Physical effect of controlling actions

Now let's look at how controlled action affects psychasthenics. At first, it may seem as if this constant effort to concentrate and act attentively is completely abnormal, placing an added strain on patients and adding yet another unhealthy symptom to the list.

However, what may be true for a balanced mind is not necessarily true for a non-controlled mind. Psychasthenic patients, therefore, can develop very useful habits through voluntary action. If their actions are carried out properly, they feel more in control, become calmer and weigh their actions more carefully. With their brain constantly occupied with something concrete, they experience less and less anxiety. Their self confidence is given a boost, and they get into the habit of controlling what they think and do.

The more patients are made to perform precise conscious or voluntary acts, the faster they will find that the effort and concentration required, which is somewhat difficult at first, soon diminishes; conscious action will no longer be work, but a practical habit, which becomes progressively more natural and normal.

Also, conscious or voluntary actions make a deeper impression on the brain; patients can more easily remember what they did, and this, in turn, serves to gradually strengthen the faculty of memory which was completely lacking beforehand.

A common error for beginners is to make too much of an effort to make actions conscious. On the contrary, controlled actions should be relaxing, since the brain has to concentrate on only a single idea or sensation - that of the action being carried out.

To summarize, controlled movement results in:

1. Patients being fully conscious of the action they are performing;

2. Clarity of thoughts associated with the action;

3. The feeling that the act is desired or voluntary.

In addition, patients are obliged to concentrate on the present moment, which relaxes the brain and allows it to rest.

As far as sensations are concerned, control teaches patients to receive impressions as they are, without distorting them by thinking too much; it heightens receptivity, and in so doing helps patients exteriorize more easily.

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