One of the major influences on our experience of life impacting our emotions, perceptions and even what we might experience in the future, is our thoughts. It has been shown that thoughts impact our brain in ways we previously had not understood. Thoughts can create chemicals and enzymes in the brain depending on their nature. Repeated patterns of thinking are shown to grow physical structures in the brain that can limit the kind of thinking we tend towards every day. Some of these chemicals and enzymes impact various parts of the neurological and immune systems and there is still much unknown about what other systems or diseases in the body and brain might be affected. There is a lot of research that stress is a major factor leading to many killer diseases and the link between stress and our thinking is obvious.
Do you think about what you are thinking? Many of us, as I had in the past, believe we have no real control over our thoughts, which seem to fall into our heads and in reaction to various situations and events. As I started learning to change the way I was thinking, my reactions to situations, events and stress changed and I found I was filled with more peace and calm despite challenging circumstances. I used to believe I had no control over my emotions either until I started changing the way I was thinking and my emotions and emotional reactions to situations changed.
I became aware of my thinking and unconscious thoughts through the practice of contemplative meditation whereby a person sits in silence and observes what thoughts arise. Have you ever noticed getting great ideas in the shower or while relaxing on a beach? The brain naturally uses quiet time to bring up unresolved issues, problems and events in an effort to solve and resolve what has not been released. Even during sleep the brain uses dreams to do the same thing. But the brain also needs to rest. Contemplative meditation helped me learn to let go of needing to resolve these thoughts temporarily in order to rest the brain and the body.
Recent research shows that thinking patterns form, blocking our ability to change how we think by ‘hard coding’ these patterns with chemicals and enzymes. Trauma releases even more substances that reinforce this process, creating triggers that start the thinking patterns to repeat like programmed loops in our brains. There are ways to disrupt this with affirmations and finding contradictory thoughts to fight the patterns we want to change. But even with that, I had some resistant thoughts stemming from early childhood experiences that had been repeated continually over my lifetime and were hard to release.
Then I discovered the power of using bible truths to release those thoughts and patterns. Somehow, mysteriously, the truth we learn through studying the bible seems to have more power than any other words we might use. I had heard this belief and doubted, but trying it, it actually has worked. The mystery is that there is another force behind the words that comes from God through Christ and the Holy Spirit, who knows just the right order to address these thoughts to untangle the many systems tied up together like knots in the brain. Sounds like divine brain surgery to me. But it works, not by my might or intelligence or analysis, but by listening to what God is speaking to me while I study the bible as frequently as I can.
Now I ask God every day to watch over my thoughts and point out to me the ones that need changing, like putting my streams of conscious and unconscious (hidden) thoughts through a kind of security check to see what should be contraband and not allowed to continue journeying through my life, like a TSA check point at the airport. No unwanted or hidden contraband thoughts are allowed to continue the journey of my life, thanks to the nudging and growing awareness provided through my relationship with God in Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, given us to lead us into all truth and remind us of what we have learned when we need.
John 14:26, 16:13 “The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will guide you into all the truth, (&) will teach you all things. He will help you remember everything taught to you.”