Archive for February, 2009

This Is Your Brain On Joy, by Dr. Earl Henslin Thomas Nelson. 2008

Posted in Book Review with tags , , , on February 4, 2009 by seguewm

this-is-your-braiin1Less than joyful today?  Dr. Henslin believes that mind and body are intimately related to one another. In this book he explains the research that supports his practice of bringing ‘joy’ back in to the lives of people.  Our moods really are influenced by what we eat, the amount of exercise we get each day, whether or not we take supplements, and the many other choices that are within our control. 

As noted by the author, far too many Christians, including pastors, equate psychological dysfunction with a simple lack of faith or laziness of character.  But clearly, none are born with 100% healthy brains – and life on this planet is not apt to better our brains.  Rather, there are far too many experiences in life that mostly work to exasperate us by exaggerating our weakest inclinations.

Henslin explains why this is an important book for anyone interested in getting to the root of their emotional struggles – whether it be depression, anxiety, ADD, PTSD, or otherwise.  He cleverly dumbs down neurobiological terminologies so that the average Joe can obtain a useful grasp of what and where things are going awry in the brain.  To make the whole process even easier, his book includes the Dr. Amen Brain System Checklist.  This ‘test’ (which I took, of course) assists the reader by showing where symptoms arise from in particular location(s) in the brain.  With explanations of case studies, SPECT scans, and the like, he translates the scientific research into every day terms and easy to access remedies promising measureable changes in the level of ‘joy’ we can experience in life.

Section two of his book dives into the five mood centers of the brain where he describes what ‘normal’ – joyful – functioning is like and then contrasts it with dysfunction.  He informs the reader than in each mood center there is a continuum of possibilities from healthy to not very healthy.  Each section then ends with possible treatments which include diet, exercise, drugs, supplements, music, aromatherapy, scriptures, cinematherapy and bibliotherapy.

I would recommend this book to all who want to live life with ‘joy’.  Nothing to lose but far more to gain.