I told you last week about the sudden unprovoked massive life threatening one-hour long seizure of my son.
He is now stable but due to negligence of doctors during his birth 11 years ago, his brain is severely brain damaged, so seizures are like a time bomb we will always have to deal with. Out of nowhere, they can just come with no warning at all. The long seizures he has could easily make any day his last, which is very scary as a parent.
In the midst of all this damaged brain talk in my home and with doctors as we analyze what is best to save my son’s life, I have begun fresh personal investigations as to what we CAN control when it comes to his brain. I realize that the majority of you who are reading this do NOT have brain damage, so you may be asking yourself what this has to do with you.
Did you know you COULD BE DAMAGING your brain every single day?? If you are thinking negative thoughts, you are literally POISONING YOUR BRAIN. I already knew this, but I have become a bit relaxed about it. Caleb’s recent seizure has shaken me out of my apathy. It is now imperative to help control the things I can control to help my son’s brain health.
For us (and for anyone who wants to strengthen their mental and emotional health), this means I need to make sure he is getting a good night’s sleep every day. He needs to eat very little processed food and foods which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
Living in Botswana, where seafood is hard to find (which is a good source of these essential nutrients), we have resorted to the cheaper easier option of more Flaxseed (Linseed) and tuna among other brain healthy foods. We also need to make sure he stays adequately hydrated as dehydration affects brain health as well. I am very intentional about making him think about new things every day to develop and strengthen his brain through deep thinking! Did you know the brain is like a muscle that you can strengthen by challenging it? Those are some “simple” ways I can strengthen his brain and you can strengthen YOUR brain. But, let’s go back to how I started. Positive thinking is actually not so simple. Our nature does not easily see the best. Complaining, blaming others, whining, feeling like a victim, thinking the worst … that is natural human behavior that comes very easy to
We are making a conscious effort to help him to understand that when he whines about his homework or his household chores or fights with his siblings, he is choosing to further damage his brain. He is basically putting poison in his mind.
The stress of negative thinking, “doom and gloom mentality”, releases cortisol – an actual chemical which produced in excess can cause headaches, increased blood pressure, and other physical problems. This is why when you are super angry, mega stressed, or feeling depressed, your body responds negatively also. Isn’t neurology interesting? Can you remember the last time you got so stressed and worried that your head literally started to hurt and you could feel your blood pressure rising? Yep! You were poisoning your brain with your mind’s negative thinking!
Here is the cool thing about God. Since He created us, He already knew all this. Philippians 4:8 says, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
When He gave us this instruction, God knew there was a psychological reason to obey Him! He knew that fixing our thoughts on that which is good actually heals and promotes good emotional and mental health! In the case of my son, choosing to think about that which is praise worthy has been a contributing factor to why he has done so well in spite of severe brain damage. If you would like to hear HIM share his story of positive thinking, go to my YouTube channel (Ashley Thaba). Go to videos. Look for video titled “Ashley speaking at Masire Teaching Hospital.” He and I did a presentation to pediatricians when he was 8 years old at a Teaching Hospital.
*Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker, team building facilitator, author and the Producer of a hit TV show offering practical advice to strengthen families and improve marriages! Episodes of her show can be downloaded from her website – www.ashleythaba.com.You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba. You can buy three of her books, Dive In, Making Marriages Fun, and Conquering the Giants, on her website. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Facebook at: Talking with the Thabas