"It is well known that thinking is sharper when hungry"
The experience of mental clearness during a fast is much like an early morning drive in the country. The sun is shining; rolling hills are covered in brilliant light, then you drive down into a valley. The car hits a fog patch, the surrounding landscape disappears and you are barely able to see the road ahead. The up and down sensations of clear and foggy mindedness are opposite mental states that are able to trade off numerous times within a single day. I have even found my eyesight to correspond with brain function: my mind and vision fuzzy, then the blood clears and I am left with crystal clear sight and sharp mindedness. It is obvious what is going on. Toxins in the blood are interfering with fasting’s ability to enhance brain processes. As the fast progresses and the body detoxifies, fog patches diminish, leaving days of bright awareness. Unfortunately, most of the fog is at the start of the fasting journey. It takes some perseverance to experience the joyous clarity that can come during the fasting state.
Never overeat just before an exam or you may find a heavy head on the desk fast asleep. University of Chicago students fasted for seven days, mental alertness increased and their progress in schoolwork was cited as remarkable. The universal testimony of fasters is that thinking and focus is enhanced.
While fasting, thinking does slow down. Surprisingly, this serves to enhance deeper thought; as if taking the foot off the accelerator allows the little details to come into focus, like neglected inner issues deserving important attention. In an information-overloaded world a calmed mind can take time to seek out deeper understanding instead of darting here and there accumulating years of half-truths and shallow understanding. You might even start thinking for yourself. Slower, deeper thought allows for creativity but more importantly, opens the mind to God’s Word.
The brain has a saturation point. When unplugging from the high-amped media of TV and radio, a numbed mind finds it a difficult business to focus on the quiet words of Scripture. The surrounding world is inventing increasingly powerful tools to get our attention. God is in no such competition. He will wait until you quiet your soul enough to hear.
Some, for the first time during a fast will experience emotional stability. The reasons for this are multifold—the elimination of the dependence on food, exclusion of stimulating foods like caffeine, processed sugars and trans-fatty acids, all of which can have a devastating effect on brain chemistry.
Related Article: Why Fasting Heals