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Mental Health

Does Fasting Strengthen Your Mind? Find Out

Binish Ahmed

Don’t feed the body, feed the soul.

Fasting is not a new fad, it has existed since time immemorial. Our bodies are designed not just for feasting but fasting as well. One doesn’t have to be religious to fast, a lot of people intermittently forego food for all kinds of reasons.

Science says that going without food for a day can regulate blood glucose levels, reduce inflammation, burn calories and make digestion smooth. But does fasting strengthen your mind? Read on to find out:

Teaches self-restraint

Just as exercise strengthens your muscles, fasting enhances your willpower. When you’re hungry, you disregard the pangs. You tell your body that you’re the boss and you will not take orders from your belly. By overcoming this insatiable desire to eat, you realize that desires which need to be answered now can be delayed. Thus, we realize that we can master things that seek to control us. Thus, the self-restraint we learn from fasting teaches us to keep our priorities right and helps us get a grip on our life’s short-term and long-term goals. Therefore, abstaining from food does not just build your strength regarding what you eat, but in all areas of life as well.

You have more clarity & direction

As mentioned earlier, fasting increases cognitive functioning thereby increasing clarity. When your mind is clear, you can analyze your bad habits and make the best decisions. You can use it as a tool to let go of your unhealthy habits, behaviours, addictions, and relationships—leave bad things behind and move forward. Hence, going without food can be an instrument that reminds you of what matters most in your life and ensures that you remain on the path you wish to be on.

Lastly, fasting instils virtues

In our fast-paced modern lives, we’ve somewhere left our virtues behind. Fasting can be one of the most powerful ways to remember and inculcate those merits. The first lesson that we learn from abstaining from food is patience. With patience comes, self-restraint and discipline. Lastly, it teaches us to be diligent by making us constantly aware of our mental struggle with food. These are a few traits that one learns from refraining from eating.

The best of all medicines are resting and fasting.

— Benjamin Franklin

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