Who cares who is in charge? Is it your mind or your brain?

Thought Life: Mind over brain matter.

Who cares who is in charge? Is it your mind or your brain?

Here’s a revelation for you, your mind is not your brain!

I am sure some of you are thinking, “Who cares?” or “I really thought they were the same,” I have even heard some people say “the mind is a function of the brain i.e. the mind is what the brain does.”

There is substantial evidence now to prove there is a portion of ourselves which is separate from the physical structure of the brain. Perhaps you have heard there is a distinction between body, soul and spirit. Well, the soul is the 1/3 of the human existence that is composed of the mind, will and emotions. This is a powerful thing to know when you understand what difference it makes.

Human source code for behavior

Many studies have been done over the last decade to try to find, isolate, identify the gene or DNA molecule or “human source code” behind all sorts of behavior. From addictions, to sexual preference, from chronic illnesses to ADD or bipolar disorder, scientists are laboring continuously to find a cause and in some cases a cure. Along the way, much conjecture has pointed to the idea that our behavior is directly driven, primarily driven and to a great degree determined or dictated by the chemical make up of our brain and that unless we “alter the chemical make up” we cannot change our behavior.  This line of thinking concludes, we are slaves to our nature of sorts. Young boys have been prescribed medications to “control behavior” in the classroom as recess gets shorter and shorter; in some schools even nonexistent. The best prescription for a restless boy is EXERCISE, in other words, recess.

This assumption “only the chemicals in our brain can control our behavior” is a myth in my neophyte opinion. But I am not alone in this opinion. In fact, Dr. Caroline Leaf has done extensive research and provided more than sufficient results in transforming the mind as a way to rehabilitate a physically damage brain. Ongoing work in the area of neuroplasticity is demonstrating a new way of perceiving the brain/ mind relationship. When the brain is injured, the mind can repair it.

“Don’t touch that – it’s hot!”

Your brain and mine are connected (barring some significant injury or physical birth defect) to all of the sensory receptors in our body. Simply stated, “Don’t touch that – it’s hot!” is a statement of truth most of us can prove to be true through our own life experience. We know it’s hot, because we touched and it our brain snatched our hand back and screamed inside our head, “Hey genius, THAT’S HOT!” The feelers in our finger tips, spoke to the brain and the signal was quite clear. Now we also know from experience what is unbearable to the touch for you might be ok to me because of a difference in sensitivity and conditioning. Callused hands are not as sensitive as tender hands.

We also know from experience that we can “convince ourselves” that something is too hot or too cold and when we try to touch it we experience a moment of confusion as the sensory reaction does not match our expectation. Have you ever taken to big a drink of hot chocolate and burned your lips or tastebuds? Or sipped your coffee only to find it room temperature or cooler?

Mind control

My point is this: we can choose, decide, predict how we will think and feel about many given scenarios from how hot the coffee is, to how badly I will feel if my wife leaves me. We can choose to stress out about our finances or realize that all the worrying in the world won’t change the circumstances. Does your anticipation of the hot hot coffee make it warmer than it really is? Will thinking of ice cubes keep the coco from blistering your tongue? Of course not. There is a level of reality that is beyond your influence.

There is also a level of reality that you maintain complete control over. As it has been stated by many, “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control how you react, and that controls the outcome.” How you react is a CHOICE. No one “makes you angry.” You choose to be angry at a person or circumstance. If you want a different outcome, you have to choose a different reaction. Here is the part of this level of reality I believe is really special.

We do not have to obey our thirst!!! We get to choose.

If an addiction is telling your senses, you really need a ____________, you have the power, the right, the authority and the structure to tell the addiction and the craving and the “chemical reaction” in the brain and nervous system to take a hike. Our mind, will and emotions ARE NOT SERVANTS to the brain. They are higher on the food chain. No one can tell your mind what to do but you. “No one knows the mind of man, but the spirit of that man.”

When you quiet your spirit, pay attention to your soul (by focusing your mind, directing your will and controlling your emotions) you will find that your body (of which the brain is a part just like your toe) will submit.

I want you to prove this to yourself.

Control your heart rate through your mind. Choose a nice comfy, isolated place to sit. Close your eyes (unless you’re driving – if you are STOP READING THIS!) Think with quiet focus about a person or event that stirs emotions of anger and frustration in you. Do this for 20-30 seconds. How is your heart rate? How is your stress level? Do you feel the knots in your stomach, a little irritable bowel or nervous stomach?

Now change your focus to a place where you love to hang out to laugh and dance and sing. Imagine yourself in a place where you can behave like a kid and your joy is infectious. How is your heart rate now? Do you feel lighter? Do you feel joyful or content? Is peace overwhelming you? Are you basking in mental and emotional sunlight?

Imagine yourself talking this journey every time you feel stressed, emotionally empty, broken or lonely. Imagine the power of telling your body – I WANT TO BE HAPPY AND FEEL GOOD. It’s your choice. It’s your right. It’s your responsibility.

Mind over grey matter is your opportunity to control reality. Take a moment to direct your soul and improve your state of mind.


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Compassionate, real and humorous, Loren impacts the lives of everyone he meets. He inspires audiences with wisdom, motivation, and hope. His story is transparent and transforming … His life is a refreshing “victim to victor story” … one that will encourage the heart of any audience. Loren frequently reminds audiences, “Regardless of your past; the mistakes you have made and what has been ‘done to you’, how you see you and the attitude you carry through life will determine your future.”

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.