Nervousness Interferes with the Functioning of the Body and Mind

Nervousness appears to be a simple ailment, but in reality it is very complicated and very uncomfortable.

If you are nervous, it is difficult to heal any disease you might have. If you are nervous, you cannot concentrate and work efficiently to attain success. If you are nervous, you cannot meditate deeply and thus acquire peace and wisdom.

In fact nervousness interferes with all the normal functioning of the human body and mind. It upsets the physical, mental, and spiritual machinery.

Nervousness may be caused by great and continuous excitement, such as excessive stimulation of the senses, thoughts, or emotions.

Lack of the necessities for normal and happy living—such as proper exercise, fresh air, sunshine, right food, agreeable work, and a purpose in life—aggravate, if they do not actually cause, a condition of nervousness.

Nervousness is highly contagious and may also be caused by association with nervous, faultfinding, or otherwise disagreeable people.

Be with People Who Will Tell You the Truth

The best way to get rid of nervousness is first to keep the right company. Tell me what kind of company a person keeps, and I will tell you what he is.

We always love the company of those who flatter us, but flattery weakens us. We should like the company of those who tell us the truth and help us to be better. If we live always in the company of flatterers, it is bad for our spiritual growth.

Once there was a man who criticized everything a certain master did. That man died, and the disciples joyously told their guru, “Master, the man who was always criticizing you is dead.” The master began to weep. The disciples were surprised and said: “Why do you weep? You should be glad to be rid of this terrible man!”

The Master replied, “No, I am sorry, my teacher is dead.” He found the man’s criticism helpful. To criticize is bad, but if you can stand criticism, it is wonderful.

The Company You Keep Is Important

Be careful in your choice of company. Keep company with people who are calm, strong, and wise, with a deeper nature than you have. When a criminal is put in the company of a greater criminal, it does not help him. When nervous people are in the company of other nervous people, they cannot get better.

Association with strong, happy, serene, kind, and spiritual people is of great benefit to the nervous person. Even a few moments’ company of a saint can work wonders in producing calmness and quiet. A real holy man acts as a raft to carry you away from suffering.

The Best Way to Destroy Nervousness

There is a common form of nervousness: soul nervousness. The soul is so identified with the body that it has forgotten its real nature.

Soul nervousness can be destroyed only be meditation—by transferring the attention from your nerves to the perception of Infinite Happiness within, transferring your attention from the bundle of bodily sensations to the infinite nature which is your true Self.

Nothing will satisfy you until you find God. Your nervousness will disappear when you realize that you are one with God. Your spiritual Self is calling you every day. You must realize that you are not this body, but the Infinite Spirit within.

Excerpted from How to Have Courage, Calmness, and Confidence by Paramhansa Yogananda

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