Healthy Thoughts, Words & Actions

Our children are paying attention to the media, the news and to “US.” We are their role models. Their developing minds do not miss a beat. Every negative word, idea, or action is imprinted in their minds. So is every positive phrase, inspirational thought or act of kindness.

Our thoughts and actions shape our health and wellbeing on a cellular level.

Think of thoughts, words and actions as “MIND FUEL.” When I say “MIND” I am not limiting it to an individual’s brain. I am referring to our “Collective Mindset” as a human race.

We are living at a time in history where we have the science of quantum physics coupled with an understanding of neuroscience that supports the nonlocal influence and energy exchange from a distance of thoughts, intentions and actions.

Our words and actions carry a vibration. Everything is an energy exchange. Do you know how powerful that is?

Here are some mental health tips for all of “US” to remember and to teach our children:

  • Choose your words carefully in conversations and on social media.
  • Limit your exposure to toxic people, news, and social media.
  • Strive to be a role model to your peers and to OUR children.
  • Apologize if you speak in an unkind or unfair manner.
  • Acts of service and deeds of charity promote wellbeing.
  • Encourage your children to make eye contact and smile when greeting each other.
  • Find your mindfulness mantra throughout the day to stay on your “A” game.

Dr. Denise

For more tips check out: Mental Health and How to Thrive

Thank You!

With the holiday season upon all of “US,” I thought I would hit pause, take a deep breath and say thank you to all of you. I mean it. Your support of raising awareness about the importance of mental health and wellbeing leaves me with a smile as I write this. I can only begin to express the exponential gratitude I have for ALL of you. Your likes on Facebook, your follows on Twitter, your shares of my blog posts and podcasts and your comments have left me with great hope for a society that realizes that there is no health without mental health!

The launch of this Dr. Denise content-driven site was on April 1st, 2016 with the intention of reaching the masses by providing you with mental health tips, tools and information that could help you or a loved one on how to thrive. I am truly blown away with the amount of people I have met this year on Twitter and Facebook that are kindred spirits that want to do their part by sharing their knowledge, expertise and their desire to help one another. If you see me write “US”, “WE” or “ALL” in capitals in my tweets or blog posts it is in honor of “OUR” collective energy that we all share when we are interacting with one another.

Do you realize how powerful each thought, word, idea, intention or action that we share with one another has in our every day wellbeing?

Very powerful. Starting each day with gratitude carries a vibration that is good for our mental health. I cannot emphasize that enough. You all mean a lot to me and I wanted to let you know that each and every day you are in my thoughts of gratitude.

With love and reverence-

Dr. Denise

Spiritual Blah Blah Blah

I’ve got your attention – right?

This title is not to be disrespectful of spiritual practices, it is to draw attention to the fact that many people talk about spirituality yet there is often a disconnect from the beginning practices to the action oriented end points – what a friend of mine calls, “Spiritual Blah Blah Blah.” That friend is Michel Pascal, author, meditation teacher, singer, producer, photographer and humanitarian.

Recently, I spent time getting to know Michel Pascal in person at one of his outdoor meditation spots in Los Angeles where we discussed our shared vision of the concept of integrative wellbeing or as he likes to call it “Emergency Wellbeing.” We both feel that it is an exciting time to be here on planet Earth as humanity is realizing how important it is for ALL of US as a collective to engage in acts of kindness (large or small) towards one another and to honor our environment.

Most of US are walking the walk by practicing acts of service and don’t even know that is a practice of being spiritual (being kind and humane.)

Do you smile at a stranger walking down the street? If someone is stranded on the side of a road would you stop to see if they were ok? Do you recycle whenever you can? Are you passionate about raising money for your community or another cause in the World? Do you send loving thoughts to yourself, your family, your friends, and the world? When you speak with someone do you make eye contact and listen intently?

I can list many more acts of kindness, acts of service, and thoughts of love that WE all do and might not even realize the healing POWER of our intentions and actions.

The unseen energy of love in every moment in every day makes a difference!

That is why in most of my blog posts, podcasts and conversations the concept of practicing a “mindful life” is part of the discussion. Practicing yoga, setting aside time for your practice of meditation are incredible wellness tools yet an integrated set of tools for your mind in your daily stress can keep you in your “thrive awareness zone” throughout your day.

On my show this week, Michel Pascal and I discussed the concept of practicing meditation and mindfulness is our every day stress. Michel is passionate about the revolutionary concept of training your brain to handle every day stress. To listen to our discussion on the practice of mindfulness in every day life go to

Michel’s book “Meditation for Daily Stress:10 Practices for Immediate Well-Being” will be released in April of 2017! Go to to preorder your copy and for more insights and tools for emergency wellbeing.


  1. When individuals thrive WE all thrive.
  2. Mindset is everything.

For more tips and tools you can order: Mental Health and How to Thrive.

It was an honor to interview Michel!

Dr. Denise

Author, artist, teacher, literacy advocate Chris Helene Bridge discusses the importance of literacy for wellbeing.

Chris Helene Bridge is an award winning author, artist, teacher, and literacy advocate. She deeply believes that literacy determines success for the future of our children and our communities. Chris partners with several organizations including the Barbara Bush Foundation, the Houston Area Urban League, and with Books Between Kids to distribute her books to thousands of children.

Great Day Houston – “God Gave Us Wings”

What an honor to be featured as a medical expert on Deborah Duncan’s Great Day Houston “God Gave Us Wings” episode on 4/4/17 with best selling author Connie Rankin and the inspirational ladies featured in the book.

(Photo clockwise from top left: Donna Cole, Denise McDermott M.D., Connie Rankin, Deborah Duncan, Ileana Leija, Sue Pistone)

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