Sunday, August 2, 2009

This Is Your Brain on Joy by Dr. Earl Henslin

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 6, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-0785228738

Product Description:

A break-through guide to help people experience lasting joy by restoring brain health.
What does the latest research in brain science and brain imaging say about our ability (or inability) to experience joy and happiness? Is our lack of joy a sin problem or a brain problem? In this life-altering book, Dr. Earl Henslin reveals that to enjoy our lives to the fullest, to become more loving, more Christ-like, we need to become more capable of healing and nourishing our brains. Many problems, long thought of as spiritual in nature--anger, depression, mood swings, anxiety, addictions--are often the result of a sick brain that cannot comprehend a good and loving God. This Is Your Brain on Joy shares exciting new findings in neuroscience that are spiritually sound, showing us how to care for our brains so we not only more effectively use them to glorify God but also experience His love.

My Review:

Overall I enjoyed reading this easy to understand book on healing our brain and finding joy. I took pages of notes while reading. Anyone and Everyone can find something that applies to them in this book. I will be passing it on to another family member and then it will be going on my keeper shelf. Dr. Henslin said in the beginning of the book that one of the main goals is to bring brain science into average Christian home.
He references the work of Dr. Daniel Amen and the SPECT brain scans in the book. A SPECT is a single photon emission computerized tomography. It is a picture of the brain. The different areas with activity light up. It is more complicated than that but it is a basic understanding. PTSD has a particular pattern that lights up. By looking at these pictures and knowing the different areas of the brain and what they control it allows them to see where the problem may lay and how to best help it instead of just throwing medicine at it. They do believe in the use of medicine though in conjunction with other treatments.
The areas of the brain are divided in the book as:
* The Prefrontal Cortex: The Presidential Control Center
* The Cingulate Gyrus: The Circular Gerbil Wheel
* The Basal Ganglia: The Basement of Giant Fears
* The Deep Limbic System: The Depressed Low-Mood Space
* The Temporal Lobes: The Temper Lofts
He takes each one and goes through it describing the pattern on the SPECT, what the area controls, problems that arise when the area is overstimulated, solutions to dealing with it, a chart on the different supplements/medicines, etc. This is not a dry boring book. He shares several relevant stories and antidotes. There is even some humor in it.
At the end of the book Dr. Henslin shares 6 secrets to Joy. He finds them by reading the letter that Paul wrote in Philippians.
1. Reframe Your Chains
2. Shrink Irritants
3. Letting Go, Looking Ahead
4. The Remedy for High Anxiety
5. A Richly Stored Mind
6. Be Deep-Spirited Friends
I highly recommend this book to everyone! I will be referencing it again in the future. I learned things about myself and my brain that I did not know in a easy to understand pleasant way. :)

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