*13 STEPS TO DETOX YOUR BRAIN
- Step 1. Consciously Control Your Thoughts
- Step 2. Frame Your World With Your Words
- Step 3. Express Your Emotions
- Step 4. Take Responsibility and Take Control
- Step 5. Dream On
- Step 6. Think Forgiveness
- Step 7. Love – Tune into Your Heart
- Step 8. Monkey – Hug Therapy
- Step 9. Play and Laugh
- Step 10. Exercise
- Step 11. Diet
- Step 12. The Spiritual Aspect
- Step 13. Relax
*Who Switched Off My Brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf
*DETOX STEP ONE- Consciously Control Your Thoughts
- This is the Main step – Either you control your thoughts or they control you!
2 Corinthian 10:3-5 informs us that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”
2. Thoughts can cause illness and should be studied and controlled
Questions to ask if thought life is toxic:
Do I utter could have..would have…should have statements today?
Is if only’s part of my vocabulary?
Do you create scenarios in your mind of an unpredictable future?
Is your mind passisve?
Do you say one thing and mean another…..or just go thru the motions of the day?
3. Changing your thinking can make you healthy
4. OUR task is to analyze before you accept or reject it
5. Toxic emotions arise from 3 incorrect beliefs people think: ( Dr. Aaron Beck)
- I must do well – No one does well all the time
- You must treat me well – everyone is mistreated sometimes
- The world must be easy – life is not always easy or fair
- Point: Demanding unrealistic performance from yourself or others puts mind and body in stress mode– results in negative effect on your health
- Toxic thoughts result in toxic emotions which result in illness and disease and reduce hope
7. Thoughts create your mood – fear based emotions- depression and thoughts are
HOW TO CONTROL YOUR THOUGHT LIFE
A. Understand how a thought forms.
B. Use the structures in the brain, which has a strainer – look for good, useful and
C. Make a decision to accept or reject a thought
D. Build memory and deal with emotional strongholds of toxic memory, that is fear based( unforgiveness, rejection, bitterness, anxiety, worry)- forgive and release, use positive self talk , faith filled words
E. The brain strainer that can filter out helpful positive info which you either hear, read, and see which is about 15% – 35% that come into your brain
F. Many times we allow useless or toxic thoughts to come in and if allowed entry they
build memory in the brain that is toxic and upset the chemical loops and put your
body in a harmful state….weighs you down mentally, physically, and spiritually.
G. Ask- answer-discuss technique….allows you to effectively sift info. Look at your
Thoughts and ask your self if the thoughts you are thinking and the feelings they
produce are actually helpful, useful, and productive– you may need to check in with
others, people you trust, or an expert in their field.
8. Memory is an important component in detoxing the brain. Toxic thoughts build toxic
Memories. Only chance to prevent toxic memory is in the straining process.
9. Correct positive thinking can grow your brain ..frequent and challenging positive
learning experiences build intelligence in a short amount of time.
“You are what you think” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Examples of positive self talk…..
- I know it will work, because I’ve put all myself into making this a success.
- Tomorrow not guaranteed, will not put off until tomorrow what I can do today.
- I do not live by luck, I live by faith, persistence, and positive attitude.
- Everyday is an opportunity
10. Potential can be increased 35% to 75% if people are taught how to understand their
brains and to think properly. Enrichment stimulates the brain, stress drains it. In
just four days you can change your brain.
*Who Switched Off My Brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf
*DETOX STEP 2: Frame Your World With Your Words
- The words you speak are electromagnetic life forces that come from a thought inside your brain.
- They contain power and work hand-in hand with your thought life- influencing the world around you and your life circumstances.
- The words you speak feed back into the magic trees of the mind ie. when you make a negative statement, you release negative chemicals, these lead to negative memories that grow stronger and they grow into negative strongholds that control your attitude and life.
A. The importance of Congruence– This is more than talking positively. Your words have to be backed up with honesty and integrity. What you say on the outside must reflect what you think on the inside.
B. How to Frame Your World with Words:
This involves replacing negative thinking and words through a right attitude shift: 4 keys
1. Acknowledge that an issue exists in your mind.
2. Reflect on what is wrong with it….Why is it negative? Why do I have these constant
3. Consider how you can cope with it or come to grips with it.
4. Can you do it alone or do you need help to work thru the issues?
C. KEY IS TO SORT OUT WHAT IS INSIDE YOUR MIND AND HEART BEFORE YOU SPEAK……
- Once you have done this you can start to replace negative statements with positive ones.
- Positive words coming from positive thinking grow beautiful memory over the painful and oppressive old ones.
- Remember the old memory does not go away, but the new memory will dominate.
- The key is believe the words you are saying in your heart, if not the positive statements will fade and in time the negative strongholds will gain control.
DETOX STEP 3: Express Those Emotions
- Emotions are real, living, pulsating things that can’t be buried alive.
- When emotions are repressed, these toxic emotions over time will suddenly come pouring out
- Expressing emotions or neuropeptides- make all bodily systems function as a healthy whole.
A. Repressed and suppressed emotions –block the network of chemical pathways and stop the flow of good chemicals that run your biology and behavior. Resulting in stress.
B. Signs of Suppressed (consciously pushing down feelings) Emotions
- Short temper
- Impulsive (shooting from the hip or reacting and not thinking thru)
- A desire for control
DO NOT BE AN EXPERT AT NOT FEELING WHAT YOU ARE FEELING
C. A STRATEGY FOR EXPRESSING EMOTIONS
- Admit it – acknowledge them or face them positively as soon as you can
- Quit it- discontinue repressing the feelings
- Beat it – openness and honesty promote health, are feelings when released, whether we talk it out, write it out, pray it out, sing it out, dance it out, work it out(some type of physical exertion) or cry it out need, persons need an avenue of expression.
A useful way in managing a stressful emotion is to help someone else– it releases love
D. Express emotions appropriately…find a safe environment, where people are encouraging, hopeful, trutstworthy, and know something about what you are going thru.
Dr. Carl Jung said “everyone needs someone, to share your shadow with.”
DETOX STEP 4: Take Responsibility and Take Control
A. Active conscious thinking causes the metacognitive or non-conscious part of the brain ( 90% of where memories are stored and decisions are made) to interact with our conscious/cognitve mind (where the remaining 10% of thinking occurs)
- We must consciously force the metacognitive and cognitive levels to interact
B. You can do this by consciously thinking about what is in your mind and thereby access the body-mind network where memories are stored and redirect them
- Honest conscious thinking is where your truth value exist – when you use it you can unblock memory and move in many situations from a victim’s mind set to a victor
C. If emotional strongholds or blockages are longstanding, Dr. Leaf recommends some for of counseling, prayer, and meditation.
D. Helping people take responsibility and control can result in lifestyle changes in areas of nutrition, their enviorment, their faith walk.
- Some times in recovery we say “nothing changes unless something changes”…..these can be changes in people, places, and things
DETOX STEP 5: Dream On
E. Dreaming helps you sort out thinking…often times we can come up with solutions and answers we need for issues in our life.
- When you are dreaming, different parts of your body/mind are exchanging information, and certain brain cells are cleaning up your memory networks.
F. The dream state allows the psychosomatic network to retune itself and get ready for the demands of your waking life.
- Strong emotions not processed thoroughly are stored on the cellular level. At night, or whenever you dream, some of this stored information is released and allowed to bubble up into consciousness as a dream.
G. Capturing the dream in some form can be enlightening and help you to control your thoughts. Whenever you wake up, write down your dreams. Let you know what is going on in your thought life. Can also be an early warning sign.
DETOX STEP 5: Dream On – Continued
H. Dr. Leaf believes the act of simply writing down the story and feelings of the dream is shown to increase the blood and peptide flow and help the detox process.
- She recommends you write down everything, even the fragmented bits and always ask yourself, how do you feel?
- The more turbulent and disturbing your dreams, the more work you have to do on your thought life.
- The crucial step to using your dreams as part of the detox process is simply to decide to remember them. It is part of your free will, and the benefits will flow
DETOX STEP 6: Think Forgiveness
A. Forgiveness is a choice, an act of your free will.
B. It enables you to release all those toxic thoughts of : Anger, Resentment, Bitterness, Shame, Grief, Regret, Guilt, and Hate
C. Most importantly as long as unhealthy toxic thoughts dominate your mind you will not be able to grow new healthy thoughts and memories.
D. When you hold on to an issue– it allows another to control you– memory gets bigger and makes you sick. It occupies more space in your brain.
E. Dr. Don Colbert describes forgiveness as taking an emotional shower: it cleanses and frees the entrapped soul.
Dr. Colbert in his book Deadly Emotion describes forgiveness as:
- Not making excuses for someone’s behavior, but it is forgiving despite the behavior
- Not ignoring the pain or hurt, it is about your health, it is choosing to let go of the person who hurt you.
- Not letting someone off the hook, but it is leaving that person in God’s hands, and God said he will look out for the righteous.
- Not a flaw or a sign of weakness, it is a sign of great strength and courage, as well as trust in God
- When we hold onto the offense we are saying we are stronger than God, we do not trust Him to deal with it and that we can handle it better
F. Dr. Leaf states “forgiveness leads to the ability to love.” You can not really love if you have not really forgiven and released those who have wronged you.
- University of Wisconsin’s “Forgiveness Study” research found “that those who develop an ability to forgive, have greater control over their emotions and are significantly less angry, upset and hurt, and consequently much healthier.”
DETOX STEP 7: Love – Tune into Your Heart
A. Studies show clear changes in the patterns of activity of the autonomic nervous system, immune system, hormonal system, brain and heart when you experience the following:
B. There is a connection between positive emotions, improved health and increased longevity
- Research shows that the heart considers and “THINKS” about information it receives from the brain. The mini-brain in the heart functions like a conscience
- There are times when the brain submits to the heart and vice versa
- Advise from your heart is a gentle nudge, or a sense of warning. Always listen.
- Best way to listen to your heart is to quiet your thought life, be still and chill
C. Dr. Leaf suggests the following ways to calm your heart and control your thoughts:
- Thinking of all the blessings in your life
- Developing an attitude of gratitude
- Not thinking painful thoughts
- Focusing on and spending time with people who bring you joy and happiness
- Focusing on happy memories of good times or anticipating special events
- Not allowing fear to cloud the messages from the heart
D. Dr. Leaf states your heart is not just a pump, it has the ability to pull all the other systems of the body into it’s own rhythm
- When the heart is at peace and filled with love, the entire body under the direction of the brain feels peace and love as well
- The opposite is true, when your thought life is filled with toxic emotions, your heart is heavy and burdens the body.
- God’s love and others speeds up the hearts communication with the mind and body thru the blood flow. Health travels from the brain to the heart in electrical signals and then through the rest of the body.
- Make an intentional choice to love others no matter what– it takes practice plus++
DETOX STEP 8: Monkey Hug Therapy
A. Dr. Leaf states “Touching has been found to be one of the most essential elements of human development…it is a critical component of the health and growth of infants…and a powerful healing force.”
B. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin in the 1950’s and 1960’s had found in their experiments with monkeys who were raised with no hugging or touch- they developed signs of depression and stress. The signs vanished after older monkeys were allowed to hold and cuddle the young monkeys.
- Touching broke the negative feedback loops that feelings of emotional deprivation had caused in their brains
- Touch releases endorphins and enkephalins from the brain which break the negative feedback loops.
C. Good touching releases the body’s natural chemicals in a healing process that optimizes your feelings of well being
DETOX STEP 9: Play and Laugh
- A. Play is a wonderful form of stress reduction
- B. Play brings laughter- it lets peptides flow and is considered by many as the best medicine.
- C. It releases an instant flood of feel good chemicals that boost the immune system.
- D. It almost instantly reduces levels of stress hormones…
- E. .Dr. Leaf has found that a good laugh can produce the following in our bodies:
- Cortisol drop by 39%
- Adrenalin drop by 70%
- Endorphin –the feel good hormone increase by 29%
- Growth hormones can increase by 87%
- Laughter boost your immune system, promotes synergy interaction between both hemispheres of the brain
- It also increases the flexibility of thought.
- Having fun through play is the cheapest easiest and most effective way to control toxic thoughts and emotions and their toxic stress reaction
Dr. Leaf believes play rejuvenates the mind, body and the spirit and gets positive emotions flowing- the result is we feel better connected and a greater sense of unity- a feeling we are part of something greater.
DETOX STEP 10: Exercise
- Exercise gets the heart pumping in order to increase the blood flow to nourish and cleanse the brain and organs
- It also results in mood improvement thru the releasing of endorphins
- Helps sweep away debris left by toxic thoughts and emotions
- Find a form of exercise you enjoy and stick with it
DETOX STEP 11: DIET
- Eating is highly emotional and subconscious event.
A. Your large and small intestines are lined with neuropeptides and receptors, all busily exchanging information laden with emotional content.
B. Pancreas releases 20 different emotionally laden peptides that regulate the assimilation and storage of nutrients
- Dr. Leaf recommends that you “don’t eat when you are not hungry, when you are angry or when you are facing or trying to bury an unpleasant emotion.”
- When you do this the food you eat will be toxic- you will not assimilate the nutrients you need form the food
- The digestive process will either speed up or slow down- creating more toxins in your body
C. Some health experts recommend controlling and reducing your carbohydrate intake– especially refined carbs- ie white sugar, bread pasta, rice, cakes, cookies
- These comfort foods release “feel good chemicals” –which are short lived- resulting in a downward spiral into negative feelings
- these are not the best foods for thinking.
- These foods anaesthetize the mind and dull the thinking processes –act as a blanket preventing you from listening to all the good news your peptides are telling you.
D. Glucose is the major food source for the brain– it supports the ability of neurons to store and secrete all the messenger chemicals- neuropeptides and neurotransmitters- also fuels the brain’s glial cells
- Your body gets glucose from carbs( good carbs- brown rice, whole wheat and pasta)-
- you don’t need it in quantity– just a steady supply of it- excess supplies causes spikes in blood sugar….
- Diet overloaded with carbs-especially refined, and bad fats- Trans fats, partially hydrogenated plant oils, will add to your toxic load
- Stable blood sugar levels key to weight stability– proteins like meat, fish, chicken and eggs- very good at stabilizing blood sugar levels
E. Your thoughts will careen out of control without good fats-
- Essential fatty acids(EFA’s) such as omega 3 and 6- you get those from oily fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.
- Olive oil and sunflower oil, butter are also good sources of fat. Margarine is toxic attacks nerve cells in brain
F. Brain needs oxygen and protein
G. EFA deficiency one reason for increasing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, attention deficit and hyperactivity problems in kids
H. Drink lots of water- “God’s nectar” 8-15 glasses a day
DETOX STEP 12: The Spiritual Aspect
“You are a spiritual being.” We are a spirit, that has a soul, and lives in a body
A. Dr. Leaf believes “No healing of toxic waste in your mind and body will be complete unless you address your spirituality.”
B. “Spirituality, found in faith in God offers hope in a world that is often without hope, and a truth and reality to anchor in.”
C. Dr. Leaf continues and states that for her “spirituality is a belief in an intelligent information network run by an Intelligent Designer, conceived on a level where only faith operates.”
- She challenges everyone to find your spiritual truth to deal with toxic emotions
DETOX STEP 13: RELAX
A. Dr. Leaf describes “The Acceleration Syndrome” (Hurry, hurry) states that it is causing a global epidemic of “hurry sickness.”
- Life is moving at a dizzying pace and many are forcing too much into their lives
- Many are becoming time poor and that poverty is extending in their thought life
- The key is making wise choices about your time and energy
- Most choices result in neither exercise or relaxation
B. If you constantly focus on the little things, you will miss the big picture –that determines your health, success and happiness.
C. Every organ and muscle in our body has a sympathetic or “stress state” and a parasympathetic or “relaxed state.”
- Both of these systems are part of the autonomic nervous system
- Researchers at the Institute of HeartMath– an organization that looks at the effects of positive emotions on physiology and quality of life and performance
- They found that the toxic emotions experienced as a result of this “busy-rush syndrome” cause disruptions to the autonomic nervous system that lead to erratic heart rhythms
- Key is to take time to do things that generate positive emotions ie love, respect and kindness and result in more coherent heart rhythms sympathetic- (accelerates the heartbeat) and the parasympathetic (slows down the heartbeat) nervous system
The point being relaxing is not a luxury but a necessity
- Toxic thoughts throw this balance off and predispose you to sickness
- Learn to balance work and rest…if you had only six months to live what would you add to the list and cut out?
D. The Relaxation Response- Dr. Herbert Benson – Harvard Medical identified practices that help people to relax:
Techniques to help induce the relaxation response:
- Deep breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation- move from head to toes tensing and then relaxing the muscle groups
*DETOX STEP 13: RELAX – CONT’D
- Stretching and relaxing
- Visualize a relaxing scene
- Meditation- focused awareness and engaged positive thinking with understanding as a result
- Aerobic exercise
- Daily quiet time
- Sleep – need seven to nine hours during the week, more on the weekends
Take some time out to play with the kids, read a book, go by the water, woods, take a hike, get out in the sunshine.
E. Creative Loneliness– This concept came from a pastor who discussed this concept in a book he wrote about coping, after his divorce. He said God made part of us from the earth and that we all have this “call of the wild”, where a part of us wants to get alone and have some type of connection with nature. This may be dependent on where we live, it is not limited to that. Essentially it seems important and very healing to develop some type of routine where we can spend some quality time with the water, the woods, the mountains, the desert, etc.
*Who Switched Off My Brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf