My name is: Dr. Robin Berzin.
My stomping ground is: Brooklyn, NY.
My book is called: State Change: The New Science of Ending Anxiety, Beating Burnout, and Reaching A Higher Baseline of Energy and Flow.
The pub date is: January 18, 2022—tomorrow!
My background before becoming an author was:
Physician and the founder & CEO of Parsley Health.
I was inspired to write it when: I saw how many of my patient’s lives were changed when we helped them address the things that were physically holding them back from peak mental health. In my office, and through my colleagues at Parsley Health, we’ve helped tens of thousands of patients feel better. So many of them came to us after suffering for years from anxiety, depression, burnout and common chronic conditions without finding relief. Their previous doctors weren’t connecting the dots or helping them understand that they have the power to improve their mental health by changing what’s happening in their physical bodies.
I wrote the book as an easy to use roadmap for anyone, anywhere that gives them the information they need to raise their mental health baseline and achieve their own state change.
It’s about: State Change looks at the physical barriers to peak mental health and asks, “just what might be sabotaging your best efforts to feel mentally well that nobody is talking about?”
The most unexpected takeaway is: Anxiety, burnout and depression may actually be symptoms of something else that’s going on—a powerful alarm system that is saying, “Look closer. Feeling like crap isn’t normal.” There are dozens of chronic conditions, like Hashimoto’s, SIBO, nutritional deficiencies, PCOS, hypo/hyperthyroidism, that include anxiety and depression in their list of symptoms, which is why it’s really critical that we take a bigger picture view of mental health.
It’s a game changer because: State Change challenges the common misconception that your mind and mood belong to a psychiatrist while your body belongs to your primary care doctor.
I don’t know anyone whose mental health hasn’t been impacted by the pandemic and the era we’re living in, yet many of us feel like we’ve hit a wall by trying to improve our mental health by just working on our mental health. Bringing the body into the conversation opens up a whole new kind of approach to health and empowers readers to take control.
My hope is that readers will: Work on achieving their own state change. My patient Alyssa, 34, first entered my office, sobbing. She was suffering from severe bloating, gas, headaches and brain fog for years, and the medications she was taking made her feel dizzy and only worsened her digestive issues. To top it off, she was worried the drugs she was on might interfere with her ability to have a baby. But upon reviewing her health biography and speaking with Alyssa, I knew right away she was suffering from SIBO. When we addressed what was going on for her, she became focused, clear-headed and symptom free. Today she is the mother of a healthy baby boy. This is a state change that should be accessible to everyone, no matter where they live or who their doctor is, and I want that for every reader.
What it means to find balance is: Finding balance means listening to your body. Meditation and yoga have been major parts of my life since my mid-twenties; I practice both every day. Before I found these practices, I subsisted off green apples, protein bars and coffee sweetened with Splenda because I thought it was “healthy.” In truth, it was probably the worst thing I could do for my health, but I was so disconnected from my body that I couldn’t feel the state of imbalance I was living in. But when I began my yoga practice, and began to reconnect with what was going on inside of me, all the other dominos started to fall into place. I found more calm, more balance and more energy than I could ever generate while running on a treadmill and drinking coffee. And best of all, I found my passion for medicine and became a doctor.
Balance is so important because: When we are out of balance physically, we’re out of balance emotionally. And, as a mom of three, wife, founder, CEO and doctor, it’s important for me to be in balance so I can show up for all of the people in my life who rely on me.
Imagine how it feels to be burnt out—to be completely unbalanced, foggy, exhausted, detached, depressed, anxious. The opposite is balance: energized, well-rested, focused, passionate, calm. We all want balance because it feels so good.
The good news is that every day there are five core actions anyone can follow to support balance, including looking closer at: what we eat, how much we sleep, when we move and how we manage the roles of tech, alcohol and drugs. If you’re looking to achieve balance, I recommend the following:
Food: Begin looking at the foods you eat. I suggest eliminating four inflammatory food groups for a month to see if there’s a hidden culprit. Cut out sugar and test common allergens like wheat or dairy.
Exercise: Moving everyday has been proven to be as effective as antidepressants. Our bodies were designed to process emotions through movement. Just 20 minutes a day can be meaningful.
Technology: Spending an average of 11hrs in front of screens is bad for our brains, so cut your screen time. I suggest no tech after 9pm, set a one-hour daily limit and wait 30 minutes before looking at your phone in the morning.
Sleep: Sleep is how the brain takes out the trash. We need eight to nine hours at minimum. Test that for a week and see how you feel.
Alcohol: People often underestimate how much alcohol consumption can affect poor sleep, anxiety and even depression—cutting it out for a few weeks is super instructive.