Sunday, January 11, 2009

Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotions ~with Dr. Caroline Leaf

Daily Devotion: ******by Dr. Caroline Leaf*******
"We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5b)

How many times have you replayed a conversation in your head until it stirred emotional pain or stress in your life? Did you know that stress is the reaction your body has to your thoughts?

Researchers say that 87% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think affects us physically and emotionally. We are in an epidemic of toxic emotions and that is why I teach people about the anatomy of thought in my book Who Switched off My Brain?

Your brain speaks to your body and your body speaks to your brain. The mind-body link is an ongoing symphony of chemicals playing through your body 24 hours a day. And the way in which we think will affect the functioning of that whole electrical-chemical cycle.

God has built an incredible mechanism into our brain that gives us the free will to accept or reject information. We have the option to reject negative information from our thoughts before it gets the support of damaging attitudes and emotions.

There are two groups of emotions that are polar opposites: positive, faith-based emotions and negative, fear-based emotions. Each has its own set of molecules and performs as spiritual forces with chemical and electrical representation in the body.
Faith-based emotions are love, joy, peace, happiness, kindness, gentleness, self-control, forgiveness and patience. These produce good attitudes and thoughts.

Fear-based emotions include hate, anxiety, anger, hostility, resentment, frustration, impatience and irritation. These produce toxic attitudes and create a chemical reaction in the body that can alter behavior.

Fear is the root of stress. Scripture says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). Fear-based thinking blocks the flow of healthy chemicals and releases toxic chemicals that put you into stress.

When your thoughts move you into stress, your emotions attempt to rule. Emotional perceptions are designed to create alertness to guide but not rule, because they misinterpret truth. Stage one of stress is the protective alarm that guides and helps you deal with dangerous, threatening situations. It creates a sweaty palm, quickened heart rate, adrenaline rush and a fight-or-flight emotional and biological response.

Once the alert stressor is gone, your accelerated heart rate (through narrowing of the arteries and increased blood volume) begins to return to normal. However, if your body stays under the constant barrage of negative stimulation, toxic waste begins to build up. An uncontrolled thought life will create fear-based emotional and physical conditions for illness.

In the second stage you enter acute long-term stress. Your mind and body start feeling as if they belong to someone else. The chemicals pump at will and in sequence through your body, and the first area they attack is your cardiovascular system.

If the chaotic thoughts are not controlled at this point, your stress hormones and chemicals never stop reacting. They move to a cellular level where your body experiences tissue damage and system breakdown. Internalizing wounded emotions at this point will eventually create a volcanic buildup in your body allowing a seething mix of anger, hostility and resentment. Suppressed emotional pain can also cause lingering physical pain.

Hosea 4:6 demonstrates wisdom and insight about this toxic pathway. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” If you understand something, you can begin to control it instead of letting it control you. Knowledge and understanding give you the tools. With the Holy Spirit’s power to remind you of God’s truth, you can begin to consciously control your thought life and deal with harmful emotions.

According to the word of God, which is more accurate than medical science, controlling your thought life brings health to your body. You can live most of your life in a passive mental state or you can choose to battle for your mind. It seems like an unfair battle because you can’t see what’s happening, yet you can’t escape the battle. The frontline of the war is the toxic thought. It usually enters through the five senses and if it is unchecked, it can become a mental stronghold of the enemy. The finish line is the final battle cry of victory when you take captive and overturn your toxic thoughts.

This Week: Jesus knows your thoughts. “But Jesus, knowing (seeing) their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil and harbor malice in your hearts?” (Matt. 9:4, Amplified) Acknowledge what Jesus sees and renew your mind with God’s Truth as you bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor.10:5)

Prayer:“Lord, thank you for revealing how my negative and destructive thoughts are controlling me. I understand now how the enemy works with my thoughts to make me live in fear and stress. I choose to live in faith as you help me renew my mind with truth.”

Watch Dr. Leaf this week on LIFE Today as a part of the series "Your Body, His Temple."


  1. This is very cool Tracy. I will have to check this out. In a study I did on spiritual warfare it focused on taking every thought captive and just saying out loud "I reject that thought and place it under the authority of Jesus Christ" is powerful. When I learned that I thought "duh me". LOL!

    I sent you an email. ;)

  2. How do thoughts and feelings interact?

  3. Hey Tracy!
    How ya doin'?
    I'm from Brasil and I was doing a little research on Dr. Caroline Leaf and that's why I got to your blog. Just wanted to say that you have a great taste for music! I loved them, in fact they're the same I listen to whenever I can. You have yourself a great week! God bless ya.

  4. I am so excited about reading Dr. Leaf's book and learning more about how I can bring my toxic thoughts into captivity! It is also so interesting to know that bringing my thoughts into captivity is not just a concept but it actually happens in the brain!!! WOW!

  5. I believe the key to unlocking every problem man faces begins in our thought life. Dr. Leaf explains,with clinical proof, why this is true. What a blessing she is to the Body of Christ!

  6. What Dr. Leaf is saying had been said by a Great Divine Soul born about 3800 yrs. ago. He is known as Zarathushtra. He tought that a good mind is essential for well-being of an individual as well as community. He said: every human being should use God's Good Mind to further the welfare of humanity. There are 2 mental forces we have in our mind, one--Creative and other destructive. Our choice decides what a right thing is. He prays let my mind, body and soul be happy and healthy through good mind,divine power and righteousness. His Divine Songs are known as Gathas written in Avesta, an Indo-European language. It was the court religion of the Persian Empire.Arabs invaded Persia. Islam became religion by force, attrition and other methods. The idea of Saviors not one but through out the human generations will come to uplift the mankind. Good thoughts, good words and good deeds will lead all human beings to happiness, peace and harmony in the world, he believed. Happiness to him/her who brings happiness to others.

  7. Been loving her work at the moment too. Takes you right back to the big picture.

  8. I will read this over and over and over again... just what i needed!!

  9. this teaching is so needed in the body of CHRIST!! Delivered in a practical way!!

  10. The annointing is on you. God bless, peace be the journey. SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD. AMEN. X

  11. I just came back from a Women's Conference in St louis given by Joyce Meyer. Dr. Carolin Leaf gave an hour lecture on these concepts. I was so excited, I waited for an hour in line to get her to autograph my new copy of "The Gift In You" book. This book along with all of Joyce Joyce Meyer's book " Battlefield of the mind" are life changing. Dare I say It may save my very damaged marriage. Esther.

    1. Esther, I've read both of these books plus 'Who Switched Off My Brain' and along with humility and the grace of God my marriage is being restored. These materials will align your thinking with truth, producing non-toxic emotions and right behavior. May God bless your marriage as He has mine. ~Ann