I recently had a clearer experience of how thoughts create the experience of hunger and tiredness.
I went without food a few days, and the two times I thought I would eat soon I got very hungry. The rest of the time, not knowing when I would eat again, I felt fine. There were certain sensations in the body and stomach area, but it was not hunger.
At another time, I had the thoughts “I won’t get enough sleep” and “I need to be alert & rested”, and felt fatigued and tired. As soon as those thoughts went away, I felt fine.
With tiredness, I can see that the mind is a faithful servant to beliefs. There is the belief that I need to be rested, and may not get enough sleep, so I feel tired – which is how the mind supports me in finding rest and sleep.
With hunger, I similarly see that the thought “I need to eat” or “I will eat” creates hunger, which is how the mind supports me in finding and eating food.
I suspect something similar may be the case with pain. There is thoughts such as “it’s pain”, “I shouldn’t be in pain” and “pain is dangerous”, and the mind supports this by creating the experience of pain.
This has an obvious evolutionary and survival function. The thought “I need food” creates the experience of hunger, which in turn increases the motivation to find food. The thought “I won’t get enough sleep” creates tiredness which supports the motivation to find rest. The thought “I will soon eat” creates hunger to stimulate the appetite. The thought “pain is dangerous” creates the experience of pain which supports our motivation to escape or change whatever creates pain.
By questioning these thoughts these dynamics may fall away, and what remains is clarity, kindness and creativity. I take care of my body with kindness, clarity and a mind open to possibilities, free from additional stress.
Note: There are at least two ways to work with pain, tiredness and hunger in this way. I can identify thoughts and beliefs around it and question these. And I can explore how the experience of pain, tiredness and hunger is created in the sense fields.
Note 2: I notice several situations where I create tiredness for myself. (1) When I go against what feels right to me, which happens when I believe a should. (2) When I think “I need to stay alert, awake.” And (3) when I think “I won’t get enough sleep/rest”.
- how the mind creates hunger, tiredness etc.
- the thought “will get food soon” created hunger, w/out it fine
- the thought “I won’t get enough sleep”, “I need to be alert/awake/rested” created tiredness