When you walk, feel your feet heavy, as if your shoes were full of lead, and think in your feet.
Be as much like a child as possible. Play with children as one of them, and think with them when you can.
As you begin to recover, find something every day to do for others. Best let it be in the way of house-work, or gardening, or something to do with your hands.
Take care of yourself every day as a matter of course, as you would dress or undress; and be sure that health is coming. Say over and over to yourself: Nourishment, fresh air, exercise, rest, patience.
When you are well, and resume your former life, if old associations recall the unhappy nervous feelings, know that it is only the associations; pay no attention to the suffering, and work right on. Only be careful to take life very quietly until you are quite used to being well again.
An illness that is merely nervous is an immense opportunity, if one will only realize it as such. It not only makes one more genuinely appreciative of the best health, and the way to keep it, it opens the sympathies and gives a feeling for one’s fellow-creatures which, having once found, we cannot prize too highly.
It would seem hard to believe that all must suffer to find a delicate sympathy; it can hardly be so. To be always strong, and at the same time full of warm sympathy, is possible, with more thought. When illness or adverse circumstances bring it, the gate has been opened for us.
If illness is taken as an opportunity to better health, not to more illness, our mental attitude will put complaint out of the question; and as the practice spreads it will as surely decrease the tendency to illness in others as it will shorten its duration in ourselves.
Sentiment versus sentimentality.
Freedom from sentimentality opens the way for true sentiment.
An immense amount of time, thought, and nervous force is wasted in sentimentalizing about “being good.” With many, the amount of talk about their evils and their desire to overcome them is a thermometer which indicates about five times that amount of thought Neither the talk nor the thought is of assistance in leading to any greater strength or to a more useful life; because the talk is all talk, and the essence of both talk and thought is a selfish, morbid pleasure in dwelling upon one’s self. I remember the remark of a young girl who had been several times to prayer-meeting where she heard the same woman say every time that she “longed for the true spirit of religion in her life.” With all simplicity, this child said: “If she longs for it, why doesn’t she work and find it, instead of coming every week and telling us that she longs?” In all probability the woman returned from every prayer-meeting with the full conviction that, having told her aspirations, she had reached the height desired, and was worthy of all praise.