What’s the best way to feel renewed? Thomas (Tim) Mitchinson, a colleague and a writer, who focuses on the relationship between thought, spirituality, health and trends in that field, gives us much food for thought on this topic. Tim writes: Continue Reading
Here’s our once-a-month Spanish blog for your enjoyment, written by Tim Mitchinson from Illinois.
Sentirse solo puede ser un desafío para casi todas las personas en algún momento u otro. Pero hay una respuesta, que comienza con un punto de vista espiritual, que puede ayudarnos a sentirnos amados y necesitados aun cuando estemos solos.Continue Reading
Have you ever thought of the Bible as a health book? My colleague Tim Mitchinson shares why thinking about the Bible in such a way is healthy! The English translation is at the end of this article.
Hace poco encontré una lista de 20 libros de “lectura obligatoria” sobre aptitud física, salud y felicidad. Se mencionaban libros sobre cocina, yoga e incluso una autobiografía escrita por una celebridad.Continue Reading
There are qualities we can all bring to any of life’s challenges and my colleague Thomas (Tim) Mitchinson shares a great story about athlete Patrick McCreary. Continue Reading
My colleague Tim Mitchinson is a health blogger from Illinois, who like many of us here in Southern California looks for effective ways to maintain good health. In his recent blog he writes about the health benefits of forgiveness.Continue Reading
A guest post written by Thomas Mitchinson, legislative liaison and media spokesman for Christian Science in Illinois
“Fear, anxiety, and mental overload are causes for obesity in human beings,” according to Professor Dr. BM Hegde. He called these emotions “mental flab that kills.”
In a recent blog he wrote, “Obesity, increase in body weight disproportionate to the height with excess fatty deposits under the skin, has become a menace to society, especially in the affluent West.” He continued, “It has reached its zenith in the US, where almost every person seems to be obese. It has become a good money-spinner for the pharmaceutical, technology, and the food industries.”
But then he talked further about the mental causes of obesity. He wrote, “Many of us overeat when we are depressed and/or not happy.” How many of us grab a candy bar when frustrated? Or stop for fast food when under pressure? Hedge gave this amazing sentence, “It is the mental obesity that manifests as physical obesity.”
Stress, pressure, loneliness, anger, frustration, emptiness, and fear are all elements of “mental flab.” No matter how much we exercise or diet, if we don’t address these emotions, we are not treating the root cause of the overweight.
He commented that mental obesity is the inner hunger for spiritual satisfaction that is in many cases at the root of physical obesity. It follows that this hunger includes the desire for attention, love, companionship, acceptance, and meaning in life.
Professor Hedge quoted Christian Science founder, Mary Baker Eddy, in his article. Eddy wrote to her Church in 1902, “Happiness consists in being and in doing good; only what God gives, and what we give ourselves and others through His tenure, confers happiness: conscious worth satisfies the hungry heart, and nothing else can.”
The happiness that fills and satisfies us does not come from another. It comes from realizing one’s relationship to God. As one understands the unconditional, always present love of God for each of us, it satisfies the “hungry heart” which begs for some kind of recognition. This love quiets fear, anxiety, frustration, stress, and every emotion that would lead to overeating, binging, or even starving oneself.
Isn’t it the lack of feeling loved that is often behind a “hungry heart?” One may lack a sense of direction, or feel overwhelmed by circumstances out of control. In such cases, the omnipotence of divine Love is once again part of the solution. One can overcome the fear of being alone or unappreciated by realizing that “Love inspires, illumines, designates and leads the way” (from Eddy’s book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 454) for each of us – right out of the meaninglessness of existence into a meaningful life.
We can feast on God’s love. We can share that feasting with others, and have our hungry hearts satisfied. Integrative medicine expert, Dr. Andrew Weil, often speaks of “infectious happiness.” When we share our love with others or volunteer for some group, it fills not only their “hungry hearts,” but ours also.
So stop binging on food, and instead feast on giving – on giving love, attention, care, a listening ear, a smile – to others. You are preparing a very low-calorie meal that blesses yourself and those you love.
Link to Mitchinson’s blog
A guest post written by Thomas Mitchinson, media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in Illinois.
Recently, actor Michael J. Fox talked about his visit to the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. He said there was “something special with these people, something special with the way they live their lives, something special about how they look at things.” He felt this physically, as well as mentally. He said, “Ever since I’ve been in Bhutan my symptoms [of Parkinson’s disease] have been really diminished.” He concluded, “I don’t know whether that’s from the altitude, or whether it’s just Bhutan!” It may just be Bhutan and its residents: Bhutan’s Tourism Council lists “Spirituality and Wellness” as one of the country’s main activities.
I have been thinking about this a lot the last few days, and asking myself some penetrating questions. “Does the way I live my life affect others in the ways these people affected Fox?” “Are spirituality and wellness my main activities?” “Do people feel better after they have spent some time with me?” These are questions I cannot answer right now, but certainly goals that I will think about even further and strive to emulate. I recollect the words of the Psalmist, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer” (Ps. 19: 14).
Here’s another question: Does the church I attend have the same effect on the wellness and spirituality of those who attend, as the kingdom of Bhutan and its inhabitants had on Fox? What about the places where we worship? Can attending church affect our health? An article by Thomas Obisesan of Howard University, describes research he participated in that concluded, “In a national cohort of Americans, predominantly Christians, analyses demonstrated a lower risk of death independent of confounders among those reporting religious attendance at least weekly compared to never.”
It is good to see that attending church can have longevity benefits for us. Church should be a place of spirituality and health. Health writer, Charlene Laino, wrote for WebMD about a survey of 37,000 men and women who regularly attended church. She quoted Marilyn Baetz, MD of the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, “The higher the worship frequency, the lower the odds of depression, mania and panic disorders.” Charlene also quoted Marian Butterfield of Duke University, “Going to church may be a proxy for social support. And studies show social support is protective against both physical and mental illness.”
I haven’t come to many conclusions about this yet, except for the fact that I want my life to affect others in a way that promotes health, spirituality and wellness. I also want those who go to church to feel blessed by their attending. I echo these words of Mary Baker Eddy, upon the dedication of her church in Boston, “Divine presence, breathe Thou thy blessing on every heart in this house.” My profoundest wish is that we all find our place of spirituality and wellness – if that is in church, I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
©2013 Christian Science Committee on Publication for Illinois Link to Tim Mitchinson’s blog