Mindful fasting: Tips to maintain mental well-being throughout Ramadan fasting - Hindustan Times

Mindful fasting: Tips to maintain mental and emotional well-being throughout Ramadan fasting

By, New Delhi
Mar 04, 2024 08:30 PM IST

Ramadan fasting is associated with reduction in stress, anxiety and depression. Here are mental health tips for better well-being during the month.

In the fast-paced lifestyle of today, there is hardly any time to pause and reflect, unwind and rejuvenate. As the holy month of Ramadan is round the corner, it is time for Muslims all over the world to spend some time in spiritual reflection, devotion, and community solidarity. During Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims observe Roza, a fast from sunrise to sunset where they go without food and water. The fast concludes every day at sunset after which Muslims break their fast with a meal called Iftar. (Also read | Ramadan 2024: Why moon sighting is an important Islamic tradition; all you want to know)

Ramadan fasting: Here are effective tips to enhance mental and emotional well-being throughout Ramadan fasting.(Freepik)
Ramadan fasting: Here are effective tips to enhance mental and emotional well-being throughout Ramadan fasting.(Freepik)

Ramadan fasting is associated with better mental health and reduction in stress, anxiety and depression. To ensure you reap all the wonderful benefits of this fasting and maintain emotional and mental well-being during this time, it's important to hydrate yourself well during non-fasting hours, eat mindfully and savour every bite of your iftar meal, eat a balanced diet, have meaningful conversations with your friend and family and cultivate gratitude to enhance your overall mental health.

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Dr Jyoti Kapoor, Founder-Director and Senior Psychiatrist, Manasthali shares effective tips to enhance mental and emotional well-being throughout Ramadan fasting.

1. Set clear intentions: Begin Ramadan with clear intentions and achievable goals for personal growth. Reflect on what you hope to achieve mentally and emotionally during this month, whether it's cultivating gratitude, patience, or a greater sense of inner peace.

2. Mindful eating: Savour each bite during iftar (breaking fast) and suhoor (pre-dawn meal). Mindful eating involves being fully present, appreciating the flavours, and acknowledging the nourishment provided. This practice fosters a deeper connection between body and mind.

3. Practice hydration in non-fasting hours: Prioritise hydration and nutritious food choices during non-fasting hours. Dehydration can impact mood and cognitive function, so ensure an adequate intake of water. Incorporate a balance of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and complex carbohydrates to sustain energy levels.

4. Sound sleep: Maintain a consistent sleep schedule to support cognitive function and emotional resilience.

5. Engage with community: Engage with the community during Ramadan to foster a sense of belonging and support. Share your experiences, challenges, and successes with others. Building connections can provide emotional support and create a supportive environment for personal growth.

6. Practice gratitude: Cultivate gratitude by reflecting on the positive aspects of your life. Consider keeping a gratitude journal to document moments of appreciation. Focusing on gratitude enhances emotional well-being and reinforces a positive mindset.

Raman Mittal, Meditation Teacher & Co-founder of Idanim adds more tips to improve your mental and emotional well-being during Ramadan fasting.

7. Prayer and meditation: Dedicate time each day for prayer, meditation, or quiet reflection. Engage in practices that help calm the mind and centre your thoughts, whether it's deep breathing exercises, guided meditation, or mindfulness techniques. These practices can promote inner peace and emotional resilience.

8. Emotional awareness: Acknowledge and honour your emotions throughout the fasting period. It's natural to experience fluctuations in mood and energy levels. Allow yourself to feel whatever arises without judgment. Practice self-compassion and explore healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress or emotional challenges.

9. Limit external stimuli: Reduce exposure to external stimuli that may overwhelm your senses or disrupt your inner peace. Create moments of stillness and solitude by disconnecting from digital devices, social media, or other distractions. Prioritize activities that promote relaxation and mental clarity.

10. Listen to your body: Pay attention to your body's signals and honour its needs during fasting. If you're feeling fatigued or unwell, prioritize rest and self-care. Respect your body's limitations and adjust your fasting routine accordingly to maintain overall well-being.

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