Daniel Amen

Ever feel like you’re out of control? Are you anxious? Worried? Sad? Stressed? Angry? Dr. Daniel Amen offers hope for you – hope through a four-pronged approach to health: biological, psychological, social, and spiritual. (p. xxi)

After 30 years of focusing on the brain and creating the world’s largest database of nearly 150,000 SPECT scans on patients from 120 countries, Dr. Amen has revealed the BRAIN-XL framework to help his patients “feel better fast and make it last.” (p. xx-xxi)

  • B for “Brain.” Whenever you have negative emotions, you must have a strategy to refocus your emotions. You must also work to optimize your physical functioning of the brain and shift your thinking habits to more positive practices.
  • R for “Rational Mind.” Developing mental disciplines like quieting your mind and practicing gratitude are key.
  • A for “Attachments.” Improving relationships and dealing with painful memories can help you achieve better outcomes.
  • I for “Inspiration.” Knowing your purpose creates healthier, happier, and longer lives.
  • N for “Nourishment.” Yes, our brains are affected by what we put into our bodies. Dr. Amen provides information on helpful diets, herbs and spices, and supplements.
  • X for the “X-Factor.” Thinking differently about the brain led to ten lessons that changed Dr. Amen’s approach to brain health. He reveals them in this book.
  • L for “Love.” Caring for your body and brain affects your health and the health of generations to come. Chapter 12 begins with a subtitle quote, “Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus, Mark 12:31” (p. 277)

Each chapter contains images of healthy and unhealthy brains, techniques to use to improve the brain, anecdotes of real patients and their progress, and “tiny habits that can make you fee better fast – and lead to big changes.”

Throughout the book, Dr. Amen includes Scripture. He values prayer and has included the Peace Prayer of St. Francis. (p. 285)

Dr. Amen’s focus is making a great difference in the lives of others.

“I see pursuing good health as the ultimate act of love.” (p. 277)

A somewhat technical book written so that a layperson can understand, Feel Better Fast and Make It Last, has already made a difference in my life, as I have tried some of the techniques and tiny habits, and I will be trying more in the future.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

My prayer

Father, thank You for Dr. Amen and his focus on brain health from a Christian perspective. Pour out Your wisdom upon him and upon the health care providers who work with him. Give them discernment as they think differently and work with people who have complex challenges. Thank You, Lord for using medicine and physicians to heal in all aspects of health, including spiritual health. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Dr. Amen, a physician and double board-certified psychiatrist, founded the Amen Clinics and is a 10-time New York Times bestselling author and international speaker. He worked with Pastor Rick Warren and Dr. Mark Hyman to create Saddleback Church’s Daniel Plan.

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