Archive for the ‘health’ Tag

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.

Understanding Health   1 comment

DSCN2219AUnderstanding Health – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. 

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:  Understanding 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.

 

Your Age Doesn’t Define You   4 comments

shutterstock_169369466Do you believe that you are you are ‘as young as you feel’? That you’re free to take charge of your own health, happiness and wellbeing, no matter what your age?

In frustration at some of the ingrained beliefs about aging that he saw shackling his colleagues and friends as they grew older, an American baseball legend asked, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” implying that you need to break out of the mental conditioning that makes you think you are defined by your age.

The calendar is a useful way to let you know the date, but if you let yourself be hemmed in by your chronological age, you may lock yourself out of potentially valuable opportunities.

Nextgen population researchers have recognised the greater import of health, cognitive function and life expectancy rather than age data as they plan for future populations. “We should not consider someone who is 60 or 65 to be an older person,” said researcher Sergei Scherbov. “Saying that ‘40 is the new 30’ .. is truer than people know.”

We’ve heard how our health age can be years younger than our calendar age, if we’re active and eat sensibly. Now, research into the mind/body/spirit connection in several fields, including neuroscience and meditation, adds evidence to the claim that it is our mindset, more than the food we eat or the exercise we do, that affects our physical body.

Excited by the health implications of the mind sciences, a Cleveland Clinic Foundation exercise psychologist compared individuals who worked out at a gym against another cohort who just visualized working out. Not surprisingly, the gym-goers experienced a 30 percent increase in muscle. However, the ones who only thought about working out also experienced a 13% increase in muscle strength, urging us to think beyond the physical to mental attitudes and capacities.

Many integrative health practitioners take this a step further, asserting that it is spiritual thoughts and practices that make a significant difference to better health and longevity. Mary Baker Eddy, an early researcher into this connection in her book, Science and Health, suggests that we “…. shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight” for a longer, healthier and happier life.

She also suggests that it’s time to stop focussing on the body so much, and be aware of the myths about aging that are constantly influencing us. Be aware that “timetables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood”, and stop keeping a record of ours or others ages; or at least dispute the assumptions of debility and aging every time you buy a birthday card.

Healthwise, it’s worth acknowledging that spiritual, mindful or positive thoughts bring vitality, freshness and promise to each day.

Some have broken free from the belief that they’re ruled by an aging body. You too can adopt a mental attitude of ageless being, and look forward to experiencing the health benefits.

This article, Your Age Doesn’t Define You, is by Kay Stroud. Kay is a health writer focussing on the leading edge of consciousness, spirituality and health. Her articles can be found on Health4Thinkers.

Is Your Health Growing Older by the Minute?   Leave a comment

Sands of timeIs time speeding up? Not really, but it sure feels that way. Everywhere I hear people saying, ‘Where has the month gone?’ Is it just “oldies” that feel this way? Apparently not. Even the younger-set are surprised at how quickly the days fly-by.

It makes you think about the passage of time and what it means for one’s health and life-style. As one diner in my local food-court was heard to say, “I’m getting older with each tick of the clock.” It’s a bit depressing when one looks at aging that way. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Despite what we may think, there’s no evidence to suggest that time is toxic to us humans.

In an article for the Seattle Times, Richard Cutler of the National Institute of Health’s Gerontology Research Center states, “aging is unnatural… there may be no immutable biological law that decrees human beings have to get old and sick and die.” And in the same newspaper article, university biochemist Elliott Crooke says, “There is no clear reason why aging starts to occur. By design, the body should go on forever.”

If the remarks of those scientists are accepted, then aging is not caused by the number of sunrises and sunsets we accumulate, nor does this have to negatively impact our mental or bodily health. It would seem entirely possible for our faculties, mental alertness, energy and wellness to remain intact – in spite of the rotation of the earth around the sun.

So what makes us think that an aging body is related to how many birthdays we’ve had? Perhaps it’s because of what we see, read and hear about aging from a variety of sources – including drug companies, the media, and people we know. Examples of advanced years being accompanied by decline tend to be more prevalent than stories of mature people being active and useful in later years. Yet from time-to-time we come across inspiring individuals – past and present, who have overcome the limitations traditionally associated with old age. Clara Barton (1821 – 1912) was one such person.

Barton founded the Red Cross in America and she worked tirelessly into her nineties. She not only believed that we can live longer, useful lives, but she did just that herself. In an interview with Viola Rogers – a journalist for the New York American, Barton explains her viewpoint on not letting the age-clock beat us into submission.

“Most troubles are exaggerated by the mental attitude, if not entirely caused by them. … Now it has been my plan in life never to celebrate or make anything of birthday anniversaries, because this only depresses and exaggerates the passing of years. The mind is so constructed that we have become firmly convinced that after a certain length of time we cease to be useful, and when our birthday calendar indicates that we have reached or are nearing that time, we become lax in our work and finally cease to accomplish; not because we feel in reality that we are no longer useful, but because we are supposed by all laws and dictums to have finished the span of life allotted to work. Birthday celebrations after one is ten are without any value, and what is more, I verily believe that they are harmful.”

Barton continues in the interview with this good advice. “Let your life be counted by the mile-stones of achievement and not by the timepiece of years. We would all be younger if that were so, and would live to be much older than we do at the present time. … To-day I feel as young in my own mind as I did a half century ago, and that is because I have not folded my hands and given up, and have also given up the thought that I was not as useful as I had been in other years.”

There are many other individuals – famous and not so famous, who have thought and done likewise. They’re the folks who’ve refused to say that they used to be able to do this or that, and now they can’t because they’re old. In so doing, they’ve shown us what’s possible – what we can aim for.

For example, can we anticipate being healthy and active into the future? Can we say no to becoming limited in mind or body? Can we continue to learn how our mental state governs the physical. Can we find, as I’ve done, that prayer is useful in aligning our thought with the divine source of life and its perpetual longevity?

Such prayerful religious practice, according to scientists, can actually aid longevity. That’s why I’m finding encouragement in a favourite Scriptural text. “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: …They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be healthy and flourishing.”

Surrendering the notion that time impacts our health, means you and I could look forward to a longer, more productive life. We might even join the ranks of the 76 female and 2 male documented supercentenarians – individuals who have reached the ripe old age of 110 years or more. And why not? Without the spectre of time looming in our thinking, a long, healthy, active life, might just become the norm.

This article 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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