More on the Thalamus:
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"We have found, what you say to yourself repeatedly 12 minutes a day shapes the structural and functional changes in the thalamus within eight weeks or less. The thalamus changes its shape in response to the type of thoughts you are holding and this becomes your inner reality. If you are focusing on God, God becomes more and more real, because it's like a sense coming in from the outside world. If you are focusing on peace, peace becomes and feels real."
If tranquility can be achieved through spiritual practices, so can the opposite with negative perceptions of God. Scientific evidence suggests that people who believe in a loving God fare better after a diagnosis of illness than people who believe in a punitive God. Any negative thoughts are a detriment.
"If you are focusing on anxiety, or depression, or some fearful, awful event happening in the world, that too becomes your inner reality," says Waldman. "So if you start ruminating and thinking and meditating on the horrors in the world, your thalamus is going to send a message to the rest of brain that there is this horrible thing happening, even if it's not happening. You have to be careful what you choose to contemplate and meditate upon because it will become your inner reality. And as far as the rest of your brain is concerned, there is no difference between inner and outer reality. The reality you create in your brain, is the only reality that it knows."