Stress and fasting

Yesterday was a Jewish fast called Tish’a B’Av (literally, the 9th of Av which is the Jewish date of this particular fast). For the first time in a loooooooooong time, I went to sleep easily and early (around midnight which is so early for me lately). Also, most mornings (usually except Shabbat) I wake up very, very nervous. I did not wake up that way yesterday. Actually, I woke up happy!

Last night, after the fast, I slept OK but I woke up stressed.

So now I am wondering, what is it about Tish’a B’Av that enabled me to be much, much, MUCH more relaxed than usual?

I dunno! THE END… Just kidding. I have one theory so far and I think it’s quite true.

Everyday I wake up with expectations. Expectations of the day and of myself. And I am stressed because I worry that the expectations won’t be met. If it’s the list of things I have to get done or whatever.

On Tish’a B’Av, the focus is entirely different. There is a bigger purpose to the day that overrides everything else. It is the day to fast. No eating or drinking. So you already know you might not perform fully and that’s OK because you’re doing right within the greater good. The focus shifts and so your expectations change. And you might be really productive that day but there is almost no pressure (self or external) to be.

So what is that then? It’s having a different focus which lowers expectations.

But are expectations bad? Well, no. It is good to expect yourself to act within this world. But the expectations are bad when they’re stressing you out. Mine stress me out and so they are obviously not good.

OK, I need to stop here (time constraints) but I’m going to post this as is. I am still trying to figure this out…


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