Many health experts tout the value of dietary fasting, which involves abstaining from most or all food, and sometimes from liquids, for a period of time. They theorize that this gives your body time to rest from constant digestion and your organs time to rest and recharge. Many people have claimed great physical healing, and sometimes great spiritual advancement, through this practice.
But have you ever considered that food is not that only thing we consume? Today especially, we are constant consumers of information, and some of it is not very healthy—junk food for the mind, you might say. That’s why I advocate getting away from information occasionally by going on an informational fast. Just like your body during a fast, this practice can give your mind and spirit time to truly rest, recharge, and purify. Here’s how you can do it in a few easy steps:
STEP 1: Choose the level of your fast.
Just like most things you try for the first time, it’s important to start small and work your way up to something more difficult. Most of us today are so constantly bombarded with information that we are practically addicted to it. So, it is not likely that you will succeed if you just to go into seclusion with no communication from anyone. Most people in that situation would feel very anxious in that situation, like they were in solitary confinement in jail.
Start by taking an inventory of the sources of information in your life. Write down a list of all the places that give you your facts and ideas, such as friends and family, social media, newspapers, television, and so on. Notice the ones that do not serve you well or that take up too much of your time unnecessarily. Choose one or more of those to do without for a short amount of time.
STEP 2: Plan your time.
Next, plan a date to start and a length of time that you know you can commit to. You could start with only a single day without one source of information and work up to a longer time, perhaps a week or month, where you refrain from unhealthy or time-wasting sources of information. Make sure that you are ready to commit during that time before you begin.
If you want to go “cold turkey” and eliminate a great number of informational sources at once, or if you want to get away from the ones you can’t avoid, such as email and other work information, plan your vacation time around the idea of informational fasting. You might even want to plan time on your own, away from family, friends, and coworkers, to help you truly get away from the constant flow of information.
STEP 3: Prepare your environment.
You can’t expect yourself to succeed on an information fast if you don’t prepare your environment for success. Ideally, you should find a place that is naturally free of informational distractions. If possible, it is best to plan a place that is away from your family and social life and that does not tempt you with cell phones and the Internet. Designate a specific time, perhaps at certain times of the week, when everyone knows that you are not available because this is your “alone time.” If that is not possible or easy to do because of your responsibilities, plan a time away from home and work in a place that is free of distractions, such as a mountain cabin or a peaceful spa.
STEP 4: Work up to a deep informational cleanse.
Eventually, you can go deeper with your information fasts so that you genuinely have a time to get away from the constant busy chatter of the world and, more importantly, away from the chatter of your own mind. This means stepping completely away from everything in order to fully rest the mind.
Before you try this, though, I recommend that you train in some sort of meditation or energy training so that you know how to quiet your mind and energy as much as possible. Also, practice deep breathing to help you relax the body and mind. Plan your informational deep cleanse for a time when you are fully committed to your own self discovery since, after all, you will have to be comfortable with just being with yourself for an extended period of time.
Informational Health Is the New Branch of Healthcare
We have reached a time in the story of human evolution that informational health is critical to individual and societal health. Informational fasting is one way you can begin to experience and use information in a better way, in a way that won’t control you or wear you down. This is very important for knowing who you truly are, your True Self, because it is what lies at the center of your being, unblemished beneath all those layers of beliefs, preconceptions, and assumptions. Information fasting is a simple way to dig down, like a spiritual archeologist, to find out who you are underneath it all.