Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Category

To Be Satisfied   Leave a comment

Every Wednesday at 6.00 pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science church in Barton (corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets).  At these meetings short readings are followed by time for members of the congregation to share how they have been helped and healed through prayer.  


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

The topic for the readings this week was: To Be Satisfied.

And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (The Bible – Isaiah 58: 11)

 

This recording is of the readings on this topic of To Be Satisfied.

 

Peace of Mind Restored   Leave a comment

The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

$ dreamstime_6359829This article, Peace of Mind Restored, is shared anonymously by a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  In it the writer tells of his triumph over a debilitating medically diagnosed mental health condition.

As with many others it has been a journey for me to find, accept and gain an understanding of Christian Science.

For almost ten years I have relied entirely on Christian Science to overcome all medical problems. No pills, medicines or drugs of any kind – purely and only Christian Science.

All my life prior to this period I had relied on traditional medicines and doctors.  I had been diagnosed with manic depression and mild schizophrenia with associated suicidal thoughts and tendencies.  General practitioners, psychiatrists and psychologists had been consulted.  I had close to two decades of changing medications and altering dosages, and yet nothing really changed.  Homeopathy and hypnosis had even been tried.  I just thought this was the way it was and would continue to be.

After an attempted suicide (obviously unsuccessful) I had a stint in hospital and it was there that an event occurred that changed my life:  The psychiatrist at the hospital told my wife, ‘there is nothing we can do to stop the suicide attempts; he will do it again; one day he will succeed’.  This was the turning point in my life.  I knew I had few options so I turned to Christian Science and found a firm fundamental premise upon which to expand my life.

Since turning to Christian Science and studying the text Science and Health with key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy I have been healthier both physically and mentally.  My family report that I am calmer, happier and kinder.  I can truly agree with Timothy in the Bible when he says: God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (II Timothy 1: 7).

As I said previously:  no medicines, formulas or pills for almost ten years.  The constant in this time has been Christian Science and the text, Science and Health with key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.  It was a journey to get to that point and the time was right for me.

Let All Within Me Sing   Leave a comment

shutterstock_83580832Let All Within Me Sing – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Title for these reading was taken from hymn 462 in the Christian Science Hymnal:

When my days are much too busy to find where prayer fits in, / There’s a timeless prayer I can always pray: / Simply praising Him. / Praise the creator. Let all within me sing! / For that’s what I am made to do, and stillness it will bring.

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:  Let All Within Me Sing.

 

Want to be Healthier? Say Thanks!   Leave a comment

shutterstock_100186745A special day for thanksgiving hasn’t really caught on in Australia yet, although other parts of the world celebrate it around this time of year. However, it may be time to consider its inclusion as part of a preventative approach to health care, because gratitude is so good for you.

In his inspiring book, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, psychologist Robert Emmons cites research that found saying “thank you” measurably increases our happiness and health. He refers to an earlier study published in 2003 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that found that participants who kept weekly ‘gratitude journals’ felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the coming week. They also reported fewer physical symptoms, and lower levels of depression and stress than people who are not grateful.

I’ve noticed that gratitude is often the catalyst that brings healing into my life, too. For instance, stress and anxiety have lessened when I’ve changed a resentful attitude to being thankful for someone’s creativity, intelligence or community-mindedness; or when I’ve stopped belittling myself and been grateful instead for my unique abilities.

To feel thankful, you must consciously stop the insistent negative whirring in your head, be still and replace that negativity. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts, suggests spiritual thinker, Mary Baker Eddy in her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p261).

Like many others, I can relate to the connection between a grateful heart and a healthy body. But for me it goes even deeper than that.

As a practitioner of Christian Science, I’ve found that gratitude is more than now-and-then positive thinking or a verbal expression of thanks. To make a difference, it needs to be shown in greater patience, humility and good deeds.

As such, it forms part of a preventative approach to healthcare and becomes a natural, foundational part of life, inextricably linked to consistent health.

Could it be that we have more control over our health than previously thought? And, if so, are there other qualities of thought besides gratitude that we could and perhaps should be cultivating?

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud of Queensland. Kay is a freelance writer and researcher on the connection between spirituality and health. Her blog can be read at: http://www.health4thinkers.com/ .

If you are in Canberra on Thursday 19 November 2015 join us at 6.00 pm (corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets, Barton) for our annual Thanksgiving Service.  Everyone is welcome.

The Essential Ingredient for Youth Mental Health   Leave a comment

$ dreamstime_5971679The years between 15-25 are frequently a time of questioning and great discovery, but like many others I found them difficult. I had to deal with chronic disease, failure in my chosen career, a persistent lack of self-worth along with indecision about an alternative career path, and loneliness.

Although never diagnosed, a psychologist would probably have called me depressed.

However, along the rugged path to recovering my childhood inner contentment I found that spiritual activities like prayer, research into some of the world’s most meaningful spiritual writings and participating in church were keeping me sane, mentally motivated, and connected to others in a nurturing environment.

The refocus on unselfish activities gave me a feeling of self-worth again and also contributed to a hopefulness that things would get better. In time, it opened up previously unknown pathways to fulfillment.

Rather than restricting me or quashing my critical thinking, my adolescent research into the spiritual nature of mental and physical health made me realise that what I needed all along was to put into daily practice a growing understanding of my radically awesome relationship to the Divine Being.

To the degree that I acknowledged it, I found that I could actually experience divine Love expressing kindness and unselfishness in me; the divine Mind reflecting intelligence and wisdom in me; the divine Life demonstrating health and wellbeing in me; and so on (ideas from Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy).

Things started to go right for me again. You could say that I saw “the wilderness and desert begin to blossom as the rose”, an image so beautifully depicted in the Bible.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I ended up more consistently in the right head space with a much better view of myself – and was probably a lot more likeable, as well!

A 2008 study published in Australian Family Physician and written by Dr Craig Hassed, Faculty of Medicine at Monash University in Melbourne, reported that “Spirituality is an important determinant of physical, emotional and social health…”

When commenting on escalating trends in youth mental illness his study suggests that “there may be too little attention being given to the ‘protective factors’ against mental illness, of which, particularly for adolescents, are connectedness and having a spiritual or religious dimension to one’s life” (Hassed, The role of spirituality in medicine, 2008).

It’s heartening to learn that spirituality is acknowledged as central to youth mental health by a growing number of psychologists.

It seems to me that clinicians need to speak to the community more about the benefits of spirituality in the treatment of anxiety and depression, and not just in young people, but for everyone.

A spiritual dimension to life will undoubtedly assist you, whether you’re young or old, as you seek (and find) a better, healthier and happier you. That would be the real you!

This article, by Kay Stroud, has been published in the Sunshine Coast Daily, Lismore Northern Star and Bundaberg News Mail.  Kay is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our health. 

Is there a daily diet that curbs perfectionism, eating disorders?   Leave a comment

 

shutterstock_125748860Four ‘trick or treaters’ knocked on our door on Halloween evening. Somewhat unprepared and surprised to experience this novelty in Australia I managed to locate a few sweet treats for each of them, and they left happily bubbling with excitement.

Was I frightened of their costumes or weird masks? Of course not. And I’m sure they didn’t believe for a moment that they’d suddenly morphed into ugly, wicked or ghoulish creatures, either.

Sometimes, though, people do put on an emotionally draining mask as they strive to feel accepted and loved. Over time they may come to accept the charade as part of themselves.

For instance, they may act out the role where they have to be the best … at everything. They can’t abide mistakes and feel it’s a badge of honour to say they’re a perfectionist. Ever in fear of failing, they may be chronic procrastinators. They don’t like themselves very much either, because they rarely live up to their own expectations.

They may be caught up in a warped view of the world that is commonly known as perfectionism.

Like many psychologists, Thomas Greenspon believes that perfectionism is more than pushing yourself to do your best to achieve a goal; it’s a reflection of an inner self mired in anxiety, where you constantly feel like an imposter. “Perfectionist people typically believe that they can never be good enough, that mistakes are signs of personal flaws, and that the only route to acceptability as a person is to be perfect,” he said.

Whatever the reason may be for that belief, at the heart of the often life-long anxiety to appear perfect is our adoption of the general belief that the human mind is full of good and bad emotions and beliefs, some of which are detrimental to mental and physical health.

However, what’s gaining wider acceptance in health research today is the degree to which the body is the servant of the mind.

Sometimes a simple shift in thought enables us to take off the imposter’s mask we may have been wearing and lift the mental weight.

Accepting a less human mind for a diviner nature that is more attuned to understanding, compassion and humility, brings with it greater confidence, better relationships and a selfless desire to contribute to the greater good.

It’s the daily diet of serene, spiritual thoughts that transforms our experience, gives us grace for each day and best feeds our famished affections, Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, explains in a very practical elucidation of the Lord’s Prayer.

It’s interesting that current treatments for perfectionism are also moving to thought-based approaches such as acceptance and commitment therapy, meditation and mindfulness, even in the treatment of serious eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa that develop alongside the obsessive quest for the perfect body.

Reports estimate that 15% of Australian women between 12 and 30 years of age suffer from eating disorders at some stage in their lives. These young women (and men) who are crying out for love, acceptance and a better view of themselves, often cause untold anguish for themselves and their families, and sometimes even end their lives in the quest for the perfect body.

Julie Bell reached the point where hospitalisation for malnutrition seemed the only answer when the application of a distinctive thought-based, prayer-based approach, founded on recognition of her flawless, spiritual nature, proved “a glorious turning point”.

She experienced a shift in thought. She realised that she could take control of her own thinking, that her body was the servant and that “food did not have power to govern (her) life or (her) sense of a physical body”.

Not only healed of the eating disorder, she found that other obsessive habits that she hadn’t realised were abnormal completely fell away, as did her fear of going forward in the world.

If you’re tiring of the relentless obsessive or perfectionistic thinking about your body or successes, you may also be more than ready to focus less attention on what you eat or on your limited achievements and more on thinking outside the sensory box. Instead, pondering ideas that tenderly reassure you of your intrinsic value.

The mask of a limited, biophysical viewpoint can be frightening, but its removal will enable you to replace a daily diet of fear and anxiety with a moment-by-moment health-giving intake of love and respect for your perfect, beautiful, spiritual self. The difference will be remarkable.

This post was written by Kay Stroud who is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our health.  She writes for metropolitan and regional news media throughout Australia and beyond, and is a regular contributor to Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion

Make a Game-Changing New Year’s Resolution   Leave a comment

 

FireworksWhile some of us are still dealing with the influx of visitors, festivities and sun-soaked holidays, in the back of our minds is the niggling thought that 2015 has already begun and now is the time to make our New Year’s resolutions, before it’s too late.

Some are choosing to eat healthier and exercise more. That certainly can make us feel better.

Two other resolutions that go hand-in-hand will not only increase your health but be game-changers in your life: always opt for the positive viewpoint over the negative and choose to be kinder to others.

A friend related how his acquaintance was in hospital recently, suffering from a life-threatening illness.

Things were looking pretty grim and it seemed that he was hanging on by a thread. Then his heart stopped and he ceased breathing.

At that moment, the medical staff on duty in that area of the hospital noticed that he was passing on and began to congregate around his bed …. not rushing to him with defibrillator or drip, but unexpectedly telling jokes, laughing and talking loudly and animatedly about everyday things.

They continued by his bedside including everyone in the ward in the jovial conversation until he began to regain consciousness. The man made a full recovery.

What happened? Did the nurses and doctors know that their confident and caring presence was more effective than apparatus or medication? Yes.

Something similar is at play when a teacher disregards the negative ‘label’ attached to the child and responds with love and recognition of that child’s higher nature and abilities, bringing a turnaround in attitude at school.

Or when a brick wall tumbles down between two people who haven’t spoken to each other for years as one reaches out with forgiveness.

The reasons for such changes for the better spring from (1) choosing a positive, solution-based approach, and (2) trusting our instinct to be warm and caring, despite a temptation to take an impersonal, defeatist or hard-line approach.

Lissa Rankin MD, sought-after TEDx presenter and one of the keynote speakers at the Byron Bay Uplift Festival  a few weeks ago, urges us to strip back everything that isn’t really us that we’ve learned in the world of hard knocks, to find that inner pilot light or divine spark of love within.

Research results from studies on cancer recovery and remission support her claim to the beneficial effects of this practice.

Rankin also cites conclusive evidence that an essential part of any successful treatment is engaging a health practitioner who is reassuring, gentle and kind, and treats patients with compassion.

Did Jesus mean in his well-known parable, that the warmth and care that the Good Samaritan showed had as much to do with the traveller’s recovery (who was robbed and beaten by thieves) as the bandages, oil and wine provided?

Mary Baker Eddy believed so and based her scientific, healing method on this premise. An important researcher into how consciousness affects health, she discovered in her investigations and successful treatments through prayer that…

“Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)

Forgetting ourselves and putting others first really FEELS divine and invariably makes us glow with happiness.

I hope your 2015 takes wings. Seems it’s sure to do so if you choose to take this two-pronged approach to a happier, healthier year ahead – adopting a positive, solution-based viewpoint, and actively and warmly caring for yourself and others.

This article by Kay Stroud was published on 32 APN news sites, including these dailies:  Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, Sunshine Coast Daily, Bundaberg News Mail, Tweed Daily News, Toowoomba Chronicle, Mackay Daily Mercury, Fraser Coast Chronicle, Coffs Coast Advocate, Clarence Valley Examiner, Lismore Northern Star, Gladstone Observer, Gympie Times, Ipswich Queensland Times, Warwick Daily News

Kay is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our health. She writes for metropolitan and regional news media throughout Australia and beyond, and is a regular contributor to Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion.

Mentally Soar! It’s good for your health   Leave a comment

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Feeling down-in the-dumps is not uncommon. But when dejection strikes, it’s time to fire-up your “thought-burners”, experience that mental lift-off which allows your spirits to rise, and mentally soar above despondency. Such action is good for your health.

 

Let your thought rise.

Four colorful hot air balloons hovered over the Melbourne Cricket Ground.  From my 20th floor room, I watched them soar upward and away with effortless ease. This reminded me how to rise out of gloom when our spirits nose-dive.

 

 

TIP:

  • Take on board the thought-soaring fuels of hope and gratitude.
  • Ignite the spark of hope that exists in thinking to help you rise above negative feelings.
  • Fire-up hopefulness and be confident, optimistic, and expectant of good.
  • Accelerate your emotional lift-off by allowing gratitude to warm-up your heart and mind.
  • Be grateful for the good times you’ve had, and for those ahead. Gratitude prepares you to receive further good in your life.

 Believe you can soar.

American singer R Kelly says in his Grammy-award winning song “I believe I Can Fly” that with belief, everyone can soar.

TIP:

  • Let your spirits soar with the mental energy of firm belief.
  • Be confident that “All things are possible to him who believes.”  (The Scriptures – Mark 9:23)
  • Believe that if others can be happy, then you can too.

Elevate thinking.

One morning, two men went fishing in a rowboat. By afternoon, they were surrounded by thick fog and couldn’t see land. As they drifted out to sea, one man decided to stand up. Instantly his head rose above the low-level fog. From his elevated position he saw the shoreline. They rowed to safety.

TIP:

  • Make the effort to elevate thinking. Don’t stay resigned to negative feelings. Stand up to them.
  • Let your thought soar effortlessly above the fog of gloomy thinking.
  • Raise your spirits. Expect to “Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good.”  (Science and Health. Mary Baker Eddy.)

This article, Mentally Soar! It’s Good For Your Health, by Beverly Goldsmith was originally published on her blog site, Spirituality and Health Connect.   Beverly is a Melbourne-based health writer who provides a diversity of health content on how spirituality and thought affect health.

Fearless Living is Healthy Living   1 comment

$ dreamstime_127492Eliminating fear is good for your health say experts.

Mind-Body Interventions such as patient support groups, prayer, spiritual healing and a state of calmness produced through meditation, can all help reduce bodily stress.

Fear is like luggage you carry around with you. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Some fears you can put down and walk away from. Others seem to be firmly attached to you. You know the kind I’m talking about. It can be a fear of going to the dentist, speaking in public, personal safety, not being able to pay the bills, fear of getting sick, and yes, even a fear of dying.

You often know when you feel nervous or afraid, through certain bodily sensations.  For example, you get butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, dry mouth, shortness of breath, or rapid heartbeats. On such occasions, fear itself seems to be quite tangible, even physically concrete.

While fear appears to be expressed in a bodily way, it actually starts in thought. This may appear obvious, but it’s a point that often gets overlooked when we’re caught up in an anxious moment, or feeling ill. Being aware of this mind-body connection, provides a starting point for working beyond fear. It leads to finding a pathway for resolving a fearful situation, and to achieving better health.

One way to achieve fearless living, is to practice calm thinking whenever those internal alarm bells are sounding. According to Herbert Benson, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and founder of the Mind Body Medical Institute, this can be accomplished by “prescribing meditation – not just medication”.  As the author or co-author of more than 170 scientific publications and seven books, Benson encourages a state of calmness through meditation as a means of reducing the bodily stress which is often engendered by fear.

While there are various ways to meditate, one method that many people have found to be effective involves spiritual thinking, or prayer.  Thoughts of divine protection, as I’ve discovered, can help dissolve fearful concerns about health and personal wellbeing. This can calm thought, prevent fear from governing the body, and correct health problems engendered by fear. And why not? Evidence of the effect of spiritual thinking on the body are not new. One pioneer and writer on health and spirituality, Mary Baker Eddy,  documented them during the last century.

Today modern health campaigner Deepak Chopra, MD, is exploring paths beyond western medicine and surgery. Although a board-certified endocrinologist, he believes that “The experiences of joy, compassion, and meditative quiescence (calmness) could be powerful tools to restore homeostasis (a state of equilibrium) and strengthen our self-repair mechanisms.”

Chopra is not alone in his views. In August 2012, I attended the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association conference in Melbourne. Doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who were present, discussed ways an integrative medicine practice could help patients achieve “optimal health and healing.” This included making use of “all appropriate therapeutic approaches, health care professionals and disciplines”, as well as “Mind-Body Interventions such as patient support groups, meditation, prayer, spiritual healing, …”

Those in the medical fraternity who seek the healing of fear and of fear-related illness through complementary practices, are to be commended. As Chopra says, “The mystery of healing remains unsolved. If we combine wisdom and science, tradition and research, mind and body, there is every hope that the mystery will reveal its secrets more and more fully.”  Such unbiased inquiry as he proposes, could lead us to understand how to live a fear-free, healthy life and to the role that spiritual thinking can play in the healing that follows.

This article, Fearless Living is Healthy Living, by Beverly Goldsmith was originally published on her blog site, Spirituality and Health Connect Beverly is a Melbourne-based health writer who provides a diversity of health content on how spirituality and thought affect health.

Detox your mind. It’s good for your health   Leave a comment

shutterstock_161217872Detoxing one’s body it seems, has become as popular as visiting a health spa to be massaged, mud-packed or steamed. Yet cleansing the body inside and out, is not all we can do to be healthier.  It can also be beneficial to detox your mind. Such action is good for your health – both mental and physical.

From time-to-time negative feelings, when unchecked, can build up to alarming levels of distress in thinking. Without a good clean out, unhealthy emotions such as hurt and anger can fester away, spoiling a person’s good nature, destroying their peace of mind, and damaging their wellbeing.

Flush out corrosive feelings 

There’s an ancient story about a woman who was forced to leave her home and country. Filled with resentment at this incident in her life, she was unable to mentally move forward and looked back in anger. In so doing, she turned herself into a “pillar of salt” – she became permanently embittered by what she perceived as the wrong done to her.

TIP:

●  Avoid the mistake of harbouring destructive feelings such as resentment and estrangement.

● When showering, don’t just think about keeping the body externally clean. Look within.

● Use a mental-loofah to scrub and exfoliate dead-end thinking.

● Gently wash away any build-up of disappointment or bitterness.

● Rinse off unhappy thoughts about the past.

● Allow calming, comforting, reassuring, and peace-encouraging ideas to flow into thinking. 

Cleanse wounded feelings.

Soaking one’s thinking in past insults or hurtful comments is not health-giving.  Imagine how freeing it would feel if the memory of unkind words or deeds were erased from thinking.

TIP:

● If someone has personally said or done something mean, rather than rehearsing the unkindness, mentally pull the plug on it.  Let unpleasant memories flow down the drain – right out of thinking.

● Dwell on good things that have taken place – a spontaneous hug from a child,  a kindness received.

● Embrace this advice. “Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

● “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.” (Science and  Health, p. 261, Mary Baker Eddy)

Purify thinking

It’s long been considered that hatred is toxic. So too are harsh thoughts and acidic attitudes, holding a grudge, or seeking revenge. These eat away at the fabric of one’s thinking and good health. That’s why it’s helpful to detox the mind.

TIP:

● Hatred requires feeding to flourish so starve it of nourishment.

● Snuff out the desire for revenge – to verbally or physically retaliate. Refuse to give it oxygen, or breath.

● Filter out unwholesome emotions and attitudes.

● Pour into thinking the health-bringing, health-sustaining qualities of love, forgiveness, mercy, and kindness.

● Make time to meditate, purify and regenerate thinking.  It’s good for your health.

This article, Detox your mind. It’s good for your health, by Beverly Goldsmith was originally published on her blog site, Spirituality and Health Connect . Beverly is a Melbourne-based health writer who provides a diversity of health content on how spirituality and thought affect health.

 

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