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Renewing Your Mind

Be Transformed through the Renewing of your Mind: Training Your Brain

Romans 12:2 states, “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.” (NIV). What does this mean, to be transformed by the renewing of your mind? This means to transform your brain to think the way that God intended it to. That sounds great right? But how do we even begin to do something like that? Renewing or rewiring your brain starts with replacing old and unhealthy patterns of thinking with new, true and healthy patterns of thinking.

Cognitive Behavioral approaches work in a similar way with a goal of changing the patterns of thinking in an individual which will in turn change the behavior. Our thoughts effect what we believe which effects how we act. You can picture a triangle with thoughts, beliefs, and actions each at its own corner, all connected and all affecting one another. Basically, what this means is that the things that we think about will start to shape our beliefs about ourselves and about the world around us. This will then alter the way in which we act in response to different things in our lives. For example, if I start thinking that I am a lazy person and I tell myself that enough, I will then start to believe that about myself. Once I believe that I am a lazy person, I will lose motivation and stop applying myself to different tasks and I will start to become lazy. This in turn makes me think that I am lazy, and I end up getting stuck in this destructive cycle. So how then do I then ‘renew my mind’ and train my brain to think in a healthier pattern? In keeping with the lazy example, I would need to start by changing my thinking. I could start telling myself, “I am capable of getting things done”. I will tell myself this every day until I start to believe that I can get things done, even if I am tired. Once I believe that I am capable, I will start actually doing things and the lie that I was telling myself that I am a lazy person starts to diminish because I have proven to myself that I am not.

Changing thought patterns is not always an easy thing to do. It can take a lot of practice and training. However, just like how an athlete trains to get better at their sport, we can train our brains to make a little bit of progress day by day, and the more training we do, the stronger we get and the more natural it becomes.

Here are some practical ways that you can begin to change your thought patterns and renew your mind:

  • Identify the negative thought patterns in your life that you would like to change.
  • Brainstorm some new patterns of thinking that you would like to incorporate into your life.
  • Make a list of your strengths and your favorite qualities about yourself.
  • Make a list of things that you enjoy doing and thinking about.

Doing some of things is a great start in identifying what negative thought patterns are currently running through your mind, developing some goals that are reachable for how you would like your thought patterns to be, and identifying ways in which you as an individual have the strengths that are needed to reach those goals. An easy way to start training is by thinking about things that you enjoy. Phillippians 4:8 states, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.” This is such great advice for beginning to be transformed through the renewing of your mind. Thinking on things that are positive will start to shape your beliefs and actions to be more positive as well.

Remember, it is never too late to start training your brain, God created our brains to be adaptable and transformable, constantly learning and growing.

 

I am currently a Master’s intern from Crown College’s Masters of Counseling program. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Crown College as well. Prior to beginning my internship with Lighthouse, I worked as a Personal Care Assistant for adolescents and teens with developmental disabilities helping them with day-to-day tasks, teaching practical coping mechanisms, skills training, independence training, and using supportive techniques.

I tend to use a variety of different therapeutic approaches to best serve the individual. I believe that everyone is unique in their needs and no one approach is a one size fits all model. I see people as biopsychosocial-spiritual beings and believe that mental, physical, and spiritual health are all important and all have an impact on each other. I believe that the therapeutic environment should be open, honest, comfortable, trusting, goal-oriented, and non-judgmental.

I am available to work with individuals ages 12 and up and am enjoying getting to work with individuals of all ages and walks of life. I have the most experience in working with anxiety, depression, stress management, goal planning, and general life adjustments. I am looking forward to expanding my expertise and skill set through working with a wider demographic and am always up for a challenge. 

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