How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist

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Random House Publishing Group, Mar 24, 2009 - Psychology - 368 pages
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.

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User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

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User Review  - srsstringham - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review


Do You Even Need God When You Pray? 2
Meditation Memory and the Aging Brain
What Does God Do to Your Brain?
What Does God Look Like?
Does God Have a Heart?
What Happens When God Gets Mad?
Exercising Your Brain
Finding Serenity
Compassionate Communication
Is God Real?
APPENDIX A Compassionate Communication

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About the author (2009)

Andrew Newberg, M.D., is the director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania. He is one of the founders of the new interdisciplinary field called neurotheology. He is an associate professor in the department of radiology, with secondary appointments in the departments of psychiatry and religious studies, at the University of Pennsylvania. His work has been featured on Good Morning America, Nightline, Discovery Channel, BBC, NPR, and National Geographic Television. He is the co-author of Why God Won’t Go Away, Born to Believe, and The Mystical Mind.

Mark Robert Waldman is an associate fellow at the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a therapist, the author or co-author of ten books, including Born to Believe (with Andrew Newberg), and was the founding editor of Transpersonal Review. He lectures throughout the country on neuroscience, religion, and spirituality and conducts research with numerous religious and secular groups. His work has been featured in dozens of newspapers and magazines and on syndicated radio programs.

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