If you realised how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.
Its a powerful statement, and in Switch on Your Brain, Dr Caroline Leaf shows how we are influenced by the power of thought. She is coming from a Christian perspective, and shows through this book how science is finally catching up with the Bible, and why think positive is more than a clich: its the difference between a healthy mind and body, and an unhealthy mind and body.
Each chapter has a main scripture reference and a linked scientific concept. Some of the information was familiar, but a lot of it was new to me, especially the science. Science was never my strongest subject, but she did a good job of explaining the concepts to those of us who are less scientifically inclined (although she lost me at quantum physics!).
One section which surprised me was her comments on multitasking. Science actually says we should pay deep attention to one task at a time, and this is reinforced by Proverbs 4:20-23. I should know this. I get annoyed when Im concentrating on something and I get interrupted, whether by a telephone call or a family member. The interruption is breaking my concentration and forcing me to multitask (and why is it these interruptions so often come when Im trying to read my Bible?). She even refers to Twitter and Facebook, saying we have been reduced to 140 characters and are forever seeking the next informational high. Surely not? Excuse me while I Tweet that. (Joke. Like all the best jokes, theres more than a grain of truth there.)
After explaining the Biblical and scientific principles , she talked through her 21-Day Brain Detox. While I read this, I didnt actually put the plan into practice, so cant comment on whether or not it would work. However, I can see the benefits: its about creating new thought habits, which redefine mental pathways and automatize thoughts and reactions (in much the same way as we automatized how to ride a bike, or swim). And now I refer back to my notes to write this review, I wonder if I should be trying a Facebook detox
Thanks to NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
I am impressed with this book. I have never read anything that so effectively explains the correlation between brain science and Scripture. It has brought new understanding of passages like Romans 12:2 on renewing the mind, and Proverbs 23:7 on our thinking making us who we are. And I am amazed at the amount of scientific evidence Dr. Leaf provides supporting those biblical principles.
"As an individual, you are capable of making mental and emotional changes in your life. Through your thinking, you can actively re-create thoughts and, therefore, knowledge in your mind." (141) This requires deep, focused, intellectual attention.
"Current neuroscientific and quantum physics research confirms that our thoughts change our brains daily." (130) The term "self directed neuroplasticity" generally describes the principle that deep thinking changes brain structure and function. (130) The change can be positive or negative. It takes about 21 days to create long term integrated memory, hence her 21-Day Brain Detox Plan. Like riding a bicycle, the new patterns become automatized and become part of our internal perception.
She outlines her 5-Step Switch on Your Brain Learning Process that has at its heart focused, organized, and deep intellectual thinking. The aim is to change the brain in a positive direction. She developed this plan from her own research and clinical experience. That process forms the detox plan. Doing the five steps takes a minimum of seven to ten minutes daily. You work on one thought network in each cycle of 21 days. To keep the new mindset active, you practice it as much as possible until it becomes an automatic part of you.
Her process is a deliberate, disciplined, and rigorous renewing of the mind. "My research," she writes, "shows that controlled focused thinking leads to impressive improvement in cognitive functioning and emotional balance." (72)
"Your mind, intellect, will, and emotions are always changing your brain in some way." (91) Dr. Leaf provides the tools to make sure those changes follow God's design for renewing your mind. Around ten minutes a day might be all it takes. If you want to replace toxic thoughts with biblical ones, this book is a good one to get you on the right path.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
This is an excellent book. Dr. Leaf is demonstrating (scientifically) how science is finally catching up with the Bible. It is very practical, giving a 21-day plan to detox your brain. Gives us lots of hope. Praise God for this book! It's a must read for everyone!