Mental Tiredness

Wednesday 4 October, 2000

We did some more earth moving yesterday and today my back is stiff and I am very tired. Even after yesterday’s early night I struggled to get out of bed this morning. Apparently the key is to break through the tiredness.

There are two types of tiredness: the physical and the mental. It is okay to feel physically tired after my exertions but the mind continues to prey on me, causing me to feel mentally tired. The hard work I am doing in the garden will help me to break the hold my mind has on me. By working my body hard enough I will be exhausted and my mind will be prevented from embarking on its usual dialogue of persuasive argument, thus giving me the break I need to rest and recover mentally.

This morning, for example, I wrestled with my mind for twenty minutes before I finally got out of bed. Within minutes of getting up I felt fine. My mind can be very powerful and the more I become aware of this the easier it will be for me to disregard its input when I need to.

When I do my exercises I have something to concentrate on. It takes my attention away from the games my mind would like to play with me. Therefore, before I even start exercising, my mind is working to convince me, however it can, not to move. If it succeeds and I do nothing, it can invade my world completely and play its games.

I wrote once that if I’m looking for an answer and I come across a paradox, stop, because I have found my answer. This, it would seem, is a paradox: if I’m feeling tired, exercise. If I exercise in spite of the messages from my mind, then not only do I diminish its power over me, I also weaken its resolve to try it on next time. Let the challenge begin.

Just before lunch I started to feel tired. I did a few minutes of exercise. Just a few minutes were enough to wake me up. It works. It was the same with the digging yesterday, and it’s the same with my morning exercises – once I start, I feel so much more awake.


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