3 Benefits of 1-Day Fasting
Fasting is a secret hidden in plain sight. After practicing fasting quite regularly for the last 10 years, I can confidently say that this is a powerful technique for health, happiness, and progress.
The best things in life are simple and free!
When I first started fasting, I used to only fast from food, but for the last 2 years I have been fasting from food, speech, and technology, and the benefits are huge. On average, I fast once every 2 weeks.
Each fasting period last 24 hours — where I cut off myself from food, technology, and speech. That’s right, I don’t eat anything, I don’t talk to anyone, and I don’t use any technologies like phones, computers, TV. I also abstain from any intense physical activity like exercise, sexual activity, or any form of work.
I drink plenty of water — about 2 liters in the 24 hour fasting period.
The 3 benefits of fasting for 1 day:
1. Better Health
From both the knowledge and the experiential wisdom I have acquired, it takes about 23 hours for our body to clean itself thoroughly. More like a ‘deep clean.’ It is during this period when all the cells in our bodies undergo a process called autophagy, where is cleans itself.
No wonder, after 24 hours of fasting, even if only from food, you will see that your skin and eyes have a different glow in them. Your abdominal area feels much lighter. You also feel a renewed type of energy throughout your body.
On a regular day, all the cells in our bodies, especially the ones in our digestive system, are busy working. When they get a 24-hour break, they get the time to clean themselves and become healthier. As a result, you become healthier.
It is during this time when all other systems get a break, the immune system kicks in and “takes care” of your problems. For instance, I use fasting as a medicine when I feel that something is happening in my throat — a pre-cursor to flu. After a day of fasting, I am back to normal.
It is important to keeping drinking water so that you are constantly peeing out the toxins from your body.
When you also do not talk or use technology, you give rest to your senses and your brain. Your eyes, throat, mouth, hands, brains — they all get a break they need to keep you healthy.
2. The Feeling of True Happiness
We all know that true happiness comes from inside. If you want to feel true happiness, fast. Simple and easy as that.
A few hours into fasting, I feel happiness starts expressing from within my cells. Yes, it’s true, happiness is an inside job, literally. The happiness you feel by not needing anything is of the highest quality. This sense of happiness far exceeds the joy that I feel from accomplishments, achievements, and sensual pleasures.
This is the best thing that fasting gives me is the feeling of happiness that has nothing to do with things and events outside my body.
Our body is extremely intelligent — it a complex makeup of different types of nano-technology that we call ‘cells.’ They are super-intelligent since we still haven’t fully understood enough about them and they not only keep us alive but help us grow and thrive.
The first 8 hours can be the hardest phase during a fast. It is during this time our bodies crave for food. This addiction cycle eventually breaks, and we begin to start feeling better. Our mental chatter now starts being more positive and thus our thoughts are more appreciative of the basic things we take for granted.
Last Sunday when I fasted, I got the craving of enjoying a bag of chips the first few hours. In the past, I would have struggled and tried to fight myself. After all these years of practice, I know better.
I don’t need to fight with myself. I just remind myself that my thoughts are simply chemical reactions and observe them. Only after a few hours, that feeling of food-craving was not only gone but replaced by the feelings of confidence, progress, and power.
This is where happiness is generated — when you allow any sort of addiction or cravings, be it food or any other sources of pleasures to just pass.
At this phase, we just feel happy — it is almost like all of our cells have now broken the addiction to food, technology, and other relationships with the outside world that were burdensome.
The body is now simply focused on breathing and drinking water. The mind also eases a lot on negative thoughts and mental chatter and directs itself towards appreciation and gratitude.
At this stage, the body and the mind are detachment from external sources of sensory inputs and start generating self-love. Your cells start thanking you for taking care of them. You begin to have a better relationship with yourself.
This happiness is like no other because it makes you feel life from a point of detachment, self-love, and inner power. It is the best!
Similar to the world wide web, our bodies also have a powerful system that works really well when all the cells start communicating with each other. This level of communication can only happen when the cells are free from the regular burdening task of digestion, removing toxins, and such.
And believe me, when this connection kicks in, the body starts doing amazing things like generating endogenous medicine and inner happiness.
In a nutshell, if you want to experience happiness, fast. If you want to improve your quality of happiness, improve your quality of fasting.
3. Creativity Flows
It is during fasting when I feel like the fog clears in my mind. I get a lot of new and meaningful ideas. Interestingly, these ideas stem from good health and happiness that is being generated at the same time. So naturally, these ideas are positive and meaningful.
By cutting off food and other sensory inputs (speech, technology) two things happen clearly after 12 hours into fasting. First, I feel much lighter in my abdominal area (all that blood needed for digestion is now free to go to other places inside the body), and second, the quality of my thoughts is much clearer, sharper and positive (the blood now gets the chance to go to the brain and do some amazing work there).
For this specific reason, I also use fasting as a powerful technique to recover from challenging situations. For instance, last time when I was facing some difficulties in my relationships, I fasted for a day. During this fasting period, I healed myself, attained positive thoughts and emotions. When I came out of it, I also found that people around me were more positive.
It is during the fasting we can automatically feel the innate love and compassion that we lose constantly in our daily lives. And when we are in the state of love, compassion, creativity flows. New and meaningful ideas are born without us trying too hard.
I always journal a lot during fasting. This is the time when I get to feel and think about what really matters in my life. This is the time when I have the freedom to think as the chains of technology, food, relationships are cast off. Many times, great ideas just come, I don’t have to try.
You don’t have to try to be creative to be creative. Just fast for 24 hours, and see what happens.
When you fast, you not only change yourself but change your environment as well.
People around you change. They feel that wonderful energy from you during and after you fast. And yes, they mirror your energy back to you. You will find others also more compassionate, respectful, and loving.
People around you will admire you for this deed. Perhaps, it inspires them in some way to do the same — to look into their innate source of power that can be realized through fasting.
All hidden in plain sight. The secret to health and happiness. Free. Simple.
Upen Singh writes about people and progress. He is interested in making lives better.
Having traveled over 25 countries he is always seeking new adventures to learn from and share. He has an M.A. in Developmental Economics from West Virginia University.
He lives in Thailand, Nepal, and the United States, constantly traveling. He is currently involved in a development project in far-west Nepal.