I was curious to see if faith in God had any impact on our brains. I decided to do some research and this is what I came up with. In the article from The Atlantic, it states that meditation (prayer) can improve memory and concentration. Also, it lowers depression, anxiety, and stress. If this is true then our bodies are benefiting from this also. Think about how this can impact our children. If we have devotions and prayer time with our kids then their anxiety can become less and their concentration can improve. What if we teach our kids that if we lean on God’s understanding then He can help us through our depression?
In the Faith and Health Connection article, it has a different way of looking at the faith and the brain connection. It states that if you focus on God being loving and compassionate, you increase the amount of love and compassion in your brain, and your outward behaviors. It says the more we focus on something, the more it becomes a part of how our brain functions. They compare how fearful thoughts and loving thoughts affect the brain. Basically, the more we focus of love and compassion, it will drown out our fear. When we are fearful then we need to take the focus off of us and place it on being compassionate towards others. One way we can do this is by volunteering. Especially, during crisis events (Coronavirus). I have talked about how bad too much Cortisol is for your body. Well good news, singing praises to God and meditating can lower your cortisol levels. Dr. Newberg stated that since cortisol suppresses the immune system, lower levels help improve the immune system’s function, and reduce blood pressure and heart rate, all of which can be beneficial. It not only benefits that brain but also the body as a whole. Romans 12:2 (NIV)2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
On the Bayside church site, they quoted that Dr. Caroline Leaf says this in her book Switch On Your Brain,
“As we think, we change the physical nature of our brain. As we consciously direct our thinking, we can wire out toxic patterns of thinking and replace them with healthy thoughts.”
Faith does play a big part on our brain. If we don’t change the way we think then our minds will remain the same. What goes into our brain comes out in our thinking. Basically, these are the things we should focus on:
- Positive thinking
- Being loving and compassionate