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The Tired Emphasis
Source: Nerves And Common Sense
"I AM so tired, so tired--I go to bed tired, I get up tired, and I
am tired all the time."
How many women--how many hundred women, how many thousand women--say
that to themselves and to others constantly.
It is perfectly true; they are tired all the time; they do go to bed
tired and get up tired and stay tired all day.
If, however, they could only know how very much they increase their
fatigue by their constant mental emphasis of it, and if at the same
time they could turn their wills in the direction of decreasing the
fatigue, instead of emphasizing it, a very large percentage of the
tired feeling could be done away with altogether.
Many women would gladly make more of an effort in the direction of
rest if they knew how, and I propose in this article to give a
prescription for the cure of the tired emphasis which, if followed,
will bring happy results.
When you go to bed at night, no matter how tired you feel, instead
of thinking how tired you are, think how good it is that you can go
to bed to get rested.
It will probably seem absurd to you at first. You may say to
yourself: "How ridiculous, going to bed to get rested, when I have
only one short night to rest in, and one or two weeks in bed would
not rest me thoroughly."
The answer to that is that if you have only one night in which to
rest, you want to make the most of that night, and if you carry the
tired emphasis to bed with you you are really holding on to the
This is as practically true as if you stepped into a bog and then
sat in it and looked forlorn and said. "What a terrible thing it is
that I should be in a bog like this; just think of having to sit in
a black, muddy bog all the time," and staying there you made no
effort whatever to get out of it, even though there was dry land
right in front of you.
Again you may answer: "But in my tired bog there is no dry land in
front of me, none at all."
I say to that, there is much more dry land than you think--if you
will open your eyes--and to open your eyes you must make an effort.
No one knows, who has not tried, what a good strong effort will do
in the right direction, when we have been living and slipping back
in the wrong direction.
The results of such efforts seem at times wonderful to those who
have learned the right direction for the first time.
To get rid of the tired emphasis when we have been fixed in it, a
very strong effort is necessary at first, and gradually it gets
easier, and easier, until we have cast off the tired emphasis
entirely and have the habit of looking toward rest.
We must say to ourselves with decision in so many words, and must
think the meaning of the words and insist upon it: "I am very tired.
Yes, of course, I am very tired, but I am going to bed to get
There are a hundred little individual ways that we can talk to
ourselves, and turn ourselves toward rest, at the end of the day
when the time comes to rest.
One way to begin, which is necessary to most of us, is to stop
resisting the tired. Every complaint of fatigue, whether it is
merely in our own minds, or is made to others, is full of
resistance, and resistance to any sort of fatigue emphasizes it
That is why it is good to say to ourselves: "Yes, I am tired; I am
awfully tired. I am willing to be tired."
When we have used our wills to drop the nervous and muscular
contractions that the fatigue has caused, we can add with more
emphasis and more meaning, "and I am going to bed to get rested."
Some one could say just here: "That is all very well for an
ordinarily tired person, but it would never do me any good. I am too
tired even to try it."
The answer to that is, the more tired you are, the more you need to
try it, and the more interesting the experiment will be.
Also the very effort of your brain needed to cast off the tired
emphasis will be new to you, and thought in a new direction is
always restful in itself. Having learned to cast off the tired
emphasis when we go to bed at night, we can gradually learn to cast
it off before we go to meals, and at odd opportunities throughout
The more tired we are, the more we need to minimize our fatigue by
the intelligent use of our own wills.
Who cares for a game that is simple and easy? Who cares for a game
when you beat as a matter of course, and without any effort on your
part at all?
Whoever cares for games at all cares most for good, stiff ones,
where, when you have beaten, you can feel that you have really
accomplished something; and when you have not beaten, you have at
least learned points that will enable you to beat the next time, or
the next to the next time--or sometime. And everyone who really
loves a game wants to stick to it until he has conquered and is
Why not wake up, and realize that same interest and courage in this
biggest game of all--this game of life?
We must play it!
Few of us are cowards enough to put ourselves out of it. Unless we
play it and obey the rules we do not really play at all.
Many of us do not know the rules, but it is our place to look about
and find them out.
Many more of us think that we can play the game better if we make up
rules of our own, and leave out whatever regular rules we do know,
that do not suit our convenience.
But that never works.
It only sometimes seems to work; and although plain common sense
shows us over and over that the game played according to our own
ideas amounts to nothing, it is strange to see how many work and
push to play the game in their own way instead of in the game's way.
It is strange to see how many shove blindly in this direction, and
that direction, to cut their way through a jungle, when there is the
path just by them, if they will take it.
Most of us do not know our own power because we would rather stay in
a ditch and complain.
Strength begets strength, and we can only find our greater power, by
using intelligently, and steadily, the power we have.
Next: How To Be Ill And Get Well
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