Fatigue and the Emotional System

When you’re tired, you feel your feelings less intensely. The same emotions, triggered by the same events, just don’t rise to the same level.

This happens equally with enjoyable emotions and unpleasant ones. Even the pain of loss is not as sharply felt in moments of great fatigue. It may be a blessing for those experiencing deep grief that exhaustion dulls the sharp edge of suffering. But it’s too bad that joyful moments give less pleasure at such times.

Jokes aren’t as funny when the body is tired. My late father had a good sense of humor and loved to tell jokes. In his last months of life, he barely responded to even the funniest of them. That was one way I knew for sure he was dying.

The only cure for fatigue is rest. When rested, the mind sharpens and emotions seem to wake up. Short-term stimulants make sense only in an emergency. Get enough rest so you can feel your feelings full out and be yourself.

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