Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Tender Mercies of the Lord and Changing my Brain!!

Link to the video: Tender Mercies of the Lord
(I wish I knew how to get the actual video to show up on here like some people do. I am so bad with technology!!)

Align Center
I LOVED this talk, but this video brings me so much peace and comfort! I also love Elder Bednar's voice. It reminds me of a parents voice giving counsel and encouraging words.

I have definitely felt these tender mercies in my life many, many times. And, it's so much easier to recognize them when I make a conscious effort to reflect back on my day at night and think about the tender mercies of the Lord. It can be so easy to get stuck in a rut when things are going well and not acknowledge the blessings I have been given along the way... or when things are going wrong to only focus on the negative.... or when I am feeling so totally alone to not remember that, really, I'm never truly alone. But, I've noticed that the more conscious effort I make to remember the tender mercies of the Lord, the easier they are to recall when times are rough.

I've been thinking a lot about this recently because I KNOW my feelings are a DIRECT result from my thoughts. And, I know I don't like how I feel when I have negative thoughts. I also know that some people are happier because they aren't bogged down by negative thoughts. I believe it's possible (for most people) to change your thought patterns, but I wanted to learn more about it. "Knowledge is Power", right? Well, I needed power because my attempts were not sustainable!

This "thinking" led me to a book called "Change your Brain, Change your life". It's very interesting as the author wrote about how parts of the brain literally look different on brain scans on those suffering from depression, OCD, etc. or even when the individual was having negative thoughts... because your brain is releasing chemicals with each and every thought!

Here are some of my "takeaways" from the book:
1. Notice how negative thoughts affect your body... whether it is an angry, unkind, or sad thought
2. Notice how positive thoughts affect your body.
3. Think of bad thoughts as pollution. Every cell in your body is affected by your thoughts. That is why when people get emotionally upset they often develop physical symptoms.
4. Automatic thoughts don't always tell the truth. Automatic thoughts "just happen". Challenge your thoughts.
5. Talk back to your thoughts. If it's negative, correct it.
6. Exterminate the negative thoughts... like you would want to get ants at a picnic!

One "How-to" application he mentioned was to WRITE negative thoughts down and talk back to them!

He had some other great suggestions like surrounding yourself with people who provide positive bonding, and suggested building a library of wonderful memories that you can fall back on when you have a negative thought.

Of course the book goes into much more detail, especially for those suffering from depression, anxiety, fear, etc., but I was really happy with what I learned and will put it to practice!

This, combined with remembering the constant Tender Mercies of the Lord, I truly believe will help me be a happier, more faithful, hopeful daughter of God!


jenni said...

Cara! Sounds like a VERY good read! THanks for sharing your take-aways. I love the positive energy that you consistently share.

Truth- Bad thoughts are pollutants not only to the mind but our bodies and spirits. Good reminder.

You're the best, Cara!

debbieg said...

Hi Cara!
I was "blog surfing" and found your blog!
I would be happy to teach you how to add video to your blog.

Check out my blog @

God bless,
Debbie G.