Q Dear Miss Abigail:
I have this really difficult boyfriend. I am involved in a lot of different things at school and sometimes I don’t have a lot of free time on my hands. I also have a job. My boyfriend is always complaining that I never spend enough time with him. I also have really strict parents who continually check to see that I have good grades. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed and then my boyfriend calls me and complains. It’s so hard to deal with. I don’t want to quit any of my clubs or my job and I don’t want my grades to slip, but I really can’t deal with the pressure from my boyfriend. What should I do? How can I make time for him, my activities, and myself?
A Dear Kimberly:
Have you considered Yoga? It’s working wonders for stress in my life these days. But alas, you probably don’t have time for something like that, particularly when you’re trying to trim down your schedule.
The following is from Questions Girls Have Asked, and may provide you with some information about wasteful energies that drag folks down. Although it speaks to exercise and work, I think we can apply some of the concepts to your problem. Of course, you’re on your own to determine what your “useless tension” is, but it sounds to me like you’ve already figured that out.
1963: Get Rid of Useless Tension
Get rid of useless tension that wastes energy. Probably the most common cause of futile energy loss is in emotional states. For example: The amount of energy used by a person in the doing of a piece of work is dependent in a great degree upon his peace of mind. Work that is distasteful, disagreeable, or just boring takes more energy than the same work if pleasing and interesting. (1) Strange as it may seem, brain work of itself requires no energy. Only as the associated work of a pencil or typewriter brings muscles into play, or some strain of position or posture prevents complete muscle rest, does mental effort draw on energy store. (2) But let an element of fear, displeasure, or hurry disturb the mental state, and tension increases in the whole body; every muscle is affected, and there is added energy output, energy used to no purpose. (3) The thinking one does while walking or gardening requires no extra energy. The mental activity that accompanies physical work may be very relaxing.
The exercise value of physical work may be greatly lessened by an associated emotional disturbance. A muscle may be able to work, yet be unable to let go and rest between contractions. What a waste! Much greater energy is expended, but useful work is not increased. The result is exhaustion and excessive fatigue.
Source: Wood-Comstack, Belle. Questions Girls Have Asked. Southern Publishing Association, 1963.
~ pp. 140-41 ~