The other day I re-posted the first part of this discussion that I found on Dr. Caroline Leaf’s website regarding toxic thinking. This is part 2 of that post on your thought life. Dr. Leaf is a Neurologist and Author of the book, “Who Switched Off My Brain?”
The process of “bringing all thoughts into captivity”
According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, there are four simple techniques involved in bringing all thoughts into captivity:
1. Understanding that thoughts are real and have an actual anatomy.
Thoughts are real things: they have a structure in your brain and occupy space. Thoughts are the same as memories. Thoughts and memories look like trees and are called neurons or nerve cells. You build a double memory of everything as a mirror image of each other. This means that the memory on the left side of the brain builds from the detail to the big picture; and the memory on the right side builds from the big picture to the detail. When you put these two perspectives of thought together, you get intelligent understanding taking place. As information comes in from the five senses, you process it in certain structures of your brain, then you grow branches on the “trees” to hold this information in long term memory. In fact, as you reading this, you are growing thoughts, because, thoughts are the result of what we hear and read and see and feel and experience. This means that whatever you grow is part of you, actual branches in your brain that create your attitude and influence your decisions.
2. Increasing conscious awareness of your thoughts and how you are feeling.
Knowledge of the anatomy of thought naturally leads into the process of actively analysing incoming information and thoughts constantly. You should never let a thought or thoughts roam chaotically and unchecked through your head. Examine every thought you have and ask yourself: is this good for me? Is it from God or the devil or my own confused thinking? Conscious awareness of your thinking should become like a habit. A habit takes twenty-one days to create. Today is the first day of that twenty-one…
3. Doing something once you have analysed the thought.
So, whilst technique two is developing a conscious awareness of what you are thinking about. Now technique three is doing something about the thought. This means making a conscious decision to actively accept the thought (if it is good for you) or reject it (if it is bad for you). This means you use your God-given ability of free will (this also has actual structural position in the brain) to do something about the thought you are consciously aware of. Thoughts have as much control as we give them.
4. Building new memories over the old.
This is the really exciting part in dealing with our thought life because, accepting or rejecting the thought is changing the neural circuitry of your brain: you brain is growing while you think and you have control over the process. Technique four happens when the brain steps in and creates a structural representation of what you have chosen to accept (adds more branches on the tree) and converts what you have chosen to reject into hot air!
Let’s see how these four techniques work if you have an unforgiveness in your memory trees towards someone:
* Technique one: this unforgiveness looks like a thorn tree and will hurt you – visualize the twisted bitter thorn tree.
* Technique two: be consciously aware of this thought of unforgiveness – where it comes from, how long it has been there, and so on.
* Technique three: ask the Holy Spirit to help you use your free will to make the wisdom decision to reject unforgiveness and forgive. Picture the unforgiveness disappearing as hot air.
* Technique four: now build a new de-thorned memory to replace the thorny unforgiveness with for example, quoting scriptures, singing a worship song, praying for the person, and so on.