate the mind, to understand the feeling of what it is to be grateful. So now I have a feeling about that I will always remember it, because the hippocampus which they know is where we remember the experience.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Remembering center. Yeah. And what you’re saying is you can literally understand the science of happiness and the biology of gratitude, the biology of happiness, the biology of focus, right?

Goldie Hawn:
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s not just an abstract idea. The science is really there behind it. We were talking the other night about some of our friends and colleagues who’ve really studied the brain like Richard Davidson and Daniel Goleman, whatever called the traits about people who are really experienced in meditation and training of the mind, and their whole brain structure is different. Their brain function is different. They’re happier. Not only. There’s like the happiness parts of the brain light up. And all the ego parts of their brains go down.

Goldie Hawn:
That’s right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And all, the problem we’re seeing now in our society, all the divisiveness, all the hatred whether you’re a republican or democrat, whether you’re …

Goldie Hawn:
Whatever. What car or thing or-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Vegan or paleo.

Goldie Hawn:
I know. No, you’re right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s like crazy.

Goldie Hawn:
This opposition, is all oppositional, right? And we use the word inclusive and it’s becoming one of those words that everybody uses all the time. But when you really think what it means, it means community, it means being together. And that I think is one of the areas as you can test doing being a doctor, the community, people gathering together, being in groups and so forth, your family and whatever creates greater health, physical health, because it creates better mental stability, better mental okayness-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Resilience.

Goldie Hawn:
And resilience. And also partnerships. So rather than, and it isn’t political. But rather than moving apart from each other, we need to move toward each other because that is what ultimately will keep us healthy, happy, productive, kind. The brain and the heart have this great connection. And it’s an amazing connection because all the organs do connect to the brain. So it’s like I said, my hands are getting warm because I’m focusing all my energy on my hand. Oh my god, they’re tingling. Oh my god, blood’s [inaudible 00:20:27] because I’m thinking about it. Well, when you think about love, you think about that feeling you can feel with your dog, and you see how much you love your dog and whatever. That is doing amazing things for your body. And heart patients as you know, you can tell that story, they live longer with dogs. So love, we’ve got to start thinking about it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Love is medicine.

Goldie Hawn:
It’s medicine. Love is medicine.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Hey everybody. It’s Dr. Hyman. Thanks for tuning in to The Doctor’s Farmacy. I hope you’re loving this podcast. It’s one of my favorite things to do, and introduce to you all the experts that I know and I love and that I’ve learned so much from.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I want to tell you about something else I’m doing which is called Mark’s Picks. It’s my weekly newsletter. And in it I share my favorite stuff from foods to supplements to gadgets to tools to enhance your health. It’s all the cool stuff that I use and that my team uses to optimize and enhance our health, and I’d love you to sign up for the weekly newsletter. I’ll only send it to you once a week on Fridays, nothing else, I promise. And all you do is go to drhyman.com/picks to sign up. That’s drhyman.com/picks, P-I-C-K-S, and sign up for the newsletter and I’ll share with you my favorite stuff that I use to enhance my health and get healthier and better and live younger longer. Now back to this week’s episode.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So your program is highly experiential.

Goldie Hawn:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s not just academic, oh, you should do this and that. You literally have really specific things you do experientially with these kids, like brain breaks and gratitude circles.

Goldie Hawn:
Three a day, brain breaks a day.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Talk us through some of the specific of the program and how you get kids to buy into it, how you get them to experience these things, and what are the sort of tricks, because you’re kind of like kind of almost subversively introducing this and you’re not saying you’re going to become enlightened, you’re going to be a meditator. It’s like let’s do this fun stuff together.

Goldie Hawn:
Oh right. Oh right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The consequences are really …

Goldie Hawn:
It isn’t … I would never say we’re meditating because there’s meditation which are long, nice meditations, and then there are times when children just need to know they need a brain break. That brain break, you can break it down and say, okay, we’re going to quiet the brain, we’re learning to breathe, we’re learning tacts, things that we can do in order to make it easier for me to learn or to take my test or to do these kind of things, to relax them. But the first thing that we teach, and by the way it’s not the kids that have to love it. It’s the teachers. So this was the beginning.

Goldie Hawn:
All of our educators will come in, or our school districts, or our principals. It comes from various different directions. And then we will train the school, or then you train, now we get to train a single teacher, which is very exciting. Because some teachers want it and the schools are like, “We don’t know.” So anybody can take this that wants to take this training.

Goldie Hawn:
First thing you learn is the brain. Because that’s what we are. We’re a brain based organization. We learn about the brain which is probably the only thing we need to really understand fully, all the breath and how all the intricacies of that now affects the brain. But brain is a great thing. So first thing we do, and we learn about the amygdala, we learn about the prefrontal cortex, we learn about the hippocampus, we learn about corpus callosum, we learn the left/right brain, we learn about where we create from because creativity in the classroom is over and Sir Ken Robinson who is one of the great educators of all time is on my board and a great friend.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh yeah. He had one of the top TED Talks on education.

Goldie Hawn:
Oh yes, and he passed away this year, and we’re just moving right in that world as well with Ken, and taking his legacy and putting sections of our program in there. They can go to them if they want. Anybody who goes into the program which launches May 24th will be able to look at all, not just the training that you can take, or to become a member. Once you become a member, you are now into the expert world. You can learn more about breathing. We give them that. But now you want to deep dive and can go into different expert sharing breath. If you want to do happiness for kids which we do acts of kindness and how to savoring happiness, then you go into deep dive, and you can learn. Shawn Achor is delivering all kinds of interesting talks on the importance of happiness for physically, as well as emotionally.

Goldie Hawn:
Somebody said to me once, years ago, because I’ve been doing this almost 20 years.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Goldie Hawn:
Surprise. And by the way, I’m just totally inspired by it, so it’s pretty great.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s so great.

Goldie Hawn:
It is one of our board members said, “What do you want in five years?” And this is whom I was already doing MindUP maybe for three years, four years, and I said, “I want, and this is before big internet stuff was happening.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, for sure.

Goldie Hawn:
And I said, “I want to build the University of MindUP. That’s what I want. I want everything connected to well-being be in one place, under one banner, in one … ” And that was bricks and mortar, “one building,” I said. Well now buildings are actually online, right? We’re building our building now and it’s so much fun. But that’s what we want, is to find a place for wellness and a place where we can go for kids and for parents and for teachers and for sports. We’re doing our MindUP sports program. We’re going to be doing caregiver program. We’re going to be doing all of the people that are working as not just caregivers but on hospitals. So we have all these different-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s not just kids now. This is important for everybody-

Goldie Hawn:
It’s developed. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
[inaudible 00:25:46] the program in school. We need to figure out how to get on the program after to enhance our happiness.

Goldie Hawn:
Exactly, because parents need to understand that. It’s like, “Okay, my kid is learning how to do this.” The kids take it home and sometimes they would say to their mom or dad, “Why don’t you take a breath because you’re excited or you’re angry or arguing,” when the parents are arguing. They will give them ways to stop arguing, which is …

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Sort of like a timeout.

Goldie Hawn:
It’s a timeout. It’s count to 10. It’s whatever, settle your brain, because reactivity can ruin relationships.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But the MindUP program helps kids self-regulate.

Goldie Hawn:
That’s what it does.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So they don’t end up in bad behavior and they can focus better and do better academically, and so they get better relationships in school so they can actually achieve what they’d like to achieve.

Goldie Hawn:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They would be better at sports and function.

Goldie Hawn:
I know. I mean it’s crazy. And you know what? It’s simple. It really is. Like for instance, we have, after we do the brain break, we teach … After we do brain, we do brain break, and we teach the brain break. And then after that we do being mindful of our senses. Well, that’s creating more self-awareness which is also building focused attention.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes.

Goldie Hawn:
So everything we’re doing is actually enhancing brain development. And as the brains develop for these young children, we want to help develop it appropriately, and that’s the way it’s working. So what are we going to do if we don’t give our children these tools, because the world is spiraling. And they’re going to carry that. So it’s a lot we’re asking them.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It is. I mean, I really worry about the next generation of kids. We’re seeing 40% of kids overweight. We see massive amounts of mental health issues in kids. We see suicide rates in kids. We see increasing rates of ADD and behavioral issues and conflict. I mean, this is not the society you want to build, and it is the result of both our nutrition, which I talk a lot about.

Goldie Hawn:
It’s so important. And that’s what we’re getting into as well, which I shared with you the other night, is that now we’re into the nutrition part of what the parents need to understand. So we’re going to have a whole section there for this because it does affect the brain.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Absolutely.

Goldie Hawn:
All in the sugar. I mean, I know it’s like we’re preaching and whatever, but the truth is it’s real. It’s not made up. It’s not because it just tastes good. It’s not good for their brain. It’s not good for their body. Can you have a little piece of candy?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Of course.

Goldie Hawn:
Of course. I mean, we’re not crazy. You don’t want to be crazy. I’m fine. My mom made fudge when I was a good girl, I would get fudge. But I mean that’s a mindset. How do we shift a mindset? Because then we make our choices from our mindset. Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. And that’s really the piece that’s missing in our current educational system. It’s even missing in our culture. You have a lot of groups working on this like Tim Ryan is a congressman who wrote a book called The Mindful Nation about how we need to bring meditation to veterans and schools and social motion learning. And it’s unfortunately not prioritized. It’s really test scores are prioritized, performance is prioritized, but people aren’t prioritizing the cultivation and development of the minds and brains of our young people.

Goldie Hawn:
That’s right, right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then we end up seeing what we’re seeing now in our society, just chaos and divisiveness.

Goldie Hawn:
And by the way, this is why things are … I had a dream once, years ago, now it doesn’t matter anymore, about senate and congress. I saw somebody argue with me why teaching brain and behavior and giving tools in the classroom itself where we have our children, tell me, someone argue with me why …

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Of why we shouldn’t do this.

Goldie Hawn:
We shouldn’t do this? I mean, it just, I just would love to be able to hear an argument.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, there isn’t one.

Goldie Hawn:
There isn’t one. And it takes, everything is integrated into the class. It takes … In fact, it saves time in the classroom because the children, every time they do a brain break, they calm down and they’re ready to learn. And it’s just … I mean, teachers have gone by some of these classrooms, and said to the other teacher that was there because I’ve got a report on it, and said, “What is going on with your class?” They inoculated it. And nobody was crying. And the other class was crying. They were all like crazy. So she said, “Where do I need to,” da, da, da. “MindUP.” And-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You also talk about MindUP having this wonderful component which is giving and doing acts of kindness. And that that really is part of the happiness quotient. What is the happiest quotient? Tell us about that?

Goldie Hawn:
Well, when you make somebody-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Sorry. I love your giggle because it reminds me of being nine years old and listening to Laugh-In, and like it’s like the same.

Goldie Hawn:
I know.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I was, “Wow,” that is like such a flash fact.

Goldie Hawn:
It was one of those things that people used to say to me. They’d stop me in the street and say, “Oh, just giggle first.” I’m like, “Well, I have to have a reason to giggle. I can’t just do it on cue,” right, which by the way I kind of did.

Goldie Hawn:
Anyway. The idea of savoring happiness is one of the aspects of our program. So we do have a section savoring happiness. And in that we do things like is the glass half full or the glass half empty? And the children really talk about what’s good when it’s raining. Let’s look at all these different things that make you unhappy, but let’s find the good in that, which is again trying to create more default into a more optimistic view.

Goldie Hawn:
These are things that are actually the causes of happiness. And one of them is acts, random acts of kindness. And we do that in the classroom. And that’s like a thing. So you have to write a letter, or they go to an old age home, or they learn to sing a song, or they tell somebody that they love them, or like I did this the other day. I went for a hike myself, not a hike, but a walk in the street in my neighborhood, and there was a very aged woman who was in a walker and she was working her ass off. She was very elderly and she was walking up the street. And I just had this burst of love for her. I didn’t know her, but I went up to her, I put my arms around her, and I said, “You don’t know me, but I’m so proud of you. You are going girl. You are really going.”

Goldie Hawn:
And she’s looked at me and her eyes lit up and it made her so happy. “Oh, thank you.” And it just made my whole day. And that kind of thing is like, I didn’t do it for a reason for myself, but what I got from it was so powerful. And that’s called, those are called mirror neurons or the area where we know if you Mark, start to get misty or cry or something, I’m going to feel that because that’s empathy. So I am feeling empathy. Now we don’t want to get too empathetic. And empathy is caring. And you measure the level of how much you want to give up yourself to care, and I think that’s healthy. We don’t want to bombard ourselves with all these negative sad, sad, sad, sad, sad. But it is important to feel joy with each other.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s so interesting when you’re talking about these acts of kindness and giving and just spontaneous altruism. There is a biology of altruism. And we know when you are doing something for others in an altruistic way, you are happier, and it actually lights up the part of your brain that is the pleasure center which gets stimulated by sugar or cocaine or heroine. But it’s a much safer, healthier way to activate that. And I remember driving and this is before we had Easypass and I would go, Zan, that’s my friend back there, and I just paid for his toll.

Goldie Hawn:
Oh, that’s so great.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it is so fun, I mean, like you get a little bump of joy.

Goldie Hawn:
I know.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it’s so fun. I think we don’t realize how much we are social creatures, how much we depend on each other. In this individualistic culture which every man for himself, every woman for herself, we don’t really understand the value of deep, social interactions that are about serving and giving and kindness. And that actually is such a great way to get happiness and joy, and it’s beautiful and it’s part of the MindUP program.

Goldie Hawn:
Yeah, thank you. Well, it’s essential, it really is essential to have those kind of …

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So how do you think creating optimism and resilience in these kids helps us build a better world?

Goldie Hawn:
Well, because first of all, we learn to listen. So we have mindful listening as well. So if you gave the child the ability to quiet down, number one, I always felt that a peaceful heart could actually lead to a peaceful world. And we are dealing with peaceful heart. The classroom is quiet, they love it, they ask for it. They like being in that space of quiet too three times a day, and they ask for it also when they get, take tests. So they do ask for the program.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The kids?

Goldie Hawn:
MindUP, yeah. They also do it at home sometimes. So they said, “I think I need a MindUP break.” They know when-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Hey, mommy, daddy, you go take a brain break.

Goldie Hawn:
Yeah, I think you need a brain break, exactly. How many parents have I said, but I need a brain break, right? But I think that what we’re trying to do is create vision for children to actually be able to have the tools to learn how to rise above a problem and solve it critically, not angry, not ego. We all have ego. We get it. We all have a belief system. But to really look at the problem itself from 30,000 feet up and say, “Well, how do we solve this problem?”

Goldie Hawn:
So to create critical thinking, the ability to actually feel solid enough in yourself to be able to not create disparate relationships and things that don’t work and enemies that … Because ultimately that will create a more congenial world, and actually it is, what is it, contagious.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It is.

Goldie Hawn:
So if you have contagion like we do right now, we’re dealing with contagion, it’s the same thing with emotions. You get a gather of people that more and more people gather with a mindset that actually says, “Let me solve the problem.”

Goldie Hawn:
So one of the reasons why MindUP actually can change the way with the trajectory whatever way the world could go is that not only are we creating more understanding and self-awareness and peace and forgiveness, which we all talk about as well, is that we don’t have an ax to bear. So when we create, have our leaders and create better leadership, we have more balanced way of looking at a problem. How do we associate with people that don’t look like us? How do we listen carefully at each other because it’s how we learn.

Goldie Hawn:
And if this becomes something that’s concretized, which is a terrible word, but in the brain where it’s a default system where we go, “Oh, I’d rather listen. Can I just listen for a minute,” because everybody wants to talk over somebody because everyone’s got their point of view. Everybody gets a chance. But I love the fairness of listening. And if we can create that, then once we listen, then as a team I think we can solve problems. Because the world is a team. I mean, we like to think the world this, that, and the other.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So we need MindUP for congress, right?

Goldie Hawn:
We need MindUP for congress. That’s what Jim said. I mean, Jim-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
He has a mindfulness group.

Goldie Hawn:
He’s got a mindfulness group.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
In congress, like three people go and it’s like terrible.

Goldie Hawn:
I know. Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s terrible.

Goldie Hawn:
I know, it’s really. But this is one of the things I wanted to also share, is that this is not a mindfulness program. Mindfulness is a very important thing. It’s where part of this is it’s very mindful absolutely. And what I wanted to do with this program in the very beginning, was to do a program that was about being mindful. Being mindful I can wrap my arms around. I know what it is when mom said, “Be mindful of the step, be mindful of your,” whatever-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Paying attention essentially.

Goldie Hawn:
Be mindful of [crosstalk 00:37:49]

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So Goldie, you’ve worked on this for 20 years, and you created an incredible program for children in schools, and it really helped them level up their brain, and connect to methods of being in the world and relating to the brain and training their brain. It’s really a training system for the brain that has a huge impact for their lives. But you’ve also realized that this is not just for kids. Tricks are not just for kids, right?

Goldie Hawn:
Right, exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And this is a powerful model for all of us to learn how to take care of our brains better, and to train our brains to be happier and more connected and more fulfilled and more attentive and present in our lives, which is really where all the juicy stuff happens. So you created MindUP For Life which now you’re rolling out. It’s available online at mindupforlife.org. And I think it’s really for schools, for families, for businesses, communities, sports, hospitals, healthcare providers, all had access to those tools.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I’m personally I find them, we’ve had a lot of podcasts on meditation, I find that without the time for myself, without focused attention on training my mind and my brain, and not being a victim of my mind, because a lot of times has a very bad narrative going on, all the time, and that-

Goldie Hawn:
We all have it. We’ve got [inaudible 00:39:09] and the brain does it anyway, right, the chit-chat, and we want to get it calm.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So how do you connect it to your higher self, and that’s really what you’re offering, is this wonderful program called MindUP For Life. So tell us a little bit more about it and what you hope to achieve with it?

Goldie Hawn:
So MindUP for Life is really about how to create a mindset, a mindset and a way of life. And a way of life with the opportunity to feel empowered to be your own advocate. How am I going to share what I know with someone else to make their life better?

Goldie Hawn:
So because it’s the way I think anyway, even when I wrestled doing MindUp, is that you’re all in service of each other. But we can’t be in service of each other if we aren’t educated in a way that actually will allow us to experience these emotions, not just talk about them, not just say, “Oh, that’s a happy face, that’s a sad face,” or facial recognition, which we have. It’s important. But it’s experiencing this.

Goldie Hawn:
So my dream for this has always been global because I believe that we in America made it, but I also travel the world and know every one uses this program. And what has happened in my own meditation and my own affirmations, so I do not saying, oh, I’m going to do affirmations, bla, bla, bla, but because I see it in my mind. I saw it in my mind when I first brought this up, that this was not just one for America, it was for the world. And I thought, wow, what a lofty dream, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Goldie Hawn:
But now we’re in Serbia, we’re in Hong Kong, we’re in Australia, we’re in Africa, we are in Ireland, England, a ton, just on and on, and Canada of course. So the reality is it’s growing. And this is my dream. My dream is that we’re going to translate it in different languages, and Chinese, and so forth, and we’ll be able to have a kind of dialogue together that will change the way that we reach each other’s hearts and minds.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s so beautiful. It’s such a beautiful vision, and I think you’ve had many chapters in your life, and this might be the greatest chapter. Tell us a little bit personally how it’s impacted you being able to create this into the world and see its impact on our kids?

Goldie Hawn:
Well, first of all, saying the impact on the children is, I can’t, it brought more tears to my eyes than I could ever imagine, the research brought … I just thought, “Oh my god, this is amazing.” But the reality is is I look back and I think, “Wow, that was a brave idea.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Goldie Hawn:
I mean, that was something when somebody said … And people said, “Oh, you’ll never change that in school, you’ll never do this, and you’ve got to be careful with this, and you could … ” And it was so many nos in my way. And I would say, I saw my research, I said, “Watch me.” And then I went out, and I did this. And I didn’t have a lot of money in the bank for this, but I just kept on going. Nothing was going to stop me. And one of the areas is that, one, it started going into the other part of the world by itself. I haven’t marketed this. I didn’t sell it. I didn’t do you Mark-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So beautiful.

Goldie Hawn:
I didn’t do your show. I didn’t go. Nothing. And it became this. So when I look at this, I think don’t ever let someone tell you you can’t do your dream.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s beautiful. What is that quote by I think by George Bernard Shaw? It’s only unreasonable people that change the world, right?

Goldie Hawn:
Yes, exactly, and it’s kind of a disturbance. And then I was closed by a saying, I’m not as young as I used to be. And it’s another piece of advice, but when we get older, and we’ve done our job, remember, there’s more passion and there are more things to do in the world that will keep you current, and will keep you excited about life, and knowing that you have a part in this world until you pass.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Goldie, thank you so much for your contribution to our children and now to a greater population. Everybody should check out mindup.org or mindupforlife.org to learn more about the program, become a member, and bring it into your community, into your schools. It’s really a gift you’ve given the world Goldie. Thank you so much.

Goldie Hawn:
Thank you so much Mark.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Thank you, yeah. It just makes my heart really warm. And it’s exciting to me. I get to do this podcast with you because I had such a crush on you when I was nine years old. Anyway, I think I had a blush. But anyway, thank you so much for being on the podcast. For those of you listening and are moved by this, share it with your friends and family. Tell them about what Goldie is doing. Leave a comment about maybe some of the challenges you’ve had with your family, your kids, and how maybe some of these programs have helped.

Goldie Hawn:
And we have them.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And subscribe wherever you hear your podcast and we’ll see you on next time on The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Hey, it’s Dr. Hyman. If you enjoyed this video, you’re going to want to check out this next video coming up.
Speaker 3:
Step number one is you get rid of the term mental illness and you call these things what they really are, brain health issues that steal your mind. Get your brain right and your mind will follow. So the end of mental …

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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