Our reactions to varied situations can be credited to our gender as well as the hormones and chemicals in our system. With stress, anger, fear, and denial as some of the most common everyday feelings we experience, it is ideal to dive deeper into how these affect our daily lives. In this episode, Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D. chats with John Gray, the author of the most well-known and trusted relationship book of all time, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. John talks about why we act the way we do and why others act the way they do, and goes through the different levels of emotions and how brain chemistry affects these stages. If you want to understand how relationships can be best dealt with, you wouldn’t want to pass up this episode.
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The Levels Of Emotions And Why We Act The Way We Do With John Gray
John Gray is the author of the most well-known and trusted relationship book of all time, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. USA Today listed his book as one of the top ten most influential books. In hardcover, it was the number one bestselling book of the 1990s. Dr. Gray’s books are translated into approximately 45 languages in more than 100 countries and continues to be a best seller.
John Gray, thank you for joining me here. It’s an honor. I’ve long read your books and been a fan of the work you’ve done. Can you tell us a little bit about what piqued your interest in mental health issues?
When I was eighteen years old, it was The Beatles generation, rock and roll. After Woodstock, everybody got high and we crashed down. The Beatles said that you could go and learn meditation. You can get high and there’s no crash. They had visited the Maharishi in India, so I went right away after graduating from high school to be with the Maharishi. I live with him for nine years. I was his personal assistant and got some education along the way. That was my main interest, which was mental wellness and developing your full mental potential. Meanwhile, my younger brother, Jimmy, also got high and he came down and stayed down with symptoms at around 21 years old. He shows up bipolar. Meditation didn’t do the trick for him. I tried to help him.
I ended up saying, “I’m happy with my meditation, but I’m going to go to California and study Psychology. Maybe that could help my brother.” My brother eventually committed suicide. I developed these ideas in psychology and taught classes. It brought up too much stuff for him. He couldn’t even come to the classes and eventually shot himself. Besides all my relationships and my personal growth work, I’m committed to helping people who have those extremes in their moods. Eventually, I found something along with good relationship skills and good nutrition, adding to it a healthy dose of lithium orotate. My brother Jimmy was taking lithium carbonate and that causes stability, but bad side effects because you’re taking 500 times the dose that you need of lithium. If lithium is bonded to orotic acid, orotic acid as a delivery system into the brain. It comes from others’ milk.
All you need is a little lithium. Every neuron in the brain requires lithium to balance dopamine and serotonin levels, along with other nutrients, vitamin D, vitamin K2, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, all these things together. With my brother and for many bipolar people, they tend to be addicted to sugar to get addicted to the high, the manic state and that immediately depletes the brain of lithium. I recommend lithium orotate to everybody simply because these process carbohydrates are not so extreme as bipolar, but I see people with many ups and downs. It often shows up in our relationships as doubting our partner, a feeling we could find someone better, being too picky, being a perfectionist, being too demanding of our partners in our minds or of ourselves. We are pushing ourselves hard that we either become high achievers, but we’re never happy or satisfied with what we want. We have such high expectations of ourselves. We’ve become depressed because nothing we do lives up to what we think we should be doing. That’s the parameters of the brain these days. We live in this bipolar society and a big part of it is our diet, which is the processed carbohydrates that deplete the brain of these important minerals.
I’ve heard several of your talks and podcasts where you do a wonderful blending of the need for that balance and brain chemistry along with the need for understanding how to process emotions.
I love to talk about that because as in the mind, so in the body. It’s one of the basic concepts of wellness and health. Let’s say I had a cancer cure. I could give you a pill and it would cure your cancer. It wouldn’t work if you were in a dark room and not interacting with people. The mind must be getting its nourishment through behavior, through thought processes, and managing emotions. The body provides the building blocks to support that positive thinking and loving thinking. You’ve got to find this balance. When you come to the lack of emotional intelligence in people in our society. We’ve never had emotional intelligence, to be quite honest in our culture. People are like, “Why didn’t we?” It’s because people didn’t need it.Some people become depressed because nothing they do lives up to what they think they should be doing. Click To Tweet
This is an important thing. It also goes with bipolar tendencies as well. If you look at schizophrenia, my brother was a schizophrenic bipolar manic depressive. If you do brain scans of their brains, they have more connective tissue between the left and right sides of the brain. There’s something called the right anterior parietal lobe and left interior parietal lobe. In most men, the left is always bigger than the right. In most women, the right interior lobe, which has to do with personal relationships is bigger than the left. That’s how we’re born. Some people, which we call geniuses, are born with both sides equal. It turns out that almost all schizophrenic and bipolar people as well have equal left and right hemispheres of the brain in terms of this interior parietal lobe, left and right.
The left one has to do with being mechanical relationships, such as fixing your computer, plumbing, business, money, all this impersonal. A business that is not personal and that kind of a thing. There’s then the right interior parietal Iobe where everything is personal, “How does that make me feel?” We take things personally, “I care about you.” Your priority is on a personal level, “What am I going to wear? What am I going to eat? What do I enjoy?” This is pleasure, personal and love. All that is in the right interior parietal lobe. That doesn’t mean if a woman or man has a bigger one that they are going to be that way. Conditioning comes in to play huge. I might have a larger left interior parietal lobe, but my conditioning would be, “That’s not okay. That’s too masculine. Masculinity is bad.”
I’ll go too far to the female side and blood flow will go over to that right side. The way the design is in the brain, we see there’s a natural preference towards more of the left activity for men, more of the right activity for women. You see that in the general population. In my work, I focus a lot in terms of hormones because we know that our hormones are directly related as well to that brain function, that balance of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. The ability to go, “I’m optimistic and excited. I’m calm and peaceful.” These two balancing forces, in the East, they call it the yin and yang, the masculine and the feminine, the darkness and the light. We have both these qualities always in our lives and we want to be able to keep those balances.
We now know that for men, testosterone is a major player in that balance. We need 10 to 20 times, sometimes 30 times more than a woman. If it’s not up at that standard, we will be depressed. We will have mood swings. We will be out of balance. If your hormones are out of balance, your brain will go out of balance. If your brains out of balance, your hormones will go out of balance. The thing about hormones is our behavior dramatically affects our hormones. Our thinking affects our hormones. The management of our emotions directly affects our hormones. Women need 10 to 20 times more estrogen in order for wellbeing. Sometimes, they need more progesterone. These major female hormones have to be in balanced for their stress levels to go down.
Men need to have healthy testosterone levels in order to manage stress in their bodies. Particularly with COVID and concerns about wellness and health, we need to focus on why some people die from a virus and other people don’t. Some people that show no symptoms have a lot to do with the health of our immune system. Our immune system is directly affected by our hormones. If you’re producing stress hormones, which are the opposite of testosterone and estrogen, the stress hormones inhibit digestion and that leads to bipolar problems. It inhibits the immune system and that leads to the sickness. When there’s a virus going around, you die. They have to be aware of the behaviors that will support testosterone for men and more estrogen and progesterone for women.
You talk specifically about emotional intelligence. It’s a big theme. My earlier books, even before I wrote about gender differences were all about emotional intelligence. I didn’t use that term. Daniel Goleman developed that term. It was a good term. For me, my first book was What You Feel, You Can Heal. I discovered that if something upset me, we call that stress. If you feel distressed emotionally, it had seven components. If you look at all seven, suddenly, whatever’s bothering you is no longer bothering you. It’s giving your consciousness, your awareness, the opportunity to look at these seven parts.
If I was to hold something up here as a mouse for my computer, if I’m looking at it, I’m seeing one side. I’m not seeing the other side, the upside, the downside. There is the whole thing at once. That is what allows the brain to process stress. Anytime we’re stressed, we’re not seeing the whole picture. If we see the whole picture, then we’re in the present time. No matter what’s happening, you might in an easy way say, “Stress isn’t a big deal. I can handle it. It’s no big deal.” It doesn’t mean the fire’s not burning down a house but, “It’s no big deal. I can handle it. I’m here, present and being able to do it.” That’s the seventh perspective that you get as a result of seeing the whole picture. What is the whole picture mean when you’re stressed? When would you need this knowledge?
Sometimes you’re angry and you go, “I feel good being angry. Now, I’m going to let it go.” What I’m about to say doesn’t apply to that. Sometimes we feel sad. My wife died years ago and I was sad. It felt good to feel the grief. It was part of my healing process. At a certain point, I have to let it go, move on and look at all the obstacles to moving on and so forth. You must feel what you feel. There’s a place where, when you’re feeling something, you feel stuck. That’s the key here is when you’re stuck that means you’re not looking at the whole picture.
There are levels of emotion. The first is what you feel right away. Let’s take anger, for example. When somebody’s angry, they’re irritable, grumpy, angry and mad. That’s going around their heads and they would like to let it go and feel happy. You don’t feel happy generally when you’re angry unless you’re briefly experiencing, “It feels good. I’m in touch with what I feel,” but don’t act on it. “I’m in touch with what I feel and then I want to let it go,” but it stays. It repeats in the brain. What’s going on whenever a negative emotion repeat is that we’re not looking at other emotions that are there. For example, anybody who’s angry, anytime you’re angry, you’re also afraid. If you weren’t afraid of some negative things happening, some consequences, or the meaning of what this means, you wouldn’t be angry. You would be relaxed.
“I don’t like this. This doesn’t work for me. I want to do this. Maybe we have some poor conditioning where I’m not getting what I want so I mimic my parent, which is to intimidate and use force to get what I want. I’m terrible. I hurt you.” You make threats with your anger, but bottom line, you will never have to make threats if you didn’t feel afraid. If you say to an angry person, “You’re probably afraid.” “I’m not afraid of anything. I’m tough.” That’s a denial of a deeper level of emotion. Whenever you’re angry, for example, you’re also sad. That’s a hard jump to go from furious, “I’m powerful and angry,” to “I’m feeling sad.” There can’t be anger without sadness.
Anytime you’re angry about something, you had a wish, need and want that you’re disappointed about. The angry you are is because of the more disappointment. I’ll give you an example. Somebody cheats me. I get angry at them. Let’s say my best friend cheats me, then I feel betrayed. Maybe it’s somebody I offered some help too and then they betrayed me. It’s a more personal thing. I’m going to feel hurt, sad, and lost. It’s deeper because it’s more personal. If you’re angry, it’s often the extent of the anger is either the fear or the disappointment. That disappointment is a feeling of sadness. If you can go from anger and then look over here from another point of view, “Here’s something I’m angry about.” I’m going to look at it from, “I’m sad about it. I feel like I’ve lost something. I’m looking at what happened and didn’t happen. This person didn’t appreciate me. They didn’t give me what I thought they’re going to give me.”
There’s a disappointment. There are two levels. Another level is the other side. That’s a fear. Nothing would ever bother us if we didn’t have fear. Whenever you’re feeling cool, calm, and collected, your hormones are imbalanced. The number one thing that throws our hormones out of balance is fear. When a man is solving a problem, testosterone goes to a good level. It gives him energy, focus and motivation. His confidence keeps him in the testosterone land. If he loses confidence and he’s challenged, then he starts getting angry, depressed, irritable, or afraid. Biologically, what’s happening in his body, his estrogen levels are increasing.
Estrogen is the female hormone that women need more of. Women need it 10 to 20 times more than a man for wellbeing. When a man’s estrogen goes too high relative to his testosterone, then suddenly, he will feel stressed. What’s going on here is you go from anger to sadness to fear and this is an exploration. Everybody’s talking about self-awareness. Why did we become all of these emotional issues that we see in the world now? A big part of that is greater awareness. When we’re in survival mode, this is Maslow who discovered a wonderful idea of the pyramid of needs. Our most important need is survival. Once the survival needs are met by civilization, they’re not as important. I’m not thinking every day that my life’s in danger. Somebody’s going to attack me.
I’m not thinking the free cold weather is going to kill me. I have my survival taken care of. There’s a place for me to sleep. There’s police protecting me. There’s a neighborhood of supportive people. Survival is pretty much-taken care of. Certainly, we have to be responsible for it, but it’s not our major need anymore. We don’t think about it all the time. Once that happens, other needs come up. The next need tends to be the need for security. Once you have things, you want to protect them. Security has to be that you’re watching and making sure you have everything you need and that bad things don’t happen. When your security is secured, you feel, “I can handle that.” That’s his whole point and new needs emerge. Those are emotional needs.Being stuck means not looking at the whole picture. Click To Tweet
One emotional need to talk about achievement, to feel, “I can make a difference. I’m a good person. Look, how good I am,” and growth. There’s development. That’s a stage we want to be better. The next one is, once we feel, “I am better,” then I want intimacy, belonging, to connect, family, friendship, intimacy, marriage, romance and love. Those needs become important. Let’s simplify that by saying that once our basic physical needs are met, our emotional needs become much more important. That’s where emotional intelligence comes in. That’s the world we live in. In the West, if you’re a civilized country, suddenly you see all these emotional problems. You see many people on antidepressants. You see many bipolar people. This is an epidemic of mood discovery and divorce. Divorce is a bipolar symptom.
Look at it, “I can’t live without you and I don’t want to see you again. You’re the most perfect person in the world. I’m madly in love with you, but I don’t even want to be around you anymore.” What we don’t see is that we’re living in this bipolar reality. For some people, it’s more extreme because their brain has equal left and right hemispheres, parietal lobes, which is characteristic of geniuses. We can derive from that either you’re a genius, a bipolar or most of the bipolar are geniuses, and they’re not getting the nutrition that that genius brain requires. The whole key here is you’ll see that the number of people who commit suicide, who have psychiatric symptoms, bipolar schizophrenia, the percentage of those people is highest in Harvard and Stanford graduates.
If you can give your brain in such that it can look at ten digits and absorb it, you’re smarter than other people. In terms of smarts, it doesn’t mean wisdom. It means you’ve got this brain that works faster, bigger, and better than most. You can get into those schools. The SATs are like, “I could never get to those high levels of the SATs to get in those schools by those requirements.” Those genius brains work faster, they remember more and they absorb more. Having said that, that doesn’t mean they are street smarts, they make a lot of money, or have good relationships. It means they can absorb science quite well. They can be in a laboratory. They can write books about certain subjects and develop things.
As far as relationship skills, life skills, sometimes they’re at a deficit for that. That’s because they get so much love and attention for having that specific ability. They don’t have to work hard in terms of finding forgiveness, accepting themselves, and the high pressure that they have to perform to be great. I know that happened with my brother, Jimmy. He was smart. He was in the university around 21. That’s when his bipolar came in strong. He had to be perfect. It’s like, if I can’t fully understand something, he would become massively frustrated because he had to fully understand it. Other people go, “I can’t understand that,” and let it pass. He had to know. That’s gripping on sometimes one of the symptoms of the brain that’s not being nourished.
He was not getting the nourishment he needed. Since the time of his passing and his death, that’s when I found that you didn’t have to take lithium carbonate to balance the brain. If he took lithium carbonate, he would not have as symptoms of schizophrenia. He was taking 500 times the dose of lithium carbonate. That’s standard. When you take anything, a salt 500 times the dose, you’re going to have side effects. The side effect is it interferes with thyroid function. Suddenly, he blew up. He gained all this way, his thyroid became shocked from taking so much lithium carbonate, which was prescribed to him by a doctor. That’s called side effects. What the doctors generally still don’t know, although more doctors do realize it, you can take lithium orotate in normal doses.
What your body requires is nontoxic doses and get more benefit than the lithium carbonate, a different form. Millions of people have watched my videos on lithium orotate. I don’t know how many people have benefited from it. I get letters all the time saying, “Your relationship information saved my relationship. You saved my life with this supplement understanding lithium orotate.” I don’t want to be misleading here that taking lithium orotate is the answer to everything, but it’s a big missing element. I’m looking with the COVID virus, many people were dying. The people are dying with the same virus as the weakening of their immune system. What’s causing their immune system to the weakened? In most cases, it is a side effect of taking drugs.
That’s why they say people are immunocompromised. They’re taking drugs and all drugs will compromise your immune system. They all do. Whether it be recreational drugs or prescribed drugs, it does interfere with your immune system. There are some exceptions to that. People who have poor gut function will also be overly vulnerable to a virus. We’re taking a lot of things in the direction, but ultimately, it comes to that mental wellness. If you have any negative emotions, then your cortisol levels are going to be elevated. What you want to do is not deny the negative emotion, but quickly move through it. To feel what you’re angry about, what happened, what didn’t happen, and what may happen. That’s the fear, “This person has cheated me. What does that mean for me?”
Explore and bring your awareness to exploration and inner discussion of what thoughts are you having about the reality that’s causing these emotions? You then go a little deeper. You’ll find that the fourth level is, “How did I contribute to this problem? How am I contributing to the problem? How might I have contributed to the problem? What do I regret? What am I sorry about?” If somebody dents my car, I’m going to feel on an emotional level. If I’m angry about it, I feel like, “I’m sorry I parked on that street,” because that’s how you participate in it. There’s always something where we have to look at ourselves. If we’re out of balance, that is going to be out of balance too. You might go, “I knew I shouldn’t have been on that street. Stupid me.” You’ll make a big deal out of it.
You got to look at how you contribute to it. When my wife passed, that was the hardest for me. There’s the anger, the sadness, the fear, but then there’s the regret, “I didn’t do this. I wish I’d done that.” It’s such an uncertainty. You don’t know how you might’ve contributed to someone’s problem. To kill the brain, you have to be aware of these different perspectives and take some time to feel it, but always move through it. Whenever you’re stuck, that means that’s not the feeling. You’re avoiding something else because emotions will flow deeper. If you allow yourself to write them out or talk them out with a therapist who asks questions like, “Help me understand that better. Tell me more. What else? Let’s go more.”
This is another element to the whole thing. Many times, what we’re upset about in the present time is such an overreaction because only 10% of it has to do with right now and 95% of it has to do with twenty other experiences in your past that it hasn’t been resolved. There’s a buildup. For me, I had such anxiety before giving a talk when I was in my twenties. If I stood in front of an audience giving a talk, I had huge anxiety. I could give the talk. I had memorized it in those days. I could stand up in front of people. Where did that anxiety come from? What turned out, as I did some inner work on what was causing the fear, had nothing to do or little to do with the present time. It would trigger being in a situation where I was potentially going to be rejected, baring my soul, sharing myself in front of many people.
The deep fear came up and I looked at where did that come from. Eventually, what came up was this memory that I experienced as a 6 or 7-year-old where I was away from my mother for a week, which seemed like an eternity. It was an abandonment. I felt like I would never see my family again. I was stuck with these people. I didn’t know and will I ever get back. That was such a trauma to me and I’d completely forgotten it. Here I was as an adult but still, one part of me was like a little seven-year-old afraid of losing love, standing in front of these people and they would not like me. Many of our experiences in the present time trigger unresolved feelings of the past. When you look at this perspective of what you’re angry about, you’re sad about, what you’re concerned about, and what you regret, that might bring up the past.
You then have to start all over and do it with the past. When you get to bring in the past, you’re much more vulnerable because we’re younger, then you ride out. That was fourth and the next one is underneath the fifth is, “What is it that you want? What is it that you need? What is it that you wish?” On the other side of negative emotions is an inhibited desire. “I want people to appreciate me. I want people to be worthy of my trust. I want someone to do something for me and they didn’t. What is it that I want? What I want is this.” You’re making yourself aware of what do you want.
Many people who have no feelings at all, they’re depressed. I say, “What do you want?” “Nothing, I don’t want anything.” That’s what depression is. It’s the denial of feeling and desire. Passion is what we want. We want love, success, happiness, to be able to trust people, and people would appreciate us and do things for us. “What is it you want?” “Write out what you want.” You feel the positive energy flow with what you want. You might have to start by saying, “What I don’t want?” That gets you more in touch with the want that’s blocked. You then go, “What do I want? It helps you define what you’re wanting inside. That’s five levels down. What is the sixth level? Hidden in every desire is the confidence that you can get. You wouldn’t want something if a part of you didn’t believe and know that you could have it.
As those desires come forth, you want to get to the next level to find your confidence that you can have it. The symptoms of you can have it is forgiveness. If someone betrays you and you feel like, “I can have their love again,” you’ll forgive them easily. Forgiveness and understanding, you’re able to look at another person’s point of view. Love is always underneath desire, something we would love and we feel confident about having. One of the things that can help you at that time when you’re writing out your feelings of what you want is to write a letter to yourself imagining the world, that person or that situation, speaking to you saying, “I hear you. I’m here for you. I love you. I’m sorry I didn’t give you what you needed. You deserve more.”You make threats with your anger, but the bottom line is you will never have to make threats if you didn't feel afraid. Click To Tweet
You get that positive message so that you can then feel the confidence that, “I do deserve to have what I want.” That being the sixth level. You then ask yourself, “How do I feel right now imagining receiving all that support in your imagination?” You feel at ease. You feel like, “I’m ready to move on. It’s no big deal.” That’s the key we want to get back to, which is Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff. That was a great little book. He was a friend of mine that wrote that. We can say it’s big stuff. My wife dying was big stuff, but coming back to the place of, “I don’t need to be so tormented about it.” It’s like suddenly like, “I can handle it.” That takes a little bit longer when it’s something big you’re processing.
With the normal stresses of daily life, we can learn the process of those emotions. If we can’t go to any of those seven levels, what happens is we get stuck in one of them. Being stuck holds our cortisol levels and an elevated state. That’s got emotional processing. Once you learn emotional processing, we have protocols to do it. If you ever use your emotions to change somebody, you cannot move through those feelings. If you’re angry and your intent behind it is to use your anger to change somebody, “You should know this is important and I’ll hurt you if you don’t do what I say,” anytime you use your negative emotions to get what you want.
Often, we use sadness and hurt to get sympathy. Often, we use fear to get out of things or to justify not doing things. Sometimes we use guilt, “You can trust me again because I feel so bad.” When you start to use negative emotions to get something in the outer world and this will be a more primitive part of the brain that does that. What then happens is we get these automatic pathways. The unconscious mind will start using that emotion again. As soon as we feel in our life, “I don’t have what I want,” they come right up. For example, my life when I was wanting the audience to like me and I didn’t know if they would because you never know what people are going to think. It brought me back to a place of unknowingness as a little child. I don’t know what happened, that pathway gets activated automatically.
We see that we have these emotional reactions. They’re automatic. What do you do? People feel powerless to change it. They walk around and things upset them all the time. Do you want to be upset by life all the time? You’re going to be until you learn to take responsibility, but rather than using those emotions. When they come up you start to buy into them and feel like, “I have to believe. I have to do something about this and tell somebody this.” You do it from the point of view of embracing the childlike part of you that doesn’t have the whole picture. It doesn’t see all seven levels. It’s stuck in one. You embrace it, you hear it, you listen to it like a good therapist or a good loving parent to come back to, “Everything’s going to be okay. Everything’s going to be all right.” That’s what we have to do.
We use our negative emotions. Awareness of them is to come back to, “Everything’s going to be okay.” Why is this so important knowledge to have? As I mentioned before, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy, we have a greater need for love. What happened is they used to treat children like animals. They didn’t have all these depressions and bipolar stuff or whatever. We’re not aware. They didn’t have the sensitivities that we have now. These sensitivities are coming up more in the world as the world becomes a better place. As that happens, we see the emotional traumas, the lack of emotional wellness is increasing.
One, we have to learn emotional intelligence and how to process these things. Two, get the extra supplements that we need when those times of elevated cortisol are there. When that’s there, we deplete the brain of what it needs. The brain loops and the problem keep happening again. What I found wonderful with lithium orotate, if you’ve got a pretty reasonable good life and diet and you’re getting most of your nutrition, then your brain loops on things, taking a little bit of lithium orotate 4.5 milligrams twice a day, combined with orotic acid, which is several hundred milligrams, your brain stops looping.
It is amazing how quickly I’ve seen that work for people. Not everybody, because you might have a deficiency. You might be stressed in your life, your digestion isn’t providing the necessary amino acids. Those are your proteins in order for your brain to make the dopamine. The minerals regulate the brain’s ability to use vitamins and amino acids to make the balance of dopamine and serotonin. Lithium is important. You don’t need that much. Every neuron needs it. It’s using it all the time to keep the right balance in dopamine production, which is excitement and optimism. “I can do,” along with serotonin, which is, “Everything’s okay. No big deal. No emergencies.” You want to stay in this relaxed place, but also highly motivated. These are neurons that do this and lithium regulates. It is powerful.
Lithium does other things in the brain. Low-dose lithium orotate regenerates brain cells and proven to increase your white brain cells and your gray brain cells. Most people, they lose the white brain cells. They lose their gray cells as they get older, whereas lithium has proven to increase the production of these brain cells to become smarter and healthier. You grow your brain with lithium. It also helps protect you from mercury toxicity. It’s another thing it can do. Zinc does that as well. Calcium and magnesium are important as well. They’re all players. It’s just that calcium produces dopamine and magnesium produces the serotonin. You need a nice balance of that. Vitamin D allows your neurons to absorb the calcium. Vitamin K2 pulls the calcium out, so the calming influence of magnesium can produce serotonin. This is all happening in the brain trillions of times every few minutes.
These nutrients, microdoses of them, you don’t have to take so much. It’s that we deplete ourselves when we’re under stress and then we would deplete ourselves, even more, when we soothe our stress with addictions. Maybe the most potent of all those in the processed sugar addiction. Not that you can’t have fruit, just don’t have too much. Anything processed other than honey is immediate burst of blood sugar goes up and that depletes your brain of lithium. You can notice how your moods will change when you go for a while without the sugar.
It may take a while for you to balance out. If you’re used to the high sugar levels and you stop having your sugar, then you’ll feel flat because you’re used to that big, high dopamine push. Also, what comes along with elevated cortisol levels staying at this hyper level, which happens for bipolar people, for sure. Anybody has mood swings, you’re going to be at this higher level of cortisol production all the time. That inhibits your digestion. What I found is that if they take a protein powder, a dairy, and you mix it like it would be mother’s milk. One of the reasons dairy is hard to digest is because it’s 90% casein protein and only 10% of the protein is whey protein. Whey protein makes serotonin. Casein protein has amino acids to make dopamine.
We’re not cows. That balance doesn’t work for us, but if you look at mother’s milk, it’s about equal casein and whey. I put it together for myself, for my wellbeing and my optimal brain function, cow’s milk but it’s not heated so it’s not processed. That kills the amino acids and makes it harder for your body to digest or benefit from. Have equal amounts of casein and whey protein. They make dopamine and serotonin, the balance. If you have an equal balance of them, like mother’s milk, not like cow’s milk. What you do is you dehydrate it to powder and then you add water, enzymes, and minerals to activate the enzymes to digest the proteins and you sit there for 30 to 45 minutes.
It pre-digests itself. If you have stress, you can digest your proteins to make those good brain chemicals, so then your stress levels stay high. You need to feed the brain, get the food to the brain, and if you pre-digest those proteins and it’s the best protein for the brain. It’s how our brains develop with mother’s milk and the right balance along with it’s raw, the enzymes, with the minerals that activate the enzymes. You leave it in water and it cooks itself in 30 minutes. It bubbles up. It tastes different. It dissolves into your brain. That’s called the Superfood Shake for men and women. I have a different balance for men and women. That, along with the supermen roles, which are lithium orotate, calcium orotate, potassium orotate, zinc orotate and magnesium orotate, these different minerals are all the co-factors that make lithium orotate work.
I put that together for myself, but unfortunately, it was too late from my brother. I have helped many bipolar people as well as anybody who has mood swings and wanting to have optimal brain performance. Doing those two things together has a huge impact. Once again, I always caution people, if you’re still sitting in a dark room, no sunshine, no people, no interaction, you need relationship stimulation to utilize all those nutrients. You could have all the relationships. Your life could be quite wonderful but without nutrition, you’re depressed. You see this with many wealthy people. They have everything they need. You’ll go, “Why is this person upset?” They got their house, children, wife or husband and all of these wonderful things other people would beg for, yet they’re depressed, suicidal or drug addicts. What’s going on there?
A big part of it is two aspects. One is the emotional part, not having emotional intelligence. That raises their stress level. As soon as you are safe because you got money, survival, and security, your emotional issues become bigger. These emotional issues that you had as a child show up. If your situation is dangerous as a child, you don’t feel loved and supported, any part of you that says, “I need, I want, I wish more, I cry, and I’m upset,” nobody’s going to listen. It all gets pushed down. Later in life, when we feel like, “I can be myself. I don’t have these people ruling over me. I feel safe,” all this stuff comes up. When it comes up, it doesn’t say, “I’m your unresolved issues about childhood.”Within every hidden desire is the confidence that you can have it. Click To Tweet
It says, “This is my life. It’s not fulfilling. It’s boring. It’s flat. It’s no good.” You’ll go, “Why?” Go back in time and you’ll find those emotions are buried inside. You have to create a context to feel it from the past as if you’re there. You process it. You come back and present time. Get some extra nutrition and your body will use that nutrition to function in a normal way. A good therapist would help you to do that. Good coaches do that. A lot of my work is self-help. I’ve written people the processes on how to do that in my various books.
One of the reasons I wanted to talk to you is because as I look at these things that you’ve written and some of the things you talk about in your interviews, I know that it’s fundamentally sound in terms of processing the emotions and being aware of the emotional state being created inside me. My mind is trained to look to the outside and figure out what’s out there causing my upset. It’s not out there. It’s always inside and with the awareness that when I have anger, that’s one level that I need to look at. You’re never going to have anger come out of me unless there’s pain or fear inside me. If I’m sitting here comfortable and safe inside, there’s no reason and there won’t be angry. It’s always a secondary emotion. One of the things I want to do every time I have somebody on who’s an author is to talk about what’s the most recent book that you put out? What is it that you are most interested in people knowing about?
My latest book is called The Boy Crisis. I wrote it with Warren Farrell. It points out this new challenge that’s happening for boys. The book I’m promoting the most, however, is the one I feel a broader spectrum. I wrote it a couple of years ago, but I’m still mainly wanting people to know that information is called Beyond Mars and Venus. We have stepped into a whole new era where our emotional needs have become bigger, more so than when I wrote Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus a long time ago. What that looks like is this younger generation, for some of us, are wiser and more conscious as we get older. What happens is men no longer are limited to the masculine energies, but also the feminine energies are immediately available to us.
Many fathers, for example, fully participating and raising their children and loving it. It’s no longer the mother does all the raising. The father is involved with that. Also, men have a more fun life. We spend more time watching sports or playing video games. Unfortunately, there are all these addictions, not just the alcohol, but to pornography online. These are all symptoms of men who are too far on their female side, producing too many female hormones. That’s very easy to do. It’s easy to go to your female side if you’re a man because we have this greater awareness. We can go to our emotional side much easier and become all emotional. What we don’t recognize is that when we’re becoming emotional and talking about our emotions to somebody we’re upset with, estrogen levels are going higher and testosterone is going down.
We have an epidemic of low testosterone in men because we haven’t embraced this feminine side of us while staying in our masculine side. This feeling letter technique I mentioned is if your emotions are there, you never want to push them down, but you want to make sure that you’re taking 100% responsibility for those emotions. If you’re angry, what you were saying is always your thought process is doing it and it’s not a productive emotion to express to somebody. If you’re married, getting angry at your wife and talking, expressing yourself when you’re angry, only builds mistrust in her. It shuts her down. She can’t hear a word you’re saying. If you have negative emotions, if you’re a man, it’s important not to speak them out loud to the person you’re upset with or trying to change.
You can vent them even better as quietly and peacefully. Write them out or meditate on them and go to deeper levels. I find at the beginning for people for many years, it took me before I could do it mentally is writing them out. Even still sometimes, if I’m stuck, I’ll write out my different emotions with the commitment that comes back to the love, understanding, and forgiveness. It’s no big deal. My heart’s open again and I go out and give more love. That’s the responsibility. When you’re on your part of your being, which is accountable and responsible, that’s the testosterone side of you. That’s what men need most when they’re emotionally distressed. When women are emotionally distressed, they cannot necessarily be accountable right away. If they can, great. That means they’re on their female and male side.
If they have negative emotions, that means they’re too far on their female side. You want to allow them and she needs to allow herself to go to that place of exploring her emotions. That would be venting, but not to the man she’s married to her upset with. That’s important. He will only get defensive. He is not Superman. He’s great, but he’ll take it personally. You can’t throw your emotions out there while you’re processing them. What you do when you’re verbal to your husband, you want to come from a place of openheartedness, not a place where you’re still exploring your emotion of negativity. If it’s about him, don’t talk to him. Talk to somebody else. When you talk to somebody else, who you’re not trying to change them, then they can vent and go through it.
Talking is important for women. Writing their feelings out is good too but even better is if you write them out, that will help center you and then share that with somebody. Sharing and having what you feel be heard by somebody else is potent for creating the female hormones of estrogen and progesterone. That’s the theme of the new book. From that book, we learned many of the things that women can do, say or strategies that can balance their female hormones without having to take hormones. For men, many of the things that you can do, think, and behave in a certain way will restore your testosterone levels. For men, their testosterone needs to be much greater than their estrogen. If they want to be stress-free, their testosterone must be 10 to 30 times greater than a woman’s. A woman’s estrogen levels must be 10 to 20 times higher than a man’s.
Women as they get older, often they feel like, “I want to feel being in love.” A lot of single women after divorce, they can’t find another partner. They can’t fall in love. Your estrogen levels have to be double your normal level to fall in love. For men, to bond with a woman, your testosterone has to double to 30 or 40 times in their presence. This is what stimulates testosterone. Using testosterone in a man is feeling successful doing things that make you successful or thinking things it will lead to success. I’m getting messages that you were a success. Women want that too. They want to feel successful, but it doesn’t lower their stress. Maybe if you’re successful, then you pay your bills, that’s going to lower your stress.
How many women can pay their bills? Many women can’t pay their bills and they’ll be stressed out, but the stress is coming from the deficiency of estrogen. They’re going to their male side to make more money because they don’t have a partner. It’s being on their male side that over independence, not having interdependence in her life that would produce the estrogen. When women’s estrogen levels go low, their stress levels go up. When their stress levels go up, they tend to become more masculine because, “Nobody’s going to help me. I have to do it myself. I’m in danger.” Her testosterone goes up, but her estrogen doesn’t go up and her stress levels will be much higher than a man’s in that situation. This is a piece of important information. How many things women can do to balance their hormones without having to take hormones?
We’re seeing many women having to take hormones. In extreme health conditions, maybe that could be helpful, but most holistic doctors that I know will always favor trying to find nutritional support as well as behavioral support now that they have my information. Nobody’s ever talked so much about behaviors that stimulate these hormones, but this has been my life’s work. It’s quite insightful in the book, Beyond Mars and Venus, the various types of strategies. Ultimately the bigger strategy, if you’re upset with your partner, you’re out of balance, not them. It’s you. “Your mind can find all the reasons and certainly there’s justification,” but you are responsible. What you do is you notice, what do you do at that time that’s not working, that you blame your partner for? Are you trying to change your partner, try to give them advice, try to get upset with them? Whatever your reactions are, if it’s not working, you’re doing it.
Step two is pull back from depending on your partner for your wellbeing and know the things you need to do as a woman to balance your female hormones, men, your masculine hormones. Your stress levels go down and your heart opens. Now, you have more to give to your partner, so you’re making love. You’re taking it up and then you will get more from your partner. It’s completely taking responsibility for your life then you’re empowered as opposed to many people who feel in prison than victimized by those situations. They don’t have this knowledge of how to find the power within themselves, the openheartedness within themselves, the happiness within themselves. Their outer world will always mirror what’s on the inner side of you. You can pull that in.
Having said all that, that’s the Beyond Mars and Venus book, the practicalities of putting that into practice. Something’s happening with the COVID virus where people are staying together all the time and you might think, “We have more time for intimacy.” It is actually creating huge problems for couples and lots of violence, upset, desires for divorce and unhappiness. What is that about? In Wuhan, a city in China where the virus started, the divorces were twelve a week. As soon as people started coming out of being in their homes all the time, it went to 300 a week and continues to be 300 a week. They’re done with their partner. Some people say, “It brought out the issues that they have.”
I said, “No, it didn’t just bring out issues that they had.” Sometimes people say, “I’ve got to see the real you. That’s not the real you. That’s the exaggerated you. You’re out of balance you. That’s the sick part of you. It’s not you. It’s you becoming sick.” The actual being together that much of the time is not healthy. In an ideal relationship, 20% of your happiness and fulfillment are dependent upon your relationship with your spouse, if you’re married. Eighty percent has nothing to do with your spouse. If you start looking to more from your spouse, you will never be able to get what you need. You’ll be too picky, demanding, sensitive, irritable, and mistrusting. All these reactions occur when you’re expecting someone to provide something for you that you’re supposed to take a risk and provide for you. Otherwise, you get into this in the past called codependent relationships where you’re always overly dependent on your partner’s response for your happiness.We deplete ourselves even more when we soothe our stress with addictions. Click To Tweet
When my wife’s happy, I feel fantastic. If I’m not already happy, if I’m not feeling successful in my life and she’s not happy, then suddenly I become all grumpy and irritable, “Why are you happy? Why aren’t you happy?” “I’m doing all right. Everything’s all right.” That’s the dance, which is men are stuck in their homes. They’re not doing those things for 80% of their fulfillment coming from their work, their activities, and their hobbies. Their wife is right there looking at you. She’s used to getting so much fulfillment from you, then she doesn’t have her 80% of her fulfillment handled through life outside of the relationship, not dependent on the relationship. There you are, right in the presence of your partner. It’s unhealthy. In a good relationship, there’s time to connect and to be apart. That’s where we need to review the ideas of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.
Men need their cave time. Women need to talk. Beyond Mars and Venus says, “Women, you need to talk to somebody other than your husband when all this stuff is going up,” but there is something you can do. It’s called Genie in a Bottle. When you’re stuck in the house together, at least twenty minutes a day, let’s do something to supercharge those hormones. When a woman feels, “I can get what I need,” estrogen goes up supercharged. When a man feels, “I’m a hero. I’m successful,” he’s supercharged. For twenty minutes, you become the Genie. You come out of the bottle. She has to rub the bottle, which she has to ask for something. You then say, “I’m happy to do it. I’m glad to do it.” It’s something he can do within twenty minutes.
It’s not like, “You never turn out the lights. You should always remember to turn off the lights.” That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re saying, “Would you go wash those dishes? Would you clean out that cabinet? Would you go empty the trash? Would you go upstairs and get some oil and massage my feet, take off my shoes, and my socks?” It’s specific requests and lots of them within a twenty-minute window. Every request if you get an immediate response is a surcharge of female hormones for the woman. She will begin to delight and appreciate it. It’s a game in the beginning. You can pretend you’re having a good time. Within five minutes, you will be having a good time. It will charge up those emotions. Try to do as many little things as possible and in the end, big hug. “Thanks. That’s done.” Ignore her for a while. Let that settle. It’s powerful at this time. I am getting great feedback on it.
I greatly appreciate your time sharing this with us. I look forward to the next book. I’m thrilled. I’ve been a fan of your work for a long time. I know from my clinical work that the sound nature of the principles you were teaching, that we have to do an experiential shift inside the individual to be able to manage the emotions. Thank you so much. I greatly appreciate the information about vitamins. I look forward to the next time we can chat.
Thank you. It is a real pleasure.
Dr. John Gray is the author of the most well-known and trusted relationship book of all time, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Dr. Gray has written over twenty books. His most recent book is Beyond Mars and Venus. His Mars Venus book series has forever changed the way men and women view their relationships. John helps men and women better understand and respect their differences in both personal and professional relationships. His approach combined specific communication techniques with healthy nutritional choices that create the brain and body chemistry for lasting health, happiness and romance.
His many books, blogs and free online workshops at MarsVenus.com provide practical insights to improve relationships at all stages of life and love. As an advocate of health and optimal brain function, he also provides natural solutions for overcoming depression, anxiety and stress to support increased energy, libido, hormonal balance and better sleep. He has appeared repeatedly on Oprah as well as on The Dr. Oz Show, Today, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America and others. He has been profiled in Time, Forbes, USA Today, and People Magazine. He was also the subject of a three-hour special hosted by Barbara Walters. John Gray lives in Northern California with his wife, Bonnie. They have been happily married for many years and have three grown daughters and four grandchildren. He is an avid follower of his health and relationship advice.
- Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
- John Gray
- What You Feel, You Can Heal
- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.. and It’s All Small Stuff
- The Boy Crisis
- Beyond Mars and Venus
About John Gray
John Gray is the author of the most well-known and trusted relationship book of all time, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. USA Today listed his book as one of the top 10 most influential books of the last quarter century. In hardcover, it was the #1 bestselling book of the 1990s. Dr. Gray’s books are translated into approximately 45 languages in more than 100 countries and continues to be a bestseller. Dr. Gray has written over 20 books. His most recent book is Beyond Mars and Venus. His Mars/Venus book series has forever changed the way men and women view their relationships. John helps men and women better understand and respect their differences in both personal and professional relationships. His approach combines specific communication techniques with healthy, nutritional choices that create the brain and body chemistry for lasting health, happiness and romance. His many books, blogs and free online workshops at MarsVenus.com provide practical insights to improve relationships at all stages of life and love. An advocate of health and optimal brain function, he also provides natural solutions for overcoming depression, anxiety and stress to support increased energy, libido, hormonal balance and better sleep. He has appeared repeatedly on Oprah, as well as on The Dr. Oz Show, TODAY, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, and others. He has been profiled in Time, Forbes, USA Today, and People. He was also the subject of a three-hour special hosted by Barbara Walters. John Gray lives in Northern California with his wife, Bonnie. They have been happily married for over 30 years and have three grown daughters and four grandchildren. He is an avid follower of his own health and relationship advice.
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