How God Changes your Brain

I am a graduate of the Releasing Technique (www.releasetechnique.com ).  In their most recent issue of their newsletter was an article entitled:  “University of Pennsylvania Researchers to Prove Release Technique is the Most Effective.”  In this small article it spoke about researcher, Mark Robert Waldman, a neuroscientist in spirituality, finding the methodology taught by the Releasing Technique founders to have had the most significant impact on the brain changes in ways that positively effect memory, cognition, awareness, compassion and consciousness.  

In the article Dr. Waldman was quoted as saying: “A negative attitude  does damage to your brain whether it comes from the pulpit or the political arena.  You’re not only damaging the brain of the speaker, but everyone who is listening, their brains are damaged too”.

I found this statement to be so provocative that I decided to do a little more research on Dr. Waldman.  He and his partner Andrew Newberg, MD recently wrote the book:  HOW GOD CHANGES YOUR BRAIN.   To quote the Dr. Waldman’s website description of the book: “…They use their state-of-the-art brain-scan technology and research surveys to document how different forms of spiritual practice, secular meditation, intensive prayer, and positive affirmations change the function and structure of the brain.  They show how these changes improve memory, cognition, and compassion while simultaneously suppressing activity in those parts of the brain that generate stress, anxiety, depression, and anger.  Their book features a dozen simple exercises that anyone can do to achieve these neurological and psychological benefits, and it only takes a few minutes a day focusing on your innermost values and goals.  In just eight weeks, the brain-scan studies show significant improvement, and if these simple exercises are incorporated into short-term therapy most people can dramatically reduce their dependency on psychological counseling and anti-depressant medication.  Why?  Because you can then remain stress-free for many, many years.”

I’ve included an interview held with Dr. Waldman approximately a year ago with a PBS interviewer, Tavis Smiley, for your enjoyment.  http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/archive/200904/20090410.html . 

I can personally attest that by mindfully spending at least fifteen minutes or more each day on spiritual study, affirmations, prayer and reflection my life has experienced a major reduction on day to day stress.   While I don’t have a brain scan to personally see for myself the “before” and “after” affects of these practices I can affirm that I do not experience blood pressure issues or any other “stress-related” health issues (thank GOD)!  Would I encourage everyone to take a few minutes each day to mindfully build a stronger connection to God – absolutely!  Now the science proves it’s actually good for your health – never mind your inner peace!

101 Responses to “How God Changes your Brain”

  1. Anjanette Bookman says:

    I’m a Senior Lecturer from the Cultural Studies department at Central Saint Martins exactly where I’m also doing work over a project for that marketplace.

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