Beware of saying or doing anything to or for any one which will only rouse resentment and serve to push deeper into the brain an impression already made by a mistaken conviction. More than half of the functional and nervous illnesses in the world are caused by bad habit, either formed or inherited.
Happy are those who discover the fact for themselves and, with the intelligence born from such discovery, work with patient insight until they have freed themselves from bondage. Happy are those who feel willing to change any mistaken conviction or prejudice and to recognize it as a sin against the truth.
What is It that Makes Me so Nervous?
THE two main reasons why women are nervous are, first, that they do not take intelligent care of their bodies, and secondly, that they do not govern their emotions.
I know a woman who prefers to make herself genuinely miserable rather than take food normally, to eat it normally, and to exercise in the fresh air.
“Everybody is against me,” she says; and if you answer her, “My dear, you are acting against yourself by keeping your stomach on a steady strain with too much unmasticated, unhealthy, undigested food,” she turns a woe-begone face on you and asks how you can be “so material.” “Nobody loves me; nobody is kind to me. Everybody neglects me,” she says.
And when you answer, “How can any one love you when you are always whining and complaining? How can any one be kind to you when you resent and resist every friendly attention because it does not suit your especial taste? Indeed, how can you expect anything from any one when you are giving nothing yourself?” She replies,
“But I am so nervous. I suffer. Why don’t they sympathize?”
“My dear child, would you sympathize with a woman who went down into the cellar and cried because she was so cold, when fresh air and warm sunshine were waiting for her outside?”
This very woman herself. is cold all the time. She piles covers over herself at night so that the weight alone would be enough to make her ill. She sleeps with the heat turned on in her room. She complains all day of cold when not complaining of other things. She puts such a strain on her stomach that it takes all of her vitality to look after her food; therefore she has no vitality left with which to resist the cold. Of course she resists the idea of a good brisk walk in the fresh air, and yet, if she took the walk and enjoyed it, it would start up her circulation, give her blood more oxygen, and help her stomach to go through all its useless labor better.
When a woman disobeys all the laws of nervous health how can she expect not to have her nerves rebel? Nerves in themselves are exquisitely sensitive—with a direct tendency toward health.
“Don’t give me such unnecessary work,” the stomach cries. “Don’t stuff me full of the wrong things. Don’t put a bulk of food into me, but chew your food, so that I shall not have to do my own work and yours, too, when the food gets down here.”