[EP43] The Science Is Clear On How To Positively Impact Mental Health | Olav Krigolson

[EP43] The Science Is Clear On How To Positively Impact Mental Health | Olav Krigolson

In this episode I’m joined by Olav Krigolson – The Neuroscience Guy.  I met Olav on the Monday night MENtorship World calls and have always admired how he’s shown up with honesty and a commitment to challenge his beliefs (which of course he does…he’s a neuroscientist! 🙂

As a neuroscientist with the University of Victoria that studies brain waves, his work is committed to bridging the gap between science and solving “real world problems”. We dove into numerous topics related to how people’s brains adapt to different situations including “How Your Brain Reacts To Being Sick” and “The Neuroscience Of Fear”.


Episode Topics

6:39 | Can we measure the impact of a hug?
11:00 | How is the pandemic and mandates impacting our mental health?
17:26 | Why finding your tribe and sharing out loud is so important
20:37 | Why the pandemic is like being in a war (in our brain)
22:49 | The role the legacy media is playing in declining mental health
25:34 | How do our “thoughts” rewire our brain (from a neuroscience perspective)
27:16 | What are the 5 things you can do right now to improve your mental health
37:03 | How long does it take to form a new habit?
40:26 | How much does sleep impact your mental health?
43:16 | How much is “anxiety contagion” contributing to the health crisis
50:12 | What is the solution to our medical system crisis?
56:02 | What is ONE thing you are most grateful for right now?
57:18 | How can you learn more about and connect with Olav

“We are hardwired to be social creatures. In this pandemic situation, we are all starved for more interaction. I have a couple of friends that are neuro psychologists that are saying the amount of calls they are receiving that are depression or suicide related are skyrocketing.” – Olav Krigolson 

We hear about politicians that are saying their constituents are calling in and expressing concerns about the mental health impact of the pandemic and mandates. Mom’s that are saying their kids won’t eat because they are so anxiety filled because of what they are dealing with at schools and the lack of interaction with their peers.” – Trevor Turnbull 

“People that are sad or suffering from depression due to the pandemic…yes you should be. Because if you were going to design a system to create depression…COVID is what you would design.” – Olav Krigolson

“Our emotional system is on overdrive right now. We’re in a stressful situation (the pandemic) which ramps it up. And there is constant stress. Which is no different than being in a war.” – Olav Krigolson

“I remember a study where they took the news out of people’s lives and they were happier…imagine that.” – Olav Krigolson

“Our brain creates the world.  The world that we interact with is created by our brain. And, anxiety plays a role in that. If your anxiety is creating a world where you think you are sick, then it can amplify that even more.” – Olav Krigolson

“We did a fatigue study in the ER pre-COVID here at one of the hospitals. And, the doctors were all exhausted.  So, if they were exhausted and stressed before the pandemic think about what it’s like for them now.” – Olav Krigolson


Episode Resources Mentioned

Bringing Neuroscience Outside The Lab | Olav Krigolson | Tedx BearCreekPark
The Neuroscience of Fear | That Neuroscience Guy
How Your Brain Reacts To Being Sick | That Neuroscience Guy
(UVic) 5 tips for better brain health
Our brains are being challenged – pandemic means chronic stress


Guest Contact Info

That Neuroscience Guy (Olav’s podcast) 
Connect with Olav on LinkedIn 
Follow Olav on Twitter