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“Some people say that the thoughts that you think and the words that you say is who you really are.” This profound statement came from the backseat of the car one day as we were returning home from running errands. I heartily agreed with my son, who was 5 at the time, and shared with him the verses in the Bible, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he,” and “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”.
I’m not sure if my little philosopher fully understood the concepts that he was proclaiming from his car seat, and the huge implications that they have in each of our lives.
In the scientific realm we are only beginning to learn the full effect these truths have on our brains and our bodies. Caroline Leaf, neuroscientist and author of “Switch On Your Brain”, centers her “21-Day Brain Detox” around the concept of “taking every thought captive” to cause a transformation in a person’s mind. Dr. Leaf was taught in school that the brain was a “fixed and hardwired machine”, and that brain damage was hopeless and untreatable. However, now she knows differently, and science is proving this antiquated theory untrue.
“As we think, we change the physical nature of our brain.”
How can you harness this control to make a positive, lasting change in your brain that will change your life?
The answer comes by way of neuroplasticity. Dr. Leaf states: “Thinking, a mind activity, effects gene expression. Gene expression produces proteins. Proteins are fashioned into structural elements and enzymes (biological catalysts), which change brain anatomy (structure) and physiology (function). Essentially, thinking changes brain structure and function.”
Check out this video that gives a visual demonstration of this concept!:
So think about it: Are you thinking “toxic thoughts”, or are you taking an inventory of each thought that comes into your mind and discarding the bad? How can you change the way you think TODAY and begin to become a new, better version of YOU?
After all, “As a man [or woman] thinks in his [or her] heart, so is he [she].”
¹Leaf, Caroline. “Switch on Your Brain: the Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health.”Switch on Your Brain: the Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health, Baker Books, 2015, p. 21.