Neuroplasticity is a trending buzzword. The idea of changing our brains and thought patterns is a hot topic. The idea that we can rewire our brains and other information on neuroscience seems like it's everywhere these days. Have you heard of these topics on social media?
I gotta admit it's kinda driving me nuts. Here's why:
This idea of neuroplasticity isn't new to those versed in scripture, although it seems like a new buzzword to many.
Neuroplasticity is the ability of neural networks in the brain to change through growth and reorganization. Some also call it "rewiring our brain" and it does have tremendous power.
This current trend isn't new and scientific studies dating back to 1890. The idea that the human brain and its function are not fixed throughout adulthood was proposed by William James in The Principles of Psychology, although the concept was disregarded.
Scientists understood from these studies that humans heal from stroke and traumatic brain injury. However, neuroscientists believed that the brain's structure and function were fixed throughout adulthood as recently as the 1970s.
In other words, human thinking patterns are hard-wired and don't change. Essentially we were doomed.
Our Creator knew better and told us, "be transformed by making your mind over." Romans 12:2
The Greek word translated “be transformed” describes a change similar to that of a caterpillar into a butterfly. This metaphor has always been significant to me. I've written and talked about it in several blog posts. A butterfly emerging from flames is on the cover of my poetry book.
This Greek word conveys the idea of being transformed as a continuous process of inner transformation. This transformation is so extensive the original person is not recognized. Old ways of thinking or thought patterns no longer mold and control them.
To some extent our thinking is influenced by heredity. Plus, our mind uses our past experience to assess current situations and outcomes.
However, our mind is flexible and ever changing. Those changes are determined by what we choose to think about, our choices in reading, study, entertainment and other things we take into our mind. What we ponder and the thoughts we allow to spin in our brains tremendously influence our choices.
Although imperfect and experiencing trauma on a daily basis, we can adjust our outlook, the way we choose to view things and people. We can choose to see the good and the beauty all around us.
We can change how we think and therefore how we feel and behave. Remember the mind / body / emotion connection! Change one and influence the other two.
So the concept of transforming our thought patterns is not new. Scientists discovered nothing new that our Creator didn't share with us thousands of years ago.
Be transformed, every minute of every day.
- The Principles of Psychology William James (1890)
- Fuchs, Eberhard, and Gabriele Flügge. “Adult neuroplasticity: more than 40 years of research.” Neural plasticity vol. 2014 (2014): 541870. doi:10.1155/2014/541870
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