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The Untroubled Mind

Herbert J. Hall

Book Overview: 

A very wise physician has said that “every illness has two parts—what it is, and what the patient thinks about it.” What the patient thinks about it is often more important and more troublesome than the real disease. What the patient thinks of life, what life means to him is also of great importance and may be the bar that shuts out all real health and happiness. The following pages are devoted to certain ideals of life which I would like to give to my patients, the long-time patients who have especially fallen to my lot.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .edge, but which nevertheless is very real.

I am not satisfied when some moralist says, “Be good and you will be happy.” The kind of happiness that comes from a perfunctory goodness is a thing which I cannot understand, and which I certainly do not want. If I work and play and serve and employ, making up the fabric of a busy life, if I attain a very real happiness, I am tormented by the desire to know why I am doing it, and I am not satisfied with the answer I‌ usually get. The patient may not be cured when he is relieved of his anæmia, or when his emaciation has given place to the plumpness and suppleness and physical strength that we call health. The man whom we look upon as well, and who has never known physical illness, is not well in the larger sense until he knows why he is working, why he is living, why he is filling his life with activity. In spite of the elasticity and spring of the world’s interests, there must come often, and. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Herbert's suggestion is you have to put down the baseball bat and stop beating yourself up with your past. Then put your hands to work. You can not think yourself out of your troubled mind. Since uncontrolled thinking is what got you to that spot in the first place.

Like all good direction you ne...more

An agnostic physician argues for the necessity of religion in treating psychological issues. Interesting if nothing else.

Not the most exciting or inspirational read, but there were a few interesting passages.

My mind still troubled after finishing this book

Simply, amazing and timeless in its philosophy and application of.

This book has blown my mind, and was exactly what I needed to read. I am buried in thoughts, worried about all the things I need to do, and have a problem when some moralist is dogmatic in their approach as saying, "Just do it! Why are you sitting there in analysis paralysis? Just get to work. Ju...more

Please understand, I give very few five stars. I believe this is my second. This book is so well-written, easily understood, and an extremely interesting read. Although it was written in a time with different dialect and words that may seem uncommon or rude, by no means does this impede the quali...more

Written by a physician in 1915 who apparently treated many workaholics. He's correct that rest is needed for health and a fruitful life; he omits that a certain wealth is needed to create space for restoration, reflection, beauty, and creativity.

Notable quotes :
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"Every illness has...more

Interesting look at the spiritual aspect of well being from the lens of a physician. Nothing new or ground breaking, but a good recap of how "pretending to be happy" like many new age philosophies teach is just that "pretending".

The true way to joy is through our spiritual connection to God. Bein...more

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