31 July 2014

Review: Switch on Your Brain by Dr Caroline Leaf

“If you realised how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”

It’s a powerful statement, and in Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health, Dr Caroline Leaf shows how we are influenced by the power of thought. She is coming from a Christian perspective, and shows through this book how “science is finally catching up with the Bible”, and why “think positive” is more than a cliché: it’s the difference between a healthy mind and body, and an unhealthy mind and body.

Each chapter has a main scripture reference and a linked scientific concept. Some of the information was familiar, but a lot of it was new to me, especially the science. Science was never my strongest subject, but she did a good job of explaining the concepts to those of us who are less scientifically inclined (although she lost me at quantum physics!).

One section which surprised me was her comments on multitasking. Science actually says we should pay deep attention to one task at a time, and this is reinforced by Proverbs 4:20-23. I should know this. I get annoyed when I’m concentrating on something and I get interrupted, whether by a telephone call or a family member. The interruption is breaking my concentration and forcing me to multitask (and why is it these interruptions so often come when I’m trying to read my Bible?). She even refers to Twitter and Facebook, saying we have been reduced to 140 characters and are forever seeking the next informational high. Surely not? Excuse me while I Tweet that. (Joke. Like all the best jokes, there’s more than a grain of truth there.)

After explaining the Biblical and scientific principles , she talked through her 21-Day Brain Detox. While I read this, I didn’t actually put the plan into practice, so can’t comment on whether or not it would work. However, I can see the benefits: it’s about creating new thought habits, which redefine mental pathways and automatize thoughts and reactions (in much the same way as we automatized how to ride a bike, or swim). And now I refer back to my notes to write this review, I wonder if I should be trying a Facebook detox …

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Dr Leaf at her website.


  1. Wow, I've heard a bit about Caroline Leaf's work but wasn't exactly sure what she "specialised" in. She's actually visiting my church in October.

    A really good review, Iola. I am tempted to check the book out as I could do with some "brain re-training."

  2. I would very much like the work book that was referred to but cannot seem to locate it anywhere. I am very excited to begin the 21 day detox. thanks to anyone who can help me locate the work book.