Thought Recycling! It’s Good for Your Health

Thought Recycling! It's Good for Your Health


A guest post written by Beverly Goldsmith, government and media representative for Christian Science for Southern- Western Australia – VIC, SA, and WA

Recycling! There’s so much we can do. These days, we can responsibly dispose of our unwanted packaging materials and green waste in household recycling bins. Also, at events such as garage sales, flea-markets and car-boot sales, opportunities abound for other useful items such as pre-loved clothing and kids’ toys to find their way to good homes. But that’s not all.

According to Paul Harrison from, there are many ideas for “extending the life and usefulness of something that has already served its initial purpose”. This is something I learned to do not so long ago.

Recently, it was necessary for me to carry out some serious downsizing in my home and office. In thinking about what to do with all the accumulated paraphernalia, I had a bright idea. As I didn’t want to sell anything, the neighbourhood school was offered my stationery and office equipment.  Also, over the course of several months, no-longer-needed items of furniture were simply placed on the front lawn with a sign “help yourself”.

Each piece of furniture was quickly snapped up by someone who really needed and wanted it. A single mother took an item, a newlywed another. Then a retired gentleman, a young family man, the secretary of the local girl guides, a neighbouring factory worker, a primary school teacher, an office manager, and even a nearby religious seminary joined the list of glad recipients.

My successful efforts at practical recycling got me thinking about another type of reprocessing. It’s one that is more personal in nature, yet it can lead to improved health-outcomes. It’s what I call “thought recycling”. Yes, I know this may sound a little unusual.  But stay with me. See what you think about this idea.

So often our thinking is taken up with negative, unhappy, even dismal-type thoughts. Our mind becomes cluttered with worry, stress, and health fears. The only thing to be done with this kind of mental-litter, is to bin it ready for discarding. Depressing, unhealthy thoughts and fears, shouldn’t be recycled. Apart from the fact that no one else really wants them, negative thoughts aren’t useful or health-producing.  On the other hand, positive, constructive, happy, and health-promoting thoughts are ready-made for inclusion in a mental recycling program.

Here’s how it might work. Let’s say you’ve been comforted, gained mental strength or found healing from spiritual ideas that generous people have shared in sacred poetry, songs, books, or texts. If so, it would seem only natural for you to then “recycle” them. You’d want to pass on those inspirational ideas that have enhanced your life or improved your health, with others seeking freedom from worry, ill-health or despair. In this way, an inspired idea that has “served its initial purpose” – to benefit you, now has its life extended.

So what do you think? Are you ready to sign on for my “thought recycling” program? If so, here are a couple of tips to get you heading in the right direction.

● Be selective. Check out the type of thought you want to circulate to others before doing so. Is it a truly health-promoting and beneficial idea? After all, each thought we share contributes to our individual and the collective mental environment.

● Relate reassuring, healing stories from personal experience. Nothing in our life is ever wasted. What we learn from both the good and hard times in our life, can sustain and bolster someone else who may be going through a similar experience.

● Share kind thoughts. In a poem titled “Love is kind”, the author Henry Burton, writes, “Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on! …Let it travel down the years, Let it wipe another’s tears, …Pass it on!” Burton based his poem on an inspired text by another writer whose worthwhile idea was to “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters”.

● Recycle gratitude. It’s heartening to not only receive expressions of appreciation, but to pass them on at home, school or work. Gratitude brightens a moment, encourages an individual, and later continues to remind them that they’ve done something worthwhile – they’ve done well.

As human beings, we’re benefitted by kind words, wellness promoting suggestions, and expressions of gratitude and appreciation. Our lives are buoyed and enriched with the good ideas that others have found helpful and have taken the time to share with us. These thoughts are not only worth circulating – in large quantities, but it’s a way to extend their life and usefulness. This is plain, simple, common-sense, recycling at its best.

Link to Beverly’s blog

About the author

Guest We are pleased to present Notes from the Field authors, who are assistant committees and church members in the Southern California region; and Notes from The Mother Church authors, who are Committees from the United States and around the world, as well as the Federal Committee on Publication office.


    • says

      Thank you Mary Lou. I’m so glad you liked the concept of recycling good thoughts and ideas. It does extend their life and usefulness and they can be of such help others.

    • says

      Thanks so much for your comment and appreciation. It’s wonderful to see the idea of thought recycling being shared with others. Thanks to Don for his recycling efforts.

    • says

      Thanks Graham for your comment. So glad you found my idea of thought recycling practical wisdom. It is a very useful concept for circulating kind words, wellness promoting suggestions, and expressions of gratitude and appreciation.

  1. Tracy says

    Some great ideas here! I’m going to work harder to recycle my inspiring ideas to others and trash the negative ones. Thanks Beverly! :)

    • says

      Thanks Tracy for your comment. So glad that you’re going to recycle your inspiring ideas with others. I’m grateful that Don is doing just that by publishing my blog on his site.

  2. Sue says

    What great ideas on recycling. Out with the old, battered and burdensome thoughts and in with the refreshing, nurturing, uplifting thoughts and experiences. This mental and spiritual activity keeps us alert to accepting the good and healthy ideas and practices and living them more fully. The more we practice this the better we get at it!

  3. Anne says

    I’m in the process of getting rid of a lot of things that aren’t useful to me anymore, and I loved hearing about all of the people that were blessed by the recycling of items not needed anymore. It made me feel like unnecessary weights were being lifted right off.

    The points about recycling good thoughts were excellent. I especially enjoyed how this blog was written. It really engaged my thought.

    Thank you.

    • says

      Thank you Anne. It really was quite special to see that items that were no longer of use to me were going to be useful to someone else. Quite unexpectedly, one elderly man came back and gave me a huge bag of grapefruit from his tree as a thank you for the table and chairs he took away from my lawn. He and his wife were thrilled with the items and I was thrilled with his expression of gratitude. The same applies to helpful idea and experiences. They are all worth sharing.

  4. ann says

    Great Analogy and Advice! I am currently in the process of downsizing and finding new homes for many items after the passing of a loved-one.

    This is PERFECT timing for me, as I want to hold on and recycle the good and happy times shared and not rewind & replay the more current difficult ones. Let the LOVE continue to cycle forward and reach those who need to be encircled in Blessings and Joy, thereby keeping my own thoughts focused on the good being witnessed and expressed so abundantly. Thanks so much !!