ASIDE from just seeking a healthy life, have you ever wondered what you need to do to establish a healthier relationship with yourself?

I find this self-examination vital. There are many forms self-examination can take. For instance, previously when I thought of my health I would immediately check what my physical senses told me was going on. But even while I did this, I felt there must be something more to which I could attribute my health beside what those physical senses were showing me.

My search for this "something else" led me to find a health book that gives me formidable ideas on how to be healthy. But it does more than that. It has shown me that health is actually more than just what I feel. It's actually a divine provision that we all deserve to enjoy and we can expect good results from praying to understand that.

The author of that book, Mary Baker Eddy, offered to the world what she had discovered and proved by writing her ideas in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In this book, she lovingly explains how God's goodness is the only source of lasting health. She wrote: "If God were understood instead of being merely believed, this understanding would establish health."

What is this understanding of God that is related on our health?

In pondering this question, I often think of the word "gratitude".

In a study done by Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California, he says: "Thousands of years of literature talk about the benefits of cultivating gratefulness as a virtue..."

Also, his study enumerated the good effects of being thankful, rather than dwelling on issues that are not helpful. To do so, he reports, helps us cope with our day-to-day existence.

"Not convinced these simple gratitude-enhancing strategies can improve your overall health and well-being? Try it out for yourself. What's the alternative? I think gratitude is the best approach to life," he concluded.

What I have understood through studying Christian Science, is that it is divinely natural for us to feel gratitude as the children of an all-good God. However, in relating that this virtue is a divine quality belonging to each of us, it is important to stress the need to express this quality of God in our lives by being a good parent to our children, an obedient student, a worthwhile and law-abiding citizen., And also by that simple yet healing act of changing our thoughts from being miserable to being grateful every time we are tempted to feel down.

There are moments when I have felt lonely without any reasons at all and to immediately arrest this unhealthy thought I would say silently, "Thank you, God," and suddenly feel so comforted. A friend of mine, too, has been very vocal when it comes to give gratitude in everything he does. One time one of our friends was complaining about the daily routine of his work, he just candidly said: "Did you thank God for the job you have today?"

Yes, I am deeply grateful for finding Christian Science in my life, which has opened up my understanding to love more and to give more and to be grateful for every opportunity to be of service to my community. In this way I have come to understand better how God is being expressed in all the good that any of us do.

I am grateful and that has made me more healthy! It could work for you, too!

(Rodolfo Jerome Lacusong is a Christian Science Committee on Publication, Philippines. You can hear him live via USTREAM www.delradio.com on Be Healthy Segment every Tuesday 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Follow him @ALacusong, e-mail philippines@compub.org)