How To Take It To The Next Level

How To Take It To The Next Level

© GLOW IMAGES Model used for illustrative purposes


My colleague Tim Mitchinson is a health blogger from Illinois, who like many of us, has been inspired by the performances of the Olympians competing in Sochi, Russia. He writes about the health benefits gained in our lives when thought and character is taken to the next level.

People all over the world have been enjoying the 2014 Winter Olympics.  We have seen athletes exceed beyond “personal bests”; in Nike’s current campaign, it’s: “Take it to the next level”. To me, it’s all about breaking through our own limitations and doing or being the best we can.

This doesn’t just apply to Olympians or professional athletes.  The readers of this blog have found in their own lives ways to “take it to the next level.”  Maybe they are walking further each morning than they did the previous day, swimming farther, or lifting heavier weights.

But I think there are many ways to take life to the next level.  How about embracing a new level in the good emotions we cultivate and express in our lives?  Maybe we can express more affection, compassion and gratitude than we have in the past.  Why should we do that? Well, one reason is simply that it makes us feel good. Additionally, it’s quite possible that doing those things can have a significant impact on our health.

Kory Floyd, an associate professor at Arizona State University’s Hugh Downs School of Human Communication has studied the effect of affection on one’s health.  “Being affectionate is good for you,” Floyd says. “Affection can be a simple, non-pharmaceutical, cheap way to reduce stress.” Floyd has found that there are direct associations between being an affectionate person and a lower risk of depression and stress.  “Highly affectionate people tend to have better mental health and less stress. They also react to stress better,” he stated (

The impact of affection and love on health has also been the subject of studies on cancer patients.  Wendy Mclain, Fruitland Park Senior Health Examiner, wrote about The Love Study conducted by the Institute of Noetic Sciences.  She reported that this study consisted of couples who had been together for a long time.  One of the two had cancer.  The healthy participant was asked to show their love toward the other while the receiver’s physiological state was measured. Immediately, health benefits came to the ill partner.   According to Mclain, “They concluded the study demonstrated that focusing love selflessly on another individual has significant healing properties for the one who is sick.””.

Health researcher and author Mary Baker Eddy saw the importance of taking many emotions out of what she called the “physical” level and taking them to what she termed the “moral”.  In her best-selling book on spirituality and health, she emphasized the health-giving properties we acquire as we raise our life above fear, pride, envy, deceit, hatred and revenge, and learn to express the qualities of humanity, honesty, affection, compassion, hope, faith, meekness, and temperance.  She wrote, “Whatever guides thought spiritually benefits mind and body” (Science and Health, p. 149).

Allowing our thought to be guided spiritually can help any one of us to “take it to the next level” – whether we are an athlete, a patient, a caregiver or simply someone looking to overcome limitations in some area of life.

©2014 Christian Science Committee on Publication for Illinois

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.


  1. Dan Miller says

    Thanks, it is good we are seeing studies showing ones mental outlook has profound effects. I also enjoyed the quote from Mrs. Eddy.. “the health-giving properties we acquire as we raise our life above fear, pride, envy, deceit, hatred and revenge, and learn to express the qualities of humanity, honesty, affection, compassion, hope, faith, meekness, and temperance.” Also I believe another way of helping our mental outlook is when we get self out of the way, …”let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error, self-will, self justification, and self-love,”….also a quote from Mrs. Eddy.

  2. Evelyn, Laguna Hills says

    Taking it to the next level is something I strive for everyday – and love seeing the progress in vitality, joy and accomplishment. I also experience some days of sliding back and losing ground. But once having tasted the blessings in this strife – the next level comes back more easily and readily. The question I have asked myself is “Am I like fruit that blossoms, ripens and then decays? or am I a resilient, intelligent being with unlimited potential to continue to blossom and bear fruit?”

  3. Anne Hughes says

    Thank you, Tim, and other commenters too. These ideas concur with yesterday’s blog about feeling satisfied that brings peaceful sleep. I prayed consciously with those ideas last night, putting aside thoughts about unexpected bills to be paid this month and instead thanking God for all the good of the day and all of the evidence of God’s provision in my life. I slept well.
    I am a docent at historic Adamson House in Malibu, CA. Yesterday a group of seniors came to visit whose health insurance provider arranges such activities, recognizing that healthcare is more than giving tests and medications. This is the second time such a group has visited. I am heartened that today there are at least some healthcare providers who are taking their coverage to a higher level. May it continue and expand.

  4. says

    Taking things, thoughts, and actions to the next level is a goal I have set for myself. Thanks for bringing this subject to us in this way. We all need to go up higher and that means taking things/thoughts to the next level. Doing our best is good but challenging our best by taking it a level higher is even better. That means we will continue to grow mentally, morally, spiritually, and physically. What could be better than that?