Frequently they represent a motor outlet for this

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Unformatted text preview: smoking. Most men find in the deliberate puff, in the slow inhalation and in the prolonged exhalation with the formation of the white cloud of smoke, a shifting of consciousness from the major businesses of their mind, from a constant tension to a minor business not requiring concentration and thereby breaking up in a pleasurable, rhythmic fashion the sense of effort. When one is alone the fatigue and even the pain of one's thinking is relieved by shifting the attention to the smoking. Keeping one's attention at a high and constant pitch is apt to produce a restless fatigue and this is often offset to the smoker by his habit. Excessive smoking may cause "nervousness" but as a matter of fact it is more often a means by which the excessively nervous try to relieve themselves. Of course it is not good therapeutics under such conditions, but I believe that in moderation smoking does no harm and is an innocent pleasure. Some of the pathological motor habits, such as the tics, often have a curious background. The most common tics are snuffing, blinking, shaking of the head, facial contortions of one kind or another. These arise usually under exciting conditions or in the excitable, sometimes in the acutely self-conscious. Frequently they represent a motor outlet for this excitement; they are the motor analogues of crying, shouting, laughing, etc. (Indeed, a common habit is the one so frequently heard,--a little laugh when there is no feeling of merriment and no occasion for it.) Motor activity discharges tension and is pleasurable and these tics furnish a momentary pleasure; they relieve a feeling that some of the victims compare to an itch and the habit thus is based on a seeking of relief, even though that relief is obtained in a way that distresses the more settled purposes of the individual. In the establishment of good habits, those desirable from the point of view of the important issues of life, training is of course essential. But in the training of children, certain things must be kept in mind: the usefulness, the practical value must b...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.

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