Summary: We literally are changed by our thoughts. As we think so we are. Science shows the transformation of the brain with repeated thoughts. From an ethoughts weekly article installment
When I was growing up we lived on a two-acre plot of land. We mowed about an acre of it with a push mower and the back acre we grew for hay harvesting. Grass grew all over our property except near our clothesline. The combination of hanging clothes and the weather would erode the ground there. It seems our minds have these kind of bare patches too, but they come from the erosion of unconstructive thoughts.
From studying the brain scientists have found that repeated thoughts actually create physical grooves in the brain. When we practice a skill, learn a sport or study facts, a little trench is carved into our brain tissue. This is another reason why it is hard to break a habit. A habit is truly physical. One must make a new brain groove to break a habit.
Repeated thoughts become not just brain grooves, but deeds and repeated deeds become concrete routines. This natural functioning condition of the brain helps us to learn in the best-case scenario. In a worst-case scenario these thoughts become ditches of self-doubt, phobias, obsessive thoughts, vices, misdeeds and worse.
Think about all the negative chatter that goes on in the mind everyday or even every hour. A person thinks about sixty thousand thoughts each day. Normally many are random thoughts and many are quite negative. Have you ever taken an hour and made a hatch mark for each unconstructive thought that comes to your mind? You could quickly run out of ink!
Those repeated thoughts all take the form of negative feelings toward ourselves and others, fears, doubts, insecurities, malice and more. Guess what the negative thoughts are creating? You guessed it---Those thoughts are creating permanent grooves too. Just like water erodes dry ground, these thoughts create hardened patterns of thinking that are ingrained into who we are. We practice poor thinking and we get poor results from the trench that has been created. The term “garbage in-garbage out” is more true than many of us have ever realized.
Day after day the one-sided negative prattle chips away at the best of us. Literally millions of destructive thoughts tear through our brains in just a few days. What if we those thoughts were harnessed and made constructive grooves in our minds instead? If we took even half of our daily thoughts captive for that purpose we could habitually live better lives and be better people.
To combat this brain plague I offer two suggestions. (I’ll warn you, they also need to be accomplished enough to be habitual, thus creating their own brain groove in the mind.) I suggest to try to either 1.) Replace the thought with a positive one or 2.) Mediate on a passage of helpful Scripture or an inspirational quote. Routinely dispel what can hurt you and groove your brain!
Watch your thoughts. They make up you who are. Also, if you feel a specific pattern of habitual unhelpful thoughts afflicting you, remember you can know for certain they are creating an actual trench in your mind. You deserve to live a better life. The erosion must be stopped. See if you can “get a new groove” going. I know you can and I wish you all the best!