I do not believe tiredness holds any unchangeable truth to it, any inherent reality to it. Tiredness often belongs to the world of deception, such as believing tiredness causes other states of mind – worry, stress, projections, anxiety, blame, sleeplessness or tiredness never changes, even in subtle ways.
Such challenging states of mind can replace the tiredness with a range of feeling tones, unpleasant, unwelcome and unwanted. All these distressing experiences require energy to keep them going due to the tendency to project and indulge.
If one were so tired, how could it have the power to cause an unresolved, problematic state of mind going on for years?
These painful states of mind can have a powerful hold over the mind to the point of a person becoming completely lost in their fantasy, projections, fearfulness and anger. The unrest can continue producing nightmares during sleep.
A genuine tiredness in the mind does not have the energy to generate such anguish. If you were mentally tired, you would rest the mind.
“I am feeling tired” might be a view of mental/physical sensations but the view does not make it the truth, the reality. The self who holds the view has interpreted reductions of sensations in the same way for years and completely identifies with the view. Identification with the view blocks out the opportunity for a fresh view closer to the reality of the experience.
When mentally tired, you practice noticing early changes in sensations, changes in body posture and changes in the view of how you feel. Any subsequent indulgence in a problematic state of mind reveals a psychological imprisonment.
Do you experience tiredness and painful states of mind?
If your tiredness leads easily, and perhaps quickly, into agitated states of mind around past, present or future, you know you were not tired. Authentic mental tiredness lacks the energy for creating a mental drama.
Another indication of the lack of substance to tiredness. You are feeling very tired. You suddenly receive an important phone call – loss of a job, results of a test for cancer, a death of a loved one. Would you continue to yawn? A single sentence can change your state of mind from feeling exhausted to intense mental energy
What happened to the tiredness? Do we have to wait for a sudden dramatic situation to access such mental energy. Can we access extra mental energy without dependency on a phone call or whatever?
If tiredness is primarily a view rather than a built-in truth, we will need to know ourselves. We witness the presence of tiredness and its change into something else due to surfacing of unresolved stuff.
Instead of tiredness, we might need to change our view as a first step. We use tiredness as an excuse. Tiredness does not cause problems. We make an honest statement instead such as:
• I had this accident due to being out of touch with reality.
• I made mistakes in this report due to accumulation of stress.
• I got angry with my children because I have not practised to dissolve my anger.
This means giving attention to the sensations in the mind/body dynamic and the view of them. This exercise means going through the day and then witnessing what happens when energy reduces.
Here are 12 Questions to Reflect on Tiredness
- Is this mental tiredness?
- What are the conditions for it?
- What time(s) of the day do you feel most tired?
- What gives rise to the tiredness – physical/mental conditions, work, parenting, study, resistance, boredom?
- What thoughts arise? Write them out and read aloud.
- Are they familiar views? Write them out and read aloud.
- Do you slip into challenging emotional-mental patterns, which sap the energy?
- What time of the day(s) do you apply physical/mental energy to engage in tasks, eating, bathroom, toilet, communication and more?
- Do you tell yourself (aloud) this is the time for reflection?
- Do you slide into despairing thoughts and feelings?
- What will stop you from drifting into indulging in a painful issue?
- What will enable you to stay with the tiredness to notice the way it changes during the day?
Tiredness does not have any independent existence. It can arise close to a range of problematic states of mind. You need enough mindfulness to the extent necessary not to slip into these unhealthy patterns
To stop the rot, you will need to preserve enough energy to stay with the initial sensations rather than moving towards a mental hell.
Most mental tiredness arises due to the amount of mental/emotional energy going into the pointless.
You will find the power of access to energy with renewal of energy through calm and/or sleep.
Tiredness is not what you think it is.
PS. Why is unhappiness more tiring than happiness?