Peak Mind Performance

On my podcast this week I spoke to licensed psychologist Dr. Steve Hannant about “conditioning the mind for success!” I think that is a goal for our children, teens, and adults – don’t you? Dr. Steve had an amazing training experience in psychology that included a unique blend of East meets West mental health mentors. His dissertation in sports psychology included qualitatively studying the traits of elite mixed martial arts athletes. The areas of study included:

  1. Goal setting

  2. Breath work

  3. Imagery and Visualization

  4. Attention and Concentration

  5. Self hypnosis and Autogenic training

  6. Arousal regulation

  7. Rituals and Routines

  8. Meditation and Mindfulness


What mental strength criteria separate “the best from the rest?” Dr. Hannant said that after awhile he could just tell by interviewing MMA legends such as Dan Severn, “The Beast,” and Founder of Team Quest Matt Lindland and others that “MINDSET is everything!” A commonality of many champions includes having obsessive compulsive traits coupled with a mindset that is able to adapt with diversity. He emphasizes that repetition is key and “know the skills and do the drills,” is advice he give his clients. He loves incorporating his knowledge of sports psychology into his psychological practice and evaluation of each individual’s unique way of processing the world. I mentioned the word “neurostyle,” as a way that we can describe human behavior. He loved this and agrees that the way we talk about mental health can make a difference in the way we all feel about getting help or reaching our full thrive capacity.


Dr. Steve and I agree that it is important to: Embrace Your Neurostyle.


Having an awareness of one’s own strengths and weaknesses physically and mentally can help set realistic intentions for our best life. Can you imagine if each child had a mental health screening in addition to their physical examination every year at school? I am not talking about putting diagnostic labels on everyone. I am talking about a neurodevelopmental mini-evaluation with feedback to parents and children for their child to have a greater self -awareness. I also advocate strongly for a daily practice of meditation or mindfulness as “mind medicine” to promote excellent cognition, to improve empathy, to reduce stress, improve mood, and more!


When individuals thrive society thrives.


Dr. Steve and his wife incorporated the mental training program skillsets into a class for kindergarteners at his daughter’s school. He reported that the youngsters loved learning about the importance of breath work, goal setting, meditation, attention and other resiliency tools. Our Manhattan Beach school district incorporates the Goldie Hawn Foundation’s Mind Up Program, which embraces neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindful awareness. As a board certified Adult and Child Psychiatrist that is passionate about prevention, early intervention, and mental health advocacy I vote “YES” on integrative wellbeing programs in our schools, our offices and in our homes.

Dr. Steve is a fan (so am I!) of Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks For a Better Life book and spoke about this and other tools, tips and strategies that he includes in his website:

To listen to our podcast: Dr. Steve Hannant on the Dr. Denise Show

Are you interested in more tips on mental health and how to thrive? Click here: Mental Health and How to Thrive ebook

It was a pleasure talking with you this week Dr. Steve, thank you again!

Dr. Denise