Archive for November 2014

Counting Blessings versus Burdens   1 comment

$ dreamstime_5279920Thanks-living has its health rewards.

The effects of thankfulness on health are measurable, according to researchers who have been studying the connection with great interest.  One example: Robert Emmons at the University of California-Davis with Michael McCullough from the University of Miami have deduced that people feel better physically and mentally when counting their blessings. Their study (Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life) was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.


The two psychologists open their report with a Charles Dickens quote: “Reflect on your present blessings, on which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”  The researchers conducted three separate studies. “In each study, inducing a state of gratefulness through the self-guided gratitude exercises led to some emotional, physical, or interpersonal benefits,” according to their findings.

Counting our blessings instead of inventorying our troubles is sage advice that promotes added benefits.  Mary Baker Eddy once asked a thought-provoking question, “Are we really grateful for the good already received?”  The health researcher and religion founder added, “Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessing we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.”  Eddy felt that gratitude was such a vital component to physical and mental well-being, she established a special Thanksgiving Day service to be conducted in Christian Science churches on Thanksgiving Day, a tradition that continues to this day.

Expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better,” according to the Harvard Mental Health Letter.  “Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack.”

In reporting on some of the gratitude research, the bulletin with the headline, In Praise of Gratitude, stipulates that the studies cannot prove cause and effect, but “most of the studies published on this topic support an association between gratitude and an individual’s well-being.”

The Harvard Medical School newsletter suggests ways to cultivate gratitude on a consistent basis.  They include:

          Write a thank-you note

          Thank someone mentally

          Keep a gratitude journal

          Count your blessings



Gratitude is good medicine. At a time when many of us are seeking an approach to health that is readily accessible and puts us in the driver’s seat, it is great to know that something as immediate and under our control as gratitude can improve our health.

Reviewing the research that connects gratitude with better health, Elizabeth Heubeck, writer for WebMD, asks a thought-provoking question, “What would happen if we extended the tradition of giving thanks, typically celebrated just once a year during the holiday season, throughout the entire year?”

Hmmm…yearlong thanks-living.

This article by Steven Salt  was shared on the Christian Science Press Room Facebook page.  Steven is a writer and blogger covering health, spirituality and thought.  He is a Christian Science practitioner, curious about everything.  You can follow him on Twitter @SaltSeasoned

The Importance of Gratitude to Wellbeing   Leave a comment

shutterstock_162594128 (2)… knees seem to be in the news quite a lot lately. … Injuries and deterioration of joints, along with knee replacements, are also said to be prevalent in older adults.

Instead of blindly accepting these negative predictions, I like to take a more spiritual view, from which joints symbolize the coincidence or coordination of productive ideas for the purpose of progress. And isn’t progress what we all want for ourselves and our fellow man? …

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to pray about a painful knee injury resulting from a fall while hiking, and the ensuing spiritual lessons learned in God’s “classroom” have established a new foundation for athletic activity in my experience.  …

The full text of this article, Of ‘Joints and Marrow’ by Melanie Ball, can be read via this link to JHS-online.  In it she explains her thinking as she worked spiritually to solve her problems of pain and limited mobility, and was able to return to her normally active life which included regular running.

The Psalm of Love … Psalm 23   1 comment

$ Bible landscape with sheepThe Psalm of Love … Psalm 23 – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy that were inspired by the 23rd Psalm.

Every Wednesday at 6.00 pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science Church in Canberra. Each meeting begins with readings selected from the two books designated as the Pastor of Christian Science: The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy  A new topic for the readings is selected each week.

At the conclusion of the short readings the congregation is invited to share thoughts on this topic and relate how they have used the principles of Christian Science to solve life’s problems and bring physical healing.

If you are in Canberra on any Wednesday please join us. Everyone is welcome.

This recording represents the readings on the topic: The Psalm of Love … Psalm 23.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Click here to read the full text of the readings:   The Psalm of Love – Ps 23 full text citations

A Lesson in Body Perception   Leave a comment

$ dreamstime_1427005My freshman year of college, I joined the varsity baseball team. By the time winter came around and we were getting ready for the start of the season, I felt a personal pressure about my weight. If I was heavier and more muscular, I thought, I’d be able to perform better on the field. At the time, I was just over 130 pounds and that seemed subpar for my standards.

So in order to put on extra weight, I started hitting the gym to put on more muscle and I also ate more at each meal. I would eat full meals and top them off with two or three glasses of milk. A couple of times, I overfilled myself to the point that I ended up losing what I’d eaten within five minutes. I certainly was not expressing balance, moderation, or honoring God, divine Principle.

It became clear to me that I needed to take a different approach.

Continue reading Eric’s story.  Learn how, as he developed a spiritual sense of himself, he was able to overcome his eating disorder and find balance and order in his life.  This article was originally published on


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