For the shorter breaths we can count three, or five, or ten to inhale, and the same number to exhale, until we have the rhythm established, and then go on breathing without counting, as if we were sound asleep. Always aim for gentleness and delicacy. If we have not half an hour to spare to lie quietly and breathe we can practice the breathing while we walk. It is wonderful how we detect strain and resistance in our breath, and the restfulness which comes when we breathe so gently that the breath seems to come and go without our volition brings new life with it.
We must expect to gain slowly and be patient; we must remember that nerves always get well by ups and downs, and use our wills to make every down lead to a higher up. If we want the lasting benefit, or any real benefit at all when we get the brain impression of quiet freedom from these breathing exercises, we must insist upon recalling that impression every time a test comes, and face the circumstances, or the person, or the duty with a voluntary insistence upon a quiet, open brain, rather than a tense, resistant one.
It will come hard at first, but we are sure to get there if we keep steadily at it, for it is really the Law of the Lord God Almighty that we are learning to obey, and this process of learning gives us steadily an enlarged appreciation of what trust in the Lord really is. There is no trust without obedience, and an intelligent obedience begets trust. The nerves touch the soul on one side and the body on the other, and we must work for freedom of soul and body in response to spiritual and physical law if we want to get sick nerves well. If we do not remember always a childlike attitude toward the Lord the best nerve training is only an easy way of being selfish.
To sum it all up—if you want to learn to help yourself out of “nerves” learn to rest when you rest and to work without strain when you work; learn to loosen out of the muscular contractions which the nerves cause; learn to drop the mental resistances which cause the “nerves,” and which take the form of anger, resentment, worry, anxiety, impatience, annoyance, or self-pity; eat only nourishing food, eat it slowly, and chew it well; breathe the freshest air you can, and breathe it deeply, gently, and rhythmically; take what healthy, vigorous exercise you find possible; do your daily work to the best of your ability; give your attention so entirely to the process of gaining health for the sake of your work and other people that you have no mind left with which to complain of being ill, and see that all this effort aims toward a more intelligent obedience to and trustfulness in the Power that gives us life. Wholesome, sustained concentration is in the very essence of healthy nerves.
"You Have no Idea how I am Rushed"
A woman can feel rushed when she is sitting perfectly still and has really nothing whatever to do. A woman can feel at leisure when she is working diligently at something, with a hundred other things waiting to be done when the time comes. It is not all we have to do that gives us the rushed feeling; it is the way we do what is before us. It is the attitude we take toward our work.