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How to stay calm in every situation | Attia and Huberman

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updated 17 Jul 2023

How to stay calm in every situation | Attia and Huberman

In a conversation between Peter Attia and Andrew Huberman, Peter opens up about his lifelong struggle with anger and rage. He shares that he has always had an intense amount of anger, even as a young child. Peter admits to having destructive outlets for his rage, such as punching holes in walls, but he also credits boxing as a positive outlet that kept him out of trouble. However, he realizes that his self-directed anger has been detrimental to his relationships with others.

Peter explains that his inner monologue was filled with angry and violent self-talk, constantly berating himself for any imperfection or mistake. This negative self-talk affected his interactions with the world, making him difficult to be around. Recognizing the need for change, Peter seeks help from a therapist and embarks on a transformative exercise.

The exercise involves stopping himself whenever he engages in self-talk and instead treating himself as if he were a close friend who made a mistake. He records audio messages on his phone, speaking to himself with kindness and understanding as he would to a friend. These recordings are shared with his therapist. Although initially daunted by the practice, Peter discovers that it takes only about four months to significantly diminish his self-directed anger.

He no longer identifies with his former angry self, symbolized by the character Bobby Knight, known for his explosive temper. Peter's anger has subsided, and he finds himself communicating with himself in a more compassionate manner. While he still holds high standards for himself, he is no longer constantly beating himself up, which has positively impacted his interactions with others.

Andrew commends Peter for sharing his experience and acknowledges the remarkable neuroplasticity displayed in Peter's ability to change his internal narrative after 47 years of self-deprecation. The conversation highlights the practical step Peter took and invites others to consider their own approach to self-talk.