How Our Brains Shape the World: What Emotional Regulation Can Do For You
by Dawson Church, PhD
Dawson Church researches and teaches emerging psychological and medical techniques that can yield fast and radical cures.
The founder of the Soul Medicine Institute, he has collaborated with leading authorities including Larry Dossey, MD, Bernie Siegel, MD, Christiane Northrup, MD, and others.
His website is EFTUniverse.com. The following is from Dr. Church’s new book.
The idea that “thoughts become things” has become a meme in popular culture. But are these claims scientifically accurate? What does the scientific evidence tell us about the scope of the human mind to transform thoughts into reality?
New research and new discoveries in epigenetics, neuroscience, electromagnetism, psychology, cymatics (the study of wave phenomena), public health, and quantum physics are demonstrating that thoughts can indeed be profoundly creative. In Mind to Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Brain Creates Material Reality, (Hay House, 2018) Dawson Church examines the scientific facts and reviews the studies that show, step by step, exactly how our minds create material form. As each piece of the puzzle falls into place, the science turns out to be even more astonishing than the metaphysics. Mind to Matter shows us that as we take charge of our individual power to create, we have the potential, as a species, to catalyze a transformation of our whole world.
What Emotional Regulation Can Do for You
Your brain is rewiring itself constantly. he brain adds neural capacity to regions you exercise. Choose different experience, like meditation, and your brain begins working differently. Change your mind, and information starts to flow along new neural pathways in the brain. The brain’s neurons reconfigure themselves accordingly, firing and wiring to fit the new pattern. As the mind directs, the brain responds. let’s unpack the key elements of Graham’s story for a moment. here are five:
• A 22.8 percent increase in the volume of the part of the rain responsible for emotional regulation
• Enhanced brain response time, better memory, increased cognitive powers, improved behavioral abilities
• A more relaxed and energy-efficient brain
• Changes in the brain in just 8 weeks
• No drugs, surgery, supplements, or major life changes—just mindfulness
Imagine having 22.8 percent more nerve cells in your brain to handle he task of emotional regulation. Emotional regulation may be jargon from neuroscience, but those two words have a big impact on your daily life. Better emotional regulation means that you’re not derailed by common challenges such as:
• Getting triggered by co-workers at your job
• Annoying things your spouse or partner says or does
• The problematic behavior of your children
• What politicians say and do
• Being stuck in traffic and others’ driving
• Stories in the news
• The way your body looks and functions
• Winning or losing at games or conflicts with others
• Religious conflicts or views held by others
• Money, the economy and your investments
• Staying calm when others are stressed out
• Being short of time or feeling overwhelmed
• Your age and how your body is changing
• Crowds, shopping, and close physical proximity to other people
• Other people’s opinions that clash with yours
• Your expectations about the way life ought to be
• . . . and anything else that routinely annoys you
[Ed. note: this was a list of 24 items we cut down to allow other paragraphs to fit.]
Imagine having a brain with vastly increased ability to master those challenges, preventing them from compromising your happiness. Meditation oesn’t just change your state—the way you feel at the moment. t changes your traits—the enduring aspects of personality engraved in our brain that govern your outlook on life. Among the positive traits fostered by meditation are greater resilience in the face of adversity, more sympathy for others, and increased compassion for oneself (Goleman & Davidson, 2017). It also leads to a greater degree of self-regulation, making out the master of your emotions rather than a slave to them.
A classic 1972 study called the Stanford marshmallow experiment ested emotional regulation in preschool children. A marshmallow was ut in front of them, after which they were left alone in a room. They ere promised that they would get a second marshmallow if they could efrain from eating the first one for 15 minutes. Thirty years later, the lives of those who could regulate their emotions were better in many ays. They achieved higher scores on college entry exams. They earned ore money and created happier marriages. They had a lower body mass ndex (BMI) and fewer addictive behaviors (Schlam, Wilson, Shoda, Sischel, & Ayduk, 2013).
The parts of the brain tasked with emotional regulation are also he ones that handle working memory, as revealed by MRI scans (Schweizer, rahn, Hampshire, Mobbs, & Dalgleish, 2013). Working memory involves awareness, enabling you to remain focused on an activity and o sort relevant from irrelevant information. When your emotions are disturbed, those parts of the brain go offline for use by working memory. ou then make poor decisions. When you learn effective emotional regulation . . . you are able to control your emotions, freeing up the brain’s memory circuits to run your life wisely.
Your Everyday Superpower
This is the everyday superpower that you possess: second by second, you are changing your brain by the way you use your mind. The consciousness f your mind is becoming the cells of the matter of your brain.
We’re impressed when we see on-screen superheroes who can change heir bodies at will. They may develop mental brilliance, like the hero in he movie and TV series Limitless, who takes an experimental drug called AZT that unlocks the full potential of his brain. Or the X-Men, each one f whom has a unique superpower gift.
Yet you, at this very moment, possess the superpower to change your rain. With each thought you think, as you direct your attention, you’re ignaling your brain to create new neural connections. Use this power deliberately, rather than allowing random thoughts to flow through your ind, and you start to consciously direct the formation of neural tissue. After a few weeks, your brain changes substantially. Keep it up for years, nd you can build a brain that’s habituated to process the signals of love, peace, and happiness.
This isn’t a comic book or sci-fi movie; this is your life! Changing our brain is something you’re doing every day. Now it’s time to direct he process deliberately in a way that improves your life. Just as you upgrade the operating system of your computer or smartphone, you can upgrade your brain by changing your mind. Mind to matter.
Electrical Conductors Generate Energy Fields
Tiny electrical currents run through the neurons in your brain, just like the electricity that runs through the copper wire in the electrical ords powering your appliances. As a whole, the brain seethes with electrical activity. This produces an energy field around the brain. When you et an MRI or EEG, medical professionals can read the energy field of our brain. It’s a magnetic field in the case of an MRI, and it’s an electrical ield in the case of an EEG. Electricity and magnetism are two sides of he same coin: electromagnetism.
There are many other forms of energy as well, and your brain and ind are constantly interacting with them. One of these is light. All living issues emit photons, or light particles, and the type and intensity f the photons they emit vary. Even individual cells emit photons. A healthy cell emits a steady stream, while a dying cell sprays out its photons ll at once like the burst of radiation from a collapsing supernova.
Light, electricity, and magnetism create the energy fields used in biological signaling. Biologist James Oschman states, “Energy is the currency in which all transactions in nature are conducted” (Oschman, 2015).
Antennae in Your Cells
Imagine two magnets. Sprinkle iron filings around them and you’ll see the lines of energy their fields produce. The copper cords powering our appliances and the neurons firing in your brain work the same way. hey generate fields.
Now place a bigger magnet nearby. It will exert an influence on the iron filings, and the pattern of the whole energy field will change. Add an ven bigger magnet and the field shifts again. Fields within fields produce complex patterns of energy.
The neurons in your brain act like those magnets. They generate fields. Those fields shape the matter around them, just the way the magnets ause the iron filings to form symmetrical patterns.
Bigger fields outside the body, such as the gravitational field of the earth, act like the bigger magnets. They shift the pattern of your body’s ields. They act on your brain and your cells, while your body also exerts tiny influence on those bigger fields. Our bodies are influencing these ig fields while also being influenced by them.
Your body’s electromagnetic field extends about five yards or meters from your body. When you’re five meters away from another person, our field begins interacting with their field. The two of you might be saying nothing, yet your energy fields are shaping each other in an invisible ance of communication (Frey, 1993).
For decades, microtubules, with their rigid form, were assumed to e no more than structural elements of the cell. Just as your body has a keleton that provides a rigid structure to which other structures of the body attach, microtubules are the girders and scaffolding of the cell.
However, like antennae, microtubules are hollow. They are long ylinders. This property allows them to resonate, like a drum. And like antennae, their structure makes them capable of receiving signals from energy fields (Hameroff & Penrose, 1996). . .
Directing the Flow
You can direct your consciousness. Consciousness isn’t something that simply is; it’s something that can be controlled and pointed in a desired direction. When you direct your consciousness, you harness the power of your mind, activate the splendid machinery of your brain, and influence the environment around you (Chiesa, Calati, & Serretti, 2011).
You do that in visibly obvious ways, like deciding to plant a vegetable garden. After your mind makes the decision, you use your consciousness to direct the project. Your brain signals your body to drive your car to the local gardening store, where you buy fertilizer, tools, and seeds. You plant, water, and tend your garden, and a few months later, you have a crop. Your crop began in consciousness and ended in the material reality of a homegrown meal. A thought eventually produced a thing.
Take a look around you right now. The colors in the carpet began as a thought in someone’s mind. That person chose the particular shades and textures that wound up in the finished product. Someone else decided the dimensions of your cell phone and laptop computer. Every proportion in your home began as a thought in the consciousness of the builder. We use invisible fields such as cell signals, Bluetooth, and wireless networks every day. A wireless network uses a router to send a signal into the surrounding environment. In the presence of a receiver, such as your smartphone or laptop, information is exchanged. . . .
Though the fields are invisible, they are efficient conductors of information. Even electricity can now be transmitted wirelessly from one device to another.
You also interact with your environment in invisible ways, through the energy fields in which you’re immersed. Through your brain, mind, and cells, your consciousness projects signals into the fields around you (Oschman, 2015).
Genius inventor Nikola Tesla is often quoted as saying, “If you wish to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”
When we originate an idea in consciousness, we send signals into the universal field. Transmission requires hardware, in the form of the brain, as well as software, in the form of the mind. Signals traveling through neural pathways create energy fields, and those fields change depending on the content of consciousness. Healing involves field effects whether local or distant.