Stella BIDA, in conversation with Jim HENDRIX Certified Brain Health Professional, Author, International Speaker, Mentor, Technical Manager, Engineer
Summarised conversation transcript
This is a summary version of the conversation. More details, stories, and amazing insights are mentioned in the video!
STELLA BIDA: Hi everyone and welcome to this new edition of the Conversations of Excellence. Today, I have a very special guest, Jim Hendrix. He is a Certified Brain Health Professional. He has a great mission around empowering parents in giving their children every chance so that they can flourish throughout their lives. And it's all around the brain. It's going to be an interesting conversation, because he has a multi-dimensional career. He's also been a Psychotherapist for 11 years. He's a Laser Engineer, Optical Engineer, Technical Manager.
Jim there's so many things to know about you! Welcome to the Conversations of Excellence!
JIM HENDRIX: Thank you Stella. It's a pleasure to be here.
STELLA BIDA: Is there anything that you would like us to know about you, that I've not shared about yet?
Sharing a journey through mental health
JIM HENDRIX: Well, I guess part of it would be my journey through mental health. I struggled with depression from a young age, probably because I had a couple of traumatic brain injuries when I was very young. Then I had a psychotic episode in my 50's.
Going through all of that myself has given me a deeper understanding for where people struggle and how to get through it. I've been studying the brain for 25 years or more. I did all of that before I had this big problem. I've learned a whole lot more going through it.
Digging deeper into the knowledge of our brains
STELLA BIDA: You have taken so many years in studying the brain, and you've talked about the depression that you had at a certain period of your life. When you look back, what were you missing out on that made you dig deeper into the knowledge of the brain? Why did you make yourself an expert and specialist in understanding the brain?
JIM HENDRIX: It's a very good question. For me there were some turning points in my life. I stumbled across a couple of books when I was in college that were interesting to me. So I always had an interest in the brain and in Psychology, but I took the route of Physics instead during my career.
But in about the 90s’, I started following Dr. Daniel G. Amen whose work is probably the most known in this area. He's been the pioneer of integrative psychiatry, and as a result been able to make a lot of things much more accessible to people. That resonated with me.
What parents discover about their child’s brain
STELLA BIDA: You help parents in understanding more about their children's brain. What is for you one of the biggest aha moments that parents discover?
JIM HENDRIX: There’s so many. I think the primary one is that there is so much that can be done to make it better, and shape their child’s future not only for now, but it affects their life throughout their lifetime. Some damages cannot be necessarily prevented, but they can be pushed off further away by doing the right things now.
STELLA BIDA: Are these big actions that parents have to take in order to avoid the damages the years after?
JIM HENDRIX: It’s not, it’s a lot of little things for the most part. One of the bigger ones is what sport you let your child play. Contact sports in particular have a tendency to give repeated blows to the head, that can lead to issues in the future like dementia. That is one area that is hard, because if your child wants to play football or soccer - depending on in which country you're in - heading a soccer ball is not an innocuous thing. Continuous or repeated blows to the head, even from a soccer ball, can cause brain injuries that over time add up and may turn into a problem.
How our brain patterns impact our lives
STELLA BIDA: Do you have a specific story to help us understand the importance of optimizing our brains? Do you have an example of a family you've worked with, in reversing a situation regarding their children?
JIM HENDRIX: I worked with a young man who was in the place of trying any illegal drug substance he could find. When I started working with him, he was about 13. He had already been through overdoses and was clearly in addiction mode. We looked at an assessment that I do for people, which is like a brain scan. It actually comes from the same material, and was generated through thousands of brain scans.
As a result of us working together, he came out the other side of that addiction, and really flourished. I worked with him for a very extended period of time, for 5 years. But most of that was because I was one of the few adults in his life that he thought cared. And that by itself is very therapeutic.
Can we be better leaders by understanding the human being's brain?
STELLA BIDA: The “caring” part that you brought forward makes me think about leadership. I was wondering, can we say that understanding the human being's brain allows us to be better leaders?
JIM HENDRIX: Yes absolutely! I'm glad you made that comment! It's clear that we would benefit from having our leaders have a brain assessment, because we should know what's going on in their brain. They don't have to be perfect, nobody really is. But at least try to address those things, that drive them to get offended, start a war, or act like a dictator instead of a benevolent leader. This can actually be seen in SPECT scans.
"Change your Leadership, Change your Brain"
STELLA BIDA: I'm wondering - something caught my curiosity in what you said. Correct me if I’m wrong – Can we actually observe these scans and identify the style of leadership that the person has?
JIM HENDRIX: There hasn't been a book written about it yet. But I'm sure it's coming. “Change your Leadership, Change your Brain”.
Depending on which of the brain’s areas are working well, working too hard or working not well enough - this will change the style of leadership that a person has.
How to minimise the impact of the stress due to change
STELLA BIDA: Talking about change. We are in a time of lots of uncertainty and change, through this global pandemic. What do you think is actually happening inside our brains today? How can we minimize the impact of the stress which is created around this state we're all in?
JIM HENDRIX: There is a lot of stress as you mentioned, which has led to a lot of anxiety and depression. There are a lot of things which can be done, even what you eat makes a huge difference. You can change a lot of the stress in your life just by changing your diet.
I go into a lot more things like that in my course.
Why know more about our brains?
STELLA BIDA: With all the knowledge you gained about the brain throughout the years and your experience, what would you share with us to ignite our will to sit down and understand how this works?
JIM HENDRIX: It really boils down to this: if you want the best for your child or yourself, learn to make some changes with the right guides. This makes a huge difference. Once people see the difference it can make on scans, people get “brain envy”. Basically, they want the best brain that they can have.
STELLA BIDA: From your own experience, when was the aha moment that got you to have to know more about the brain?
JIM HENDRIX: It was probably when I was going through my first divorce. I was suicidal in my thinking, and I was recommended by three different doctors that I needed to do something now. It made such a dramatic difference in my outlook on life and my perspective. It was like night and day.
STELLA BIDA: What had you discovered at that moment?
JIM HENDRIX: I think I discovered the fact that I couldn't do it on my own. That's about the time that I really dug into the brain information and learning much more seriously.
“Dear 10 years-old Jim, there’s nothing wrong with needing help…”
STELLA BIDA: If you had the Jim of 10 years old right next to you now, what would you tell him?
JIM HENDRIX: I think that I would talk to him about diet, meditation. At the time for me that was crazy stuff.
As well as telling myself it's not normal for you to be thinking about dark thoughts all the time. I never told anybody.
I really wasn't diagnosed with depression until I was old, but it was there, and it was pretty serious. So I would tell him: “You need some help. It’s not normal, and there's nothing wrong with needing help. If you needed glasses, you would wear glasses. It's no different having an issue with your brain than having an issue with your eyes”.
STELLA BIDA: When I listen to you, it's like there are so many things that we carry on doing over and over again throughout our lives, without knowing that they can have a significant and deep impact on the quality of our lives.
Before we end, I wanted to ask you what you propose for people to get to know more about what you’re doing?
JIM HENDRIX: They can always send me an email at: Jim@JLHendrix.com .
My course, Loving your child's brain goes live on June 17th. I would love to have people attend! And if you miss the live version it will be available through recordings along with the bonuses.
STELLA BIDA: Thank you very much Jim for being with us today and helping us to understand the link between our childhood, our children, our brains, our leadership style. We talked about a lot of things today.
Medical and Health Disclaimer: All content and media on this website is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Never disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call the emergency services immediately. If you choose to rely on any information provided by any content and media, you do so solely at your own risk. External (outbound) links to other websites or educational material (e.g. pdf’s etc…) that are not explicitly created by this website are followed at your own risk. Under no circumstances are the owners of this website responsible for the claims of third party websites or educational providers. By consuming any media and content related to this website you acknowledge and agree to this disclaimer.