Book review by Debbie Hemmens
I find books on how our brains work very fascinating and this one was no different. It had a different way of looking at the workings of the brain to previous books I have read and it kept me riveted right the way through.
This book will help you understand the framework of your mind. You will learn how to recognise harmful emotional patterns and how to stop engaging in them. We need to rewire our brains so we can go forward and have joyful and meaningful lives.
The Rewired Brain focusses on two systems of thinking within our brains. You may have heard this theory introduced under different names (slow thinking vs fast thinking, the unconscious vs the conscious, reasoning vs intuition, automatic thinking vs controlled thinking) but for the purposes of this book, the author refers to them as System 1 and System 2. They have different roles but both are necessary. There needs to be balance between the two systems and the amazing good news is that regardless of how your brain has been wired to control your behaviours and emotions thus far, it can be changed.
System 1 is our sub-conscious and is made up of our primitive reactions, feelings, sensations and intuitions. They are fast, automatic and effortless. Signals flood our brains constantly, and we can do nothing to stop them. This system is very good at remembering past events, particularly trauma. It performs our most familiar and practiced routines.
System 2 houses the essence of who we really are, reflects on complex problems and issues, looks at options and possible solutions, and it can correct or override system 1s responses. It also reflects God’s image and allows us to be in relationship with Him.
These two systems communicate with each other continuously through nerve wiring. This forms the basis of our thoughts, actions and personality. These nerve wiring circuits can be changed or rewired by experiences and new thoughts and ideas. This is called neuroplasticity.
The more powerful an experience, habit or thought, the stronger the brain circuit will be. The more it is used, the stronger it becomes and larger it grows. The opposite is also true, if these habits or thoughts are unused, the circuits are weaker and can fall away. Therefore, what areas of life we focus on is critically important to who we become.
He uses three sub headings in the book, namely reflect, reframe and rewire.
Reflect — the first step to rewire your brain is to realise something is wrong in your life.
Reframe — the next step is to reframe the most important parts of our lives by first of all understanding the basics of who we are, whose we are, our purpose on earth, working through any trauma we may have experienced, what thoughts we are thinking and what choices we are making.
Rewire — this step is all about recovery with intense and transformative exercises designed to rewire your mind and redesign your true self so that you can find true and lasting change. Re-connecting with God is a vital part of the process of lasting change.