Is this really a thing and should we try it?
We can schedule intermittent fasting of food for our physical health, but can we do the same thing for our mental health with our thoughts?
Yes, we can! But how do we do this and can we turn off our minds from thinking all the time to do this?
Well, turning off our thought process is impossible because the brain continues to fire thoughts in the neural pathways just like saliva secretes in our mouth. So how can we take a “mental” break or pause to allow our minds to calm down and even relax a bit? I know you think you know where I am going with this. Perhaps you think I am going to say, “just meditate” and everything will be sparkly and shiny right? Of course, I totally believe in the meditation route because that is what has helped me conquer so many trials life has had to offer me! I do understand that many of you are not into this silence and meditation stuff. I for one struggled practicing it in the beginning myself. Honestly, it took me a very long time to build this discipline and I am forever so grateful that I have this as part of my daily life practice. But what if I told you that you can do intermittent mental fasting without sitting in silence and trying to meditate (although I am still a huge advocate of trying!). You can do this by just taking time to do nothing. Wait What, Do Nothing?! Yes, do nothing. Taking a pause for even 1 minute and concentrating on only one thing can be beneficial. It can be just sitting and gazing at the beautiful sky or listening to some nice music. Doing whatever will slow your thought process down.
Our minds are busy bodies always wanting to solve a problem or even create one for it be able to solve it. If you find it hard to slow down mentally even if you are trying to focus on something relaxing, I invite you to just mentally chant a positive affirmation and repeat it during your mental fasting time. This will help quiet the rest of the mind down and force it to concentrate on your repetition. The mental repetition is what stops you from trying to solve that problem or create another idea. This is where the mental fasting begins. Many of us are aware that physical fasting can help cleanse the body of toxins and most importantly give the bodily systems a break to rest and recover. We already do this when we are sleeping. However, sometimes the mind does not get this type of rest and recovery when we are sleeping because we tend to take the day’s activities into our head and try to process it overnight in our sleep; sometimes we do this even in our dreams. Imagine what cleansing our thought process and resetting our minds can do for us if we did it regularly! I look at it as clearing out the old to make space for the new. When we clean out our clothes closet, we make space for new outfits right? (At least that is what I do 😉). Well, the same goes for cleaning out our thoughts in our mind. We are making space for new and amazing thoughts and creative ideas!
I cannot tell you even how many times this has worked for me and how it still works even now when I am typing up this blog! Our minds are sensitive yet bold and tricky. We must take time for mental wellness breaks just like we take time for our physical wellness breaks. There is no one size or one way that fits all in the Mental Intermitting Fasting idea. Each of us have different methods because of our time, our lifestyle and who we are. Finding that method is key. I urge you to take at least 1 minute a day or even a few of those throughout the day to find out what your “special method” is for your mental health fast. When you find it try and stick to it. In fact, plan on being regular with this and watch how your perception, experience and outcomes in life WILL change!
Hi am Madhavi and I am the Chief Motivating Officer at Prana Health Yoga & Wellness
I motivate successful professionals to create methods to have a healthier lifestyle so they may do more of what they love to do in everyday life practice with confidence and ease.
If you would like more tools to help you find ways to create that mental fasting plan, then Connect With Me. I will help you find the right plan that works best for you and your lifestyle.
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