What effects on your body does the use of intense mental energy have?
Such as, does using mental energy like thinking intensely for long periods of time work the same on your body as a physical workout does for burning off calories or some other positive effect, or are there negative effects?
After periods of intense thinking or focus, I can feel tired and drained after (as if I had been exercising) That's most typical when "brainstorming" or intense focus with a group. I
I agree with Kris. When you go on an exchange trip to another country, for example, and immerse yourself in another culture, the amount of thinking you do in trying to get your head around a foreign language is physically draining. When I went on an exchange trip to Costa Rica, for the first few weeks I slept a heck of a lot more than usual. Gradually, as the thought process became easier and I became more fluent in Spanish, I didn't get tired as quickly. I assume then that this would apply to any instance of 'intense mental energy'. Your brain needs rest, so you feel lethargic on the whole.
I wouldn't call the effects of intense mental effort "negative," but they can certainly throw me off balance. Mental work does burn some calories, but not like exercise does. So eating to rebalance makes me put on weight. (Even my friend Dan Millman, coach and athlete, says he can gain ten pounds writing a book. and it's harder for me.)
I work to rebalance my energy after I write or I offer a coaching session. It is good to be alone, be aware, and do something physical. Relaxed natural breathing, a short walk - outdoors if I can - and some stretching are all good. Gardening is good - it helps to connect to the earth after I've been in my head.
After that, I ask what feels right, and I may go for food or good company.
It doesn't work the same, but does burn more energy than almost every other function of the body (digestion is next). Muscles are strengthened with a physical workout, and mental acuity is strengthened with mental workouts, but both have their limits, needing rest and cleansing after awhile.
Toxins are released with the use of energy and need to be cleared out. This is why it's important to drink enough water every day, and more with intense workouts (physical or mental). This hub shows the role of water and cleansing in the body:
http://watergeek.hubpages.com/hub/The-H … Water-Body
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