Nerves and Common Sense eBook

Annie Payson Call (author)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about Nerves and Common Sense.

Nervous talking is a disease.

Now the question is how to cure it.  It can be cured, but the first necessity is for a woman to know she has the disease.  For, unlike other diseases, the cure does not need a physician, but must be made by the patient herself.

First, she must know that she has the disease.  Fifty nervous talkers might read this article, and not one of them recognize that it is aimed straight at her.

The only remedy for that is for every woman who reads to believe that she is a nervous talker until she has watched herself for a month or more—­without prejudice—­and has discovered for a certainty that she is not.

Then she is safe.

But what if she discover to her surprise and chagrin that she is a nervous talker?  What is the remedy for that?  The first thing to do is to own up the truth to herself without equivocation.  To make no excuses or explanations but simply to acknowledge the fact.

Then let her aim straight at the remedy—­silence—­steady, severe, relaxed silence.  Work from day to day and promise herself that for that day she will say nothing but what is absolutely necessary.  She should not repress the words that want to come, but when she takes breath to speak she must not allow the sentence to come out of her mouth, but must instead relax all over, as far as it is possible, and take a good, long, quiet breath.  The next time she wants to speak, even if she forgets so far as to get half the sentence out of her mouth, stop it, relax, and take a long breath.

The mental concentration necessary to cure one’s self of nervous talking will gather together a mind that was gradually becoming dissipated with the nervous talking habit, and so the life and strength of the mind can be saved.

And, after that habit has been cured, the habit of quiet thinking will begin, and what is said will be worth while.

CHAPTER XVI

"Why Fuss so Much About What I Eat?"

I KNOW a woman who insisted that it was impossible for her to eat strawberries because they did not agree with her.  A friend told her that that was simply a habit of her mind.  Once, at a time when her stomach was tired or not in good condition for some other reason, strawberries had not agreed with her, and from that time she had taken it for granted that she could not eat strawberries.  When she was convinced by her friend that her belief that strawberries did not agree with her was merely in her own idea, and not actually true, she boldly ate a plate of strawberries.  That night she woke with indigestion, and the next morning she said “You see, I told you they would not agree with me.”

But her friend answered:  “Why, of course you could not expect them to agree right away, could you?  Now try eating them again to-day.”

This little lady was intelligent enough to want the strawberries to agree with her and to be willing to do her part to adjust herself to them, so she tried again and ate them the next day; and now she can eat them every day right through the strawberry season and is all the better for it.

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Project Gutenberg
Nerves and Common Sense from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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