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God is great—for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Based on new evidence culled from brain-scan studies, a wide-reaching survey of people’s religious and spiritual experiences, and the authors’ analyses of adult drawings of God, neuroscientist Andrew Newberg and therapist Mark Robert Waldman offer the following breakthrough discoveries:
 
• Not only do prayer and spiritual practice reduce stress, but just twelve minutes of meditation per day may slow down the aging process.
• Contemplating a loving God rather than a punitive God reduces anxiety and depression and increases feelings of security, compassion, and love.
• Fundamentalism, in and of itself, can be personally beneficial, but the prejudice generated by extreme beliefs can permanently damage your brain.
• Intense prayer and meditation permanently change numerous structures and functions in the brain, altering your values and the way you perceive reality.

Both a revelatory work of modern science and a practical guide for readers to enhance their physical and emotional health, How God Changes Your Brain is a first-of-a-kind book about faith that is as credible as it is inspiring.
Published: Random House Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Mar 24, 2009
ISBN: 9780345512796
List price: $13.99
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I see this as two books in one: first, a basic look at the malleability of our brain and how it can be trained--specifically, how spiritual practices rebuild neural paths within our brain--and second, a practical guide to basic meditation.I give the first half five stars. I didn't read all of the second half. Guess that means I should drop my rating one star. It's not that I'm not interested in meditation, because I'm thoroughly convinced of its spiritual and mental value; it's that, like 95% of the rest of you, I ignore what's good for me in favor of what I enjoy. And I enjoy learning about the brain.This isn't an evangelical book. It won't direct you to Christianity or Eastern religions or any other belief system. Nor is it ragging on the evils of religion, as the title might make you think. It's a very positive-minded book about the value of prayer, meditation, and belief. "God" does change your brain, because repeated mental exercise and directed thinking rebuilds neural paths for a healthier, happier life. If--as is my observation--Christians in general live happier, healthier lives than non-believers, there is a solid, scientific reason for that. The Christian brain is wired for spiritual well-being.I emphasize Christians only because Christianity is my heritage. This book is written for skeptics and believers alike, and definitely worth reading.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is chock-full of interesting findings about our brain's chemistry and "wiring", interesting survey results, and in two final chapters, a basket of techniques for improving one's mood, dealing with anger, increasing empathy, and other good goals. The title is provocative, and so is the content.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Fascinating. I felt the title a bit inaccurate because the book does not really focus on how belief in God changes the brain. Instead, the majority of the book discusses how meditation changes the brain in beneficial ways, regardless of a person's spiritual or religious orientation.The book does discuss God, but more how people perceive God, and how that perception can change based on changes in the brain from aging, religious upbringing, education, exposure to varying belief systems, meditation, anger, physical trauma, and a host of other factors.I found the book very interesting, as it examined empirically the effects of meditation and religious beliefs on the brain and then expanded on how those then affect other aspects of life and health.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

I see this as two books in one: first, a basic look at the malleability of our brain and how it can be trained--specifically, how spiritual practices rebuild neural paths within our brain--and second, a practical guide to basic meditation.I give the first half five stars. I didn't read all of the second half. Guess that means I should drop my rating one star. It's not that I'm not interested in meditation, because I'm thoroughly convinced of its spiritual and mental value; it's that, like 95% of the rest of you, I ignore what's good for me in favor of what I enjoy. And I enjoy learning about the brain.This isn't an evangelical book. It won't direct you to Christianity or Eastern religions or any other belief system. Nor is it ragging on the evils of religion, as the title might make you think. It's a very positive-minded book about the value of prayer, meditation, and belief. "God" does change your brain, because repeated mental exercise and directed thinking rebuilds neural paths for a healthier, happier life. If--as is my observation--Christians in general live happier, healthier lives than non-believers, there is a solid, scientific reason for that. The Christian brain is wired for spiritual well-being.I emphasize Christians only because Christianity is my heritage. This book is written for skeptics and believers alike, and definitely worth reading.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is chock-full of interesting findings about our brain's chemistry and "wiring", interesting survey results, and in two final chapters, a basket of techniques for improving one's mood, dealing with anger, increasing empathy, and other good goals. The title is provocative, and so is the content.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Fascinating. I felt the title a bit inaccurate because the book does not really focus on how belief in God changes the brain. Instead, the majority of the book discusses how meditation changes the brain in beneficial ways, regardless of a person's spiritual or religious orientation.The book does discuss God, but more how people perceive God, and how that perception can change based on changes in the brain from aging, religious upbringing, education, exposure to varying belief systems, meditation, anger, physical trauma, and a host of other factors.I found the book very interesting, as it examined empirically the effects of meditation and religious beliefs on the brain and then expanded on how those then affect other aspects of life and health.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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