What if Mindfulness contributed to the complete success of a good fast? According to the VII Cinfsalud study “Perception and habits of the Spanish population around stress”, 9 out of 10 Spanish citizens, between 18 and 65 years old, have suffered from anxiety. And half of the Europeans perceive stress as something habitual in their work environment.
We are living in a time of transition in many areas of our lives: technological transition, climate transition, work climate transition, education transition, etc. Everything is going faster and faster, and the environment requires us to constantly accelerate even though the body has its own programmed rhythm.
So what’s going on? We have to learn to slow down as we go along, something that our environment does not allow us to do in many cases, or we can take a real break by taking advantage of a few days’ holiday to disconnect and refocus on ourselves. Fasting helps a lot in this, and in combination with Mindfulness it can be very effective for us to rest “the machine” and be able to re-enter this accelerated routine with another vision and a better control over ourselves.
How to complete the fast successfully?
As Damien Carbonnier and Jesús Domínguez, the authors of My Fasting, comment, “a day of fasting is equivalent to a month of well-being”. So what can we do to fast for the first time in the best possible way? Let us look at it.
To optimize the success of your first fast, follow these tips:
1. Be clear that you are fasting not only for the purpose of losing excess weight
It is clear that during a fast our body will begin to seek the energy necessary for its functioning, what we call its base metabolism. As it does not have access to the user-friendly energy that we provide through our regular diet, the body will first use some of the reserves it has in the muscles and liver, and then attack the energy reserves in the adipose (fat) tissue .
The latter process will transform fats into molecules that are easy for the body to use. Therefore, one of the results of fasting is some weight loss, but the overall benefits on your well-being will be much greater .
2. Choosing a serious company to perform your first fast
In order to fast it is important to have confidence with the people who are going to accompany you in an experience for which, a priori, you may show a little apprehension or uncertainty. Ideally, it should be a company run by fasting professionals who can provide these services:
- To monitor your state of health with doctors and give you guidelines to follow according to your personal case, so that you can fast in complete serenity.
- To organize the retreats to fast in very natural environments that are conducive to disconnection. Countryside, mountains, spas, etc…
- That combines fasting with supervised hiking activities with professionals of these activities. Combining fasting and physical activity such as hiking optimizes the positive detoxification results of your body and mind. You have time to think, to reflect, to rest. You discover facets of your body that you did not know before, such as being able to climb a hill after several days without eating.
- That can propose extra relaxation activities . Fasting is a moment for you, to refocus all your attention on the needs of your body and mind, to learn to listen to your body, and to free your mind from the stress of your day-to-day life.
3. Think of it as a vacation in which you will rest but also move forward
Today we have many demands, both at work and in our personal lives, and even on holidays there are times when we are under stress. On a fasting retreat, you get away from technology, focus on yourself, and interact with people like you. It is a privileged moment that is increasingly important to take advantage of to optimize your health.
4. Be clear that you will have a before and after your first fast
Today’s society is still well anchored in the idea that if we don’t eat every day we won’t have energy and we won’t be able to survive long. In fact, in our modern societies we tend to eat much more than the organism needs .
If this is your first fast, you will experience something new that will surely surprise you. If you have not yet experienced Mindfulness either, this experience will help you to better understand what is meant by acting in full consciousness. Understanding and practicing Mindfulness is a process, not a model or a method that we apply and that will give results right away. It is a form of meditation that aims to reduce your stress levels, constantly improving.
5. Enjoying every moment
In a fast it is important to observe what happens outside you and inside you . To make the most of the moments of rest, of coexistence with the group, of walking in nature, of the relaxation activities that there may be such as yoga, meditation, reiki, of massages (relaxing or draining) etc… This is how mindfulness is discovered.
If you are in a moment of reflection about your life, if you notice that your body lacks energy, your lifestyle does not correspond to the official definition of what we call well-being, and that you have a very stressful life, perhaps it is time to stop and give a break to all the cells in your body. Have you thought about fasting?