Intermittent fasting is recognized as one of the most popular weight loss strategies today. It is known to have numerous benefits for physical health, but how much does it do for your mental health?
Fasting is the practice of not eating food for a certain period of time each day. You can choose not to eat for several hours or to have only one meal a day.
Fasting can be therapeutic if done correctly, and research supports this. Fasting promotes ketogenesis and induces powerful changes in metabolic pathways and cellular processes such as stress tolerance, lipolysis, autophagy, etc. This further affects your mental and emotional health.
Yes, indeed, in fact, this article will explore the emotional benefits of fasting.
5 emotional benefits of fasting
Below are the beneficial effects of fasting on your mental and emotional health;
1. Emotional stability
Fasting helps stabilize your emotions. This is achieved by giving up emotional addiction to food, as well as giving up emotionally upsetting foods such as caffeine, processed sugars, recreational drugs, nicotine and trans-fatty acids.
Fasting can also help you break free from harmful emotional habits. Sometimes we get stuck in strange emotional cycles, fasting can help us break free, allowing us to experience the world more positively. This ultimately helps us become more optimistic and positive.
Fasting can make you feel more connected to life through practices such as reading, meditation, yoga, and martial arts, among others. Without food in the digestive system, there is more room for energy in the body because the digestive system is one of the most energy consuming systems in the body.
Self-enlightenment fasting can improve your mental and emotional health, leading you to become more aware and grateful for both the small and large things around you. Your body and mind become lighter and clearer when you fast.
3. Increased resistance
You deny yourself some of your daily conveniences and luxuries when you fast. Deliberately putting yourself in a challenging situation like this prepares you to handle more difficult situations in the future. Fasting is, therefore, a method for developing perseverance, self-control and resilience.
Overcoming your need for comfort can allow you to experience life in a different light, and perhaps even live a more comfortable life than others.
Fasting raises the level of catecholamines, such as dopamine, which increases happiness and confidence, and reduces anxiety. Fasting can also help you build self-control and discipline.
You can’t have confidence if you don’t have self-control. And if you regularly self-sabotage, you will experience internal struggle rather than self-confidence. This internal conflict drains your willpower and exhausts you.
However, when you see yourself behaving the way you wanted to, your confidence grows. You gain confidence in your talents, which encourages you to take on greater ambitions, risks and challenges in the future. Ultimately, you gain self-efficacy, which allows you to control your destiny and future.
5. Improved mood
Fasting causes the release of the happy hormone serotonin, which is a great mood enhancer. It makes you more relaxed and open to fresh ideas.
By the way, some psychotropic drugs have a very similar effect. Intermittent fasting can make you feel euphoric and excited, but in a good way.
Other emotional benefits of fasting include:
- It enhances gratitude
- It promotes a sense of spiritual and psychological well-being.
- It brings peace and satisfaction.
- It promotes inner peace and optimism.
- Relieves stress and depression.
Fasting means deciding not to eat food for a certain amount of time each day. This habit can have some positive effects on your mental health. There are some emotional benefits of fasting, such as improved mood, improved resilience, stress relief and improved discipline.
When you’re not eating, you can drink water or calorie-free drinks like black coffee and tea. During the eating period, you can “eat normally”, but this does not mean that you can eat whatever you want. Avoiding snacks, fried foods and high-calorie fast food is encouraged.