Thursday, October 24, 2013

Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf

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.

Dr. Caroline Leaf, a communication pathologist and audiologist, has worked in the area of cognitive neuroscience since 1985. She has specialized in traumatic brain injury and learning disabilities, focusing on the science of thought as it pertains to thinking and learning. A large part of her research in recent years has been to link scientific principles with Scripture. She applied the findings of her research in clinical practice for nearly twenty years and now lectures and preaches around the world on these topics. Caroline and her husband, Mac, live in Dallas, Texas, with their four children. For more information, visit her website: http://drleaf.com.

Baker Books, 240 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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