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The 7 causes of tiredness

“What makes us tired is not what we do but what we do not do.” Archbishop of Canterbury

“I go to sleep.. Till I awaken my soul will be in the Spirit World” Rudolf Steiner

We are all becoming more and more tired. The human race is now more active and more exhausted at the same time – than ever before. We live longer, but not very well.

The phenomena of chronic stress in the workplace, chronic fatigue syndrome, burnout and low immunity are spreading fast. 80% of the workplace worldwide is chronically stressed[1].

In 2002, the European Commission calculated the costs of work-related stress in the EU-15 at €20 billion a year[2]; in the USA - US$300 billion a year, twice as much as it was ‘only’ 40 years ago: US$150 billion. It is getting worst all the time. It destroys the vital forces and depletes the immune system chronically, which is the obvious – and mostly avoided - major cause of the recent global pandemic. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. No one is measuring the chronic stress and inevitable resultant tiredness of personal, relationship, parenthood and family life, where it is most likely the same.

Chronic stress exhausts the human constitution chronically, and sleep is not a sufficient solution. The combined effects of the chronic stresses at work and at home means that the cycle of life is becoming the cycle of exhaustion and of low immunity with no relief in sight.

One of the results of it is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(or ME –‘myalgic encephalomyelitis’, CFS/ME). It is spreading world-wide from one day to another – one’s energy collapses. The normal capacity to do what one normally does – is just not there anymore, without any obvious reason. It can be devastating and hard to recover from. Officially it effects between 0.4 to 2.5% of humanity globally, more in the developed countries, and especially amongst professional women (twice as much as amongst men). That is 200,000,000 people today. It is a super modern disease, first named in 1988. What is it?

“Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months and that can't be fully explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue worsens with physical or mental activity, but doesn't improve with rest.” (The Mayo Clinic)

Basically they don’t know what it is, but they know that it does not improve by rest – so what can improve it? There is no medical answer to this, and it often lasts for years. At the Melbourne Therapy Centre, the leading Anthroposophical medicine clinic of Australia (where I worked as an anthroposophical psychotherapist for 11 years), we (the therapeutic/medical team) came to the conclusion that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not a disease of the physical body, but a collapse of the Life Body (etheric, Cchi, Pranic Body), resulting from multiple causes and causing multiple symptoms on all levels, with no medical cure.

In the 90’s we became a popular centre for desperate CFS sufferers who could not find medical solution, because of our unique combination of unusual (anthroposophical) medical and therapeutic methods and the psychosomatic therapeutic processes, which I developed there with Psychophonetics, in collaboration with the anthroposophical medical doctors and other therapists.

The process of recovering from CFS with Psychophonetics will be described in another future article. In this article I will only look at the various kinds of tiredness, each of whom can become chronic and can lead to CFS, because understanding can potentially lead to prevention and healing.

Both tiredness and rest are complicated, mostly unconscious dynamics. Physical exertion is tiring and the need for rest is natural and healthy, but the tiring effects of emotional and the mental dynamics are powerful and dominant. Simple rest and sleep cannot fully recover them. Only enhanced consciousness can.

So following long term observation of the phenomena of tiredness in myself, my family and my clients – I came to the conclusion that there are at least 7 major causes of tiredness, that only one of them is caused by physical activity, and that most of them are potentially preventable:

1) Physical tiredness :

a. Healthy physical tiredness - the basic and healthy kind of tiredness which results from using the body’s muscles and motion supporting systems to the point of a need for rest, replenishment, clearing of waist products and regeneration. Sleep can recover it.

b. Unhealthy physical tiredness – resulting from toxicity, radiation (computers, cell phones & phone towers), poor sleep, poor nutrition, lack of movement & exercise, post-viral and post-bacterial recovery, high blood sugar level, high & low blood pressure, exposure to stress, exposure to & production of negativity, respiratory dysfunctions, dehydration, lack of fresh air, blocked and destroyed libido, pre-mature ageing, repetitive strain injury,mechanical & sedentary life style, organ failures, psychosomatic damages and other compromises of the life of the physical body. Sleep can recover it to a limited way.

‘Sweet is the sleep of the labourer’. An old English proverb

2) Emotional tiredness -

a. Conscious emotional tiredness - Continuous emotional stress, negative emotional reactions resulting from as well as causing anger, hatred, aggression, being rejected, being unloved, loneliness, relationship crisis and failure, relationship fatigue, separation, unwanted divorce, being cut off from one’s children, lack of intimacy & touch, sexual deprivation, not belonging, isolation, boredom, emptiness, loss, grief, depression, anxiety on all levels, insecurity on all levels, helplessness, meaninglessness, failure, hopelessness, not being needed, being invisible, being disregarded, being stuck, all addictions, self-fear, self-hatred, self-doubt, being betrayed, being forgotten, lack of appreciation, feeling disrespected, negative comparison with others, poverty, loss of intimacy, ingratitude, being ignored, being taken for granted, loosing hope, homelessness on any level, lack of pleasure, lack of joy, nothing to look forward to - and many more. Sleep can only partially alleviate them as they all come back immediately upon waking up. These kind of emotions exhaust the vital forces which effect negatively the physical body.

‘Go and tell the fools that the fighting belongs inside’ Mahatma Gandhi on the Hindu-Muslim fighting in Kolkata, 4.9.1947

b. Unconscious emotional tiredness – unacknowledged, un-healed and un-integrated trauma, emotional pains, losses, suppressed childhood abuse & neglect, absence of parental love and care, loneliness and being bullied, etc. These internalised emotions can be ignored by one’s consciousness – but not by one’s deep emotionality and vitality. They become ‘Internal Black Holes’ in the body and the soul, being unconsciously projected into present life and relationship with no obvious solution. Sleep does not recover them.They result in shallow sleep and grinding teeth. Only conscious processing can alleviate them.

c. Bad conscience – moral failure such as lying, cheating, cruelty, ethical compromises, abuse of one’s position, unethical behaviour, putting people down, joining inhuman group-consciousness, acting without heart, arrogance, egotism, disrespect to people and to nature – all these deplete the vital forces, distort the bodily posture, pushes the aging process, corrupt one’s humanity and one’s peace of mind. Their damage can be avoided by consciousness – but not by the depth of the soul. Moral compromises of acting against one’s conscience cause a self-afflicted damage. You may ignore it in the day – but not in the night. Sleep does not recover it. Sleep nurtures the hearts of people with clear-conscience hearts. Not so for the bad conscience and the closed-hearted people.

“Macbeth hath murdered the sleep and therefore Macbeth shall sleep no more” Shakespeare, Macbeth
‘This above all: to thine own self be true’ Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 3 of play
“Man, to thyself be true! ……Troll, to thyself be enough” Ibsen, Peer Gynt, act 2 scene 6

3) Mental tiredness – over-use of intellectual activity without balancing it with physical, emotional, creative, being in nature, meaningful relationship, intimacy, recreational, pleasure, purposeful, spiritual, artistic and expressive activities.

Intellectual activity as such, so dominant in our time, is not, by itself, nurturing to the vital forces. It has, a ‘drying’, exhausting effect of the body and the soul. Intellectual activity can be stimulating, but if not balanced with other human activities – it leads to a slow death of soul and body.

“O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall. Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed” Gerald Manly Hopkins

4) Responsibility tiredness – taking responsibility IS being an adult, but the burden of responsibility is exhausting in itself. We call it sometimes ‘The Atlas Complex’ or ‘Missis Responsibility’. Sometimes necessary, it is often just an unhealthy habit, resulting from poor boundaries, from being in the past ‘A Parental Child’ - a child that was not allowed to be a child because he/she was a first born of a group of siblings or being pressured or to take care of broken or immature mother or father. Unloved children tend to develop the constant urge to do more, and more, and more – because may be if they did enough – they will be loved at last. But it is never enough. For such people the ‘To Do List’ is endless and always unfulfilled: for every item done – there are many more coming in, like the Hydra monster. The days are never long enough, the week, the year is too short, break and switch off are not allowed, guilt for what was not done is constant and satisfaction from fulfilled tasks are rare. This constant burden of responsibility is constant stress, exhausting to the vital forces. Sleep can only partially relieve this kind of tiredness.

‘No rest for the wicked’ An old English proverb

5) Tiredness after unusual or drastic physical exercise –exercising after a period of inactivity, using muscles not normally in use – result in extra tiredness. This is because the life body becomes absorbed in these muscles to an extra degree in order to activate their sleeping strength. This results temporarily in a drastic loss of vital forces and exhaustion.

A series of short sleeps can help it more than a long sleep for an interesting reason:

dense un-processed emotions are residually deposited in the tissues of the physical body, out of the conscious emotional and cognitive circulation. They are stored there like a sediment of Turkish coffee out of circulation. When the life body becomes absorbed in the physical body in order to activate previously inactive muscles – these sedimented emotional material becomes absorbed into the life forces, exhausting them as in the emotional tiredness, only less consciously. The physical body is full of the toxicity of un-processed emotions. Short sleep can help this exhaustion temporarily causes it lifts of all emotional dynamics from the life body, enables it to shake them off and ‘breath’ again. For long term relief of this toxicity – only a conscious penetration into these psycho-somatic strata and clearing it up – can help. That is why a powerful conscious emotional clearing always results in physical rejuvenation.

‘Healthy soul in healthy body’ An old Hebrew proverb

6) Avoidance Tiredness - the tiredness resulting from avoiding to do what I know that I have to do. That is the source of all procrastinations and addictions. All avoidances are exhausting, as they block the flow of the spiritual and vital energy which is my original, unique creative energy. Acting on what I know that I have to do – enlivens me; avoiding it – exhausts and depresses me.

“What I do is me. For this I came”. Gerald Manly Hopkins

7) The tiredness of not doing what I came to do in this life, which only I can know. The potential energy to do what I came to do enters me every morning. If I don’t act on it and use it to do the deed that is only for me to do – this energy turns against me, toxifies me, distorts who I am and exhausts me. If I act on it – this energy, insight, light, spirit – stimulates, enlivens, fertilises, enlightens and energises me, connecting me to my deep sources and to the world. Nothing can replace acting on the impulse that caused me to come into this world in this life.

“My food is doing the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work”. Christ, John 4:34

All of these kinds of tiredness can lead to exhaustion, to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and to burnout. One of its universally accepted symptoms and diagnostic indicator is the inability of sleep to result in recovering from exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue. The central nervous system just cannot fully depart from the autonomic nervous system and from the body as a whole and sleep becomes minimised and shallow. Sleep is the greatest source of enlivening, replenishing and renewing of the connection of our body, soul and spirit to their origins. Without deep sleep the whole system withers and starts die, at any age. The multiple daily factors of tiredness, as described above, prevent the renewing power of sleep. This causes a huge loss to our life on all levels.

But at least to some they are potentially in our control, preventable.

Psychophonetics, a psycho-spiritual-somatic process of taking responsibility for one’s well-being on the basis of one’s own intuition - can help overcoming most kinds of tiredness by an effective process of exploring the underlying causes, penetrating them consciously and fast, with one’s own efforts, and creating a customised personal process of overcome them.

It can be done.


“I go to sleep.

Till I awaken My soul will be in the Spirit World,

And will there meet the Higher Being

Who guides me through this earthly life….

My soul will meet this Being,

Even the guiding genius of my life,

And when I awaken this meeting will have been—

I will have felt the wafting of wings,

The wings of my genius will have touched my soul”.

Rudolf Steiner

[1] American Institute of stress [2]European Agency for Safety and Health at Work,




1. International website: (Australian, online for the past 20 years).

2. English website: (same as above in English).

3. Slovak website: (updated recently)

4. Yehuda Tagar website:

5. Skola Empatie Facebook:

6. Yehuda Tagar Facebook:

7. Yehuda Tagar official Youtube channel:

Published in Slovakia in Vitalita Magazine, November 2022


Article in PDF-form here:

The 7 causes of tiredness
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