In this Business of Functional Medicine episode, Kristen Brokaw hosts a conversation with Dr. Jarrod Spencer, a sports psychologist who also works with corporations and high net-worth professionals. In this episode, Dr. Spencer discusses the importance for clinicians to manage emotional energy and mental fatigue. Given that healthcare is usually a high-stress role, individuals must prioritize their emotional health and well-being.

Getting enough sleep, counseling and developing a mental toolbox to effectively manage emotional energy are examples of strategies healthcare providers should be employing. He also highlights the significance of creating a positive and supportive culture in the workplace, including practices like fist bumping and high fiving to foster camaraderie among staff members.

This episode validates physician burnout and offers helpful tools for managing emotional energy and mental fatigue.

If you listen to the full episode, you’ll hear about:

  1. Dr. Spencer’s scoring system, for measuring emotional energy, or one’s psychological capacity to effectively deal with immediate stressors in their life.
  2. Mental fatigue significantly impacts a person’s perception of effort. When mentally fatigued, individuals are more likely to perceive tasks as requiring more effort, which can decrease their endurance and motivation.
  3. Emotional and mental fatigue can lead to negative thinking, decreased performance, and burnout.
  4. Compassion fatigue and neglecting one’s own emotional well-being can have negative consequences on both personal and professional life.
  5. And more!


Business of Functional Medicine: Managing Emotional and Mental Energy | Episode 339


Kristen Brokaw:
Well, hello, Dr. Spencer. I’m here with Dr. Jared Spencer, who’s a psychologist. Why don’t you introduce yourself, Dr. Spencer.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Kristen, it’s great to be on with you. Thank you so much for having me. And yes, I am a psychologist, and particularly in health and sports is my forte. Love teaching people how the mind works best so that they can be the emotionally healthiest version of themselves and thrive. Obviously the sports psychology is a big part of what I’ve done, but I’ve really parlayed that since the pandemic more into healthcare and more working with high net worth individuals, professionals, incorporations, such as Microsoft.

Kristen Brokaw:
Okay, cool. So you mentioned athletes and you wrote a book called The Mind of the Athlete. What was it that athletes needed from you?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Yeah, handling the pressure cooker at the biggest stage, maybe it’s the Indianapolis 500 or the Super Bowl, or the Tokyo Olympics or the Paris Olympics that I’m headed to this summer when the stage gets the biggest and the lights get the brightest, that’s where I love to come alongside an individual and make sure they have the mental skills to not just manage the moment but to thrive in it.

Kristen Brokaw:
So this podcast is obviously for providers and functional medicine providers. None of them are experiencing those types of odds, but what makes them similar to that athlete and what they need

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Is that people are people. And the truth is right now what I’m seeing in our culture society, for most people and particularly leaders, they’re burning out emotionally. There’s a fatigue that they’re just really presenting well to the public and able to do their job. But when you talk to them privately, they’ll tell you, I’m just tired.

Kristen Brokaw:
You mentioned you are the one that taught me that burnout is actually now a diagnosis code.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
It is. It is. And it’s far more rampant, not just in healthcare with providers, but teachers, tech world, law enforcement as they travel to different industries. I’m seeing a common theme, and part of it is most people are averaging about six hours a night of sleep. Now, some might get more, but they’re not getting enough recovery for what they’re outputting.

Kristen Brokaw:
I have a provider that I’ll get messages at midnight or one, and I think, oh my goodness, I know what time you start work the next day. Right?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
But with the reality of our situation with technology, this is what it’s come to. And when the pandemic hit and everyone just started relaxing on the sleep and work was whenever the boundaries have been blurred. And one of the long-term consequences of that is that I just see people are fatigued from dealing with each other’s emotional stuff as well as kids and marriage and all those things, but they’re also tired because they’re not getting enough sleep.

Kristen Brokaw:
So you mentioned that’s one of the biggest issues is sleep. What are some of the other biggest issues that we are facing as humans or these top leaders are facing?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
The pace. The pace at which we’re working with technology that we can’t keep up with. And if we’re talking about people that are maybe like 35, 40 and older, they have the work ethic of the past generations. So they had that kind of grind mentality. I’m just going to get through it. But the difference is they leave at five o’clock on a Friday and work doesn’t stop it used to for their generations before us. It continues. And no matter how hard a person works with the technology, they can’t keep up. And therein lies where Generation X is really feeling it. Millennials have a better relationship with technology, so their dynamic isn’t quite the same.

Kristen Brokaw:
Okay. So I’m guessing that the majority of your clients are probably what Gen Xers, baby boomers?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Well, and certainly in the high net worth professionals and corporation world, it is in the sports world, it’s a lot of 20 somethings that are young. So it’s a different dynamic there.

Kristen Brokaw:
So what you’re saying is the younger generation has the ability to manage it better without getting so tired and the older generation doesn’t be clear there.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
I can probably be clear through a quote that I heard that I thought was kind of symbolic of this. Gen Xers were complaining about millennials. They don’t have the same work ethic. They don’t show up on time they don’t want to do. And there’s truth to that, they don’t. But then the comeback for the millennials was, your generation is miserable and we don’t want to be anything like you guys. We don’t want to follow your example. It’s like, Touche. Good point.

Kristen Brokaw:
What are millennials doing that we’re not doing as Gen Xers?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Ah, great question. Well, part of it, the generic X-ers would joke is like, well, they live in their parents’ basements till they’re 32. And it’s like, well, that’s a little bit different. But you’re right. I think that part of it is just they grew up with the technology, so they have the ability to have a little bit more balance with it. And particularly the work ethic where it’s a Gen Xer might say, I have to get through all my emails and then I can relax. Millennial might say, I’m going to relax anyway, even though I didn’t get through all my emails.

Kristen Brokaw:
Got it. Yeah, I can relate to that. So let’s talk about this mental energy and just energy management. I’ve heard you talk about when I heard you speak that it’s easy to see a physical injury. It’s easy to see, oh, I’m on crutches and I obviously can’t do the things that I used to do or whatever. Or I was in a car accident, blah, blah, blah. But when we have more anxiety and stress, this mental injury, it’s tougher to see, quantify and really do anything about what would you say to that?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Yeah, that was a quote that actually went viral when I was on CNN New Day talking about Theo withdrawal from the French open. And I said that mental health is an invisible injury, and if she had had a more visible injury that people would give her a pass. But mental health is a bit of an invisible injury, and so we often suffer in silence and we have to do more to acknowledge that mental health concerns that we were having. And to our society’s credit, really that moment I mark, is when the stigma in mental health fell in sports, when Simone Biles withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics, that’s when it fell for the culture in society. And we all realized, Hey, look, we’re all struggling. And since that time now, it’s a lot easier for people to talk about it and share that they might be struggling in some way. So that’s one of the best parts that came out of the pandemic was the fall of the stigma on mental health.

Kristen Brokaw:
So we’ve established that burnouts happening with these Gen Gen Xers, baby boomers. There’s no way for them to kind of do anything about it because they don’t have a physical injury. You’re hearing from them that they’re tired. They can’t keep up with this pace. Okay, so now what are you working with your high net worth individuals? What are you doing with them?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Emotional energy management.
And so emotional energy by definition is a person’s psychological capacity to effectively deal with the immediate stressors in their life. So right here, right now, how much capacity does a person have to effectively deal? Sure they can deal, but how effective? And we measure emotional energy on a self-report scale of zero to 100. It’s like a report card. If your emotional energy is up in the nineties and you’re going to feel great, you’re optimistic, you’re positive, you’re going to have a great workout. You make better choices with your food and relationships. If your emotional energy is in the eighties, well done, that’s like a B, you’re pretty good. And when your emotional energy starts getting into the cville, we start to feel a little tired. It’s not negative yet, but we feel the fatigue. And 70 is the tipping point number. Once you go below 70, negative thinking creeps in.
And once that occurs, a person can quickly spiral from 68 to 62 to 58 to 45. And as we get low and emotional energy, the uglier side of ourselves can sometimes emerge. And sadly, most people, the emotional energy is hanging around the tipping point. And so the work that I’m doing with individuals is to help them, number one, understand the concept and their score at any given moment. And then two, how do we plug up those drains and increase our emotional energy so that, for example, if I’m a provider, I can go and serve these people door to door to door as I am making my way through the clinic, but my emotional energy stays higher, so I’m a better version of myself.

Kristen Brokaw:
Oh, that’s a great, okay. So that’s what you’re saying you work on them with, first of all, you give them. So is it just sort of acknowledging like, oh God, right now I am a 60?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s step one is being able to create the lingo because a lot of providers, a lot of people, if somebody said to them, what number are you right now? And somebody said, well, I’m like a 58. People would say, I would’ve had no idea. Because we’re so trained to present well to stuff it, to bury it, to just ignore it, that it’s hard for sometimes people to stay, particularly in family dynamics, marriages, relationships like that where somebody’s like, I didn’t know. I didn’t know that you were hurting so badly. So having that number is the very first step, first step to helping the people around us understand that we might be struggling.

Kristen Brokaw:
So I acknowledge that where I am in the scale, and then say I’m a provider and I just got some rough, I just had a rough appointment with one of my patients, but I still have a whole day, or I got into an argument with a staff member, I’m not sure regardless, or I walked in that day with that because I didn’t get enough sleep. Now what do we do? What do do when the rubber meets the road?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Absolutely. So now we’re talking about acute versus chronic. So in the acute situation, it’s like, Hey, look man, I’m just having a really bad day, and we’ve got to have technique to manage that. But then the other situation is like, yeah, maybe life’s not going so well. Maybe a family member has died. Maybe there’s a divorce. Maybe there’s teenagers in the house or little ones that are not sleeping. So there’s all kinds of chronic things that keep our emotional energy lower. And so the bottom line that I end up doing for these individuals is number one, catharsis. Just giving them a place where they can vent and catharsis means a freeing of repressed emotion. And they just got to be able, in a legally confidential environment, just be able to complain and process and get it off their chest. And so catharsis is one. And then number two is put tools in their mental toolbox. Help them to understand how the mind works best and what specifically they can do to manage complex interpersonal dynamics. That’s the key. Most leaders, the biggest drain is these really complicated interpersonal dynamics that maybe they have with loved ones, family members in-laws, colleagues, but that’s often where the drain is. So helping them to manage that with new skill.

Kristen Brokaw:
So what would something like that look like? So let’s talk about something that’s more of a chronic, I get that if something’s more acute, I didn’t get a lot of sleep that night. Hey, everybody, I didn’t get a lot of sleep. You can kind of go about your day, hopefully tomorrow’s another a new day. And maybe it’s just a matter of acknowledging it, letting everybody know what it is that you need and could be something like that. But if something’s more chronic, like you’re saying there’s a sick child that has a disease at home or going through a divorce, or even if it’s just hormonal shifts that change in life, what kind of things do you do for that person or tell that person to do to really now manage kind of a season of their life?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
And the answer really is create a customized plan for that individual, right? Because given the wider range, it’s not like, oh, just do this and you’ll feel better. It’s much more personalized and situational than that. Although there are some blanket things that I have been saying more recently. For example, in the sports world, whatever’s going down the sports world, eventually it makes its way to corporate. It’s a little bit of a lag, but things start there and then they come over. Well, in the sports world, there’s a huge emphasis in the pro sports world, rest, recharge, and recovery. What can an individual do to be fresh and healthy so that when they go out there and perform, and there’s great science behind all kinds of techniques to help with that. But one small technique that I found myself sharing with some high net worth professionals was just the importance of cold tubbing. Telling people, you know what? You may really want to think about either getting yourself a really nice cold tub and a few clients have done that. Or even just going like a tractor supply and getting $130 trough. Fill up that thing with your garden hose. It’ll be about 55 degrees, and when you get in there for a few minutes every morning, it’ll help you with the dopamine release, the inflammation, some fat burn, all that stuff. So small little techniques that are things I found myself talking more to individuals to help with rest, recharge, recovery.

Kristen Brokaw:
I love that. I actually feel like that’s really action oriented. So rest, maybe asking yourself, what are you doing when you feel rested? Is it just sleeping eight hours? Probably not. It’s probably also knowing that you don’t have a bunch of stuff sitting on your shoulders that has to get done. Maybe you feel rested. So yoga, you were the one that mentioned massage to me, and I literally thought about that and I was like, oh my God, the oxytocin. I need to do that. So I would like to acknowledge you that ever since I saw you last, I now get twice a month set massage, and I’m loving it. I had no idea that that was available.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
And for example, one pro sports team I worked with, we had two massage therapists and one that traveled with the team at all times. So it’s very, very important to understand that this is a part of active recovery. It’s not just like, oh, wow, wouldn’t it be nice to get a massage for our pro athletes? It’s like, no, did you do the body work today? Because you should be doing that kind of body work after every game, after every practice and whatever part of your body has got a little kink, go and see the massage therapist. So it’s not just a luxury item in the world of high performance of sports, this is good science.

Kristen Brokaw:
You asked the question to when I saw you speak, you asked the question to us, you said, what’s draining your emotional energy? And so when you actually get asked that question and you have to sit down and write it, it’s when you can identify all the things. And then it became cathartic, just like you said. So it was, oh my gosh, it’s the email, it’s the coming home from work and then having to dive right into making dinner for a family or zero buffer time. And it was little things like that that you don’t even know until you want to acknowledge it, get asked the question and start writing it down. Do you have anything you would add to that?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Yeah, that’s the looking inward process. And so whenever we pause, and what I would add to that is, and it kind of links with something you said earlier about the rest recharge. Why are we struggling so much? Because most of the time when we do pause and we do rest, it looks like, well, we lay down and we pull out a phone and we scroll. So very few people lie on a couch without scrolling, lie in bed without scrolling, even go to the bathroom without scrolling. It’s like constant. So the idea of let me sit down, pause, reflect, journal, write things down, that concept in theory sounds great, but in practicality, most people can’t rest without an electronic.

Kristen Brokaw:
I mean, that is so huge. Again, thank you for bringing that up. I noticed that in myself, and I will say it’s the, and you said it earlier, the pace. So my stress is if I don’t get this done, it’s only going to make the pile greater. And that’s why the buffer, I feel like I don’t know how important that is, but the buffer from coming home and walking in the door to then the next set of things that I have to do. So one thing that I, to ask the question, the inverse question of what drains your emotional energy, you also then said, what restores your energy? And again, those two questions, I feel like if you get nothing out of this interview, I’d say just ask yourselves those two questions and it will reveal a lot.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Well, the people, places, and things that really drain us or energize us are really important that we gravitate to all that. But we have to take a little bit of the ideas from sports and put it into the corporate world for even a recharge. For example, I just talked with a business owner about a AirPods. And so in the pro sports world, anybody wearing some headphones, some AirPods, it is really a symbol to leave me alone. I’m in my own head, in my own space, and I’m just going to want to stay right there. So we don’t want to interact with somebody when they’re wearing them, and so well, what are they actually listening to? It’s not always like the pump up music. A lot of times for many of the athletes, particularly the ones that I work with, they’re listening to relaxing piano music with no lyrics.
You see, they’re trying to push their brain into a parasympathetic state. They’re trying to stay in an alpha brainwave state and relaxing piano music with no lyrics can really do that. So for many individuals, when they sit down, it’s like, okay, I’m driving to my car, or I’m going to sit down and do my emails, or I’m just watching my kids game. Put in the AirPods, put in the relaxing piano music and listen to that. And it’s amazing how it can calm down a bit of the nervous system and actually allow a person to focus a little bit more. For example, if they’re trying to do email or if they’re just trying to prepare dinner, cook a dinner, it can really help them just down and regulate the nervous system and just feel a little bit better. That little technique when done every day goes a long way.

Kristen Brokaw:
Oh my gosh. I know. I remember you talked about that. Who’s your favorite guy?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Yeah, Danny Wright, W-R-I-G-H T, piano player from Texas. And the reason why I always endorse Danny is because not only is he obviously a wonderful musician, but it’s oftentimes helpful to not have a connotation with a song. So if somebody is listening to a song, but it reminded them of something in high school, and there is lyrics, so every song has a memory. So if you’re listening to a piano player who writes his own music and you don’t really know that music per se, you just know that it’s in a genre that it’s relaxing, it’s going to be very helpful. So Danny’s music tends to be like that. He does compose, it does play some other people’s stuff, but his original stuff is really good too.

Kristen Brokaw:
Okay. So what you’re saying is have something that can not stimulate you, that’s really taking you into that parasympathetic, I mean, obviously they talk about vagal tone and things that are going to stimulate that,

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Right? Yes. Yeah, exactly. I mean, elevator music, I mean, why is there elevator music? Well, you’re in a box going 50 stories in the air, right? I mean, they’re trying to calm you down. You don’t want to think about it. The one pro sports team, I showed up at the arena, and we have to be there at two hours before, and sure enough, I walk in the locker room and they’re playing relaxing piano music with no lyric. And the captain team came up and said, Hey, Jared, I know you said keep this on for about an hour to an hour before the game, but we decided we’re going to switch to our music about an hour and a half before the game. And I said, I don’t care. Really, when you switch it, I’m just glad that you’re using this music to stay down. And here’s the key, conserve your emotional energy so that you can have it in the tank later in the 9:30 at night when you need it in front of 16,000 fans. The emotional energy that you would’ve spent on nervousness and anxiety from 5 to 5:30. We actually can conserve a little of that, and that may only be two, three emotional energy points, but that could be the difference between a win or a loss in the NBA. So that’s a big difference. So emotional energy management is about utilizing a lot of techniques in particular for rest, recharge, recovery, so that we can be the best version of ourself when it matters the most.

Kristen Brokaw:
I don’t think anybody thinks like that because it’s almost like they need to think about their emotional energy and spending it. They would a calorie, I mean, I know that some’s ridiculous, but you think, why I don’t just eat brownies all day because I would be blowing all my calories, or I know that that’s not good, but we don’t think anything about chronically scrolling or what we do before we go to bed. And I mean, the whole subconscious could be an entire other podcast in and of itself, but what we’re essentially doing to ourselves when we kind of have nothing left in the tank, IE before bed or in the evening is really then up the next day.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
The biggest thing that I would encourage people to rest, recharge recovery is the one hour before they fall asleep each night, that pres sleep routine. And it’s really important to the basics, charge your phone away from the bed. And quite frankly, to be blunt about it, if I said, never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever have the cell phone in the bed again, that most people would be like, well, that’s not me. I can’t do that. And therein lies the problem because our generation’s addiction to our phone, I believe is going to be far more problematic to our health than cigarette smoking ever was. And so just creating a little break to say, put your phone over there and give yourself an hour to ramp down your brain, and without being fatigued and having all that negative junk come in, that little practice right there can go a huge way at increasing emotional energy.

Kristen Brokaw:
Oh my gosh. I mean, I bet you’re right. It’s not even like you’re like, oh, do you think I’m right, Kristen? Yeah, I owe this for a living, right? But I’m right there with you with, I can’t imagine not having it in my bedroom.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
And you have in your bedroom just not in the bed, so charge it away where when you wake up in the morning, it’s like most people wake up. Ninety percent of the people that I ask when I speak, it’s like, yeah, the phone’s right there, and I just reach up and I grab it and I look at it right away. But if we can actually have it on the other side of the bedroom and we have to wake up slowly and just give yourself a few minutes and then maybe grab the phone, that little pause, that little break right there, that’s what we’re talking about. It can go a long way on the wake up, but in particularly that hour before you go to bed to just create that space, it’s very, very important.

Kristen Brokaw:
Yeah. Wow. So thank you for that. I’m going to do that tonight. I do appreciate that. Like I said, it’s almost if we treated it more kind of how you said with an emotional injury, how you can’t see it, we can’t see these activities, but if it was literally that was the same as me shoving brownies in my mouth or smoking cigarettes, it would be such a different experience.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Well, what we know is that the cigarette smoking, right? It’s like we never knew in the beginning how problematic it was, and doctors were doing it too, so it didn’t seem like it was a big deal. But then a generation later we realized, wow, this has actually been really problematic. And I believe that we do have some of the research and the science out there to show that it is problematic already. And the best evidence of that is really if you look at our young kids, they just have always grown up with the phone in the bed, and you see the impact of social media on their life, and this spike in anxiety, for example, and the sleep deprivation. And so it’s like a tsunami coming. We just haven’t really embraced it yet or seen it yet. But I do think that the longterm impact and our generation with cell phones is going to be like cigarette smoking only worse.

Kristen Brokaw:
So I’m going to switch gears for a second and talk about something else. So everybody, you got to put your phones away. You need to rest, recharge, recover, do some cold plunges.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Yeah.

Kristen Brokaw:
All right. Now let’s talk about what a provider can do in their office with their staff. Let’s start with the staff first, because obviously all these things can apply to their patients, but with their staff and building community because they have this, most providers at least have someone. But you brought up the article on the Dallas Mavericks and how they fist bump and stuff like that. I mean, I love how you have us do these kinds of things when I’ve seen you speak, but can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Well, there’s an MBA study done, and the Dallas Mavericks actually made it a bit famous when it was talked about, I believe it was a New York Times article. And so Wall Street Journal. And so basically what they found is athletes at High five and fist bump in that particular study, butt slaps and chest bumps and all that stuff too. Basically, the more they touch, they were more cooperative, they won more games and they played better. And so the idea there is obviously within reason, appropriateness just even in the business world, a little bit more of the fist bumping even among colleagues at a clinic and among healthcare providers, that little tiny bit, it just makes us feel like we’re part of something bigger than ourselves, that little bit of encouragement, and it really goes a long way. So if we take pages out of pro sports and we try to put them into the corporate setting, that’s one small thing there where it can go a really long way. And so if I was to do a study and go to Dr. X’s clinic and I’d want to see the vibe of the place, how often are people physically interacting, engaging in some way? And so, I think that would be some small measure and let’s just say fist bumping, that we could try to do that a little bit more often, and it would probably increase morale.

Kristen Brokaw:
Fist bumping, high fives. I love it. Yeah. I love when somebody even gives me, they’ll put their fist up, put her there, and you just kind of come in, right?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Yeah. The tough part in sports is sports is like a series of weddings and funerals. So it’s like when we win, it’s the greatest thing ever. And everyone’s so excited and everyone’s fist bumping, and of course when we lose, it feels like somebody died metaphorically, and there’s no fist bumping, and it’s really solemn. And so I understand it’s hard in some cultures, but what I am saying is that if we can intentionally try to shape cultures with the wording on the walls, with our touch, with our tonality, with small little things that can make it, again, that we take from the sports world, we can make our team function better. Even that word team, it’s like, well, that implies that I’m part of something and being on a team and describing as my team, that matters.

Kristen Brokaw:
Yeah, I definitely see a lot of offices that have a lot of staff, and I can always tell the office that has comradery and the office that doesn’t, or not quite as close. Right. And so that maybe is helpful.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
A hundred percent. Yeah. It’s really, really important. And so I guess all I’m saying is, and this isn’t rocket science, it’s just pay attention to culture as it relates to emotional health and wellbeing, emotional energy in particular. And if we can do those things, for example, if you walk into a healthcare provider’s office and you go into the waiting room, oftentimes people will have music like a radio. Don’t do that. When people are waiting, they’re anxious, they’re thinking, play relaxing, piano music with no lyrics, make the setting calm and more conducive for somebody to manage the anxiety, not listening to some random station and also sitting in some very uncomfortable chair, make it so that they’re waiting, but what are they really doing is they’re managing negative thinking, extreme anxiety and worry. So make the environment that’s going to alleviate that. And then they bring less of that in when they finally see the healthcare providers.

Kristen Brokaw:
Right. Well, you also mentioned, since we’re talking about this energy, emotional energy, managing your emotional energy, you talked about mental fatigue that goes up as that mental fatigue goes up, really our motivation can go down, and that’s related to the perception of effort. So we perceive, oh gosh, this is going to take a ton of, so emails, I’ve got all these emails to do, which is going to take forever. So my perception of effort, which therefore decreases my endurance, I just thought that was a really interesting way to look at it. Is there anything you would add to that?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Yeah, it’s based upon a wonderful research study that looked into this, and essentially the mentally fatigued you are, it really impacts your perception of effort. And a person’s perception of effort is the limiting factor. It’s the factor that makes a person say, that’s it. I can’t do anything more. I’m giving up. I’m giving in, or I quit or I stop. And so that perception of effort’s a really, really big deal. And so how do we manage perception of effort? Well, it goes back to the mental fatigue. And so emotional energy management is that way to try as best we can to not be as mentally fatigued. But again, we live in a society where it’s not just the physical, it is the mental. So we got to try to find a way to, we’re putting ourselves out there so much mentally, and because emotions are so high right now, we’re getting the mental fatigue, emotional fatigue, and then we’re just having that ability to say, I’m giving up. I’m giving in. I can’t do this anymore, and I don’t want to see another healthcare provider say, I’m switching my careers because this is just burning me out.

Kristen Brokaw:
So as we wrap up here and you’re talking to a group of providers and you’re just going to give them, I mean, I know it’s not this simple, but you’re going to tell them, these are the things that you need to do for yourself, and these are the things you need to convey to your patients that they need to do for themselves. What would some of those things be in a nutshell?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
In a nutshell, what I would tell people is get that sleep, getting some counseling. Who are you working with? One-on-one, and who are you talking to? Who are you experiencing catharsis with? What book are you reading about the mind? What podcasts are you listening to about the mental health? The more we can do to develop our mental toolbox, the more we can encourage other people with their mental toolbox, the more we can encourage each other with emotional energy management, then we’re the emotionally healthier version of ourself so that we can be that not just for ourselves and enjoy life more, but we can also be that for the people that we love, that we serve, that we work with, that we live with, that we want to try to help. So if we can stay in that space right there, I believe that the future will be much better for all of us.

Kristen Brokaw:
Absolutely. Because people are listening to podcasts on functional medicine like, oh, leaky gut, et cetera. Yes. And really, we have leaky brains, and we probably could stand to have a little more education on how our lifestyle is actually impacting our health versus I just have a leaky gut, or I now have this autoimmune condition. Right?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
There’s a psychological root to a lot of our healthcare conditions, and if we can pay a little bit more attention to that part of it, I think we can make some progress with each of those ailments.

Kristen Brokaw:
I bet you see some of the clients that you work with work on, let’s say mental fitness. I don’t know. I just made that up and all these other things can clear up. Blood pressure probably goes down, maybe they lose a little. Have you seen things like that with your clients?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Oh, all the time. Yeah. I think the Dalai Lama actually said it best. When asked, what amazes you the most about people? He said that they trade off their health to gain wealth gain, and then later in life they trade off the same wealth to try to regain their health. And so I do see so many people saying, yes, I sacrificed my health and now I’m trying to get it back. And when they make those radical lifestyle decisions because there’s a medical condition that’s forcing it, then sure things are a little bit better. But therein lies what the Dalai Lama point is a pretty unique thing about people.

Kristen Brokaw:
So in other words, we technically don’t have to wait until we’re retired to start paying attention to our help or sick.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
But that goes back for those, especially for those people that are in healthcare, it’s really important to, we can’t take on other people’s emotionality little by little by little when they come in with a medical condition and then not expect that to do something to us over time. We’ve got to really practice. It’s why I always tell people I’m a psychologist and I love to go see my psychologist. It’s important that I always have a psychologist and it’s on the schedule whether I need it or not, because every time I’m in there, I have a lot to clear out of the mind, and I really think it’s just going to the gym and working out. It’s just something that we all should, especially this side of pandemic, recognize that the stigma’s fallen. Let’s get in. Let’s have somebody that we can work on this stuff with, and it can go a long way.

Kristen Brokaw:
Oh, that’s perfect. Yeah, because providers have compassion fatigue and they don’t even notice that they need support right there. Some of they say, I’ve had doctors tell me we’re the worst patients.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Yes. But we can work on that.

Kristen Brokaw:
Yeah. Thank you so much for your time today. I hope everybody realizes that mental fatigue and managing your emotional energy is as important, if not more important than what you eat and

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Yeah, right? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Pay attention to your emotional health. Your emotional health matters. It matters a lot.

Kristen Brokaw:
Thank you very much, Dr. Jared Spencer. And if people wanted to find you, where would they do that?

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
drjarrodspencer.com.

Kristen Brokaw:
And Jarrod is spelled…

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
J-A-R-R-O-D. Little bit different.

Kristen Brokaw:
There you go. Thank you so much, Dr. Spencer.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer:
Appreciate it.

Subscribe

RSS Feed

Download

Click here to download this podcast

music provided by intomusic.co

0 Shares
Tweet
Pin
Share