Monday, December 30, 2013

Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf

Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health by Dr. Caroline Leaf
ISBN: 978-0801016240
Published: Sept 1, 2013
Trade paperback, 240 pages

I love neuroscience. I also love the Holy Scriptures. So what a surprise when Dr. Caroline Leaf, a communication pathologist in the field of cognitive neuroscience, summarizes in this book a large part of her research in recent years to link scientific principles to Scripture. Oh my word, I LOVED this book! It blends two of my favorite subjects. 

I always trusted and believed God’s Word to contain wisdom and accurate statements about human behaviour and psychology. Finally, a scientist who recognizes this! Dr. Leaf states: Science is catching up with the Bible daily. How true, because God is THE greatest scientist. He created the heavens, the earth and us in it, including all the laws that govern nature, such as the law of gravity and quantum physics.

Dr. Leaf had devoted her life work, since the 1990s, in helping people see that they can renew their minds in a tangible way by learning to control their thoughts and emotions. She says that by doing this through conscious effort, we can actually change the programming and chemistry of our brain, even in the most challenging neurological situations. In other words, we are not victims of our biology or circumstances. How empowering! How hopeful and enlightening. How totally fascinating! The concept of neuroplasticity was always supported by God as stated in Romans 12:2. I knew this because of my studying the Bible for years now, but having a scientist explain the science behind Biblical principles is so gratifying. It makes me appreciate my Creator all the more.

What I also appreciated about this book is that it’s easy to read. Dr. Leaf explains neuroscience in simple terms and her use of repetition of the concepts only served to make me appreciate their value. The more I dug into this book, with highlighter and pen, jotting down notes, looking up Scriptures, the more I realized that my Bible studies have made me wiser and more intelligent because of the time I spent in deep study and meditation. In the last few years, however, because of my busy schedule I have not had the same kind of contemplative studies, and I have seen the difference in how I handle stress.

In the first part of the book, Dr. Leaf explains the science of thought and what it means to switch on your brain. In part two, Dr. Leaf has developed a 21-Day Brain Detox Plan, a practical and detailed plan that helps an individual get rid of toxic thoughts. This non-traditional therapeutic approach has helped her patients who suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury) make remarkable progress. I’ve read through the program, and I figure it won’t be easy to implement, but I plan to use it because I know I could use help getting rid of some toxic thoughts that trigger my depression and mood swings. 

I have to say that if you are an individual who does not read the Bible, this book may be a little overwhelming, especially those who believe that the Bible and science don’t mix. I knew all the Scriptures she mentions in her book so I was super comfortable with her applications. Also, Dr. Leaf includes in the back of the book 10 full pages of notes and references, as well as 19 full pages of recommended reading of books and scientific articles. This is perfect for me! I highly recommend this book to anyone who calls themselves a Christian (or appreciates the Bible) and wants to explore the potential of their minds to change their lives for the better.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product. Available at your favourite bookseller from BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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