Have you ever gotten stuck with negative thoughts in your mind? Have you ever rehearsed something from your past over and over? Have you ever created scenes in your mind of what a conversation might look like? According to what I have heard about brain health, that would explain mind-ruts.
The neuro connections that we repeat over and over, fire together and wire together in a solid neuro connection. Ugh. I remember back in 1975. I would put my hands on both sides of my head and yell ‘stop’ because my mind kept circling the wagons. It was a horrible time for me. In those days I knew nothing about stress and health. I was boiling in a cauldron of stress at work. It took its toll.
Futile thoughts are like the hamster in the wheel. All the frenzied activity is for nought. Rehearsing a negative dialogue is a destructive form of meditation. It is satan’s counterfeit of the secret dialogue of biblical meditation. It would definitely affect our brain’s function in a negative way, and certainly in our brain’s communication to our body.
Ephesians 4:23 Amplified says, “And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind (having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude).” This is God’s RX to gain freedom from anxiety produced depression. Depression reduces neuroplasticity. We can change this downward trajectory by rewiring new pathways through mind renewal, and community. Our brain needs stimulation through music, reading, games, nutrition, and social interaction.
Watch how Asaph reversed his depression. Psalm 77:2 said that his soul refused to be comforted. Verse 3 said that his soul complained and his spirit was overwhelmed. Verse 6 says, “I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.” Verse 10 says, “And I said, This is my anguish; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” Verse 12 I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.”
We exercise our brain by retraining it. We build our brain’s capacity by challenging it. Memorizing a verse takes repetition. Each time we say it, we are creating and strengthening new pathways. Our brain recognizes the change and saves it. I have verses wired in from my childhood.
Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good like medicine…” Proverbs 15:13 says, “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance…” We upgrade from depressed to cheerful when we ‘wire’ in His word, and then meditate on it in our heart. Our heart is our belief center. We disconnect the old, as we wire in the new. Since meditation lowers cortisol, it radically improves our health.
Psalm 119 has eight verses about meditating on God’s word. Psalm 4:4 says, “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.” Meditating exercises our heart and our brain. Joshua 1:8 says that meditating brings success and prosperity. Psalm 1:3 says that it will cause us to be like a tree, drinking in the life-flow of pure water. We will bear abundant fruit for His glory, and whatever we do will prosper.