CHAPTER II. PERVERSIONS IN THE GUIDANCE OF THE BODY
CHAPTER III. REST IN SLEEP
CHAPTER IV. OTHER FORMS OF REST
CHAPTER V. THE USE OF THE BRAIN
CHAPTER VI. THE BRAIN IN ITS DIRECTION OF THE BODY
CHAPTER VII. THE DIRECTION OF THE BODY IN LOCOMOTION
CHAPTER VIII. NERVOUS STRAIN IN PAIN AND SICKNESS
CHAPTER IX. NERVOUS STRAIN IN THE EMOTIONS
CHAPTER X. NATURE’S TEACHING
CHAPTER XI. THE CHILD AS AN IDEAL
CHAPTER XII. TRAINING FOR REST
CHAPTER XIII. TRAINING FOR MOTION
CHAPTER XIV. MIND TRAINING
CHAPTER XV. ARTISTIC CONSIDERATIONS
CHAPTER XVI. TESTS
CHAPTER XVII. THE RATIONAL CARE OF SELF
CHAPTER XVIII. OUR RELATIONS WITH OTHERS
CHAPTER XIX. THE USE OF THE WILL
There are stones upon stones in every-day life which might be stepped over with perfect ease, but which, curiously enough, are considered from all sides and then tripped upon; and the result is a stubbing of the moral toes, and a consequent irritation of the nervous system. Or, if semi-occasionally one of these stones is stepped over as a matter of course, the danger is that attention is immediately called to the action by admiring friends, or by the person himself, in a way so to tickle the nervous system that it amounts to an irritation, and causes him to trip over the next stone, and finally tumble on his nose. Then, if he is not wise enough to pick himself up and walk on with the renewed ability of stepping over future stones, he remains on his nose far longer than is either necessary or advisable.
These various stones in the way do more towards keeping a nervous system in a chronic state of irritation than is imagined. They are what might perhaps be called the outside elements of life. These once normally faced, cease to exist as impediments, dwindle away, and finally disappear altogether.
Thus we are enabled to get nearer the kernel, and have a growing realization of life itself.
Civilization may give a man new freedom, a freedom beyond any power of description or conception, except to those who achieve it, or it may so bind him body and soul that in moments when he recognizes his nervous contractions he would willingly sell his hope of immortality to be a wild horse or tiger for the rest of his days.
Although any nervous suffering is worthwhile if it is the means of teaching us how to avoid nervous strain, it certainly is far preferable to avoid the strain without the extreme pain of a nervous breakdown.
To point out many of these pernicious habits and to suggest a practical remedy for each and all of them is the aim of this book, and for that reason common examples in various phases of every-day life are used as illustrations.
When there is no organic trouble there can be no doubt that defects of character, inherited or acquired, are at the root of all nervous illness. If this can once be generally recognized and acknowledged, especially by the sufferers themselves, we are in a fair way toward eliminating such illness entirely.
The trouble is people suffer from mortification and an unwillingness to look their bad habits in the face. They have not learned that humiliation can be wholesome, sound, and healthy, and so they keep themselves in a mess of a fog because they will not face the shame necessary to get out of it. They would rather be ill and suffering, and believe themselves to have strong characters than to look the weakness of their characters in the face, own up to them like men, and come out into open fresh air with healthy nerves which will gain in strength as they live.
Any intelligent man or woman who thinks a bit for himself can see the stupidity of this mistaken choice at a glance, and seeing it will act against it and thus do so much toward bringing light to all nervously prostrated humanity..."
A frequent contributor to Ladies' Home Journal in the early 1900s, Annie Payson Call's writing rings out as a voice of clarity, warmth, spirit, and sense that might as well be talking from the next room. In The Freedom of Life she explains the power of concentration, how to release resistant energy in the body and mind, and lays out a practical approach to working through fear and anxiety in work and family life.
A frequent contributor to Ladies' Home Journal in the early 1900's, Annie Payson Call's writing rings out as a voice of clarity, warmth, spirit, and sense that might as well be talking from the next room. In Nerves and Common Sense she offers the key to the steady undoing of our own anxious and depressive habits through meditation, authenticity, kindness, and inner peace.