4 Ways Ramadan Fasting Impacts Your Mental Health | ExpatWoman.com

4 Ways Ramadan Fasting Impacts Your Mental Health

Did you know? Fasting during Ramadan can affect you psychologically, and here's how!

Posted on

13 March 2024

Last updated on 13 March 2024
Effects of Ramadan fasting on mental health

Ramadan fasting doesn't just do good for the body, but mentally as well.

Ramadan is a holy month of worship, and it encompasses more than just physical observance. Fasting involves a commitment of both body and soul, embodying the spirit of self-purification.

"Ramadan aims to cultivate good moral character and habits that contribute to mental health," said Dr. Galaa Mohamed Mahmoud, Clinical Psychologist at Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital in Abu Dhabi.

Here are four ways Ramadan fasting can boost your psychological wellbeing.

1. Promotes self-discipline and emotional regulation

"In psychological terms, abstaining from negative vices and habits during fasting can lead to the modification of negative behaviours, such as arguing, fighting, and engaging in harmful speech," explained Dr. Galaa.

This can promote mindfulness and self-monitoring, enabling the development of self-discipline and emotional regulation, thereby building resistance to triggers and addressing arguments and impulses.

Does Ramadan fasting boost psychological wellbeing?

2. Reduces feelings of anxiety and depression

Additionally, fasting can positively impact mental health through the regulation of neurotransmission, crucial chemicals that affect our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

"For example, fasting increases serotonin levels in the blood, which play a role in regulating mood, sleep, and appetite," added Dr. Galaa.

Elevated serotonin levels can alleviate anxiety and depression, thus improving mood and overall mental health.

3. Confidence through self-control

Fasting also empowers mindfulness, promoting self-discipline and self-control, which can translate into positive life changes and the ability to overcome challenges and impulses.

4. Encourages social behaviour and community

Socially, Ramadan emphasises community unity, giving back, connecting with family, and promoting a socially active lifestyle and charitable actions throughout the month.

Authored by Dr. Galaa Mohamed Mahmoud.

Dr. Galaa Mohamed Mahmoud, Clinical Psychologist at Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital Abu Dhabi

Dr. Galaa Mohamed Mahmoud
Clinical Psychologist
Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital, Abu Dhabi

Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital
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Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital
Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital is a modern facility established in 2008 with a total licensed capacity of 134 beds. The hospital provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services including a 24-hour Emergency department.

Airport Road, next to the Airport Road Park