Rethinking the Flu Season by guest bloggist Brenda Evers

Recent headlines, “It’s the flu season” and “Flu reaches epidemic proportions”, prepare us for what is coming.

But there is an important part of that preparation that has been left out–how to think about this news!  This news can feel like an announcement of the inevitable.  But maybe it could be seen as a request to examine how we think about the flu and flu epidemics and think differently?

Consider this.  The words quoted above announcing impending illness can make us fearful and expectant of widespread illness? We know this occurs in other similar situations. For example, medical students often are fearful and consider themselves to be ill with the symptoms of the disease they are studying. 

In fact, fear is commonly seen to have negative effects on health. 

And when we expect illness, this can sometimes bring the results we expect.  Toastmasters, a leader in developing communication skills, has noted the effect of expectations, both good and bad, on many aspects of individual’s lives, including health.

What else can we do to better prepare for predicted illness and to even mitigate or prevent it?  An experience I had that took place over a number of years may provide some answers.

After many years of suffering with flu and colds, I came across an article that said the flu or influenza was, in ancient times, thought to be caused by the “influence” of the stars.  It is only in the last century or so that microbes came to be seen as the cause.  I saw how what was perceived to be the cause changed over time and wondered if there was a more accurate explanation not yet fully understood.

At this point in my life, I had become a student of Christian Science, a religion that shows how ones spirituality affects health.  And I was struck by what its founder Mary Baker Eddy, after a lifetime of studying the mental and spiritual nature of health, called “the divine influence ever present in human consciousness”.* I wanted to feel this influence and see its results.

The flu symptoms continued, but I was beginning to see that each time I became ill, the expectations and the list of symptoms played out in my thought like a bad, recurring movie.  I started to challenge these thoughts when they occurred.  When I thought I would be sick because of some adverse condition, such as a chill, I questioned its validity.

With this ongoing mental self examination, my health began to improve, until I found colds and flu were almost eliminated from my experience.  And now, when I occasionally start to experience the symptoms, I quickly watch my expectations and change these.  Thinking differently has really helped.

*Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

Brenda is a writer who loves to learn about and share with readers the connection between spirituality and health. In addition, she is a Christian Science Practitioner in Ellicott City, Maryland.  She and her family spent many wonderful years in Southern California and now are happy to have returned to beautiful Maryland.




  1. Brenda – thanks for noting the connection of ‘influence’ – the power to produce effects – with the onset of influenza. Knowing God as the only cause and effect is the best ‘flu shot’ known to mankind!