Robyn Conley Downs

343: The Feel Good Effect with Robyn Conley Downs

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“Habits and strategies are important but without mindset, they have nothing. There's no foundation and there's no sustainability or stability.”

Robyn Conley Downs

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Between our ongoing commitments to work, family, and our seemingly never-ending list of obligations, it isn’t always easy to take care of ourselves. Especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have felt at times like life is spiraling out of control. 

Thus, we could each benefit from a gentle reminder that we are all human and there are things we can do, each day, to regain control of our lives. Today, that reminder comes from Robyn Conley Downs. Robyn has been named one of “the most influential women in wellness” and is the author of The Feel Good Effect

After her daughter was born, and she struggled to keep up with the insane pace of a 60-hour-a-week job and a full-time doctoral program immediately, she developed the mindset and strategies to help herself get out of that place and focus on what really matters. 

For this episode, Robyn joins the podcast to talk about the importance of mindset and mindfulness, and breaks down her four-step process to transform your mindset and create healthy, lasting habits to help you bring the Feel Good Effect into your own life.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How to define mindset, create a nurturing inner state, and change what you don’t like about yours.
  • Why mindfulness is so much more than meditation.
  • What you can do to avoid “falling off the wagon” and indulging negative thinking when you make a mistake or fail to do something.

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COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.

View Transcript

[INTERVIEW]

Hal Elrod: Robyn, it is so great to be with you again.

Robyn Conley Downs: Oh, Hal. Thank you so much for having me.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. You had me on your podcast when The Miracle Equation came out, which was I don't even know how long ago, five, six? No, a year ago.

Robyn Conley Downs: I was going to say I think it's longer than that but in the podcasting world, I feel like I've talked to people yesterday and then I realized it was like two years ago but, yeah, a year ago, I got to chat with you about the Miracle Morning or The Miracle Equation.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. In my mind for a second, I was remembering March but I'm like, “Oh, wait, that was 2019, not 2020.” Okay. Anyway, you have so much going on right now like you are an author with a brand new book. You are a podcaster. You were recently named one of the most influential women in wellness which congratulations. That's a pretty cool title/honor. You live in Portland, which is craziness going on there between the wildfires and the riots and all this craziness and you’re a wife and a mom trying to keep the home together. So, what's life like right now? Like, what's your primary focus?

Robyn Conley Downs: You know, I think it's really interesting to have this book, The Feel Good Effect, come out at this moment in time because I wrote it from a place in my life where it wasn't the same. I mean, there's never been anything like this. But at the time in my life, where I was really struggling, it was right after my daughter was born, and I was working a 60-hour week job, like a corporate style job and I was in a full-time doctoral program at nights and weekends. And I kind of lost myself and find myself at the bottom of the list telling myself I didn't have time and that I just couldn't figure this out, overwhelmed, and just not feeling good. And so, I came up with this mindset and the strategies that are in the book to help myself out of that place. So, it's been really interesting to launch this book at this time because I'm falling back on those mindset and habits in the book because we have no control of anything anyway. But in particular, this moment has reminded us kind of how little we have to draw, how little we know about what will happen in the future. And that really like focusing on what we have now is so important. So, I'm just trying to, I mean, I'm sitting here on a floor in a closet. I was happy our internet worked, I mean, day-by-day. And just this reminder of like what really matters and taking care, how important our health is. I know that you know that probably better than most people but, yeah, I feel like it's giving me a really good opportunity to practice everything that I teach.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. I felt the same way when COVID hit and life felt out of control. I'm like, "Wait a minute, I'm the one that teaches these practices to keep people grounded like I need to take my own medicine like now more than ever.” That's great. And I think it's a reminder that we're all human. You know, like I read someone’s book and I'm like, “Oh, they have it all figured out.” And it's like, "No, we're all humans making mistakes and trying to figure it out, right, like trying to maintain.” You mentioned the word mindset a minute ago and I want to start there because I want to hear how you define mindset, how you nurture yours, or recommend people nurture theirs because right now, I've been talking a lot on the podcast for the last six months, that that's the only thing that we ultimately have control over is you can call it mindset, our inner world, our inner state, what we think, what we focus on, but it's all the inner game, if you will. And so first, how do you define mindset? And then how do you nurture yours right now and beyond?

Robyn Conley Downs: Yeah. I'm so glad you want to start there because I'm so happy you teach that. I listen to your podcast. I knew you talked about it. And I think a lot of us who have studied sort of personal development goals, that's where we land because you realize that habits and strategies are important but without mindset, they have nothing. There's no foundation and there's no sustainability or stability. So, I have a background in psychology and neuroscience and habit formation. So, I really wanted to do a little work in this book to just define what mindset is because it's used so often and in different ways, right? And really to simplify like what's happening in your brain. So, I have this definition, a little illustration in the book but the idea is that your brain has what I call thought patterns or these connections. So, in any given moment, an experience can happen or information can come in, and this happens all day. And with mindset, the mindset is this thought pattern. So, I can give you an example. I'll give you the four steps. So, information or experience happens, a thought pattern occurs, which gets you an action, which gets you a result. And what's so interesting is that we often focus on actions, right? We want to change our actions, and we always talk about results but underneath that are these thought patterns and we practice them over and over. 

And so, if you're taking actions over and over that you don't like, and certainly, if you're not getting the results you want, it's often because we're practicing thought patterns that are not effective. So, for me, what's really important is, number one, that awareness, so even knowing that that's happening, knowing that it's not your fault that you're not faulty or doing something wrong, this is just the way our brains are wired and how kind of culturally and where we live influences that how we're raised, but that it's also changeable. So, we know with neuroscience that it's called neuroplasticity. So, maybe you've heard that before, neurons that fire together, wire together. So, we can change these patterns and get different actions and different results. So, I know I just said a lot. I'm going to pause just for a second because I get really excited about talking about this, but I found for me, just sort of understanding the basics really helps me to know it's not just like woo. It's actually how our brains work. And so, when we understand that, we can practice something different.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. I agree completely and I think, well, yeah, let me go into this. So, you mentioned four steps to ____ and I'm taking notes and anyone that's listening, I want to make sure that they can really, really grasp this. So, how would you define the four steps you just gave? What are those four steps to? I missed that part. I didn't quite catch that. And then I want to go over those four steps kind of slowly so that we can take that in.

Robyn Conley Downs: Absolutely. And if you have the book, it's on page 27 of the book. So, I call it the mindset loop and really, this is the four steps to the results, that's what's happening in your brain with mindset and how it impacts your results. So, step one is information or experience happens. So, for example, let's say you missed a workout, so you’re supposed to work out today. What is your exercise of choice? I feel like last time I listened to your podcast you were bike riding.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. I go biking every morning and then I lift weights later in the day.

Robyn Conley Downs: Okay. So, you had the plan, you're going to bike ride and if you live in Portland, the air quality is 400 so you're not bike riding today and you miss the workout. So, that's the experience or information. Step two is that your brain interprets this according to a thought pattern. So, for example, this is like, for me, the magic. So, for example, missing the bike ride. You could interpret that and say I always say I'm going to do something and I never do it and I miss it again. Or another thought pattern might be like, “Hey, everybody makes mistakes. Everybody misses a day. No big deal.” So, those are our kind of two different pathways now. Interesting thing. Again, I know that you teach this is that once we have, once our brain interprets this information or experience with the thought pattern, it gives us a different action. So, I bet you can guess like what's the action for people who the thought pattern says like you're such… You missed another day like, "Good job, you're such a failure,” or whatever the thing is that we say to ourselves. That person is less likely to get right back to it the next day. And the opposite, another different thought pattern is, “Hey, no big deal. You made a mistake,” or like life got in the way. We'll do it again tomorrow, and you get right back to it. 

And then those actions, that action that you take is going to get you the result because if you continue to come back on after missed days and give yourself some kindness and self-compassion, you're going to keep going with it even when life has these ups and downs or you're going to probably give up and “fall off the wagon.” And so, it's so interesting because it's the same thing that happened, right? You missed a day but that thought pattern gives you two different actions and two different results.

Hal Elrod: I love this. So, information or experience happens, right? That's step one. Step two, our brain interprets this according to a thought pattern. And often it's what the same thing we've thought over and over and over and over and over and over again, and ingrained this thought pattern. When you hit traffic, typically, your thought pattern is the same as it was the last 50 times you hit traffic. Right? When your child spilled something on the floor, your thought pattern that leads to the action and the result is the same as it was 50 times and on and on and on. And so, the information experience happens. Number two, your brain interprets this according to the thought pattern. So, it's either you can say for, to keep it simple, either you have a positive proactive thought pattern right that leads you toward a positive action or you have a negative discouraging detrimental thought pattern. And correct me if I'm off on any of this as I’m going to repeat back what I'm hearing, what I'm learning. Number three, action or inaction as a result of the brain’s interpretation of the information or the experience that occurred. And then step four is a result is created. Did I get them all?

Robyn Conley Downs: Yeah. And the only thing I'd add there is like two kinds of nuances is in that second step, the interpreting. One, that's invisible. And so, you did kind of touch on that, how we practice it over and over but because it's invisible, we don't realize that we can change it. So, we think that it's like about willpower, discipline, but really, it's just something a response we practiced in our brain that we can practice something else. And just another nuance with negative and positive like it doesn't even have to be negative and positive. But it can certainly be like moving toward your goal or not. So, I think that it doesn't always have to even be a positive thought but it could certainly be I like proactive, I think, is maybe a better way to go with that because it's not even about thinking positively. It's probably more about thinking proactively.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. So, as opposed to positive or negative, useful or not useful, right? Useful in terms of what your ultimate objectives are in life to be happy, to be healthy, to be wealthy.

Robyn Conley Downs: Yes.

Hal Elrod: All of those things. Okay. So, let's take this into the next what I would call or what I would see as kind of the next step, next phase, if you will. We just addressed the mindset loop, your thinking, how it occurs, how it leads to an action, which leads to a result, which starts with our thinking. Your background, you mentioned is in habit formation, neuroscience habit formation. What are the steps to turning a healthy behavior into a habit?

Robyn Conley Downs: So, we kind of already got into this a little bit. So, step one is awareness. So, noticing that this is happening. So, having that four-step framework or the mindset loop graphic or however you want to remember it, just pausing long enough to notice that that's happening, that something in between the action and the experience, the experience and the action, that that's a thought pattern. Right off the bat that's actually going to make a really big difference just to notice that because then you can't change something that you don't know is there. So, awareness is the first step. And the second step is really simple. It's practice and it's similar to what you teach in The Miracle Equation. It's repeated over time with enough consistency, that you form the habit and that you kind of change the trajectory.

Hal Elrod: So, do you have a very like a tangible logistical recommendation for doing that in terms of I think it was psycho cybernetics I think that popularized the 21 days, you know, takes 21 days to change a habit and then the book The One Thing that references the Harvard study that takes 68 days. I kind of land in the middle at like 30 days is what I usually recommend or focus or teach. How do you take those positive changes that you want to make? I know you say repetition but is it a certain amount of days? Is it a certain amount of times? Do you have a strategy of like how do you overcome the procrastination or the inertia? I'd love kind of your advice if you were coaching me or anybody listening on you want to start eating better, you want to start exercising. Here's a plan on this many days, get some accountability. Like, what's the logistical plan of action that you'd recommend?

Robyn Conley Downs: Sure. So, I think first and foremost, you want to identify what the habit is. Most people tend to go too big at the beginning. So, they're like, “I want to change my eating habits,” instead of saying what specifically about your eating habits do you want to change. So, if you wanted to, for example, start eating better breakfast like add in a green smoothie to your breakfast, then you need to, one, focus on what are the steps that you need to do each day. So, the day thing, Hal, is there is so much research that kind of varies about how long something takes, but I think your 30-day formula works really well. Like it's not too long that you're going to lose interest, but it's long enough that you can actually have some success. So, I think picking a 30-day window makes a lot of sense. I think also having a time of day in which you practice that habit. So, the Miracle Morning is the perfect example that you have like a designated time because if we just let it kind of hope that we'll find time, we know that that doesn't work. So, let's say you have 30 days. You have a specific time that you're going to practice. And then you look at what is it that I need to do on a daily basis to make this happen. So, a lot of times we think like, again, in general, I want to eat healthier. But if the goal is let's say more specifically, I want to eat a better breakfast then what do you need to do each day to make that happen?

Hal Elrod: Yeah. I think that right there I think is gold. Just the idea of you've got to be so precise, so specific, in what the change you want to make. And I think a lot of people, that's probably where they fall short is they go, “I want to eat better. I know I need to eat better.” And they just repeat that over and over and over and over, “I should eat better.” It's like, well, that's not very measurable. It's really not actionable, right? How do you define eating better, right? What are you going to be cutting out of the diet that is not good for you that you know you shouldn't be eating? Or what are you going to add in? Like you said, maybe you start with that green smoothie in the morning or whatever. I'm going to put you on the spot here. In 2020 or, I mean, you could choose any timeframe but what have been some of the most valuable habits that you've changed in your life?

Robyn Conley Downs: So, the first is like habit of mind. So, back to this mindset thing because I feel like when people set habits they’re often talking about these actions, which are important, of course, like I'm going to get up and make a green smoothie, which is the action. One of the most profound changes in my life was focusing on these habits of mind or shifting mindset. It's a little bit trickier because it doesn't have like an external measure, right? But we do actually have a lot of research to support it. So, specifically, in the book, I talk about what I call the striving mindset and then the feel-good mindset. So, the striving mindset is sort of the barriers that we found in the research that hold people back particularly around wellness, and the feel-good mindset is the antidote to that. So, for me, I realized through this work that one of the mindsets that really is a barrier for me is perfection-based thinking. So, a lot of people think, “Well, I'm not a perfectionist because I don't have a perfectly clean car or I don't…” whatever we think of when we think of perfectionists. 

But actually, perfectionist-based thinking that second step in the four-part framework, oftentimes causes us to procrastinate because if we can't get it perfect, then why would we do it at all? Why would we even start? Or making mistakes just feel so painful that I wouldn't try. I wouldn't even write the book because making the mistake, not writing it right or not having the blueprint was so painful. And so, the antidote to that is and I know that this is like a little bit of a stretch for a lot of people in personal development because they want the tactics but I'm telling you that self-compassion or kindness, self-kindness has been shown in the research to be linked with better productivity, better ability to stick with long-term goals, obviously, like more happiness and health in your own life, and also for those around you. So, for me, the practice of learning self-compassion and switching that mindset loop from perfection-based thinking toward self-compassion has actually been one of the biggest game-changers for me, like more than some of the action habits that I've focused on.

Hal Elrod: That makes a lot of sense because, ultimately, it's how we feel about ourselves at the end of the day. If you wake up and you're like, “I'm a badass like I can do anything.” And it's funny. I often teach that with affirmations like that the ideal affirmation isn't just one that pumps yourself up and tells you that you're wonderful, right? So, although I say that, I think that there's room for that too and sometimes for me when I'm riding a bike, one of my bike ride every day I’ll just go, “I love my life. I love myself. I am unstoppable. I can do anything.” So, I think there is room for that just kind of encouraging and it's the same thing, encouraging yourself in the same way that encouragement works, period, wherever the source comes from. 

Robyn Conley Downs: It does. Well, just beating yourself. And it's like even more than affirmations, it's the thought pattern of beating yourself up for making mistakes has been shown in the research to just tank your productivity and your ability to reach your goals. So, if you're someone that consistently beats themself up when they make a mistake, there's a different way. It might not even be like an affirmation. It might just be like, “I make a mistake,” and the habit is instead of beating myself up, I say, "Making mistakes is part of the human experience and now I move forward.” And it's game-changing and it's incredible to see like the results from this small habit shift in the research. So, like, whether it's that one or there's a shift around all or nothing thinking. So, if you're a very black or white thinking kind of person, you could practice a different way of thinking that's a little more flexible. And so, noticing like, "Gosh, my brain is going all or nothing. Let me give myself some other options here.”

Hal Elrod: Gotcha. That makes sense. Let's talk about mindfulness for a few here. One of the things you talked in the book about you give tips for integrating mindfulness into daily lives and routines. And I recently had Julianna Ray, I'm not sure if you're familiar with Julianna Ray, she's a founder of Unified Mindfulness and she's been kind of a mindfulness coach for me for I don't even know, half a decade probably. But she talked a lot about how mindfulness is not just something, you know, it's not just meditation, which is kind of I think the assumption or interpret, people think, “Oh, yeah, mindfulness. You do it in the morning or you do it when you sit there with your legs crossed.” So, I'd love to hear your perspective on integrating mindfulness into daily lives and routines. And really, I'd love to hear after talking with her and her addressing that topic, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Robyn Conley Downs: Yeah. It's such a great point, Hal, because I feel like especially in the West, we think that mindfulness means you have to meditate. And so, I'm a huge proponent of meditation. It’s great, but I also think that it's a sort of a little hard to access. A lot of people say they should be doing it. They can't get into it. So, you don't have to meditate to practice mindfulness. That's the good news. And I found that integrating, I love that word integration, right, integrating mindfulness into your life is a much easier first step than starting to learn to meditate. So, I have like a four-part framework in the book about integration of mindfulness, but it's the four Ps. So, it's pause, which I already mentioned. So, having places in your day where you pause, whether that's part of your Miracle Morning, I do like a four-part mini-wellness routine. So, I have a morning routine but I also pause mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and evening. And then I pay attention whether it's I could pay attention to anything. Mindfulness is actually just paying attention on purpose without judgment. Literally, that’s the…

Hal Elrod: Paying attention on purpose without judgment. I love that. 

Robyn Conley Downs: Yeah. So, isn’t that great? Because we can all do that and we don't have a separate time or place and we can do it for free. So, if I'm pausing and I think what do I want to pay attention on purpose to without judgment? And the judgment is not judging yourself so not expecting perfection of yourself or not judging yourself if you're distracted by something. So, you could pay attention on purpose with kindness to your breath. That's a very common example. But it could be something as I love doing a little mindfulness with my coffee. I don't remember if you're a coffee drinker, but if you're a coffee or a tea or any of your favorite beverage, just holding it and like how does that feel? And what's the smell? And how does it taste? And just paying attention on purpose, that's mindfulness. And so, you can start to see that. The more you train your brain to do that, you could pay attention on purpose without judgment on a walk, when you're playing with your kids. I think a lot of us feel bad that we're not maybe present enough. But you don't have to have hours with your kids. If you're just paying attention on purpose to what they're doing and what they're saying and how you feel being with them, that's mindfulness on its own. 

Hal Elrod: Yeah. And it's so counterintuitive and I don't know if that's just the way we're conditioned in today's fast-paced digital notification, ping, buzz, society or what but it just seems now we're always thinking of something. We're always thinking of the next thing that we're going to do and we're not fully present. My favorite quote is so simple. It's in my affirmations is just Jason Mraz in one of his songs. He said life is for living. And it's like, that's it. It's not for projecting into the future. It's not for worrying. It's not for stressing. It's not for being in fear. It's not for thinking about the past. It's for living, which the only thing that's real, the only thing you can live is this moment all the time. I love the example of the coffee. That's actually one for, in fact, when you said that I have some green tea in front of me. I picked up the cup. Like I paid attention to the way it felt in my hand. I took a sip while you were talking. I felt it go down. What I love about what you said and just integrating mindfulness in the day and I know we still have three more pieces that I want to dive into. But you get more out of life, like over the weekend, yesterday or before yesterday, on Sunday, I was walking from the kitchen to the bedroom and my wife was laying in bed. It was in the morning and I said, "Sweetie, that was amazing.” And she said, "What?” 

I said, “I paid attention to every, the feel of my foot, the pad of my foot on the wooden floors, as I walked and the way it sounds in the creek, and I just paid attention to every moment from the kitchen to here. And it was an incredible experience because that's how you make life. You get 10 times more out of life by simply being fully present to the moment.” And I think she's like, "You're weird. Let me go back to sleep,” or whatever. 

Robyn Conley Downs: I love that. You’re like a mindfulness master, but I feel like we overcomplicate it. We think it means that you have to be like in a cushion on the mountain. And I think that deprives us from the fact that you can literally be mindful walking into the bedroom and also you remember that, right? Because it locked into your brain this experience. So, your life isn’t then sort of - do you ever feel like it's Blursday lately? 

Hal Elrod: Oh, yeah. 

Robyn Conley Downs: It's like, you kind of can stop that slippage of time because you are absorbing. You're paying attention and you are absorbing the good parts.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. That's great. A great example of that is when you're not paying attention and someone says something to you. Let's say you're on your phone and somebody comes up and it’s your child, whatever, they say something to you, but you're on your phone, and then you look up and you shake your head going, “I’m sorry. What?” That's an example of the opposite of it. When you're not present to what's happening, you don't remember it. You don't even know it. It might as well not happen. I think that’s what's going on in our lives is we’re going through life not present, just totally distracted, always thinking about another thing we could be doing or should be doing or want to do in the midst of whatever it is that we're doing, and we're missing out on life, right? We're missing it.

Robyn Conley Downs: Yes. And like I talked about the feel-good effects like this overall sense of well-being. Not only are we missing it but it's making us feel bad. So, this practicing a daily mindfulness practice that's like super simple and also, by the way, joyful, helps you to feel good in the life that you have right now even amidst like things that might be difficult or challenging. 

Hal Elrod: Yeah. That's very well said. Let's go through the other three Ps and then I want to talk about the feel-good effect. I mean, I know everything we're talking about is a lot of what's in the feel-good effect, but I want to go specific into the book and what they're going to get out of it, why you wrote it, all those things. But so far, the four Ps of mindfulness integration, I've got pause. Find a place in your day or places in your day when you pay attention on purpose without judgment. I love that definition of mindfulness. What's the second P?

Robyn Conley Downs: Well, you actually got two there. There are so many Ps. You added more. I'm like, "We should add place,” and maybe it should be five Ps but I like it. I'm going to give you credit for that for… 

Hal Elrod: That'll be in the expanded edition of the book.

Robyn Conley Downs: So, pause, pay attention. I would say pause place. So, if you can designate a place or awareness of place, that will make a big difference. So, pause, pay attention, practice. So, doing this on a regular basis whether it be on a daily basis or a few times a day will actually change your brain, which will change your life. So, it will become more intuitive. So, you were noticing how you are walking? Well, the more you practice that, the more that you notice like when you're on a walk, when you're on a bike ride, what’s the air smell like? How does your body feel? What's the wind like? And you'll be able to experience that moment without trying because your brain actually changes. And then the last P is patience because while it's incredibly effective, it does take time. I mean, your brain was wired one way for a long time. But with time and practice and patience, you'll notice that you remember the good of your day more, right, that you kind of remember the joy, and that your default mode isn't in attention. Your default mode becomes present because of this practice.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. That's what I'm noticing is, I mean, I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in my early 20s and I'm a space cadet. I'm all over the place all the time. My brain goes a million miles an hour, as anyone can tell when they hear me talk. But that's what I've been noticing lately is I've really committed to mindfulness so much more and being present in everything that I do. And on the bike ride, it's exactly I focus on, what do I see? And I just kind of like make my field of vision everything, try to see everything at once, take in all of the trees, the clouds, the sky, the sunshine, the pavement, all of it at once. Then I focus on what do I hear? And I listened to the sounds of the bike, I listened to the wind in my ears, I listened to the car driving down the street, I listened to all of it at once. And then I go, "What do I feel?” And I do an assessment of, I feel my hands gripping the handlebars, I feel my butt on the seat, I feel my calves are burning as I go up this hill, and I rotate through those three then I go back to what do I see now? What do I hear? And then I go fully present into the see and then I go, "What do I hear now?” And then I go fully present into the here. And then what do I feel now? The feel usually stays consistent. Calves are still burning. Hands are still gripping. Right? 

Yeah. So, to your point, it becomes more intuitive and natural and kind of automatic. And literally, you start to realize that like Jason Mraz, life is for living, like you're actually living life not in your head about some future life or past life or what's going on over there? What are they talking about or thinking about? Like you're fully in the moment and to me, it's become the richest way to live. 

Robyn Conley Downs: I love that. 

Hal Elrod: Let's talk about your new book, The Feel Good Effect. I would imagine that most of we talked about today. This is all stuff that's woven in the book, I'm assuming.

Robyn Conley Downs: Yep. Everything we talked about today is in there. And kind of what you just said. I mean, I know we're coming to an end. I'd love to have us another conversation, Hal, about mindfulness and ADHD because I feel like you actually have some superpowers as someone with having an ADHD brain when it comes to mindfulness like it's not even like a detriment. It's actually helpful and like you can pull all those things in at once, which is so exciting anyway, side note, different conversation but related to this book. Everything we talked about today so the mindset loop is in there, those four steps. The four Ps are in there. And it's really written in an accessible, beautiful way where you can kind of pick it up, read a little section, I mean it very chunked so you can read it in sections, and goes through mindset, the striving mindset, the feel-good mindset. And then the second section is the good method, which is really about habits and routines for feeling good. And then I did put a challenge in there at the end per - my husband and I have a verb. It's called Elroding something. So, I've been a follower of your work for a long time. When you are on my show, we talked about how you got your book out there over time, over a consistent time. 

And so, I also Elroded the end of my book by putting a 30-day challenge in there. So, those of you who do a Miracle Morning, I believe that there's a lot of exercises in here that you could pull to add into your Miracle Morning. It goes super well with that practice. So, it's audiobook and hardcover anywhere books are sold.

Hal Elrod: So, I'm glad Elroding it sounds like it's a positive thing. 

Robyn Conley Downs: Yeah. I want your community like let's make this a thing. So, you Elrod something when you go for that miracle equation when you go over time with consistency rather than like you don't have to hit it out of the park on the first day like you can just show up, do the work and over time something incredible happens.

Hal Elrod: Got it. So, Elroding means like kind of it means the Miracle Equation like unwavering faith, extraordinary effort over an extended period of time. That’s how you define it? 

Robyn Conley Downs: Yep. Absolutely. So, yes. You could just call your next book, How to Elrod Something. 

Hal Elrod: How to Elrod. The Elrod Effect. There you go. 

Robyn Conley Downs: The Elrod Effect I love it. 

Hal Elrod: Awesome. So, let me ask you, when did you decide that you wanted to write this book? Was there a defining moment? Was it you were teaching or coaching people? And then they like what led to the book? What led to the decision like, “I'm going to do it?” Because it's a big undertaking for anyone that's written a book.

Robyn Conley Downs: Yeah. Well, I have a podcast called The Feel Good Effect, which we mentioned which I had you on as a guest and it was really, I mean, I don't know. I'm sure you have this experience with your community is hearing from people saying I love your podcasts, the way you teach has changed my life. And I want something I can hold and put on my nightstand and come back to. Because when you're listening to somebody, it's one thing but when you have it written down, you don't have to take notes the whole time. It's really nice. So, that was like the driving force and I really felt like I was speaking to my people through my words because of the relationship we had built through the podcast. 

Hal Elrod: Yeah. Beautiful. Yeah, you're right. It's the same as me. I had small groups that I would share the Miracle Morning with, like my coaching clients and like I would speak at my BMI group or my Toastmasters group, and people would come back and go, "Yeah, this is changing my life,” and you're like, “Okay. All right, I'm hearing it. I'm listening. I have a responsibility to make this bigger and share it in a bigger way.” 

Robyn Conley Downs: Exactly. 

Hal Elrod: Awesome. Well, I'm so glad that you did. The Feel Good Effect, everybody, get it on Amazon and where books are sold. And then today, everybody, before I say goodbye to you, I just want to remind everybody kind of what went over today. It was starting with talking about mindset and the mindset loop, the four steps to kind of rewire your brain or I don’t know if that was the right term but it starts out with the information or the experience that happens, right? You either get information. It could be that you learn something, someone says something, something happens, right? Then your brain interprets it according to a thought pattern. And this is one of the key components to understand that your experience of life is a programmed experience of life. It's not a definitive experience of life. Meaning when something happens when you feel a certain way, that's not the end all be all. That’s just how you feel because of how you've always felt because of maybe what your parents taught you or how you were hurt or a trauma you had or so on and so forth. And so, understanding that and you mentioned that, Robyn, the awareness. You better have that awareness that it's not rooted and it's not unchangeable, but it is absolutely changeable. 

And then step three, the action and reaction that you take as a result of that interpretation, and then that creates your result. And we talk about the four Ps of mindfulness integration. And, yeah, Robyn, I love your work. I loved our conversation on the Feel Good Effect Podcast. And if anybody wants to, obviously, they know they get your book on Amazon, The Feel Good Effect. And then what's the best way to connect with you, follow you, keep learning from you, subscribe to the podcast, all of those things?

Robyn Conley Downs: Yes. So, the podcast is anywhere you get your podcast. Just type in Feel Good Effect. It’ll pop up. You can subscribe and then I'm on Instagram at Real Food Whole Life, which is the umbrella brand for what I do. So, Real Food Whole Life and then RealFoodWholeLife.com, we've got a bunch of free resources for you there. The four Ps, there's a free download about that. And also, I have like 500 kind of healthy gluten-free weeknight family-friendly recipes on there as well. So, just like a one-stop-shop for feeling good.

Hal Elrod: Nice. That's fantastic. Awesome. Cool. Well, Robyn, it's been a pleasure. Next time we talk, it'll be about mindfulness for ADHD. I think that'll help a lot of people.

Robyn Conley Downs: We'd love to do that. I would love to do that.

Hal Elrod: Absolutely. In fact, could you give an episode where you address that on your podcast?

Robyn Conley Downs: I don’t but that's part of my background. So, I'm like, "Ah, we should do that. Maybe I'll have you on and we can workshop that up.”

Hal Elrod: There you go. We'll just keep taking turns we’ll be regular guests of each other shows. I'll come on yours. You come back on mine. We'll keep doing it. So cool. 

Robyn Conley Downs: It’s a deal. 

Hal Elrod: Robyn, well, thank you so much. I really, really appreciate you. Thank you for being here today and sharing your wisdom with us.

Robyn Conley Downs: Thank you so much.

Hal Elrod: All right. And, goal achievers, thank you for tuning in to another episode of the podcast. I hope you enjoyed Robyn Conley Downs as much as I did. And go check out the book, The Feel Good Effect, check out the podcast by the same name. And I love you all. I will talk to you next week. Take care, everybody.

[END]

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