Friday, March 1, 2024

The Forgiving Brain – Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta – Podcast on CNN Audio

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Prof. Everett Worthington

00:00:04

I had been studying forgiveness probably for about seven or eight years. In fact, I had just completed writing a book about it and sent it off to the publisher. And it was a New Year’s morning, and I received a call from my brother who lived in Knoxville, Tennessee. And he he was shaken.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:00:27

That’s Everett Worthington. He’s a couples counselor, a psychologist, and professor emeritus who researches forgiveness at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. His own ability to forgive was put to the ultimate test when he received that call from his brother.

Prof. Everett Worthington

00:00:44

He said something terrible has happened. You know, mom has been murdered and you need to contact, you know, our sister who also lived in Richmond. And y’all come down.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:00:58

In 1996, Everett’s mother was killed during a home invasion in his childhood home in Knoxville, Tennessee. His life and his siblings lives were forever changed. But within hours, amidst his grief, he came to a realization.

Prof. Everett Worthington

00:01:16

So I remember I just was in a rage. And I was walking round and round the the bed at my relative’s house that I was spending the night at. And I finally, about 3 o’clock in the morning, decided I needed to do something more productive. So I sat down to write a eulogy for my mother. And as I thought about this woman who had poured her life into her three children, I suddenly realized that here I was a forgiveness researcher who studied forgiveness, a clinician who helped people forgive, and a Christian who believed and practiced forgiveness. And yet I had not allowed myself to even think that word all day.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:02:10

‘Everett made the decision to forgive the person who killed his mother – just 24 hours after her death. Everett said he can’t explain exactly how he got there so quickly, but he’s certain experience actually helped him refine his life’s purpose.

Prof. Everett Worthington

00:02:25

That murder resulted in a lot of positive changes in my life. It solidified my belief that forgiveness can change lives. I formulated my life mission statement, which is to do all I can to promote forgiveness in every willing heart, home, and homeland.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:02:52

What happened to Everett and his family is heartbreaking. But I am particularly struck by Everett’s ability to forgive. It was incredible. It was inspiring. And I don’t know that I could have done the same thing, honestly. But it all got me thinking. What does forgiveness look like in our brains? Can forgiveness impact the way our brain and body function? And are some people just better at forgiving than others? And if so, why? What happens to us when we hold on to something and we never forgive? We’re going to explore all of these questions and much more today when we examine the forgiving brain. I’m Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical correspondent. This is Chasing Life.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:03:42

After listening to Everett’s powerful experience with forgiveness, I started reflecting on times when I felt I wanted to forgive someone or to be forgiven myself. So in that spirit, before we take a deeper dive into the science of forgiveness, I’d like you to try a short exercise with me. Close your eyes. Think of someone who has hurt you. It can be a stranger. It could be a colleague. It could be a significant other. Could even be yourself. Now think of the offense. Might be something small, like showing up late for a meeting or a date. It might be something profound and painful, like being cheated on by a partner. And as you do this, let your emotions rise to the surface. What do you feel? Do you feel anger, resentment, frustration, sadness, fear? Pay attention now to the way your body feels. Is your heart racing? Does your head ache at all? Does your stomach churn? And are these feelings as intense now as they were when the hurt first happened? Okay, now stop and take a breath and ask yourself, could you forgive this person? Could you imagine letting go of the negative emotions associated with the incident? Could you even empathize with the person who hurt you? Could you put yourself in their shoes? Might you even wish them well? If you were able to forgive, how did you feel about that? Did you feel relief, perhaps? Anxiety? Maybe you didn’t feel anything at all.

Prof. Robert Enright

00:05:18

So we don’t all forgive in the same way at the same time and under the same conditions. But yes, I think we can decide to forgive when people have treated us very unfairly. Then you get to the point where the forgiveness path can be tremendously healing, our science shows.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:05:38

‘You’re going to love our guest today, Professor Robert Enright. He’s a psychologist who’s been studying forgiveness science for nearly four decades at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He’s also regularly asked to help people who are trying to practice forgiveness, including heads of state all over the world. He asks his own students and research participants to go through an exercise similar to the one I just asked you to do. And the results can be fascinating. We wanted to chat with him because Professor Enright helped develop the field of forgiveness science back in 1985. Yes, this is an actual field. His work specifically explored how forgiveness might be consciously cultivated. What does that mean? It means can you make yourself a more forgiving person? He believes you can. And he even created what is now known as the Enright Model of Forgiveness, which lays out the steps to get there. What I can already tell you is that most everyone agrees that having a forgiving brain is a good thing, and there is plenty of evidence showing the psychological benefits: reduced anger, anxiety and depression. We also know that forgiveness can have a tangible impact on your physical health. Lower your blood pressure, better sleep, lower levels of stress induced inflammation. But before we go further, I do want to highlight something important. Enright believes that forgiveness does not necessarily mean forgetting. You can, after all, forgive and remember. It also doesn’t necessarily mean reconciling with the person who hurt you or not seeking justice when it’s called for. It’s just forgiveness, pure and simple.

Prof. Robert Enright

00:07:19

Forgiveness is a moral virtue, basically. It is a merciful response toward those who have not been good to us. Without excusing the people, without forgetting, lest it happen again. Without necessarily reconciling.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:07:38

I just you know, I will say I certainly feel better when I forgive. And I feel like I’ve elevated my own thinking and maybe even my own consciousness. It’s not always easy, you know. And and I grew up, you know, I’m Indian. And one of the stories my mom always would tell us when we were kids and maybe it’s apocryphal. I don’t even know if it’s absolutely true. But when Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, one of the things that he said was, I forgive you, to his assassin.

Prof. Robert Enright

00:08:08

Wow.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:08:09

And it was in the moment. He had just been shot and he was going to die. And he forgave his his assassin. I don’t know that I could ever get to that point, but that was something that was held up, I’m sure, as an aspiration. Look, you can be a person who forgives. You can be the more elevated person.

Prof. Robert Enright

00:08:26

Yep

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:08:26

If you go through those stages, is forgiveness always possible then?

Prof. Robert Enright

00:08:31

It is always possible for those who want to practice it. And oftentimes I suggest that you don’t start with the huge issues, start with the smaller ones, and get to know the pathway of forgiveness. As you do that, then you grow in it. Then you can go to the big ones. I’m a great admirer of Gandhi. His famous quote is “if we keep taking an eye for an eye, the whole world will be blind.” And so he saw the the issue of mercy, of forgiving as a way to be in community with others rather than being this constant divide.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:09:08

‘You know, my my mom would even say that despite the fact that she shared this story about Gandhi with us when we were young kids, that she had a hard time with forgiveness herself. She was a refugee child. She lived during the time of the partition in the subcontinent of India and saw people get massacred. And I, I, she she’s she’s great. She she lives a very happy life. I don’t mean to suggest that she doesn’t, but I think with regard to forgiveness, she never wanted to go back to her childhood area because all she remembered was was death and chaos. You know, she’s 80-years-old. I don’t think that she’s probably ever going to get to the point in her life where there’s certain things that she will forgive. I don’t think she’s harmed because of that, Professor. I don’t think that it’s inhibited her in some way of of growing and having post-traumatic growth even. But if you were to say, hey, do you forgive what happened back in 1947. I think she would say no, so many years later.

Prof. Robert Enright

00:10:08

‘And as long as she doesn’t help the post-traumatic stress, then forgiveness would not be absolutely required of her. But if someone were crushed by that event, I would say, what are your pathways of healing? And if there has been attempt upon attempt upon attempt with no healing, I would gently suggest the possibility of forgiving. But it’s always the forgivers choice.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:10:37

I’m sure you read this book “Forgive and Remember,” Charles Bosk. This came out in the early 70s. Interestingly enough, when I was a surgery resident, our chief of surgery, a guy named Bob Bartlett at the University of Michigan, recommended that we all read this book. And it was about medical failure. But it was interesting to your point, forgiveness….people often say forgive and forget. You’re not saying forgive and forget. You’re saying forgive and remember.

Prof. Robert Enright

00:11:05

‘Remember in new ways – without the rancor, without the rage welling up inside us again. It’s like if you’ve injured your knee and at the time, there’s great pain and there’s confusion. But when you look back on that, five years now down the road, you remember what happened. But it’s not with the same kind of pain.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:11:29

‘Do we get better at this as we get older? And I’ll preface by saying this, Professor. I think that when I feel, and I’m in my mid-fifties now, I personally feel better when I forgive because otherwise something gnaws at me and it’s causing, it’s harming me to continue to hang on to it. I think that came just over the last few years of my age. I don’t think I had that earlier in life. Do we get better at this with age?

Prof. Robert Enright

00:12:00

‘I think we do, if we are open to it and if we practice it. Otherwise, if we have lived our life with the identity, I’m going to get even. And that’s the way the person has lived that person’s life, it might get harder because now you have to overcome an identity – I’m never going to let others get away with this. And while that is healthy, in the short run, that kind of what we psychologists call resentment, psychiatrists sometimes call it irritability, which is the long range, deep anger. Living with that literally can bring a person down physically and emotionally and relationally.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:12:42

Do you have to go through these other emotions of anger and mourning in order to get to genuine forgiveness? Is it a prerequisite?

Prof. Robert Enright

00:12:51

It’s usually a prerequisite for most people, but it is not a prerequisite for some. In fact, there was a CNN show about a gentleman who lost his son through a mass shooter. And this man, like within days, it’s videotaped talking about forgiving those who have killed his son.

You do not harbor hate for anger for the man who took your son’s life. And I wonder how that’s possible despite your grief.

Leroy Walker Sr.

00:13:31

Ah, you have to put that part of it. You have to put it out of your mind. I can’t, I can’t hate this person. I, I’ve been taught different than that, I hope anyways. You can’t run around this world hating people. If you do, these kind of things will happen more and more.

Prof. Robert Enright

00:13:53

He’s an extraordinary person. It is exceedingly rare to have someone be able to jump into forgiveness that quickly. But he did. You could see it in his expression. You could see it in the gentleness of his voice. But most of us would say, “no way. I’m not ready for that. It’s too soon. Stop it. Don’t ask me to forgive.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:14:15

I don’t want to belabor this particular point, but I guess what this gentleman that you’re talking about who forgives days after his own child is murdered, is that person someone we should aspire to?

Prof. Robert Enright

00:14:29

I would say no. And here’s an analogy. If you and I see Michael Jordan’s films of slam dunking in basketball and then you give me a basketball and say, I want you to be like Michael Jordan. Well, that’s too much. His excellence is higher than mine. And so we have to be gentle with ourselves. It’s perfectly fine to show me Michael Jordan and show me what’s possible. But at the same time, don’t expect it of me. I’ll get discouraged.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:15:01

The world professor seems very inflamed right now. You know, you are a pioneer in forgiveness research. If you were asked to advise, for example, I know that’s a hard question. But if you were asked to advise folks in the Middle East and Israel right now, do you have any, have you been thinking about that in the context of your research?

Prof. Robert Enright

00:15:24

If someone were to come to me today and say, what do we do about forgiveness with this war between Israel and Hamas, I would say don’t forgive right now. Do not. Do not think about it. Because when you’ve been treated gravely unjustly, you need a time to be angry, confused, sad and a time of mourning. We don’t jump into forgiveness right away. Forgiveness occurs when we’ve settled in our heart to some degree and have had a chance to be angry. And for those who are ready, some will be. Many will not. The pathway of forgiveness should be freely chosen, and it can be deeply healing.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:16:11

It’s interesting because, you know, in some ways it seems just listening to you, Professor, individuals may be more capable of forgiving, but sometimes when you have large groups who have been, have dealt with some sort of injustice, then it seems like you start to to spiral towards the group’s mentality, which is “we’re not going to forgive, we’re going to extract, you know, we’re going to we’re going to use this as some way to gain power,” you know, whatever it might be. There is no just forgiveness for forgiveness sake.

Prof. Robert Enright

00:16:45

Right.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:16:45

And and I think it does raise this question, what is the benefit of forgiveness? Like is there some physical and mental benefit to just being a forgiving person?

Prof. Robert Enright

00:16:56

‘So we’ve been at this for over 30 years, and we do interventions with incest survivors, people with cardiac problems. We’ve worked with acid burn victims in Pakistan. And here’s what we tend to find. First of all, we screen people for deep injustices against them, and then we bring them through a forgiveness program that is not short. It’s not like taking a forgiveness pill. It could be 12 sessions or more. We just recently completed one in a maximum security correctional institution with men who were all clinically angry, anxious and depressed. They went through the forgiveness program and they went to non-clinical levels of anger, non-clinical angers of depression, and close to non-clinical angers of anxiety. Those who were in drug rehab went from clinical levels of depression to non depressed status. We did a cardiac study on a cardiac unit of a hospital, screened with men, screening them for deep injustices against them. Four months after the forgiveness treatment, when we hooked them up to the heart monitors again. And they started telling their story of deep hurt against them. The arteries of the heart stayed open to a statistically significant greater degree than those who did not have forgiveness but had regular heart health in the hospital. Learning to forgive was a cause of the arteries staying more open when they were deeply hurt by others.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:18:31

When we come back, I’ll talk to Professor Enright about how he measures the ability to forgive and what happens to the brain in the body when we choose to forgive or not.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:18:48

What is what is forgiveness therapy look like?

Prof. Robert Enright

00:18:52

‘We have something called the process model. And the first phase, we uncover the effects of trauma, which includes anger, rumination or thinking over dreams about it, comparing yourself with the injury and thinking I’m less than the person. Fatigue, okay. Sleep issues. And so we ask you have all these effects of trauma. What have you done to heal? And they’ve tried everything under the sun, usually. And they haven’t healed. So we go to the decision phase. Would you like to try forgiveness, which is trying to be good to those who aren’t good to you, without excusing not forgetting, you might not reconcile and you will bring justice along with it. At that point, we then enter the work phase. It’s what I call hitting the forgiveness gym, where we become forgivingly fit and we start thinking about the other in new ways. You try to see the wounds in the others, the common humanity we have with the other. Which softens the heart. Okay. Which then we stand in the pain of what happened and then to really fulfill the moral nature of forgiveness, when a person is strong enough to stand in the pain, ironically, that makes the person feel better, stronger. We say give a gift to the one who hurt you. It might be a smile. A returned phone call. If you can’t interact with the other, let’s say the others are deceased or will keep abusing you. How about donating a little money to a charity in that person’s name? And when you go through this widening your perspective of who the other is, softening the heart, standing in the pain and giving the gift, we then enter the discovery phase where we discover new meaning in our suffering. New purpose in life, which usually is to help others in their suffering. And you know what the end point is, Sanjay, at the very end of this? You are the one who is healed. We see it in terms of the anxiety, we the anger, the depression, and you know who you end up liking when you go through this? Yourself. Because I find the way the world works, when people are beaten down by others, they believe the lie and they start not liking themselves. “Oh, I wish the world didn’t work this way,” but it does. And you know what? They are able to reconstitute a full human being in themselves as they do so for the other. They humanize themselves. Their self-esteem goes up and they can go on now well, far better than they have in anything they’ve ever tried prior to forgiveness.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:21:34

Well, thank you, Professor, for talking us through that. You know, it is I think anybody who’s listening, myself included, as you’re describing those stages, probably imagines, tries to imagine themselves going through that maybe with some injustice in their life. And yeah, it feels it feels in a way like it relieves your anxiety about it. So the idea of standing in the pain, forgiving, giving, giving a gift, you know. What, what if the person that you’re not able to forgive is yourself.

Prof. Robert Enright

00:22:04

‘We’re harder on ourselves than we are on other people. So I say, if you want to forgive yourself, start by walking this pathway of forgiveness with somebody else and walk the path of forgiveness just like you and I talk. So you get a sense of it. Then apply that to yourself. See the humanity of yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Stand in the pain so you don’t self-subvert and start being fair to yourself with good health care, good nutrition, good sleep, good exercise. And when you start doing that and you are giving to yourself, you actually literally can stop hating yourself.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:22:49

This is people listening to this podcast during the holiday season and maybe spending time with family right now, you know, and maybe they’re getting together this time of year and they haven’t seen each other in a while. Do you have tips? You know, every family has struggles. I think there’s no perfectly virtuous family. Do you have tips in terms of forgiveness?

Prof. Robert Enright

00:23:10

Indeed. I want to give you a homework assignment. Commit today, because of this podcast, three words: do no harm. And this idea of do no harm. See, I’m not asking people to gushing love the other. I’m saying refrain from the negative. So we start small. I won’t talk negatively about the person. I won’t ignore the person with dirty looks. It doesn’t mean I have to interact lovingly with the person and hug you and say, “you’re wonderful, man.” No, just simply do no harm as a beginning. And you know you why? Then you don’t pass your anger on to others in the family, because anger in a family is like a virus that keeps jumping from host to host. And you know what? Anger in a family can last through many generations.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:24:04

Do no harm; it starts with you; no dirty looks. I mean, look, these are all things that I think people will pay attention to. I, I’m I’m a brain guy. A lot of your research has focused on the brain. I’m wondering if there’s a way of explaining what happens to the brain when you forgive.

Prof. Robert Enright

00:24:24

‘First, let’s take a look at what happens when you don’t forgive. And you’ve been treated gravely, unjustly by others and you’re profoundly affected by that internally, where you have this resentment or the irritability. And you’ve been living with it for a long time. That can affect the amygdala. Like a little almond shaped clusters in the brain and the amygdala is connected with memory. It’s connected with decision making, which, in other words, your decisions might be to have a temper towards someone. But the amygdala then activates that the hypothalamus, which then activates the pituitary gland. That’s when the trouble starts – from the amygdala to the hypothalamus to the pituitary. Because once the pituitary is activated, cortisol can start to secrete and cortisol, when its last thing in the body for too long, can lead to muscle weakness. It can lead to high blood pressure. It can lead to high blood sugar. And it is a toxin in the body. So when you start practicing forgiveness, all of that can be reversed, literally. And so if we can get rid of the cortisol through reversing the anger and then be kind to others and more loving toward others, the prefrontal cortex can actually lead to better goals. And there’s the precuneus, which is cognitive control of your behavior.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:26:09

If you’ve never heard of the precuneus or the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, don’t worry. I’m going to pause here to help break it down. Professor Enright is basically saying that choosing to forgive, choosing to be kind, may help us feel better, think kinder thoughts and make what he calls, better decisions overall. He says feelings like irritability and resentment can cause our bodies to secrete cortisol, which is a stress hormone. And when too much of this stuff is coursing through our bodies, it can raise our anxiety levels and our blood pressure. Enright says all these factors combined can affect our decision making and can lead us to do things that are not kind, might be harmful to ourselves and to others. But Enright says this outcome is reversible. In fact, he says that practicing forgiveness and being kind can actually have the opposite effect, meaning they can actually lower cortisol levels as well as blood pressure, stress and depression and potentially lead us to making kinder decisions and having what he calls better interactions.

Prof. Robert Enright

00:27:17

There was actually another study, a couple of studies done in China with the prefrontal cortex that they saw more in quotes, gray mass in there with people who have a tendency to forgive. But we have to be careful with that because it’s not that all of a sudden they have some people have a lot more of this gray mass. So they’re going to be able to forgive and the rest of us can’t. It could be like because you are hitting the forgiveness gym and becoming forgivingly fit. It’s possible that the cause and effect might be the gray matter gets better. See, we don’t know the answer to that yet. It’s a really, really important question for future research.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:28:01

Okay. I want to pause once more to explain a little bit more about gray matter and how that relates to forgiveness. As you probably know, gray matter is a type of tissue in your central nervous system, your brain and your spinal cord. It plays a big role in helping us function normally. It’s where the processing of sensation and perception, involuntary movement and learning and speech and cognition. That’s where it all happens. It is the source of our ability to think and to reason. So Professor Enright is saying that people who have more gray matter in their prefrontal cortex tend to choose to forgive. And this may help them make overall better decisions that lean toward kindness. Now, a big question for Enright and his researchers right now is whether the act of forgiving helps create more gray matter, or if larger amounts of gray matter spark more forgiveness. He says the answer could impact how we study forgiveness moving forward.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:28:58

Based on your science and your research. Is it possible to measure one’s capability to forgive? And if so, how do you do that?

Prof. Robert Enright

00:29:08

‘Yes, we have this measure. It’s called the Enright Forgiveness Inventory. And it’s free of charge to anyone in the world at our International Forgiveness Institute – international forgiveness dot com. We also have a self forgiveness scale. There’s, it’s a 30 item scale where we ask people to think about a given person who has hurt the one who is filling out the scale and to answer questions based on how this person thinks about the other, feels about the other and would behave toward the other both positively and negatively. But here’s what I find so fascinating about this scale, and we’ve used it in many of our interventions. To actually improve substantially in your own mental and emotional health, you do not have to be high on the scale. All you have to do is have movement on the scale. Moving more toward the middle of the scale makes all the difference. Their anxiety goes down statistically. Anger, depression. They start liking themselves and they start having hope for the future, which oftentimes is an indication of improvement in mental health conditions.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:30:26

You know, you talked about someone whose child is murdered. That is obviously tragic no matter how you analyze it. And it’s very, very significant event. But what about what about smaller events in people’s lives? Someone who’s I don’t know, I’m making it up, a neighbor is cutting the lawn in a way that’s that’s making you, you know, feels like you’re you’re not being respected. They’re, they’e, they’re ruining your lawn or or they’re doing something that’s small but feels like an injustice. If you were to analyze it from afar, you’d say, hey, that’s not that big a deal. But for you, in the moment, it’s really bothersome. How how is that important? Or am I barking up the wrong tree here?

Prof. Robert Enright

00:31:06

You’re totally barking up the right tree. Because remember, forgiveness improves the more you practice it. And if you practice forgiveness in the everyday situations of your own family, your own neighborhood, your own community, as you practice forgiveness in the small ways, you’re actually building up a liking of it, a familiarity for it so that when the tough things of life come, you are more ready because you know the pathway. You like the pathway. And forgiveness is part of your life.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:31:38

Someone said something to me the other day, Professor, and it struck me and I’m wondering, you’ve probably heard this and I’m wondering if it strikes you as well. I’m just been trying to wrap my head around it, but the basic gist of it is this: it is hard to hate close up. The argument they were making was that being connected with people, actually seeing them face to face, being with them goes a long way towards many of these concepts we’re talking about, including forgiveness. Do you agree with that?

Prof. Robert Enright

00:32:10

100%. I would add this, though, before your face to face with the one who has hated you and the one who gets your heart really going in a stony cold way. Think about forgiveness first. Understand what it is, and take a little time to practice it in your heart. When you see who the other is in the person’s woundedness and you say, “Oh, this is a wounded person as I am, and we share humanity, we share a common humanity. Therefore we share inherent built in worth when we are face to face.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:32:49

I think that’s a really beautiful sentiment, especially as we head into the holidays where we might engage with people, even loved ones, who might have disappointed us or hurt us in the past. The idea of becoming forgivingly fit; that the ability to forgive can be developed and strengthened over time like a muscle; I think that just makes sense to me. And just like physical fitness, it may take time to see results. We may still feel anxious and hurt even after we’ve decided to forgive someone. But Professor Enright says practicing kindness and empathy, being gentle and honest with other people and ourselves can make a difference, especially if we do it on a regular basis. It can actually help us feel a little less stressed, anxious or even depressed. Enright also says the more we forgive, the easier it may become. And being able to forgive little things may help us deal with bigger challenges in the future. And I really appreciate what he said about people like my mom. Maybe people who choose not to always forgive. Enright says this choice should also be respected and that people can still lead fulfilling and happy lives as well. Perhaps for some people there are situations that they can’t forgive. And as long as it’s not a constant source of pain, that’s still okay. Join us next week when we hear from you. All season I’ve been talking about the brain and how it affects everything from the way we act to the way we feel, to the way we process information. A lot of you have had so many excellent questions and have even shared what you’ve learned about the brain. We’re going to get to those.

I am actually a real estate broker, a single mother. And when it comes to multitasking, my goodness, am I always doing it. So that’s really helped me to be more intentional about my attention.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:34:38

That’s next week. Thanks for listening.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

00:34:48

Chasing Life is a production of CNN Audio. Our podcast is produced by Eryn Mathewson, Madeleine Thompson, David Rind and Grace Walker. Our Senior Producer and Showrunner is Felicia Patinkin. Andrea Kane is our Medical Writer and Tommy Bazarian is our Engineer. Dan Dzula is our Technical Director and the Executive Producer of CNN Audio is Steve Lickteig. With support from Haley Thomas, Alex Manasseri, Robert Mathers, John Dianora, Leni Steinhardt, Jamus Andrest, Nichole Pesaru and Lisa Namerow. Special thanks to Ben Tinker, Amanda Sealy and Nadia Kounang of CNN Health and Katie Hinman. And to the VPM ICA Community Media Center in Richmond, Virginia.

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