Brain research has found that what we think and believe affects our physical, mental and spiritual health.

Psychiatrist Tim Jennings teaches how to reprogram our minds to produce healthy thoughts and belief systems. He shares helpful insight from his book The God-Shaped Brain.

Dr. Jennings says that reprogramming our minds is very similar to learning another language. It requires us to reach out for help.

“If you’re speaking English your whole life, it’s the only language you’ve ever known, and then you decide you want to go to Germany to work it’s going to help you to speak German first. You actually have to get with somebody who speaks German to teach you how to speak this new language.”

In the same way, we are encouraged to find professional help to sort out any negative thinking patterns we might have, especially ones that develop at a young age. Dr. Jennings elaborates,

“If you have a certain pattern of thinking that’s deeply embedded, it’s very difficult for a person to change that without somebody assisting them, to instruct them, and help them see where those cognitive distortions are happening.”

A cognitive therapist can pinpoint automatic thought patterns that are often blind to our own eye.

“We have certain automatic perspectives that we filter reality through that are on all of the time. Unless we have somebody point those out to us, then we never even question them, and that’s where the therapist can come in.”

Dr. Jennings points out that we have the choice to reprogram our minds. He describes the correlation between our thoughts and behaviors,

“Whatever our mind chooses to do; whether you and I choose to take a new foreign language class, we decide to take up golf, we wanted to start art classes, whatever we decide to do…as we engage in those activities, the brain will begin making new neurons and new neural connections to correspond to those actions and thoughts that we are choosing to do.”

It will require practice.

“The more we do it, the more those neural pathways can establish and the more effective or proficient we get at doing that.”

Dr. Jennings describes this as one of God’s natural design laws, the Law of Exertion.

“If you want something to get stronger? You must exercise it. You want stronger muscles? You must exercise them. You want stronger math skills? You must work problems. You want stronger musical ability? You must practice your instrument.

“The more you exercise things, the stronger they get and you actually build new neural pathways based on the choices of your mind.”

Highlight: Reprogramming our minds

What do you believe about God?