To lift yourself out of a miserable mood, even 
if you have to do it by strength of will, should 
be easy. I force myself out of my chair, stride 
around the table, exercise my head and neck, 
make my eyes sparkle, tighten the muscles 
around them. Defy my own feelings, welcome 
A., enthusiastically supposing he comes to see 
me, amiably tolerate B. in my room, swallow 
all that is said at C.'s, whatever pain and 
trouble it may cost me, in long draughts. 
Yet even if I manage that, one single slip, and a 
slip cannot be avoided, will stop the whole 
process, easy and painful alike, and I will have 
to shrink back into my own circle again. 
So perhaps the best resource is to meet 
everything passively, to make yourself an inert 
mass, and, if you feel that you are being carried 
away, not to let yourself be lured into taking a 
single unnecessary step, to stare at others with 
the eyes of an animal, to feel no compunction, 
in short, with your own hand to throttle down 
whatever ghostly life remains in you, that is, to 
enlarge the final peace of the graveyard and let 
nothing survive save that. 
A characteristic movement in such a condition 
is to run your little finger along your eyebrows.

--Franz Kafka

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