Communication Fast

I occasionally fast for a day. I have my last meal in the evening, eat nothing at all the next day, and resume eating the morning after that. I do it because the scientific evidence indicates it is healthy. The body is not really supposed to have three square meals a day every single day. It is unnatural.

It is also healthy for a relationship to go on a "communication fast" once in awhile. Choose a day you both have off from work and say your last words to each other the night before. Say nothing to anybody the next day and resume talking the morning after that.

To make it even better, fast from every kind of communication. Don't watch television, do email, or even read a book.

This is a powerful practice that will deepen your relationship. Why?

Because any time you can suspend the expression of well-ingrained habits, they become less ingrained.

You've had a negative example of this, I'm sure. Have you ever had a regular exercise routine or some other regular practice and after a vacation, neglect to resume it? Maybe weeks later, you'll realize you haven't been exercising and you'll think you've failed or perhaps you're weak-willed.

But it's not weakness. You've merely suspended a well-ingrained habit and made it less ingrained. You can use this phenomenon for your benefit instead of your detriment. When you want to be less automatic — when you want to enhance the freshness of your habits of communication — suspend communicating for a period of time. You'll come back to communicating with more awareness.

And anytime you stop doing something you have fully taken for granted, you'll find you appreciate it more. Appreciation improves your mood.

Adam Khan is the author of Self-Reliance, Translated and Principles For Personal Growth. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

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