The effect of our thoughts on our health

A Christian Science perspective.

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When I first heard about 15 years ago that our thoughts affect our health, I was startled. At the time, I wasn’t able to appreciate the connection between pure thoughts and a healthy body. Moreover, who would want to think that his or her thoughts are less than pure, even if the body is full of troubles?

Then when I examined my thoughts, I found them full of resentment over my bad marriage, anger because of manipulation going on where I worked, fears about the future, and self-pity over not being able to conceive a child.

Above all, poor health was multiplying my frustrations, until I came across a wonderful truth in a book given to me by a friend, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy. It says: “Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered. Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew. You will never fear again except to offend God, and you will never believe that heart or any portion of the body can destroy you” (p. 425).

Convinced of the indisputable connection between thoughts and body, I decided to purify my consciousness by becoming more loving, satisfied, and, above all, by beholding everyone (including myself) as the perfect sons and daughters of God, created by this Father-Mother.

I became a serious student of Science and Health and read a few pages every night. This book continually reminded me that God is Love and that everyone can be a partaker of good alone – good health, good job, good marriage, and goodness in all aspects of life.

Soon my confusion over maintaining good health by regular exercise and eating nutritious food was brought into perspective when I came across another truth from the same book: “If half the attention given to hygiene were given to the study of Christian Science and to the spiritualization of thought, this alone would usher in the millennium.... We must beware of making clean merely the outside of the platter” (p. 382).

I also pondered this statement made by Christ Jesus: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man” (Matt. 15:11).

In a subtle way, unhealthy thoughts can work against health and happiness, and they can be mesmerizing. The protecting and purifying influence of Christ – the spiritual idea of God which Jesus represented – is told in a poem by Fay Lynn (“Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 237):

O may we be still and seek Him,
Seek with consecration whole,
Listening thus to hear the message,
Far from sense and hid in Soul....

If we pray to Him in secret,
Lift to Him the heart’s desire,
We shall find our earthly longings
All made pure by Love’s pure fire.

In a few years I was a completely changed person, newborn in Spirit as my ailments vanished, my marriage ended peacefully, and I was remarried to a wonderful man with a very loving family. Also, as I came to know my relationship to our Father-Mother God, my concept of universal family expanded, and I realized I could love and help many children through prayer. I saw we were all part of the same family in divine Love, and I stopped craving to conceive children of my own. I felt cleansed and purified, free from the restrictions and limitations of the past and ready to move forward in my newfound understanding of life as governed by God.

For a Hindi translation of this article, see The Herald of Christian Science.

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